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

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Thoughts about Snakehead Sausage

You can't stay home in Kansas if you want to try snakehead sausage or snakehead soup. When you try it in Thailand they put so much spice in it that it burns your mouth.

The snakeheads have invaded several Virginia lakes and rivers. People put them in their aquariums and then turn them loose when they get to be too big to keep. It's sort of like the pythons that are eating everything in the Everglades..

The snakeheads are good competitors and can actually slither over land for a distance to colonise other lakes and rivers. Here's a plateful....

We are trying to decide what to do after April. We still have a couple of continents to visit. We both agree that we want to keep our old Toyota with 110,000 miles on the odometer. Neither of us has much enthusiasm for getting tied down to a "stick" home. We like spending winters in a warm RV park and traveling during the Spring and Summer.

So maybe we'll explore Australia, Hawaii and New Zealand in May and June? I've sort of priced out some "nested" round trip tickets. Not too bad.  Maybe they have kangaroo burgers down under? It'll be fall there....

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Marie Selby Botanical Garden

Sarasota, Florida

So... Joe the Plumber is running for Congress in Ohio. My cousin is Danny the Electrician. Here's what Danny had to say about Greece, "They can't print their own money? What were they thinking?" I'd like to see him in charge of the Federal Reserve...

Carolyn (AKA sunshinecruiser) came to visit us this week. She was fun. We went to lunch on the beach at O'Leary's and then to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. We know her from social networking, specifically the "Women's RV Forum" of which Mrs. Phred is a member.

Somehow the botanical gardens brought back old memories of Japan, 20 years after the war. I'm reading "The Last Great Victory" which deals with Japan in July/August of 1945. There were a lot of "ultras" who wanted to fight to the death and derail the surrender and attempted very disorganized  multiple uncoordinated coup d' e'tauhs at the very end after the bombs were dropped...I visited Japan about 30 times from 1965 to 1968 in support of moving stuff from here to there. It was before they exploded into consumer goods and way before they crashed and burned with a huge real estate bubble.

In 1965 we stayed overnight in a hotel near the Tachikawa air force base. The Red Guards would fly red balloons at the end of the runway to complicate the landing. There were a couple of crashed and burned transports at the end of the runway. I gave my flight suits to the hotel maids to wash. They washed them with fibreglass curtains which created a very itchy situation. I have always wondered if that was deliberate.

The military exchange rate back then was 360 yen to a dollar, while the free market rate was 180 yen. Now a dollar will buy about 70 yen. I bought a 150CC Honda motorcycle, brand new, for $150. We flew it back in an empty C-124. I was very impressed with it's quality which included a little tool kit under the seat.Another time I bought something called a Hibaci Pot which was like a very heavy ceramic barbeque smoker. 

Once we took off from Tachikawa and passed by beautiful Mount Fuji. As we got out to sea, all the engines started to misfire. We aborted and returned to Japan. It turned out that each engine had 32 spark plugs and 16 cylinders. All of the spark plugs were only in finger tight and they had all begun to fall out of the engines.

The C-124 had the largest piston driven engines ever placed on any aircraft. The same engine was also used on the postwar B-36 bomber.

I went in for my 12th of my 20 radiation treatments today. The doctor says that I might be feeling fatigued but I'm not feeling it. It's 83 degrees again today. The sky is blue with pretty puffy white clouds. The air smells really fine...

Someone left a bunch of  strawberries on our doorsteps today. I chopped up half of them, added some sugar and put them in the freezer.Strawberry shortcake in the future...

Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Myakka River

West of Sarasota

Spoonbills eat algae and crustaceans that contain pigments called carotenoids. These pigments are found in the brine shrimp and blue-green algae that the birds eat. Enzymes in the liver break down the carotenoids into the pink and orange pigment molecules deposited in the feathers, bill, and legs of the spoonbils.

People also eat foods containing carotenoids. There is beta-carotene in carrots and lycopene in watermelon. Most people do not eat enough of these carotenoids to turn their skin very pink or orange.However, Bennett reports that uncle Doctor Leon Kruger, in an attempt to improve his vision, ate so many carrots that he developed carotenoid poisoning and was hospitalised after he turned bright orange.

Once I worked in the Biology Department at Florida State University. There was a woman biologist there named Dr. Pate. Dr. Pate got a grant from the US Army to study botulism, so she paid locals to trap turkey vultures for her. I think turkey vultures are beautiful flyers. Dr. Pate was curious about why vultures could eat so much rotten meat without getting sick.

Dr. Pate would give her vultures more and more botulism until their heads fell down on their chests. She called this "the limberneck"...after the turkey vultures got "the limberneck" Dr. Pate had to buy more vultures to replace them because they weren't really any good after that.

Mrs. Phred and Sunshine Cruiser are going to take me to the Botanical Gardens tomorrow after my radiation. so I should be able to get some nice pictures.