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

Friday, 21 December 2012

Apocalypse Not

What a relief! 11:11 AM Greenwich Mean Time on 12/21/12 has come and gone and the Earth (for most of us) continues to spin on its axis.

I, for one, am glad that the sun is coming back this way. Enough is enough. Here comes the sun..Da da Da da...

We did a gruelling 14 mile bicycle ride along Longboat Key yesterday. It was a nice ride but a cold front brought a sudden strong headwind for the return seven miles.

There are so many miles of almost deserted lovely beaches her on the west coast of Florida. The water temperature is 68 F, which is bearable, if brisk.

There is an end of the world party at the pool tonight, with karaoke.

I have reserved a table at a restaurant called "Turtles" for our 46th anniversary on Christmas Eve. It's on the beach.


Monday, 17 December 2012

2013 Firecloud Calendar Finalists

I needed to select 13 of these pictures for the 2013 Firecloud Calendar.

Actually the choices have been made and Kinko's is cranking out copies as we speak.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Blackened Salmon

Whoa! Blackened salmon, wild rice and edamame beans. Am I a cook or what?

Ingredients to serve four:
2 Tablespoons ground paprika
1 Tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

4 pieces of salmon (about 6 oz each).

1/2 cup butter

In a small bowl, mix paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, salt, white pepper, black pepper, thyme, basil and oregano.

Brush salmon fillets on both sides with melted butter, and sprinkle evenly with the cayenne pepper mixture. then rebrush  one side of each fillet with melted butter.

In a large, heavy skillet over high heat, cook salmon, butter side down, until blackened, 2 to 5 minutes. Turn fillets, drizzle with remaining butter, and continue cooking 2 to 5 more minutes until blackened and fish is easily flaked with a fork.

Consider moving the salmon around a little occasionally while cooking to prevent the spices from sticking to the pan. I used an olive oil spray to lubricate the pan before adding the salmon......

Remember: It is against the laws of nature to overcook fish until it is dry and tough. DON'T DO IT! 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Why did the turtle cross the road?

The Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox) is a species of softshell turtle native to the southeastern United States and is one of the fastest turtles to move on land.

They are an aquatic and carnivorous turtle. Why this one would choose to stick its' neck out and try to cross a Florida highway with no water in sight is anyone's guess.

MARVIN: The other side is just as dull as this one. Don't talk to me about turtles.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die. In the rain.

FOX MULDER: You saw it cross the road with your own eyes. How many more turtles have to cross the road before you believe it?


CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: To boldly go where no turtle has gone before.

FREUD: The fact that you are at all concerned that the turtle crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

DARWIN: Turtles, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to cross roads.

EINSTEIN: Whether the turtle crossed the road or the road moved beneath the turtle depends upon your frame of reference.

PRESIDENT CLINTON : I did not, and I repeat, I did not have sexual relations with that turtle.

JOSEPH STALIN: I don't care. Catch it. Crack its shell to make my soup.

Highway 70 crosses the Florida peninsula from west to east. It runs though Bradenton, Arcadia, Ochachobee and Fort Pierce. Most of what you see between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean are cattle or orange grove.

I annoy Mrs. Phred by playing the hyper-mileage game, surreptitiously turning off the air conditioner and running five miles per hour below the posted speed limit. Gradually the miles per gallon indicator approaches 38 as she becomes increasingly overheated....

Our purpose in crossing Florida is to visit my cousin Katie. Her father and my mother were brother and sister. My mother had two other brothers and they all produced offspring in 1943 after departing the country in 1942. These then result in my three cousins who are all my age. Katie and I spend a little time discussing the difficulties inherent in a possible 70th reunion next year.

Katie and I both joined the United States Air Force in June, 1963. We went to a movie together at the Lackland AFB movie theatre. "Strategic Air Command" was playing. I think maybe Jimmy Stewart was the star.

Alicia is in the ninth grade. She plays trombone in the Christmas parade. Alicia is Katie's grand daughter though her son Mike. She calls me uncle Bob

This is Alicia's brother, Brandon. He is in his 2nd year of university.

So what's new? For one thing I joined facebook and promptly left it by deactivating my account. I didn't like it at all....Also I bought Mrs. Phred one of those Apple phones that has the SIRI lady. She has a sense of humor....

Gallery: The 12 Funniest Siri Responses

Gallery: The 12 Funniest Siri Responses

Gallery: The 12 Funniest Siri Responses

Gallery: The 12 Funniest Siri Responses

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Buzzard Bait

Myakka State Park

Myakka is a good place to ride our bicycles. It's about eight miles between the north and south entrances and there are lots of deer, turkey vultures and gators to see along the way.

I try playing dead to attract the vultures, but they apparently do not associate large orange objects with food.

One of the signs says that vultures can damage automobiles. I keep one eye out for droppings from on high as I watch the graceful vultures wheel about overhead seeking the easy meat and the lazy lift of thermals.

On the trip back to Sarasota we find a roadside stand selling local honey, tomatoes and tangerines.  Mrs. Phred believes that local honey with cure pollen allergies.

I've never seen a gator stick his neck out before....