Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 27 February 2012

Tonight's Menu

 When cooking for yourself, for a friend, or for a small soiree, it is important to use the utmost quality of food and drink. It is important to be considerate to guests and provide necessary silverware and platters, handkerchiefs, glasses, and, of course, proper etiquette. While courtesy is something you must pick up on your own, I intend to offer what little I can to start you on your way to creating the perfect, delecterble evening....Hannibal Lecter, M.D.



So  thought we might start with a simple salad.

  • A base layer of baby spinach leaves
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Raisins
  • Mandarin orange wedges
  • Pine nuts
  • French goat cheese
  • Topped off with raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing.
For a starch we will have wild rice.

The main course will be codfish covered with chopped macadamia nuts and drizzled with butter and lemon.

We'll wash all that down with a cheap savignoun blanc, preceded by a goose pate and crackers. 

I do all the cooking around here. Mrs. Phred washes dishes and I put them away....a fair division...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Communal Living

People can be strange.



We're in a community of older people with only a few children here and there.



It's gated so you begin to feel OK about leaving the doors unlocked and not chaining up the bikes.


Two weeks ago someone "keyed" our poor old Toyota and about eight other cars and RVs in our immediate vicinity.


Last night someone spray painted several mobile home on our little street. One neighbor had purchased a motion-activated  video camera when his electrical service was mysteriously disconnected multiple times.


The playback shows a 70 year old neighbor woman timestamped at 4AM with a spray can in her hand. Go figure. Alcoholism and insanity? Kind of a crappy and sad way to end up...no wisdom involved...Maybe we'll go back to Alaska this summer...it's beautiful and the fishing is good....or maybe Portugal?

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Snook Haven

What is Snook Haven?


I can reliably report that Snook Haven is an isolated campground/restaurant on the Myakka River about 20 miles south of Sarasota, Florida.


We rented a canoe for a very small amount of money. Mrs. Phred was nervous at first that I would dump us although we have canoed together for nearly 50 years without tipping over.


I have learned to avoid abuse by sitting in front. That places the onus on steering squarely on her shoulders so that when we prong into the river bank, I am blameless.


After the canoe ride I have an excellent hot dog with chili and she has the fish and chips. They have mandolin players as the entertainment. On Thursdays about 30 banjo players gather to pick up a storm.


There are many legends about Snook Haven. It's hard to know what's true though the clouded lens of time.


I have my doubts about the reports of "killer turtles". On the other hand, the stories about Johnny Weissmuller filming Tarzan movies here are more plausible.


They say that this place was established by bootleggers during prohibition. The isolation and easy access to the Gulf of Mexico make that a possibility.


After prohibition it is said that a businessman from New England established a retreat here with the house and five cabins that still remain on site.  He had a female "quality control" staff that helped to make the stays of his guests as pleasant as possible.


Snook Haven is in the middle of a State forest. When weather conditions are right, you see a lot of large gators and turtles on the banks of the Myakka.


We didn't actually see any gators. The river was warm enough that they weren't sunning on the banks. So I added some gator pictures from a prior Myakka trip.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

I could agree with you...


...But then we'd both be wrong....it was cold here today for the first time this winter...I don't think it ever got much above 60 F. This picture is at Yellowstone a long time ago.
 

Just a few old random memory pictures and some stolen jokes...When you steal from one person's work it's called plagarism ....when you steal from many people it's called research.


If you Google "surgically implanted video camera" you will find an interesting Iraqi art professor who had a large metal video camera surgically implanted in the back of his head. The guy flies a lot. You can sort of imagine the TSA guys calling for a supervisor. He says he realized that his life was boring by watching the videos.


A chicken once beat me at tic-tac-toe, but it was no match for me at kick-boxing.


My ancestors didn't fight their way to the top of the food chain so I could be a vegetarian.


I should have known it wasn't going to work out between my first wife and me. After all, I'm a Virgo and she was a bitch.


Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy. Mrs. Phred sucks down some local Pinot Grigio in Marseilles.



Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting a tomato in a fruit salad. Knowledge is knowing how to dress. Wisdom is not spending 20% of your disposable income on clothing...better to spend it on good bourbon....


Friday, 3 February 2012

Back in the U.S....

Sarasota, Florida

We've been back in the U.S. over a month. Many good and bad things have been happening (and I'm not talking about the visiting Republican candidates for President).


The kayaks at Fort Desoto park are $75 for an all day rental of a double, but you can also rent for one or two hours. I don't like to kayak when the wind is strong.


A lot of people were wind-surfing today. In the background is the new Sunshine Skyway. The old one collapsed when a freighter hit it in a thunderstorm. A busload of people and several cars and trucks took a header off the top.


We took a lot of pictures at Fort Desoto today. I've seen ratings that have it as one of the best beaches in the world, but you have to wonder....


I bought a more comfortable seat for my bike and an LED taillight that plugs into my laptop to recharge. We took a 12 mile ride on the Legacy Trail out of Venice earlier this week. It was lovely but I forgot my camera.


A lot of hungry birds hang out on the remnant of the old skyway.



I love Florida.


and all of it's strange birds and reptiles.


Sun and Fun just built a new 5 million dollar fitness center. It opened in January.


It has an indoor pool with lap lanes that allow you to swim in place.


There are mirrored rooms full of gleaming workout equipment.



My surgeries for head cancers also happened in January.


Ken and Karen took us sailing/


I pretended to be disabled so I didn't have to pull on the ropes. Ken Let me steer all day.


These strange sea birds had orange beaks.


This bird also has an orange beak.



Fort Desoto Park Beach on a warm, gray day in February.


Seaweed on the beach.


If you live in Florida, you may tend to forget how exotic a line of palms may appear.


I must have been saying something important to Mrs. Phred....


This bird is demanding another piece of our sandwiches.