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

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Rabbi Wore Black

Christmas Eve, 1966....

We flew into Miami from Seattle to marry. The Rabbi had Christmas Eve available....


We woke up bleary-eyed in a cheap Miami hotel...many anniversaries and Christmas Eves follow....


Last night for number 47 we ate at Andrea's in Sarasota...we had pork belly, octopus, veal and lasagna...Ann and Andy went with us....


I've noticed that people usually die fairly quickly after anniversary number 50....so just three years to go....






Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Kennedy Space Center

The Atlas 5 booster is gigantic. It's a powerful, ancient totem that rocketed men to the moon nearly 50 years ago. When you stand under the first stage's engines it is so immense that you scarcely believe that it could have been built by man...from below I get a shivery sense of amazing accomplishment and faded glory.


They're planning the SLS (Space Launch System) as the next generation of rocket for the Mars mission. It might launch as early as 2017. With 130 tons of payload it will dwarf the Atlas 5.


They've already built the SLS launch tower. Here's a shot of it below.



How strange it seems to see the moon astronauts dying off of old age problems...


Here's a Florida sunset with nothing much to do with the Space Center.


The Atlantic from our motel balcony.


Cousin Katie and Mrs. Phred.


This area reminded me of Istanbul in a secular sort of way...


Mrs Phred is spam in a can....



They had some things just for kids...like Angry Birds and mirror mazes....




The Shuttle solid fuel rockets and external fuel tank...


Shuttle launch...


I think this is the Columbia on display...They have a really impressive simulation of a shuttle launch...Mrs. Phred and I both rode it...


The ISS (International Space Station).


At the time it was built, the NASA vehicle assembly building was the 3rd largest building on Earth by volume. The stars on the flag are six feet across.


Here's a shot of one of the old shuttle launch pads.


One of the "crawlers" used to transport launch vehicles from the assembly buildings to the launch pad. These are being refurbished in the idle time between the retirement of the shuttle system and the arrival of the SLS (Space Launch System).


An Apollo on the pad...

Apollo launch control room...ancient state of the art systems...


Welcome back!


Sunday, 24 November 2013

2013 Favorite Pix

I'm narrowing down the 10-20,000 pictures I took this year. These may not be the best of the bunch but they'll have to do. Thirteen of these pix will end up on the rare 2014 Firecloud Calendar...the sunset should make the cover...


 Alaska Mountain


 Ballooning in Urgup, Turkey


Strange town in Cappadoccia, Turkey


 Moose in Chicken, Alaska


 Roman Ruins- Evora, Portugal


 Boats in Homer, Alaska


 Fishermen - Kenai, Alaska


Lizard on a hot rock in Turkey


 Sea Otters near the Exxon Valdez disaster site


Train in  Skagway, Alaska


Boat lights on the Bosporus


 Urgup, Turkey geology


Ice field near Valdez


Buffalo in Yellowstone


Yellowstone cauldron


Istanbul waterfront


Florida sunset


North Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona


North Rim 2

North Rim 3


North Rim 4

Zen and the Art of Tropical Eating

Sarasota, Florida

We have a new favorite place to eat in Venice. I found it on Tripadvisor. It gets the best rating of all the oyster bars in the area...the name is Cedar Reef Fish Camp...


Our waiter is Justin. He writes his name upside down with a crayon on the white paper tablecloth...we are intrigued with upside down writing and both take a shot at it.


The appetizer is salmon and bread things  with capers and a wasabi sauce. Very delicious.


I have the oyster basket.


She has the scallops...


The next day I make sweet potato casserole and two banana cream pies with graham cracker crust for an outing with friends...


We go on a long bicycle ride in Venice and end up at Sharkey's on the beach.


Mrs. Phred orders a pizza with apples and brie topping...



Venice has placed colorful plastic dolphins all over the city....they also have a lot of new plastic turtles....