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!


Saturday, 7 December 2013

Off to See the Lizard

Aboard Blackbeard's Dive Boat



I talked Ken and Gordon into flying down to Nassau to spend a week on the Morning Star. Here they are eating cracked conch at the Poop Deck.


At dawn, on the day after we arrive, I take a walk by myself and see the local fishermen set up for business...


Our bunks are in the main cabin with a galley...one bad thing is that I put on ten pounds...now I have to lose them again....but the food was great and the rum was free...


Fruit for the week in a hammock..help yourself...


I think these railings are called lifelines? Maybe not....anyway they are mostly full of towels and dive gear....


The water temperature was 78 -80 F. I wore my two millimeter shorty wetsuit...it was plenty...the air temperature was about the same....it was the first week in December...


We did 18 dives including night dives, shark dives, wall dives, wreck dives, drift dives and just plain pretty reef dives...


I think I have the bends...my old motorcycle injury shoulder is really hurting....the shoulder is the most common joint to manifest the bends....maybe I'll stop laughing at the kids with the dive computers and get one myself? Real men have dive computers too?


Time to dive....


There goes Gordon...


Hey Gordon...hold this trident while I take your picture....


Ken is more enthusiastic about the trident...


Gordon checks his gear...


Sunrise? Sunset?



Sailboat...


Another sunset...


Bob with the trident...


Bahamas Blue


The.Morning Star...Carol and I dove from this boat in the 80s and 90s...


Endangered Bahama Iguana...
Bahama... Iguana...Madonna
Bahama ...Iguana...Madonna....Nirvana
Bahama ...Iguana...Madonna....Nirvana...Piranha



Gordon gives a grape...Why am I thinking of Gordon Gekko quotes as I snap the picture?
"If you need a friend, get a dog." or "if this guy owned a funeral parlor nobody would die!"


Want a grape? Some guy cooked one of these endangered iguanas and put it on Facebook. They extradited him and put him in a Bahamian prison....If I had Facebook, I would put all the stupid things I do on it instead of here ...


Finally! They put up the Bimini the last day....


May I take your picture, officer? Eventually, Gordon and I find the Cuba Tour Company and talk to the tour lady about Havana....High season for Cuba is December...


Daphne's on the Dock....we get Conch fritters and Junkaroo Kalik beer...."We're rushin', we're rushin', we're rushin through the crowd ... K-k-kalik, k-k-kalik, k-k-kaliking k-k-kalik, k-k-kalik, k-k-kalik, k-k-kalik, yeah."



Gordon and Ken at Daphne's...



Good companions....