Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oldest surviving tombstone in Central Florida?

Consider this post a challenge to ye local socks to find a tombstone in this little corner of heaven that predates the one I found outside the Marsh Museum in Tomoka State Park (Volusia County).

Evidently, the stone was vandalized during the Second Seminole War and removed from the grave site (just a mile or so away from its current location). By the time the State of Florida acquired it (how, I do not know), it was broken in two pieces.

I've done a lot of cemetery surveys around here, but have never seen a stone this old (1825) south of St. Augustine. Anyone up for the challenge of beating that date?

Kinda hard to read, so here's a transcript:

Sacred to the memory
John Addison
who died at his plantation on the Tomoka River,
East Florida,
on the 29th day of June, 1825,
after a sickness of four days,
aged 61 years and 6 months.
He was born in Carrickfergus, County
Antrim, Ireland.
Early in life, he visited the United States
and the West Indies, but for many years
[crack in stone]
he died, and by his industry acquired a
very handsome property.
He was indeed a humane master,
a benevolent friend, and a most
affectionate brother.
This stone is erected as a small token
of respect to his memory by his brother
Thomas Addison
and his other relatives.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crist statements smell fishy

Yours truly has never been a big fan of our too-tan governor. And, his stock dropped precipitously in this little corner of heaven when he embraced TheObamaNation's wreckless "stimulus" plans to rob future generations. The image of that embrace will always be on my mind when I see his name, particularly on a ballot.

Recently, however, we Floridians have further been shamed by our illustrious chief executive. And, not just by his Q-tip hair.

Now, I don't expect him to stay in Tallahassee 24/7. Wouldn't wish that on anybody. A chill just ran down my spine thinking about it. But, with all this great state has to offer, it is really perplexing why our governor is perpetually traipsing around the other 49 states and the District of Columbia. I guess he's more interested in building a national profile than actually doing the job he was elected to do . . .

This past weekend found him up in Michigan, lying to the GOP faithful. Ok, maybe "lying" is too strong a word. But, he was certainly stretching the truth beyond the point of decency when he claimed credit for cutting Florida's budget from $73 to $66 billion. Ummmm . . . . Last I recall, the budget numbers are smaller because the recession has caused tax revenues to plummet. And, I also recall how Crist actually vetoed a trimmer budget passed by the state legislature in January.

Even more galling, Crist spent today making the rounds of the cable news networks. I guess he'd rather lie to the talking heads than to his actual constituents. Ok, again, maybe "lie" is too strong a word. But, I saw at least two interviews that made me want to retch.

The first was on MSNBC's Morning Joe, where he nearly dislocated his shoulder trying to pat himself on the back for improving Florida's public school system. I'm pretty sure all the accountability measures created by his predecessor (Jeb Bush) deserve the actual credit. But, I guess that's one of those inconvenient truths he'd rather ignore. Any efforts Crist may have made have been completely overshadowed by his out-of-state travels, tv appearances, and presidential hugs.

The second was with John Roberts on CNN, during which he sounded like a only-slightly-less-socialist version of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He was practically crowing about his version of a "public option" for health insurance: CoverFlorida. What a pathetic joke that has turned out to be. With premiums in the $150/month range, the governor has persuaded a whopping 4,129 people to sign-up since he took office. (We have a population of more than 18 million the last time I checked . . .)

I don't care how many dollars Charlie Crist raises from his out-of-state buddies, or how many times his grinning mug graces the airwaves. I'm just not buying his brand of politics any more. And, I definitely don't want to see it transplanted from Tallahassee to Washington, DC.

Sorry, Charlie.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Old orange marmalade recipe


* 6 oranges

* 3 quarts of water

* 7 pounds of sugar


*Wash the oranges and slice very thin, rejecting the seeds.

* To each pound of the fruit add three pints of cold water.

* Let it stand twenty-four hours.

* Boil until skins are tender.

* Allow to stand another twenty-four hours.

* Add sugar.

* Boil until the syrup jellies and the chips are tender.

This was submitted by Mrs. W.H. Odiorne of Orlando, Florida, for inclusion in a cookbook published by the First Baptist Church of Gloucester, Massachusetts, back in 1900. She and her family were originally from that neck o' the woods, but evidently learned how to incorporate citrus into their diet soon after making it to this little corner of heaven. Who says you can't teach a Yankee new tricks?!?!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Get well soon, Tim!

Last night's 41-7 Gator victory over the Wildcats up in Kentucky was overshadowed by concerns for our star quarterback Tim Tebow.

He took a pretty good hit from defensive end Taylor Wyndham. But, he's used to stuff like that.

What he's not used to is the unintentional double whammy he received from his own team mate Marcus Gilbert that caused his neck to jerk violently forward.

The crowd of 70,000+ went silent as the Heisman trophy winner lay motionless on the field, seemingly unresponsive.

ESPN quickly cut to a commercial, and yours truly began pulling his hair out.

When they returned to a live shot from Lexington, I was relieved to see Tebow on the sidelines talking with the medical staff. Unfortunately, he got sick soon thereafter, and had to be taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. I understand he was kept overnight with a concussion.

Although his replacement John Brantley was more than equal to the task of finishing out the game, and although the Gators have next Saturday off, I'm sure the Orange and Blue faithful everywhere are joining me in praying for Tebow's speedy recovery . . . and not just because we'll need him against LSU, but because his tremendous heart has made him such a fan favorite.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Carlucci's gets a thumbs-up!

Ye olde to-do list found yours truly stomping around Winter Park this fine Saturday.
The last time I was up this way, I was more than a little disappointed by a certain Mexican restaurant that shall remain nameless.
But, it's never a good idea to go running errands on an empty stomach, especially when you're known for being a big old crank even on a good day.
So, I decided to try some Italian this time around, and was very happy to discover Carlucci's in the shopping center opposite Winter Park Village at 17-92 and Lee Road. They're in the strip between Office Depot and Michael's.
Anyway, great food, atmosphere, and wait staff. If any of ye socks find yourselves starving in this little corner of heaven, give 'em a try!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Gaines genealogy: A brick wall of sorts

Ok, I know some of ye socks out there get a little bored with my occasional genealogical posts. But, you're just going to have to deal with this one, because this little mystery is what has been occupying my spare time lately.

In comparing family trees with a friend recently, I discovered the GAINES surname appears in both of our direct lines.

My line goes back to a Richard Gaines of Charlotte County, Virginia.

His goes back to a Hiram Gaines of Elbert County, Georgia, a native of Virginia.

The men were contemporaries, in that they were of the same general age. Don't know if they actually knew one another, or if they were related. But, would like to find out if they were!

Anybody got any clues or suggestions?

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who's in charge here?!

So, I arrived at my regular Thursday morning meeting to discover our discussion leader/host was missing in action.

Threw us for a bit of a loop.

Not that we weren't prepared to discuss. We're a pretty talkative bunch by nature. But, no one was prepared to actually lead the discussion.

Kinda plays in to what we've been reading, though. (Acts of the Apostles.)

You never know when you're gonna have to pick up the reins. So, be prepared, ye socks!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Your age is just a number

That may be a cliche, but it was proven quite correct this morning at my usual breakfast spot.

I was floored to discover one of our regular waitresses not only has a grown son, but is also the grandmother of two.

You'd never guess it by her youthful appearance!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

120 years ago today . . .

Taking a break from the soap box pontificating today to mark the wedding anniversary of my great-great grandaprents: William Swinney Morgan and Lola Estelle Blakesley.

Lola was quite literally the "girl next door" when William met her out in Kansas City.

They were married on this date in 1889, and had six children: Ed, Agnes, Lola, William, Isabel, and Laura.

Kinda glad they did, or yours truly wouldn't be around to rant in the blogosphere!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Big Dummy does the Big Apple

Perhaps it is entirely appropriate that The ObamaNation should be visiting New York City today.

And, no, I am not planning on tuning in to David Letterman's insipid little show. Nor do I plan to watch any of the "world leaders" pontificate at the United Nations.

Rather, this date on the calendar calls to mind that this is the anniversary of yet another momentous occasion in the still unfolding historic recession.

It was on 21 September a year ago that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the country's last two independent investment banks, became holding companies as a result of the subprime mortgage meltdown.

Something tells me that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will once again trade style for substance as he yuks it up with the late night crowd and poses for photo-ops with the new world order diplomats.

It is true that our world faces some serious problems, including infectious disease and nuclear proliferation, that have about as much respect for international borders as the amnesty for aliens crowd. And, it would be nice if some multi-lateral strategies could be developed to deal with them. But, don't hold your breaths, ye socks.

The bunch that is currently at the wheel is far more concerned about "wasting opportunities," to parlay our general angst into bigger and more intrusive government and less individual liberty. Wonder if THAT's what the off-camera discussions will be about up in NYC this week . . .

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Irish Diaspora: Australia

Ye socks of Irish descent really need to check out this web site:

There you will not only find a searchable version of Ireland's 1911 census, but also a database of all the convicts who were deported to Australia.

A quick search for the GLEESON surname (my maternal line) yielded no fewer than 75 hits.

Kinda fun to uncover a black sheep or two in the the annals of our family history.

With a little bit of the proverbial Irish luck, perhaps one or two of ye socks out there will make a kinnection thru one of the databases on this site!

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gators grind out their first SEC win of the season

Despite all the pre-game hype predicting another romp in The Swamp, our guys in the Orange and Blue actually had their work cut out for them this afternoon.

Several things conspired against them:

1. Though Vols QB Jonathan Crompton is woefully outclassed by Tim Tebow in the statistics department, he has some formidable teammates. Hats off to safety Eric Berry and runningback Montario Hardesty. They earned our respect.

2. Tebow was not himself. He turned over the ball in the red zone. He threw an interception. And, he failed for the first time in 30 games to throw a touchdown pass.

3. Brandon Spikes was forced to sit out the entire second half due to tendinitis.

4. The officiating crew was something less than impartial. They penalized the Gators for defensive tackle Jaye Howard's "unsportsmanlike conduct," a very debatable call. Then, just minutes later they not only failed to recognize similar conduct displayed by the Vols following an interception. They also failed to penalize Tennessee for an obvious intentional grounding by Crompton.

It was an actual relief to many Gator fans in the final moments of the game when safety Ahmad Black intercepted another Crompton pass to put this ugly game to bed. No style points will be awarded for this win.

Nonetheless, Florida adds to their record-breaking win streak, improving to 3-0 while the Vols drop to 1-2. Hopefully, Urban's crew learned a few more lessons they can apply to games further down the schedule . . .

It's still great to be a Florida Gator!

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Alice!

Wish you lived closer to home so we could see you blow out the candles on your cake today!

I'm sure you'll do something wild and crazy to mark the occasion, so make sure to take/forward pictures!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Contemplating St. Paul

My regular Thursday morning group discussion has me contemplating the work of St. Paul.

No, I'm not referring to his missionary work, though that is understandably why he is best remembered by most folks.

Instead, today I keyed-in to the fact that he continued to ply his trade as a tentmaker even as he took up that missionary work.

No, I'm not just speaking in the allegorical sense. He literally kept on making tents.

Anyway, that's reminded me it's not necessary to drop everything when you pursue a new path.

Something to contemplate, anyway . . .

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jimmy Carter: Racism Czar?

Just when I was sure that Ben Bernanke was the biggest nut to step off the crazy bus this week, our illustrious former president Jimmy Carter has once again astounded the nation with his brilliant insights on racism.

In fact, this "elder statesman" has made so many profound remarks on the topic over the years, it would be little wonder if The ObamaNation with its penchant for putting unelected jackasses into positions of power doesn't quickly name the former peanut farmer its new "racism czar."

After listening to the "man from Plains," how could any of ye socks doubt that any disagreement with the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue must boil down to color?

Remember, this is the guy who once accepted the endorsement of Georgia's segregationist governor Lester Mattox with the statement, "I hope to live up to his standard."

Oh, and let us not forget his masterpiece on the subject of racism, "Palestine," which has garnered him the accolades of every anti-Semite from Osama bin Laden on down the list.

I would suggest to Jimmy-Boy that the color issue is not simply one of black and white. Instead, I think HellCare and the other socialist proposals flowing out of DC lately are what is provoking outspoken opposition to The ObamaNation. People beyond the beltway are seeing RED, not black or white.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What color is the sky on this guy's planet?!

In case ye socks missed it today, the chairman of the Federal Reserve announced the recession is "very likely over."

That's right. We can all breathe easier now.

Ben Bernanke got up in front of the Brookings Institution up in DC to mark the anniversary of Lehman Brothers collapse to make one of the most ridiculous statements heard in that neck of the woods since . . . well, since The ObamaNation spouted his usual pack of lies to Congress last week.

Anyway, according to the fed chief, things are getting better. Not because people are finding jobs and paying their mortgages again. No, his rationale is that things are getting better because retail spending jumped 2.7% last month.


So, people are spending more of the little money that they have, with scant prospects of replenishing their accounts. And, that's a good thing?

I wonder when it will dawn on Mr. Bernanke, as it did on someone with far less training in the science of economics, that the increase in spending is NOT an indicator of increased confidence. Rather, it is due to 2 things:

1. The stupid "Cash for Clunkers" pogrom . . . er . . . program that had all the yayhoos running to car lots last month.

and, more frighteningly

2. Inflation is finally starting to kick-in, an inevitability since his "reserve" system has been cranking out greenbacks with wreckless abandon for so long . . .

Time to start converting that currency into something or things that may hold value . . .

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Ok, this is getting way out of hand

Lately, it seems like every time I turn around I find some relative's name in the obituaries.

Today's sad news concerns Mrs. Gail Cox (12 Sept 1917 - 14 Sept 2009) of Mount Dora. Gail was the widow of Herman Cox, one of the sons of my great-uncle Jim Cox. A native of Clermont, she was a lifelong resident of Lake County. She lived in Astatula before moving to Mount Dora in 1942. There she was a member of the First Baptist Church, serving as its secretary for twenty years.

Condolences go out to her 4 children, 13 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren.

Hopefully, this will be the last such post I'll have to toss in the dryer for a long while . . .

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another romp in The Swamp

One of the things this particular Gators fan looks forward to on Saturdays is to see what Bible verse our star quarterback is going to wear into battle.

That's no doubt, at least in part, because I know it annoys all the secular humanists out there.

This week's verse was Mark 8:36. (What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?)

Though the mighty Orange and Blue destroyed Troy on the gridiron (56-6), they have got to be doing some last minute soul-searching in the lead up to next week's big showdown with the Tennessee Vols and their mouthy new coach Lane Kiffin.

I suppose that's why UF has the tradition of playing two relative patsies at the beginning of each season. (No offense intended to ye Trojan and Charleston Southern fans out there.)

It's much better to have the weak spots exposed early, so Urban Meyer, Charlie Strong, and staff can hone the skills of the fine squad of athletes they are coaching.

Coupla things this fan is hoping they work on this week:

1. Clock management. But for this, yesterday's 83-yard drive would've resulted in an extra 6 or 7 on the scoreboard before halftime. Definitely not the margin of victory in this match-up, but it could be the margin in one of the bigger games further down the list.

2. Turnovers. Our guys fumbled the ball 6 times. Against not-so-mighty Troy, this only resulted in 3 actual turnovers. But, against an SEC level defense, that ratio could prove deadly.

Still, hopes for big things to come are still very much alive and well in this little corner of heaven. How could they not be?!


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Saturday, September 12, 2009

A sad week indeed

It began with the news that Tom McQuoid lost his battle with cancer. Then there was the anniversary of 9/11.

Today, I am sad to report to ye socks that our extended family also incurred a triple loss this week.

The first two were not entirely unexpected, but the third was a shock:

1. Bernice Bradley Cox passed away at the age of 96, actually just a few days short of her 97th birthday. Her late husband Gerald was the son of my great-uncle Henry Cox (one of the 14 older siblings of my great-grandmother Sarah Cox Morgan).

2. Eva Hand Cox passed away at the age of 86 up in Tavares with her 4 daughters by her side. I always enjoyed visiting with her at our reunions in Montverde, and was inspired by her strength of spirit. She raised those girls on her own after her husband Carl's untimely death back in 1951, and will be buried by his side on Monday in the little cemetery adjoining our reunion hall. Carl was the son of my great-uncle Jim Cox (another one of those 14 older siblings I mentioned above).

And, finally

3. Stephen Robert Lee was taken at the relatively young age of 47 at a hospice in Altamonte. He was the son of one of the sweetest ladies I have ever known, Lois Newell Lee, who survives him. (Lois' mother Agnes Morgan Newell was the eldest of my great-grandfather's sisters.) Stephen is also survived by his wife Dawn; son Sam; sisters Patricia and Joanna; three nephews; and a niece.

My heartfelt condolences go out to all the members of my extended family who are feeling these losses most closely.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

To honor the memory of 9/11/01

One day of blog silence.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

We may not be speaking the same language, but . . .

I always enjoy my Thursday morning discussions with my Protestant brothers, because their brand of evangelism is really inspiring. Often eye-opening. This morning was no different, as we were talking about Acts 19.

They were particularly excited about verse 6, the one that mentions how 12 men baptized by St. Paul began speaking in tongues.

I had always interpreted this to mean that they went forth to relay the Good News in various languages (Hebrew, Latin, Greek, etc.) to the ethnically diverse crowd there in Corinth.

But, that's not the way these guys saw it. It was interesting to see the directions they took.

In fact, they spoke so much about it that they didn't make it down to verse 12, just a few lines down. You know, where the people took some of St. Paul's relics to heal the sick.

But, this is one of the manifestations of the Catholic faith that they probably "get" about as much as I "get" the whole speaking in tongues thing.

Both are drawn from the same Book . . . in fact, the same chapter, and only separated by a couple of lines.

I guess that's the over riding message. Different folks can get different messages from the same source.

Maybe, that's part of a bigger message?!

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The real inconvenient truth

Free speech reigns in America, even in these dismal times.

There's a reason it is guaranteed in the FIRST amendment, as it is the primary cornerstone of our republic.

The odd thing is that some people think this amendment should only apply OUTSIDE of the U.S. Capitol and off the airwaves of the major networks. Or, maybe certain citizens have more of a claim to the right than others?

Inside the halls of our illustrious Congress, they would have ye socks believe that decorum and deference to the lying figurehead of a supposedly "co-equal" branch of government is more important . . .

Check your outrage at the door. Shut up. Sit quiet. And, listen to the boldest of lies as they come one after another . . .

Poppycock and piffle!

Frankly, I think we could learn a lot from our British cousins. I kinda like the raucus exchanges between the Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister.

Despite namby-pamby John McCain's assertions to the contrary, no one should apologize for or feel bad about speaking their mind in America . . . ANYWHERE or ANY TIME in America.

It may be inconvenient to the current powers-that-be, but dissension and free speech is still alive and well in this country.

Hope and change, y'all!

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

This may be a day late, but . . .

Thought ye socks would enjoy this article that landed in my inbox from Carol Saviak this afternoon:

Should America Celebrate Labor Day or Property Day?

This weekend, America celebrated "Labor Day." According to the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), this federal holiday is "a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers" and a national tribute to their contributions. While there is some debate as to who founded the holiday, it is widely attributed to either Peter McGuire or Matthew Maguire, both officers and leaders of labor unions in the 1880s. According to the website account of the glorious founding of Labor Day, both men were members of the same branch of the Socialist Labor Party.

The USDOL indicates the first Labor Day event was planned as a demonstration and a picnic. The first official event was celebrated in 1882 in New York City. Following various municipal and state adoptions, Congress passed an act on June 28, 1894 making the first Monday in September a legal holiday.

Today, many members of the general public have forgotten the origin of Labor Day was intertwined with the labor movement and it primarily exists as a national workers' day off. Taxpayers should be aware that most, if not all, unionized and public sector employees celebrate Labor Day as a paid holiday and entitlement.

Wouldn't a more appropriate celebration of worker's rights be "Property Day" where the opportunity to freely labor and to acquire and retain property according to one's individual labor are recognized?

Labor occurs in every nation in the world. What makes America relatively unique is the ability of individual Americans to dream, work hard and attain a basic level of individual wealth. This is almost impossible in many other countries of the world where property rights are not strongly protected.

Labor, without the ability to store and secure one's earnings in a legal and political environment wherein property rights are protected, is simply a form of slavery.

Therefore, shouldn't we honor the freedom and opportunity American workers have to work to maximize their own physical, intellectual and financial capacity and to securely profit from their labor?

(To read more of Carol's writings and to find out about all the hard work she does on behalf of private property owners, check out her website at .)

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Monday, September 07, 2009

RIP Tom McQuoid

Condolences go out to my mom's cousin Sharon, and her boys Darren and Kyle. I heard this morning that her husband of 27 years (and their dad) lost his long battle with cancer on Friday.

I understand the funeral Mass will be on Wednesday at St. John the Evangelist Church in Clinton, Massachusetts.

Donations may be made in Tom's memory to either:

The American Cancer Society
Central New England Region
350 Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01604


The UMass Memorial Cancer Center
c/o UMass Memorial Foundation
333 South Street
Shrewsbury, MA 01545

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

4 Levels of Wisdom

Not saying I subscribe to this construct, just that I heard it today and thought it worth pondering. Supposedly, each level is a building block to the next. In other words, one cannot completely achieve the next level without mastering the preceding level. (Wondering how many folks actually go beyond the lowest level (4) . . . )

4. Surrender nothing. Approach life's problems from a natural, humanistic perspective. Try to rationalize/compartmentalize everything. (Average adult.)

3. Surrender the past. Realize there is no changing what happened before today. Focus on the here and now. Begin each day anew without being anchored to your history. (Someone who's been around the block a few times.)

2. Surrender the present. This doesn't mean live with complete abandon and reckless disregard, but rather acknowledge that no individual human being could possibly control every aspect of every moment. (A wise person.)

1. Surrender the future. Exercise prudence, justice, strength, and temperance; but, otherwise allow what will be to unfold with grace. (A sage.)


Saturday, September 05, 2009

62-3: Like a Hot Knife Thru Butter

The roughly 91,000 faithful citizens of the Gator Nation who showed up at The Swamp tonight had a lot of pent up enthusiasm to unleash on not-so-unsuspecting Charleston Southern.

Everybody knew where the W would end up.

So, this was more like a family reunion than anything else.

Sadly, some folks were missed. Percy Harvin comes to mind.

But, for the most part, a lot of fondly familiar folks were there in their ORANGE AND BLUE!

Timmy T was his usual awesome self, throwing for one and running for another. He was sidelined before the half to give his back-up John Brantley some valuable time on the field. And, his performance was encouraging enough that . . . dare I say it . . . there just might be life after Tebow?!

But, let's not think about that before it's absolutely necessary.

The only thing yours truly didn't like about this game was that our offense was so brutally efficient that they rarely spent more than 2 minutes at a time on the field. On the flip side, CSU had a surprisingly effective offense of their own. This meant the Gator D actually had to work.

So, there was one little bit of disappointment. The Bucs got on the board with a field goal before halftime. But, even that was somewhat tolerable, since their kicker John Paglia is a native of nearby Ocala.

Bottom line: The college football season couldn't come fast enough this year! Looking forward to some of the real match-ups to come later in the Gators' schedule!!

Side line notes:
* FSU & Miami - Really, who cares anymore?
* TTU - Disappointed. Couldn't catch the game down here. Probably had something to do with the opponent, but not saying anything more on that subject given who the Gators played . . .
* Ditto re UCF vs Samford.
* Condolences to my buddy David and all the other Navy fans out there. I thought y'all were gonna pull that one off in Columbus . . .
* Ditto to ye Syracuse fans.
* Clemson - um, I think they played, right?

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Timing is everything

There I was. 3:30pm on a Friday before a long holiday weekend.

That's when I got the call that 2 tickets were available to tonight's preseason Bucs game vs Houston down in Tampa.

The only problem was kick-off was at 7pm, and Raymond James Stadium is an hour-and-a-half drive down notoriously infernal I-4.

Well, that and I (along with just about everybody else in the world) already had plans set by that late hour.

Fortunately, I was able to find a home for the tix. I do have some contacts who enjoy a degree of spontaneity in their lives.

Anyway, just as well I didn't make the trek down there. The Bucs lost 27-20.

I do read in the post-game dissection reports, however, that former Gator stand-out Rex Grossman may have salvaged his pro career.

Ye socks may remember him as the QB who "led" Chicago to the 2007 Super Bowl. In this little corner of heaven, however, he is perhaps best known for bailing on the Gator Nation soon after Steve Superior's premature departure.

But, I digress, and who could really blame Rexy for not staying thru the Zook years, anyway?!

Despite missing most of the preseason with a hamstring injury, ole Rex was back to his winning ways--threw 2 TD passes to put the nail in the Bucs' proverbial coffin.

Hopefully, this will mean he survives tomorrow's last round of roster cuts. He couldn't have timed this win any better . . . kinda typifies his career, both collegiate and professional, no?

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Considering Geography

No, I'm not trying to figure out which Trivial Pursuit category is my favorite.

Rather, for a variety of reasons, today yours truly finds himself considering the influence geography has had on history.

For example, ye socks may recall that my regular Thursday morning group has recently been plodding thru the Book of Acts.

Today, one of the guys asked why the early apostolic missions seemed to be focused primarily (if not solely) on the west. (See Acts 16:6)

I suppose the same geographic considerations that genealogists apply to the migration patterns of our forebears may be applied in this case, too. Coupla observations along that line:

* St. Paul enjoyed Roman citizenship, the benefits of which pretty much ended a few miles east of his base in Antioch but extended for thousands of miles to the west.

* It's a lot easier and faster to travel across the Mediterranean or Aegean by boat than by camel caravan thru a desert.

* The majority of people living at Antioch had fairly recent roots in Macedonia (modern Greece), not to mention an affinity for all things Greco-Roman.

Anyone else have any thoughts on the matter?

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I only felt slightly guilty about this, so will share it with ye socks in today's post.

In making preparations for a friend's birthday observance today, I successfully steered the debate in favor of The Catfish Place in Apopka.

The table in the foreground of the picture posted here was quickly surrounded by the eager beneficiaries of my debating skills.

We enjoyed all that bad stuff your cardiologist warns you about: onion rings, fried catfish, creamy cole slaw, cheese grits, etc., etc.

And, while we were at it, we tossed back way too much ice tea. The caffeine-induced hyper conversation that followed meant we had to leave a little extra table rent for the poor waitress who had to keep filling our glasses.

Oh, yeah, and couldn't leave until we had some Key Lime pie for dessert.

Anybody else got a birthday coming up that they want to use for a convenient excuse?!?

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

It's gotta be "Alley Cat," or nothing at all . . .

Lest ye socks ever doubted the cliche about the finnicky nature of our feline companions, allow yours truly to disabuse you of that notion.

Fortunately, to date, that has worked in favor of the household budget in this little corner of heaven.

It seems the tastes of the resident feline run cheap.

She only likes the "Alley Cat" brand, and would rather go on a hunger strike than let anything else pass her lips.

Trust me. I've tried upgrading her to one of the more expensive name brands. But, all my efforts have been for naught.

To make the crisis worse, since landing in our current high-brow environment, there is no handy source of the preferred sustenance.

So, yes, that was me making an unplanned trek over to "the other side of the tracks" this evening in search of a Winn Dixie.

The good news is I was able to find one and get back to ye old abode before BB11 started. And, HRH is chowing down with unusually loud satisfaction in the next room. So, can someone pass the remote?!

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