Monkeying Around With Alcohol

I was amused this morning.  I was reading through the daily slog of web pages promising get rich quick sales jobs, and inappropriate job prospects when one of my “break” pages came up with a video.  When you’re surfing through over 150 pages a day, you know you’re not going to be able to do it all at once.

One of them had a video to a snippet of a BBC TV documentary.  It’s safe for work unless you’re living in a repressive regime where you have candidates using groups of people as scape goats for their own bread and circuses… oh wait that could be here.

The idea was that we may be more refined, but we’re still just animals.   There was a beach in the Caribbean that had folks sunning and sipping drinks.  I’m assuming it was the Caribbean since there were steel drums being played in the background and I rather like that sort of thing.

They also had a troop of long tailed monkeys having a raid.  These creatures were doing just what humans do when they’ve got access to free drinks.  Some were drinking fruit juice, some were drinking a little alcohol, and some were getting totally wasted and falling down drunk.  The presenter made it a point to say that the ratios of all of that were exactly like in humans.  Some are teatotallers and won’t touch the stuff, most will have a little bit and occasionally have a bit too much at the party, and then there are the sloppy drunks.

Just like anywhere else in any resort town.

So if you like that sort of thing, have a short two and a half minute video and enjoy the little monkeys.  Awww look, that one’s trashing the table!   The other one is falling over drunk!

Safe for general viewing pretty much anywhere even if it does trash my formatting.  Here’s the HD link below:

You’re Being Watched

I’m used to noise here. 

There’s the distant road noise from the highways way over “thataway”.  I’ve grown to like having the couple of freight trains and their whistles coming through roughly when I am going to bed and waking up.  The winds through the palms are fairly constant once the sun is up and the heat island is pulling the air into large updrafts for the hawks and buzzards to soar on.

It’s not really a quiet place.

This morning was quiet, at least until the trash truck started picking up our big blue bins, but even that was short lived.

I’ve stood on the corner late at night when I couldn’t sleep, waiting for the dog, and I’ve heard snoring from the homes nearby, sometimes two or three houses away.   He really should have that fixed.

So when I was sitting here listening to some Lizst on the Classical Music Channel on my phone, I did not really think twice about the snoring in my own home.  My noise cancelling headphones muted most of it.

Even in the house, there’s the ticking of two mechanical clocks, the rattling of the parrot in his cage, and the occasional moan of the dog as she readjusts herself on the mat.

I didn’t give it a second thought.

I did however realize I Was Being Watched.

Looking over the top of my reading glasses, I noticed two brown eyes staring directly at me.  They were boring holes through me like a brown laser, if such a thing exists.

Who knew that a dog could stare and have her eyes open, at the same time?  After all she’s a McNab Dog and not a bulldog or a pug. 

The things you notice when you allow yourself to do so may surprise you.  After all, she isn’t a sea monster or a water buffalo, but she is finally asleep.

Sea Monster in the Back Yard

Standing at the sink, stirring the coffee, and munching on a sesame bagel with cream cheese and lemon curd, I caught movement out of my left eye.

Seeing that I forgot and left the reading glasses on, I dismissed it. 

30 seconds later, I saw it again.  Air bubbles in the swimming pool.

It’s periodic.   It’s the breathing of the sea monster that lives out there. 

After finishing the other half of that bagel, I walked out, coffee in hand to the yard.  There are creatures out there.  At night it can be a constellation of little shiny eyes looking back at you wanting you to leave so they can go about their business.  They seem to dislike our presence out there after dark.  The snakes have gone to hide, lizards are sleeping in crevasses and have chased the geckos out for their night feed, and the raccoons and opossums may just be lurking.

So of course the first thing that came to mind is that we have a Sea Monster in the pool.  What else would there be?  Giant Green Monster of doom floating out there just below the surface ready to attack passers by.  It could be an iguana in that 72 degree winter chilled water, or maybe not.

As I stepped outside I realized that my headphones were still on playing some gentle “Uplifting Trance” tracks when it was interrupted by Joanna Lumley saying “You’ve got Post!”. 

Removing the headphones I realized that what sounds that replaced it was the usual background drone of life in the big city, and the filter pump for the pool.   It was on its normal morning cycle, and there was air in the lines. 

My Sea Monster was vanquished and I’ll have to remind someone to inspect the equipment.

Here I was hoping for some Sea Monster Brazed on the Grill for lunch, I guess I’ll settle for fish and chips instead!

Solving the Mid Life Crisis – Humor

I really do have to reduce the scale of this picture.  When I link to these Velma Posts in Facebook it beheads her and generally doesn’t look great.

Anyway, I will eventually solve the picture dilemma, and Velma solves your Mid Life Crisis here.   Just read along and you shall see…




The Coat Hanger – Humor

Going through my humor emails, I stumbled across this one from Velma.  You see, for a while, I was the guy riding a motorcycle around and I kept a slim-jim in the back saddle bag of the bike.  I got pretty good at getting into cars when I had to help in an emergency. 

When I spotted a stack of slim-jims at a flea market, I picked up a couple of them.  It’s a lot cheaper than when I broke the driver’s side window of my old Honda Accord trying to get an old wire hanger in there to open the blasted thing.

I still miss my old motorcycle, but you have to be insane to ride in South Florida.  These fools are aggressive and consider it a contact sport here.

The Coat Hanger
A woman was at work when she received a phone call that her small daughter was very sick with a fever. She left her work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication. She got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys in the car. She didn’t know what to do, so she called home and told the baby sitter what had happened.  The baby sitter told her that the fever was getting worse. She said, “You might find a coat hanger and use that to open the door.”

The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had been left on the ground, possibly by someone else who at some time had locked their keys in their car. She looked at the hanger and said, “I don’t know how to use this.” She bowed her head and asked God to send her help.

Within five minutes a beat up old motorcycle pulled up, with a dirty, greasy, bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag on his head.

The woman thought, “This is what you sent to help me?” But, she was desperate, so she was also very thankful.

The man got off of his cycle and asked if he could help. She said, “Yes, my daughter is very sick. I stopped to get her some medication and I locked my keys in my car. I must get home to her. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?”

He said, “Sure.” He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car was opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said, “Thank You So Much! You are a very nice man.”

The man replied, “Lady, I am not a nice man. I just got out of prison today. I was in prison for car theft and have only been out for about an hour.”

The woman hugged the man again and with sobbing tears cried out loud, ‘Oh, thank you God! You even sent me a Professional!’

The Rare Floridian Water Buffalo and other Wildlife

Is it getting warmer up there?
Sitting in my chair, looking at the scene before me, the morning breezes off the ocean have started.  It is beautiful, only 82.  It’s late February.   I’m guessing Winter is done in South Florida.  It’s supposed to go to 87.

Watching the mango tree blooms go from light to dark as the bees work their magic, I’m noticing other more subtle changes in the weather.   The flight of the North American Snowbird is in full force.  They’ve arrived and are walking through my neighborhood as if we’re on the beach.  Yes, I have spotted the first bathing suit of the year walking down the drive toward the corner and beyond.

The rare Floridian Water Buffalo has shown itself as well.   Baggy shorts down too low to hide below its belly, the vast expanse of blubber to feed it through the slow season has been stored.  The slow season that never quite arrives, this particular Water Buffalo has taken up residence nearby guarding its valuables so prized that they may only be gotten from one single source here on this wild island, the City Government.  

What valuable could this be that the Floridian Water Buffalo be so carefully guarding?  It would be the giant blue vessel of course.  These vessels are to be left out only twice a week to be collected gently and set back down once emptied of their treasures of banana peels, palm fronds, and other household wastes.  The Water Buffalo wanders through his territory moving the giant blue vessel from high ground to low always guarding it while coveting other blue vessels.  He is to be feared in his frenetic maintenance of the blue vessel which may happen at any time of day, or night.

Once the Feared Floridian Water Buffalo disappears from view, peace reigns on this little slice of paradise.  Other more peaceful creatures can come out of hiding.  Species of Northern Snowbirds, fearful of leaving the safety of their waterholes will peek into our area unsure whether their welcome will be a good one.  Usually with odd songs of “eh?” and “aboot” they will come through, speeding and careening through at a high rate.  These Northern Snowbirds cause fear and consternation as we who are here all year have to watch for them.  Often they will simply melt away after visiting, and never to be seen again.

We have an interesting collection of wildlife here.  Some are even four legged.  They can be the most fearful beasts ever.  Having originated in places like Mexico and the British Midlands, their size belies their fury.  These can be the most aggressive of the species as they will charge you when you are on your peaceable rounds because their leaders generally are not the best in controlling them.  Beware the small and fierce as they may bite your ankles!

Hypothyroidism in my old McNab Dog Lettie 3 weeks on

Back at the beginning of the month we loaded Mrs Dog into the Jeep and took her to the Family Pet Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale for her shots and annual checkup.  They drew blood, she was stressed but all in all if you’re in South Florida this is the vet you need to have for your dog.

A couple nights later, I got a call from Dr Glass saying that I should come in tomorrow.  Mrs Dog had a “text book” case of early stages of Hypothyroidism.   It was common in an older dog and she’ll survive well and may just rebound.  I went silent and took in the information, it was a bit much to take in at 845 when the dog walk was looming but we dealt with it.

Three weeks on, I’ve got a dog who has more energy back than I remembered her having for a couple years.  She has her will back too, which means that sometimes she tells me she wants the walk cut short by pulling me toward the house when we get to the end of a block.   I have a habit of walking her 3 miles a day, and sometimes she just doesn’t want to do all that. 

Her hearing had improved too.  In fact greatly.  I had given her hearing up for a loss before the appointment thinking that maybe the vet could help, maybe there was a clot of something in the ears that could be coaxed out but didn’t really hold out much hope.   Oddly enough I was shown recently just how much better her hearing had gotten.

She has a couple soft toys, in fact outside of the nearly empty peanut butter jar or rubber kong we’ve got here, she doesn’t care for hard toys.  Her favorite is a small green frog with a squeaker in it.  She tends to keep that palm sized thing near her mat when she sleeps and when it is gone, she’ll look for it.

Wednesday I tossed it into the laundry with some things that needed the “Superhot Sterilize” cycle on the washer since it was starting to have a definite fragrance.

She noticed.

When I pulled it out of the washer, she was there, watching me put it in the dryer.

When it came out of the dryer she wasn’t in the room.  Her hearing is better, not perfect and she hadn’t followed me out immediately.  She was standing out in the kitchen looking through the laundry room sniffing the air that flowed through the house in the cool breezes that are here this time of year when I squeaked that toy.   She couldn’t see me, but she did step into the room and sniffed the air looking at me.  One more squeak proved that she could hear that noise.

So today, my lazy old soul was half asleep and we tried the squeaky frog again. 

One squeak and an ear perked slightly.
One more squeak and the ear perked upright.
A third and the ear found the source and she lifted the head.

Smart girl.  Decide if you want it when you’re comfortable and your bones are telling you it’s not exactly comfortable to move.

So basically she’s on the pill a meal club for the rest of her days.

Her energy is better.
Hearing is better.
She is sleeping less.
She is acting like she is less achy.

I’m sure there are more symptoms that she’s got but basically I’ve got “more” of her back now.   The benefit is that those little pink pills aren’t nasty tasting and she just gobbles it down with her food.  None of that wrap it in bologna and hope for the best nonsense.

Being Watched By My Outdoor Pets – Picture

It seems that there are beady little eyes everywhere watching me.   They are getting bolder.  My Ring Neck Doves have graduated from the Tiki Bar under the Lanai to the chair next to the kitchen window and the Bougainvillea behind the Florida Room. 

Instead of them just hanging out at the bar like so many people do here in Wilton Manors, these doves have found that they can hide between the Bougainvillea and the house.  Since I don’t pester them, they tend to be there all day when they need a rest, and leave when it is time for feeding.

I don’t mind the company, in fact I’m thinking that I will have to clear a spot so Oscar the Parrot can hang with them too.  Might get him to stop tearing up the cage when he’s bored.

They seem to be a couple, and have been coming back to the bar just before my lunch every day.  Very predictable when the windows are closed. 

They are the best kind of house guests, they stay outside, they’re quiet, and you don’t have to wash the sheets after they’ve gone.

Bikini Babes in the F-ing Bar

Living in a resort town, and this is definitely a resort town, you get to see some rather amusing escapades.  No matter what, if you have a chance, come on down for a visit, it can be fun to watch the tourists have their own little slice of heaven.

Sometimes you just want those tourists to go home, back over the river and off the island.  Other times you just want them to chill out.

You’ll see what I mean here.

You see last night on our evening dog walk, we took a long lap around town.  We walked past Hagen Park and as we neared the Wilton Towers, we saw a commotion.  Then the commotion fell out of the building and saw us.

It was one of those laugh out loud then grab the pepper spray moments you sometimes see when someone’s not exactly having a good time managing reality.

Falling out of the main doors of the Wilton Towers was a rather pretty young thing.  A brown haired babe, beautiful woman with long hair in a tropical floral style bikini.

Now, if you were out last night with us on the dog walk you’d have thought why is this beautiful woman stumbling out of a tower block of apartments into the cold February chill?   This being Wilton Manors, Florida, “cold” is a relative thing, but I think even those in Anchorage Alaska will admit that 64F or so is too cold to be outside on a breezy night with the wind off the ocean.

Nudging Mrs Dog onwards we were entertained.  I laughed and that was when her ire was directed at us.

You see, this particular woman, beautiful though she may be, was an unhappy wench.   She was most likely “impaired” as she was stumbling around on the darkened street in bare feet screaming more F Bombs than the Germans had dropped on London during the Blitz.

Naughty girl then looked at us and said loud enough so we could hear even if we were a block and a half away “F” You Too!.   I mean she was LOUD.  Who knew that such a little thing could make that much noise.

Well, she was someone’s baby once, and now she’s all grown up and learning how to party like the big girls.

Wilton Towers is rather close to the South end of Wilton Drive.  Between her and traffic was only the laundromat.  She’s stumbling her way forward and shrieking F Bombs at everyone, telling them that they can F themselves, and having a great deal of trouble remaining upright.  Whatever she was on, it wasn’t alcohol since her F’s were perfectly unslurred.

I turn to Kevin and laugh and say she’s heading for the drive, I hope she doesn’t end up a hood ornament when she disappears around the corner and in front of the Tropics bar.

Thanks to distance, the F’s got quieter so we knew she was still alive.   Looking for her we rounded the corner.  After all, being entertained by a little babe throwing Fs is one thing, having her come at you, your partner, or your 11 year old dog was entirely another.

When we rounded the corner we were able to see her bikini bottom just disappear into the outside bar of Tropics.  Apparently this Floor Show was going to entertain the older gentlemen there.

We took the time to wander up past her and into the City Hall Police Desk and fill in the woman at the desk about our entertainment for the night.

I don’t know how it all ended up, but the person at the desk agreed with a laugh and wrote down the particulars and handled it professionally.

I wonder what kind of fun we’ll see tonight?  It’s a Tuesday night so it should be a quiet one, but living in a resort town means that quiet can be a very different thing.

No Thanks, Rip Off Texaco, Competition is Cheaper

I drive a Jeep Wrangler.  They’re thirsty beasts when they are driven.  It is 11 years old and it has 42000 miles on it.  I don’t drive much.  When I do drive, I do enjoy the car.  They’re fun to drive and if the weather is nice the roof comes off the thing and I have even more head room.   Being as tall as I am, head room is important.

Today I was out driving around, not exactly something I do often.  He decided that he was hungry and the fuel light came on.  Jeep Wranglers are “he”, especially when they’re dark colors…

Coming through Fort Lauderdale and back to Wilton Manors, I thought I’d watch prices since I walk past the Texaco station at NE 9th Ave and Wilton Drive enough with the dog to know that today the gas price was and is 3.67 a gallon.

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That was the going rate elsewhere so I thought I may as well just stop there and get gas before going home.

Pulling into the Forecourt, I went through the motions of feeding the gas pump my American Express card and entering my zip code when I noticed that this particular pump was confused.  It had added 8 cents a gallon to the price because I was not using cash or a Texaco card.

So I left since I don’t have Stupid tattooed on my forehead and wasn’t willing to pay 3.75 a gallon.

Cursing the whole way and being convinced that it was this particular Texaco that liked to charge too much in the convenience store for all its items and that I never went there anyway because it was too damn expensive, I drove the .4 miles down to the Valero station on NE 26th Street and got gas there.   Same price, 3.67 a gallon.  No surcharge.

False Economy?  No, I did the math, I came out slightly ahead.  Average MPG 16.82 since I had the roof off for a quarter of the tank and that turns the Jeep into a gas guzzler.  .8 miles distance at 3.67 cost me 17 cents.

Had I realized that the same rip off Texaco was ripping people off by charging another 8 cents a gallon for credit cards just like it tacks a dollar onto items like the Quicky Mart on the Simpsons, I would have stopped somewhere else on the way instead of driving the extra distance to get there.

I won’t any more.  Should have known better, that place has a bad reputation as it is.  I was warned when I moved here 6 years ago to avoid the place.  Yet another reason why.

Yeah it’s a rant.  Then again a rant once in a while is good for the soul.