Monday, May 31, 2010

One day of blog silence

To honor our nation's fallen defenders this Memorial Day.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

My congressman is indeed nuts . . .

I just don't see how Alan Grayson was ever elected to public office in the first place, but we've been stuck with his "representation" of this little corner of heaven for the better part of the worst year and a half we've seen since the Great Depression.

I cringe every time I see his goofball image pop-up on a tv screen, because I know he's going to say something even more preposterous and embarassing than he has already done to bring shame on his Central Florida constituents.

Well, the latest shenanigans invaded my Sunday routine when he got his mug on my favorite CBS morning show.

Now, I realize that a lot of folks around here depend on the tourits industry, and they've been suffering greatly during the ObamaNation's lurch toward socialism.

Perhaps that is why Mr. Grayson was on the airwaves this morning, pimping his latest scheme to mandate paid vacations?

I know, I know. I'm a Grinch. But, can somebody out there explain to me just when exactly did it become the purview of the federal government of the United States of America to decree what has always been a "perk" voluntarily agreed-upon in the free market would henceforth be an entitlement?!

What's that? Oh . . . yes . . . I suppose January 2009 WOULD be a likely timeframe . . .

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bring on the rain!

It hardly seems fair . . . at least to my parched lawn . . . that we should be experiencing so much thunder and lightning in this little corner of heaven, and yet we've had NO ACTUAL RAIN!

Labels: ,

Friday, May 28, 2010

What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?!

RIP, Gary Coleman (1968-2010)


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do YOU believe in Magic?

How could one NOT believe after last night's drumming of the Celtics?

So, they dropped the first three games of the best-of-seven series . . . they're not dead, yet!

Let's hope the guys in blue and white stun the Boston crowd again tomorrow night, so they can bring the Eastern Conference Finals back to Orlando for a big game seven!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What constitutes an "international airport?"

The sign greeting air travelers in the hub city of the South Plains proudly proclaims its name: Lubbock Preston Smith INTERNATIONAL Airport.

Ok, so the all caps version of "international" was my added emphasis.

But, it was that word that sparked an interesting discussion around this little corner of heaven recently.

Just what DOES an airport have to do or have to qualify as an "international" airport?

LPSIA, as I fondly abbreviate it, has NO international flights. But, it is not alone. Other similarly lacking airports claim the name, apparently as a reflection of their future plans and ambitions. (i.e. Gary/Chicago International Airport in Indiana)

Still other airports that one would think had international flights, do not: London's Heathrow, Detroit's Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, and (my favorite) George Bush Intercontinental.

Another presidential namesake, Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, claims the status as a result of part-time customs/immigration staff on site.

I guess, all of this goes to show that an airport can pretty much name itself whatever it wants--even after some obscure Texas governor. Truth in advertising rules need not apply!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mozingo family sketch

For ye socks who missed it, the Los Angeles Times has serialized the fascinating tale of writer Joe Mozingo's efforts to trace his roots.

Check it out at:


Monday, May 24, 2010

What are those little brown dots?!

You know things have gotten out of control with the hedges when their appearance offends yours truly.

I'm pretty forgiving of vegetation that takes on its own shape rather than conforming to society's dictates.

In fact, I thought it was pretty cool this spring when two flowering vines began to weave their way thru the bushes in front of my screened porch. One had red blossoms on it, the other pink. And, they kinda brightened-up things around this little corner of heaven.

Recently, though, their life cycle must've come to an end. Because, instead of the colorful blossoms, all I had running thru the hedge were two dead, brown vines.

So, yesterday I got up at the crack of dawn to beat the heat and tackled the necessary pruning.

The problem is that it is now evident that I should have used gloves before I tried to tame the jungle.

I say that because I discovered my hands are covered with little brown dots this morning.

No, they're not freckles, and attempts to scrub them off have failed.

Perhaps an allergic reaction?

So much for my hand modeling aspirations . . .

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Today, yours truly counts himself lucky that he never got caught up in the whole "Lost" mania that has reached a crescendo in anticipation of the series finale.

To be sure, I gave it a shot.

I am, typically, a tv phenom junkie.

But, not in this case, I just couldn't bring myself to get "invested" in the meandering story line.

For those of you who did, however: enjoy.

But, I'm sticking with ESPN and the occasional reality tv fodder . . .

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

1997 Morgan Family Reunion Picture

Yours truly was pleasantly surprised today to discover his cousin Michelle had scanned and uploaded this picture of a reunion held at Aunt Diane and Uncle BG's house in Orlando back in 1997.

Do ye socks recognize any of these folks?!

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, May 21, 2010

Seriously, Gibbs . . . it HAS been a month, already!

Were any of ye socks at least a little bit stunned by the White House press secretary's behavior at today's news conference?


OK, maybe, yours truly is too tuned-in to the ongoing saga that is the Gulf oil spill and the never-ending series of flubbed efforts to stem the flow of the disaster.

Despite making somewhat disturbing remarks early on in the crisis about putting boots on necks, the federal response has been a disappointment to a lot of folks.

Not yours truly, mind you. I never have very high expectations from government, particularly this administration.

But, as Robert Gibbs wiped away his fop sweat today, I hope that was the conclusion of more folks out there. Despite their bluster/rhetoric, government is NOT capable of handling every situation. Nor should it be.

And, that applies to a whole host of issues, not just environmental disasters.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So . . . what kind of writer are YOU?!

Yours truly just completed one of those quizzes online that we used to see only in second-rate magazines.

Basically, it compared my responses to a series of questions to profiles of some well-known writers to determine whose style is most like my own.

The result was William Shakespeare.

Not exactly an insult. Not by a long shot.

But, as it has been asserted by various credible sources that the Bard may not have written every piece of literature that has been attributed to him, I'm wondering what the survey result says about my own writing style.

Do I really write in such a way that it could be easily mistaken for someone else's scribblings? Perish the thought! (And, don't put much stock in online quizzes!)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Ok, I'll admit it. Yours truly is often accused of being a member of the "word police."

No, that accusation has nothing to do with an affinity for political correctness.

Far from it, as ye socks who know me well can testify.

Rather, I'm sad to admit, near-apoplexy is often the result of incorrect word usage around this little corner of heaven.

Yeah, I THOUGHT I was bad.

That is until today, when I read this article by Jan Freeman in the Boston Globe:

Apparently, the desperate (perhaps, vain!) demand for proper word usage and the insistance that there are actual meanings behind our utterances is a long-standing tradition . . .


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Like nails on a chalkboard


For something like the 12th time today, yours truly has been subjected to the most annoying bit of radio advertising to be heard on the airwaves of Central Florida.

Without naming the offending advertiser (who deserves no free promotion for obviously hiring out-of state talent to record said annoying radio spot), the proper pronunciation of Kissimmee is:

While we're at it, Melbourne is pronounced "mel-burn," NOT "mel-born." And, the e's on the end of Altamonte and Montverde are both silent.
If you want to gin-up community support for your business, try hiring local voice talent that won't mispronounce the names of places around here!

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ye olde mailbox overfloweth!


Yours truly didn't realize until today that he had been ignoring his Yahoo email inbox.

(Thanks to the dear one in the Show-me State for pointing it out!)

The only explanation I can offer, feeble as it may be, is that I got a new work email address several months ago and have been primarily using that plus my old AOL address to keep in touch.

I thought I'd let everyone know that, but the 993 messages I found waiting for me today prove that is not the case.

Apologies to all who thought I was ignoring you. I am in the process of replying to all that require replies. In the mean time, though, please start using the AOL and dmc-cfl addresses!!

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sandra Wins!

Remember, ye socks, you read it here first.

My prediction last Thursday was proven correct on live television tonight.

Sandra beat Russell and Parvati in the jury voting to win Survivor's "Heroes vs Villains" season.

Her win proved my theory that the person who wins will be the person who follows the show's motto: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.

Now, before any of you start sputtering and spinning out of control, let me acknowledge that Sandra never played Russell's level of mental game. Nor, did she play as hard as Parvati consistently did in the challenges. (In fact, she has NEVER won a single such event.)

But, she did enough in each of those categories to outlast all the other contestants whose strengths lay in only one or the other.

She was the most well-rounded player, and deserves a big salute . . . especially for throwing Russell's nasty old hat in the fire! Yes, ye socks, that did just happen!

Now, why do we have to wait so long for the Nicaragua season to start?!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Exploring Aldi

For a little over a year now, Central Florida has seen German grocery store chain enter the market. (pun intended)

Yet, yours truly has to admit that, until this morning, he had never set foot inside of one.

Mostly, that's due to the fact that there isn't one nearby ye olde abode.

But, feeling more adventuresome than usual this morning, I decided to check out the location on West 50.

Coupla notes for ye socks who haven't yet enjoyed the Aldi experience:

1. Bring a quarter. They won't let you have a shopping cart unless you give them a quarter. The good news is, you get it back IF you return the cart instead of acting like a lazy bum and leaving it to roam the parking lot.

2. Bring your own bags/boxes. If you don't, they'll charge you a small fee per bag.

3. Bring CASH (or a debit card). They do not accept personal checks or credit cards.

I wish someone had clued me in to that last bit of information before I trucked it over to Pine Hills . . . unfortunately, this resulted in my Aldi visit being a fruitless effort. (again, pun intended) Publix got my money again this week!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Slipping the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God

One of the greatest perks about living in this little corner of heaven is the front row seat we have for every Space Shuttle launch.

As I raced out of the office to watch "Atlantis" streak across the sky today, it was hard to believe that it would be for the last time.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sandra is the REAL villain!

For ye socks who don't follow Survivor, apologies in advance.

But, it was clear to yours truly after watching tonight's episode that SANDRA is the baddest survivor ever to appear on the series.

Russell may THINK he's the king of manipulation. And, Parvati can bat her eyelashes as much as she wants. Neither one of them can stand up to the true master of this game.

Prediction: Sandra wins on Sunday.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kittens and ovens . . . what?!?

Thought I would share a bit of folksy wisdom with ye socks.

This was overheard while standing in line at my local Winn Dixie today.

Lady: "I'm proud to be a Florida native."

Man: "Me, too!"

Lady: "Really, where were you born?"

Man: "Well, actually, I was born up in Ohio, but I've been here for 30 years."

Lady (coldly): "Then you're not really a native."

Man: "Well, no, I guess technically I'm not . . . but, my kids were born here, so at least THEY are natives . . ."

Lady (shaking her head): "Honey, if the cat gives birth in the oven, you still don't call her kittens 'biscuits!'"

Made my day!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Orlando did it again!

Ok, how many of ye socks really thought my prediction of a second sweep would come true?!

Well, it happened last night as the guys in blue in white beat the Atlanta Hawks, 98-84, in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs.

This will send the Magic back to the Eastern Conference Finals!

Magic Fever has erupted in The City Beautiful (and surrounding areas), and not even a bottle of Nyquil can conquer that!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, May 10, 2010

Does Nyquil go bad?

Ye socks who have been lost in this dryer for any length of time know of the affection we have for Nyquil in this little corner of heaven.

(See the numerous posts on the subject of this wonderdrug:

Anyway, yours truly last dabbled with this uncontrolled substance back in January.

Just once. That's all it took to conquer whatever was trying to take me down back then.

Then, I put the almost-full bottle in the fridge and pretty much ignored it . . . until last night, when another nameless bug attempted to seize control of my sinuses.

As usual, one shot of Nyquil quickly had me sleeping away any potential illness.

But, this morning finds me still wandering around in a fog, and I'm wondering if this is a result of a newfound low tolerance level for OTC medication or five months worth of fridge fermentation . . .

Either way, hope it wears off soon . . .


Sunday, May 09, 2010

For all you mom's out there . . .

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 08, 2010

"The Conquerors," by Thomas B. Costain

This first volume in Costain's masterpiece trilogy spans (roughly) the years from the Norman Conquest to the Magna Carta: 1066 to 1215.

His writing strikes a middle course, between the dry footnote-laden scholarly tomes that are a turn-off to the average reader and the all-too-popular romanticized versions of medieval royalty churned out by the purveyors of pulp fiction. He knows how to tell a good tale, weaving what might otherwise be bland historical names, dates, and facts into a compellingly cohesive narrative.

But, the real beauty of it all is that it does not depend on any embellishments. In fact, Costain dispels many of the myths and legends that persist about this important era in the history of the English-speaking world, often deciphering the grain(s) of truth hidden within the legends:

  • William Conqueror is more than just an invading bastard.
  • His son Henry I isn't quite the "beauclerc" his nickname suggests, producing a document that would forever curb the power of the crown.
  • Eleanor of Aquitaine played no part in the death of "Fair Rosamunde."
  • Richard the Lion-heart was indeed a great warrior, but a miserable failure as a king.

My one criticism of this work is that it is dated (1949), and bowed to many of the sensitivities of the era in which it was written. For example, one really must read between the lines about the poor treatment Berengaria of Navarre received. Still, Costain's readable prose proves his argument that the century and a half following the Battle of Hastings forged the Normans and Saxons into a single nation.

Bottom line: Good read if history is your thing.

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 07, 2010

Word Nazis

Wow, yours truly was somewhat taken aback by the response to yesterday's post about the British elections.

Ironically, none of the emails received in this little corner of heaven had anything to do with Gordon Brown, David Cameron, or Nick Clegg.

Rather, every single one of them was an indictment of my use of the adjective "reckless."

I was told in so many words to invest in a new spell-checker, that said descriptor should have been preceded with a w. ("wreckless")

That just didn't sound correct to me, so I did some research. "Wreckless" implies the lack of a collision or some other disastrous event. "Reckless," on the other hand, is apparently an abbreviated form of "reckonless," to be used in describing something that can't be reckoned (calculated).

All that being said, I have to stand by my use of RECKLESS.

Oh, and David Cameron will be the next British PM, too!

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Politics . . . British style

Ok, I'll admit it.

I am the reason why CSPAN continues to broadcast the British Parliament on those three-digit cable channels around this little corner of heaven.

Frankly, it's the best reality tv one can find.

But, I realize I'm a member of a distinct minority on this side of the pond.

Most folks over here are sick enough from American politics to devote any time following overseas elections.

So, I'm sure most of ye devoted socks couldn't care less about the fact that Britain will most likely have a new Prime Minister tomorrow.

Just don't tell the folks at Bright House about your apathy, or they might engage in some reckless reprogramming!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Meeting Reminder!

For ye socks interested in helping to revive Pine Castle Pioneer Days, we are having our monthly meeting at 3 this afternoon at Belle Isle City Hall (1600 Nela Avenue).

Come one and come all!

If you can't make it in person, visit the festival's blog site:

Or, drop us an email at:

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A second sweep in the making?!

Getting ready to head off to bed.

Can't stay up to watch the rest of the Magic game despite a prolonged battled with my eyelids. They just wont' stay open . . .

Well, at least the guys in blue and white are leading Atlanta by twenty points.

Hopefully, they'll hold on to that lead.

Maybe, we'll do to them what we did to Charlotte in the first round?!?

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Beach Erosion isn't ALWAYS a bad thing . . .

I can't think of a single instance before today when yours truly ever had anything positive to say about beach erosion.

But, recent storms along the Cape Code National Seashore have worn away enough sand to expose the wreckage of 231+ year old British warship: HMS Somerset III.

If the name doesn't ring a bell for ye socks, don't feel too bad. I'd never heard of it before, either. But, according to historians it was this ship that Paul Revere had to evade on his historic ride, during which he warned his fellow patriots, "The British are coming, the British are coming!"

The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized said ride by Revere, but only alluded to the lurking maritime threat. He never actually named the ship in his famous poem.

Anyway, it turned out that HMS Somerset III sank off Cape Cod back on 2 November 1778, with four hundred British troops on board.

Thirty-seven years ago, another bout of beach erosion revealed the ship's wreckage. Now, it has resurfaced, and technology has advanced to the point where an extensive survey can be made without disturbing the vessel's remains.

The researchers better work quick, though. It won't be long til the cape sands cover up the timbers again, and they might have to wait another 37 years to get another opportunity to pick over the remains . . .

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Saturday in the park . . .

Think it was the Fourth of July . . . .

No, wait . . . it was the First of May in Central Florida . . . it only FELT like the Fourth of July!!

Yep, we went straight from Spring into the depths of Summer this weekend.

The AC's are running overtime already!


Labels: ,