Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Time to pay the piper . . .

In this case, for ye local socks anway, that means Earl K. Wood.

That's right, it's that time of year again.

Unless you escrow your property taxes, it's time to stroke a check to our illustrious Orange County Tax Collector.

Oops, that was probably in bad taste to use the word "stroke," wasn't it?!

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jungle update

OK, ye socks can stop worrying about it. Yesterday's rainy weather has blown away. Ye olde Briggs and Stratton got fueled-up. And, yours truly finally got out there and mowed the yard. No longer the neighborhood pariah!!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

To paraphrase the Carpenters . . .

Rainy Days and Mondays
Talkin' to myself and feelin' old
Sometimes I'd like to quit
Nothing ever seems to fit
Hangin' around
Nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
What I've got they used to call the blues
Nothin' is really wrong
Feelin' like I don't belong
Walkin' around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
Funny but it seems I always wind up here with you
Nice to know somebody loves me
Funny but it seems that it's the only thing to do
Run and find the one who loves me.
What I feel has come and gone before
No need to talk it out
We know what it's all about
Hangin' around
Nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Outta gas . . . literally!

Pretty frustrating day, ye socks!

Started out alright, but quickly went downhill.

Ye olde jungle, otherwise known as my yard, finally requires some taming.

Yep, winter is over. Gotta start the mowing regime again.

Yours truly must admit he was a bit nervous that ye olde mower might not crank after sitting idle for so many months.

Good ol' Briggs and Stratton, though. Fired up on the 3rd pull.

That's the good news.

The bad news is . . . I forgot to check the gas tank.

After mowing a few strips in the back yard, the engine conked out.

Easily remedied?


Ye olde gas can was bone dry, too.

I give up.

My neighbors can hate me for another day, but this yard is gonna have to go one more day before it gets mowed!

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Frightening how history repeats itself sometimes . . .

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance."
---Cicero, 55 BC.

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Friday, March 26, 2010


"So, what's with all the jumble of letters?!?" ye socks may be asking after seeing the title of this post.

No, it wasn't a transcript of the Scrabble tiles I drew recently . . . they were worse!

Rather, they are the abbreviated way yours truly refers to the new series "Who do you think you are?" and "World War I."

Tonight's episode featured research on actor Matthew Broderick's family history.

He was surprised to discover his grandfather, a quiet postal worker who died before Matthew arrived on the scene, was a decorated veteran of the First World War.

He even got to visit a battlefield in France where his grandfather treated his comrades who were wounded in action.

All this got me thinking of my own great-grandfather, pictured here.

He was also a WWI veteran.

Also treated wounded soldiers in France while serving with an Army Hospital unit.

Also worked for the post office after coming back home.

Also died before yours truly arrived on the scene.

The similarities were almost uncanny.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the all-too-often-overlooked legacy the "war to end all wars" has in the annals of American family history.

Ye socks whose ancestor(s) may have been inducted in Florida to serve in the "Great War" will be interested in checking out this site:

Happy hunting!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Faulkner v Hemingway

Yours truly received a surprisingly large number of emails in response to the humorous quotes tossed into ye olde dryer yesterday.

So, I couldn't resist throwing out this exchange between two of my favorite writers.

Faulkner said of Hemingway, "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

Hemingway's reply: "Poor, Faulkner! Does he realy think big emotions come from big words?"

I think Ernie won that round . . . Sorry, Billy . . .

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let's mic Joe, 24/7!

This is a family friendly dryer, ye socks.

So, yours truly will not quote our illustrious vice president's recent characterization of the ObamaNation's stealth scare scheme.

Rather, let us harken back to a day when the English language didn't always get boiled down to four-letter words.

I mean, you might have to exercise ye olde noggin, but you can craft some pretty artful and witty statements if you try.

For example, here are a few of my favorite zingers, none of which employ foul language. Feel free to co-opt them for your own use(s):

"He has delusions of adequacy," said Walter Kerr. [Could definitely be applied to a large proportion of the current "leadership" of this country, no?!]

"He has all the virtues I dislike, and none of the vices I admire," said Sir Winston Churchill. [Wow, didn't know he had a chance to meet Joe!]

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends," said Oscar Wilde. [Especially when he uses potty language?!]

"He loves nature, in spite of what it did to him," said Forrest Tucker. [Ouch, that had to hurt!]

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork," said Mae West. [Or, at least washed his mouth out with soap, in this case!]

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know," said Abraham Lincoln. [Wow, did he know Joe's boss?!]

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March Madness

Having had another 24 hours to further digest the recent constitutional travesty, I am pleased to see our state's attorney general Bill McCollum is taking the lead on filing a lawsuit against the ObamaNation's stealth scare scheme.

Florida, along with eleven other states (so far!) have filed suit in federal court at Pensacola, claiming the socialist agenda is unconstitutional. I'm pleased to see the AG from Louisiana, a Democrat, standing by our side on this one.

Virginia, for a variety of reasons, has filed a separate suit up in Richmond. The basis of their claim is that the mandates issued from on high by Pelosi, Reid, and their ilk, conflicts with existing state law.

Furthermore, it is my understanding that at least 32 other states have either put into place, or are in the process of creating, legislative and constitutional challenges in a variety of forms.

So, America isn't just sitting back and taking it.

I love it!

It sounds like this version of "March madness" may just be settled in the courts, too!

Hope and change, y'all!

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Rights vs entitlements

What a travesty last night's vote in Congress was.

Simply put, it is the product of ignorance.

I'm not saying the perpetrators of Socialized Stealth Scare are ingorant. Far from it. Rather, the people who drink their KoolAid are the real dopes.

For instance, let's clarify the definitions of the words "right" and "entitlement."

Rights are endowed by our Creator. They are inalienable. They are NOT granted to you by the government. You are born with them.

Entitlements are simply government hand-outs. They are given or taken away at the whim of our illustrious leaders.

Of course, Socialists have been purposely using the word "right" for "entitlement" for many years, and not just as relates to Stealth Scare.

Back in the days of the late great Soviet Union, they decreed every comrade had the "right" to free food.

Those of us with a little gray hair remember how well that worked for them. Everytime we saw a news report about a grocery store in Moscow, it showed lines of people snaking around a city block. And, when the reporter asked them what they were waiting for, they never knew. They just figured since everyone else was in line . . .

Eerily similar to what's going on in the ObamaNation, no?!

I fear we have not only trashed the Constitution, but have also bankrupted ourselves and future generations . . . wonder if our unborn great-grandchildren are experiencing buyers remorse this morning?!?

I guess they're entitled to feel that way . . .

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

A rainy day and two bad movies

After enjoying a 79-degree first day of Spring yesterday, this little corner of heaven played host to some nasty rain this Sunday.

Perfect weather for staying inside and catching up on what the nice folks at Netflix had on tap, no?


The first piece of piffle and nonsense was "Home," starring Marcia Gay Harden. Set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Amish country) in 1969, you'd think the scenery alone would make it at least tolerable. But, it wasn't.

Instead, it was a disjointed mish-mosh of scenes spliced together with some shallow poetry (but no real plot).

I eventually had to hit the eject button. Never finished watching it.

The second waste of my time was "21 Grams," starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Benicio del Toro. With that kinda "star power," I figured it would at least be able to hold my attention until the credits began to roll . . . well, I guess it succeeded in doing that. But, just barely.

This was another disjointed mish-mosh of scenes. But, at least it had a plot. I just had to figure out which scene came first chronologically, etc. . . . way too much work for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps, I am just "too linear" in my thought processes. I expect stories to have a beginning, a middle, and a conclusion . . . not to mention a point.

Bottom line: skip "Home" and "21 Grams."


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lisa Kudrow on WDYTYA

For ye socks who missed last night's episode of "Who do you think you are?" on NBC, they traced the roots of everybody's favorite "Friend."

Of course, yours truly refers to Lisa Kudrow.

What, you thought I meant David Schwimmer?!

Anyway, I supposed Kudrow kinda had to do an episode on her own roots since she is the executive producer of the new series.

I have to admit I didn't like it quite as much as the previous two episodes about Sarah Jessica Parker and Emmitt Smith. But, it was still good.

I won't spoil it for ye socks who have it on your DVR's, but basically Kudrow tracks her dad's family line back to Belarus and finds a living relative in Poland.

Next week: Matthew Broderick.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Breakfast with the candidate

In the ongoing effort to do ye olde civic duty by getting to know the folks running for public office around this little corner of heaven, yours truly had the pleasure of meeting Matt Falconer this morning at the regular Friday roundtable.

Mr. Falconer certainly came well-prepared for our little group. He literally brought a text book he wrote on how to improve Orange County's government, and gave copies to everyone at the table.

You can't say this guy isn't thorough.

That may be just what we need in the next county mayor.

I'm still not sure I agree with his ideas on consolidation of services, though. I mean, I don't know how the folks up in Apopka would feel about having their fire department absorbed into some new mega-district. And, I doubt the folks down in Belle Isle want to give up their new police department. So, I guess I'll have to read his textbook over the weekend to try to figure out exactly what he means . . .

Man, nothing like homework for the weekend! This being a good citizen thing can really cramp your style, no?!

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mmmm . . . blueberries!

Don't know how healthy this is, but yours truly got his day started this morning with a big fat wedge of blueberry pie.

Thanks to the friendly folks over at Shannon's Casual Cafe on South Orange Avenue for getting the sugar high started early around this little corner of heaven!

Look out world, pie plus coffee equals one extra alert sock!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Remember, ye socks, everyone is Irish at least one day a year . . . and, that day has arrived for 2010!

So, have a green beer or two and pass the corned beef and cabbage!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Enumerating and ruminating

Well, it's now official, ye socks. Yours truly has completed the enumeration of his humble abode for the 2010 Census.

It's got me thinking how much things have changed with our republic's little decennial tradition.

We no longer have census takers trekking about, knocking on doors, and asking probing questions.

Instead, we get these sterile forms in the mail. And, the questions they ask us are so bland.

I mean, if you really start digging into old census records, you'll find they reveal a whole lot of really cool info on our ancestors. (ie the 1900 enumeration duplicated here . . . see if you can spot the Morgans!)

Wonder what posterity will think of the 2010 data . . .

Anyway, if any of ye local socks want to delve into the older, more interesting census records (1790-1930), I would encourage you to get an Orange County library card. That entitles you to access the images for free online thru their "Heritage Quest" subscription.

Now, off to the post office to get this thing mailed . . .

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Remembering Dad Today


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Florida Land Grants/Patents

Thought I'd pass along this link that I stumbled across today:

Should be of interest to any of ye socks interested in Florida genealogy or history, as it allows you to look-up the original buyers (or patentees) of land in the Sunshine State by entering Section, Township, and Range numbers.

Happy hunting!

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who do you think Emmitt Smith is?

I know, I know. Most of ye socks from the Big D *think* he's a legendary Cowboy.

And, I suppose that's true.

But, we all know he was a legendary GATOR before that!

"22, Orange and Blue!"

Last night, we learned Emitt Smith's real background on the latest installment of NBC's new hit series "Who do you think you are?"

In case you missed it, the full episode is available for online viewing at


How could you not be . . . unless of course you're a Packers fan . . . or, worse: A Nole!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Breakfast with the candidate

Once again, our little breakfast roundtable welcomed a Congressional candidate to visit with us over our coffee and oatmeal.

Last time, it was Bruce O'Donoghue, who is seeking to unseat Alan Disgrayson in the 8th District.

Today, it was Craig Miller's turn.

Craig recently announced his candidacy in the 24th District, and faces some serious primary opponents. But, the ultimate goal is to defeat freshman Suzanne Kosmas in the general election this November.

Before entering politics, Mr. Miller was perhaps best known as the CEO of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

But, in speaking with him this morning, I found him to be more than just a businessman with the ambition to bring some real change to Washington. I also found him to be a sincere, thoughtful, and intelligent gentleman.

Regardless of where ye socks find yourselves on the political spectrum, it's hard not to admire someone who's willing to put themselves under the level of media scrutiny that comes with running for Congress.

So, I wish Craig luck, and will be keeping a close eye on the campaign in the neighboring 24th district.

If ye socks want to learn more about the Miller campaign, check out this website:

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Morgan!

Apparently, every 7-year-old niece needs a mini-Me to help them celebrate an occasion like this!

Hopefully, it wasn't as rainy up there as it was in this little corner of heaven!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Are those buzzards?!?

So, there I was, driving home after work.

As I pulled ye olde Blazer to a halt at the intersection of Rosalind and Pine, my wandering gaze scanned the downtown skyline.

As my eyes came across the SunTrust Tower, they were forced to pause.

What was that circling around the iconic green pyramid things on top?

Are they buzzards?


What does that say about the prognosis for all the bankers, financial planners, and other office workers in said tower?

I think I'd have to change my address if this became a regular habit for said birds . . . nothing short of creepy!


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Yes, it really is Election Day

At least it is if you're fortunate enough (?!) to live in Orlando's third municipal district.

Today, we make the momentous decision whether to retain our incumbant city commissioner Robert Stuart or replace him with the unknown Larry Spade.

That is, quite literally, the only thing on the ballot today.

No referenda.

No other candidates.

Nothing but Stuart v Spade.

I'm told the result is a foregone conclusion, and have little reason to doubt the conventional wisdom.

But, far be it from me to dissuade anyone from exercising their franchise . . . I exercised mine, for what it's worth!

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Get ready to . . . get ready!

So, yours truly gets home from work today to find a letter waiting in his snailmail box.

It's from our friends over at the Census Bureau.

Apparently, they felt the need to send me a letter to let me know that they're going to be sending me another letter later.


Well, maybe not.

Not being one to give federal bureaucrats much of a benefit of the doubt, I suppose this stupid letter can serve some purpose.

That is, if they got it returned to them by the post office, at least they would know they had a bad address and MAYBE they wouldn't send out the letter they wrote the letter about . . . MAYBE!

Let it go . . . let it go . . . let it go . . .


Sunday, March 07, 2010

You Tube Overload!

It's confession time, ye socks.

As noted in Friday's post, yours truly ended up watching the NBC premiere of "Who do you think you are?"

Well, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to see what episodes of the British version of the show might be available via YouTube.

Big mistake.

I've done very little else this fine Sunday afternoon, which seems like kind of a waste . . .

Fortunately, this fresh bowl of popcorn is assuaging my guilt . . .

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Gimme a stack!

Of steaming hot pancakes, that is.

And, don't be stingy with the butter and syrup!

There are very few better ways to get your day started.

Although, I do have to admit that the variety that slides off the griddle in this little corner of heaven may also be labeled as enthusiasm-quenching gut gaskets; because, all-too-often they induce a Thanksgiving-like food coma . . .

Ah, well . . .


Friday, March 05, 2010

Programming note . . .

Just in case ye socks have nothing better planned for this fine Friday evening . . .

NBC will be debuting its new genealogically-oriented TV series, "Who do you think you are?"

I understand they will be profiling the ancestral trail of Sarah Jessica Parker.

If the series is half as good as the British original, it will be worth your while to check it out!

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Happy Birthday, Florida!

Yes, ye socks, it was 165 years ago today that the great State of Florida was admitted to the Union.

Actually, two states joined the U.S. back in 1845.

Hmm . . . . what was that other state . . . .

Oh, that's right: Texas.

But, they weren't given their star on Old Glory until December 29th.

Yep, the Sunshine State has more than nine months' seniority on ya!

Guess that makes us senior citizens down here, in more than just the traditional sense?!?

Whatever. Any excuse for cake and ice cream will be indulged in the dryer!

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Winds of change?!

All I can say, is I hope all the winds around this little corner of heaven today are bringing some of that warmer weather we've been promised by the eggheads with the super-dee-dooper doppler thingamajiggies.

In the mean time, we're subjected to howling burst of leaves and dust.

Angry gusts leave us all looking disheveled.

And, my motion detector keeps getting tripped by the swaying branches.

I almost feel like I'm back in Lubbock, Texas.



Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Spring cleaning, anyone?

Good grief!

Yours truly needs to do something about the ever-increasing load of piffle and nonsense that's taking over his vehicle.

It looks like Sanford & Son got a hold of the interior!


Monday, March 01, 2010

Come on, 70 . . . .

First of all, "White Rabbit!" to ye socks in the know.

Secondly, isn't it way past time for Spring to get sprung around this little corner of heaven?

Rushing out the door this morning, as I am wont to do, found it more than a little uncomfortably brisk!

The weatherman assures us the mercury will climb into the 70s later this week.

Can't happen soon enough!