20220428 – Look Out Bears About







Thursday

Wendy and I go bowling with Mike at Heber. The bowling alley’s really quaint, dates back to 1962 and not changed much. Food, mainly American junk food, so much better than all that healthy shit and cheap. No wonder it’s so popular with the locals. At $5 a game they’re not greedy.

Yeah, a corn dog. American haute cuisine.

After lunch it’s my weekly treat with a trip to Smiths. Oh how I look forward to this quality time spent with Wendy.

New regime is we treat ourselves and go out to dinner once a week. Tonight we go to the Boneyard. I have the hot Italian, delicious. Not sure what healthy stuff Wendy had.

 

 
Just three trivial reasons to live here in PC:

1 Being at 7,000 feet water boils at exactly the right temperature for coffee.
2 Razor blades seem to stay sharper longer.
3 Biscuits don’t go soggy.

 

 
Can you believe these crazy names for beers. It seems like there’s a major competition out here to dream up the most outlandish name.

Here’s a few examples:

    melvin riipa series
    roadhouse mtn jam hazy
    roadhouse the walrus hazy
    squatters hop rising double
    Uinta hop nosh grapefruit
    deschutes mirror pond
    level crossing belgian blonde
    lagunitas little sumpin’
    dogfish head session sour
    salt flats scottish
    mother earth nitro creamin’
    kiitos coconut stout
    salt flats chocolate milk stout
    roadhouse highwayman


Friday

Very lazy morning writing some software to simplify activity cancellation. I just love the challenge.

After lunch Wendy trots off to the CC.

Snow showers means I cancel my Easy Bike ride yet again.

I take a stroll to the bank and then go and meet Wendy. Just love how we can walk or cycle everywhere. Snow showers don’t materialise.

Saturday

Lazy morning.

Have a walk up to the supermarket with Wendy.

Then after lunch it’s a short bike ride down the rail trail and back.

In the evening Mike comes round for dinner and we have a great evening with him.

Sunday

Very lazy morning. Finally manage to get Wendy motivated.

We’re off to do one of my favourite walks around Masonic hill. Great 360 degree views. It’s a 3.5 mile walk, 2 miles undulating but mainly uphill and followed by 1.5 downhill. I get plenty of earache from Wendy about the uphill section and then it’s a constant stream of “it’s a long path”, “are we there yet”. Anyway she makes it. Well done. At least it stayed dry with the odd glimmer of sunshine.

No time left to cook a chicken for tea so we try a Panda Express. Wendy loves them, but alas not anymore.

Monday

Off to pickleball. Manage about 5 games. I’m cream crackered after that, this 7,000 feet altitude takes it’s toll.

After lunch Wendy tootles off to the CC whilst I try out one of my bike ride over Park Meadows (exchausting uphill section), down into Round Valley and then back along the Rail Trail.

 

 
Awesome out in the sun exploring a leisurely bike ride.


Tuesday

Very lazy morning. Snow showers and sunshine.

Despite the snow showers my Easy walk from Round Valley along the Rail Trail. Six hardy hikers make it, including Wendy. Whilst it was a tad cold at least it didn’t snow and was in the main sunny.


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Why is there a dent in the bottom of a wine bottle:

The dent in the bottom of a wine bottle is called a punt.

Look out, look out, there’s a bear about.

Since early wine bottles were crafted by glassblowers by hand, they needed to add the punt. This is what allowed the bottles to stand upright in the home or wine cellar. Nowadays, the punt is not really needed. The wine bottles of today are being crafted by machines, not people. It would actually be easier to manufacture bottles that do not have the punt on them.

One other theory is it gives the bottle added strength to withstand the pressure. I go with the former.

A common myth is that you can tell if a wine is top quality by the depth of the indentation on the bottom. According to wine experts this is false.

 

 
Biden: Muslims in the U.S. face ‘targeted violence and Islamophobia’

“Targeted violence and Islamophobia” in our society? Where, Joe? When?

Muslims murdered 1,086 people around the world in jihad attacks during this just-completed Ramadan. During that same time span, no Muslims in the United States were killed for their faith. Yet Joe says nothing about jihad violence. It doesn’t fit the establishment narrative, which is the Muslims are always and in every case victims of non-Muslim “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.”


Wednesday

A snowy and cold day.

Up and out for 10 while 12 pickle ball. Wow, it’s still exhausting but fun.

Lazy afternoon for a change.

In the evening I finish off a lovely Zinfandel and yet more Netflix.

 

 

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20220421 – What Do You Get When You Mix Religion With Politics? Idiocy!







Thursday

Lazy start to the day. Given the gaping chasm in my mouth where my wisdom tooth was it’s only soft foods, porridge, for me.

By way of another treat I get to go to the Market for the weekly shop. Fortunately won’t be going there again as Wendy says they’re too expensive. But they do have some great coffee.

I was supposed to be leading an easy bike ride but the raging tornado put everyone off. Thankfully, what with the winds and my missing wisdom tooth, no one turned up.

Wow, these Cocodamol that Wendy has certainly do the trick.

Tried to purchase an aeropress but couldn’t find one anywhere, so ended up ordering off Amazon.

In the evening we went over to Joe and Donna’s for drinks and to see their new house. Then off to Black Rock restaurant for dinner. I’m still on soft foods so opt for French onion soup and cheesecake. One of the few benefits of a wisdom tooth fiasco. But the real good news is that recommendations on alcohol after loosing your wisdom tooth seems very varied. Ended up identifying one respected article that was 24 hours. The worst, recommendation, rapidly ignored, was 7 days.

 

 

 

 
Now here’s a surprise.

France and Germany have exported hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of weapons to Russia, evading EU sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Investigate Europe, a team of journalists working across the continent, reported that ten member states had sold €346 million worth of military equipment to Moscow, some of which could be used in Ukraine, since the annexation. Most came from France, Germany and Italy.

President Macron has advocated that discussions with the Kremlin be resumed, claiming that China would dictate the terms of an eventual ceasefire in Ukraine if Europe’s leaders did not reopen talks.

Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States have imposed outright bans on Russian oil purchases but the 27 members of the European Union have not been able to agree on the embargo.

The EU aims to reduce its dependence on Russian oil and gas by two-thirds by the end of the year and to zero by the end of 2027, EU Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni has said. Well bully for them.


Friday

Another lazy day on porridge, ice cream and other sweet stuff. Fortunately the pain has worn off.

Rain and snow all day.

Bowling alley haute cuisine menu.

Joe and I set off to explore the bowling alley at Heber. Such a pity the one at Kimball junction has closed. The Heber alley is really a classic, quaint, and dates back to the 1960’s. Only $5 a game and $2 for shoes. Plenty of cheap great American junk food as well and seems very popular with the locals.

Go and pick up some more 9mm ammunition from Sportmens warehouse.

Evening I crack open a bottle of Zinfandel. Back on the mend.

 

 

The power of the comma.

 

 
Makes me sick. Shoot these snowflakes.

The adventures of Biff, Chip and Kipper, and their dog Floppy, have helped millions of children to learn to read. Yet one of the books has been pulped by Oxford University Press after accusations of racism and Islamophobia.

The Oxford Reading Tree series, now a CBeebies TV show, includes dozens of stories used by most schools to teach children from reception upwards to develop their reading. One book, The Blue Eye, shows two children using magic marbles that transport them to a foreign land which looks Middle Eastern. It was deemed offensive after the setting, a marketplace, was described as “scary” and apparently Muslim characters were described as “unfriendly”.


Saturday

Another lazy, porridge filled, start to the day. The wisdom chasm is feeling much better but still on soft foods. Great opportunity for desserts and ice cream.

A snowy day, interspersed with sunny periods, but cold.

Wendy wants to go to the Levi shop at the outlet centre but as usual buys nothing. Then it’s a stroll up to Whole Pay Packet for some fish and a chocolate mouse. Sadly get neither.

Afternoon reading The Code Breaker.

 

 
Yeah, it’s St Georges day. Happy St Georges day. If any wokes, snowflakes or libtards are offended then tough.

Here’s a quiz to improve your knowledge of our patron saint – https://quiz-questions.uk/st-georges-day-quiz/

 

 

 


Sunday

Very lazy start. Weather very changeable.

My new coffee machine, an Aeropress, arrived yesterday so get to try it out. Makes an awesome Espresso with no bitterness, just sweet. Fill it to level 4 and you get a pleasant Americano.

Catch the free bus to the transit centre for a stroll up and down Main Street. Oh the excitement, how can I contain myself. Then take a walk home in the snow.

Afternoon tea and some CRISPR reading and youtubes to try and get my head around this amazing, yet potentially frightening, genetic engineering solution.

 

 
Something magical about a walk in the snow with the right gear on. Spot a herd of deer in the neighbourhood. Awesome.

 

 

 

 
What is it with Americans? You give them a language and then they go screw with it.

Restroom is a euphemism for a public toilet, in a publicly accessible location, or less frequently a toilet room, in a private residence. Different dialects use “bathroom” and “restroom” (American English), “bathroom” (usually includes a bathtub or shower) and “washroom” (just toilet and sink) (Canadian English), “comfort room” or “CR” (Filipino English) and “WC” (an initialism for “water closet”), “lavatory” and its abbreviation “lavvy” (British English).

The term restroom derived from the fact that in early 1900s through to the middle of the century up-scale restaurants, theatres and performing facilities would often have comfortable chairs or sofas located within or in a room directly adjacent to the actual toilet and sink facilities, something which can be seen in some movies of the time period. An example of this is the description of a “movie palace” which was opening in 1921 which was described as including ” … a rest-room for the fair sex and a lounging room for the sterner sex … off these rooms are the toilets.”[1]

Euphemisms for the toilet that bear no direct reference to the activities of urination and defecation are ubiquitous in modern Western languages, reflecting a general attitude of unspeakability about such bodily function. As the euphemism, in the United States “restroom” has come to be associated with the actual function of the toilet, and further euphemisms such as “powder room” and “lounge” have been constructed to avoid using the word “restroom”.

In Canada and the US it is impolite to use the word toilet. Tough shit.


Monday

Lazy morning then Wendy’s off to the CC.

I take a pleasant, all uphill ride, to the library. Manage to get The Lincoln Highway by Towles as recommended by Joe. Saves me a tenner on Kindle. It’s an awesome library with not just PC’s but also Mac’s for those who have fore saken the evil empire.

Back home for afternoon tea and then take a walk up to the CC to meet Wendy. She has Apple pie and Choc croissants from the CC. Pick up a Key Lime Pie. It’s a dessert tea, kind to the crater left by my wisdom tooth. Well at least that my excuse. For those of you who have a sweet tooth, like me, why not try a dessert tea once a week. What is it? Well it’s a pig out on only desserts, the ultimate in junk food.


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Todays useless but surprising piece of information.

The Tesla Roadster battery pack is composed of about 6800 of AA sized cells, with a mass of about 450kg.

 

 
Esther’s 3rd Brithday.

 

 


Tuesday

Up early, well 08:00, ready to lead a 10:00 easy walk. 11 of us this time and Wendy managed over 3 miles around the Millennium trail.

Then it’s a Starbucks for a hot chocolate for wendy and dirty chai for me.

Get home and Wendy’s not feeling too good, headache, feverish and lethargic. Takes a Lateral Flow Test just to be sure it’s not that dreaded lurgy – Covid. Thankfully it’s negative, but we have to cancel the PCMSC Volunteers Appreciation Dinner. Instead a quiet night in – now there’s a change.

 

 
Look what happens when you mix religion, specifically Mormon, with politics you get crazy laws that just defy common sense:

You can’t advertise a Happy Hour instead they get round it with Appy Hour.

Yes, even a balding 72 year old, who clearly looks it, has to produce ID. And in our case that has to be our passport. Anyone purchasing beer, wine or liquor will have to present a valid I.D. at any store across Utah.
Four documents that serve as a valid I.D. under state law include:
* A state-issued identification card
* A valid state-issued drivers license – not even a UK driving license.
* A military identification card
* A valid passport
Those documents must include a photograph and date of birth.

In restaurants you are not allowed to carry your own drink from the bar to wherever you are sitting.

Just 3 of the idiotic laws you get when you mix religion and politics. There are more where these came from.


Wednesday

A rest in the graveyard.

Up early for 10:00 pickleball. Yes, pickleball’s been resurrected. Bloody hell is it exhausting? I’d forgot how exhausting it can be up here. Especially when you’re a Brit from sea level trying to play at 7,000 feet. Manage to get 5 games in with not much rest in between. Surprising how many men now play. Also surprised how much younger they all seem. I must be the oldest there. But what a fun game it is as long as no one takes it too serious. Enjoy and smile.

After lunch Wendy and I have a 3.5 mile walk to the liquor store and back. Yeah, they have Basil Haydn Dark Rye in. That’s a rare treat and I’ve remembered our passports because i sure look under 21.

Back home for afternoon tea and then off to the Kamas Lions Gun range for some target practice with Joe. What a life this is.

 

 
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20220414 – Goodbye Wisdom Tooth. Where’s The Damn Tooth Fairy?







Thursday

Nothing like a jacuzzi in the snow with a good beer.

Had to cancel leading an easy bike ride as to much snow for it to be safe.

Decided we’d do our weekly shop on Thursday so off to whole paypacket for beer and coffee, Walmart for cheap staples, including shooting targets and Smiths for other vitals – joy.

Called in at Park City coffee whose web site doesn’t show prices unless you sign, they don’t even bother with prices in their shop. Took the girl a minute to find out how much and then it turns out to be $2 dearer than in Whole Paypacket, and about $4.54 dearer than in a normal supermarket – go figure.

Get it going at last.

After lunch Wendy and I have a stroll up to the Market. Bus back for Wendy, power walk for me. I beat the bus.

Before tea it’s a jacuzzi in the snow with a pilsner urquel, one of the few decent beers in the liquor store.

Then we try to light a fire with logs and fire lighters. I’d be kicked out of the scout for an abysmal performance. Finally get it going and settle down with a Zinfandel to watch Longmire.

 

 
Today is world quantum day. The World Quantum Day aims at promoting the public understanding of Quantum Science and Technology around the World.

‘The Qubit Game’ from Google tasks you with building a quantum computer

 

 

 

 

Just about sums up Germany and France’s efforts to bring Russia to heal.


Friday

Lazy Morning as usual.

Joe and I go for a walk around his neighbour hood. Plenty of hills, some very expensive multi-million dollar homes with awesome view of the mountains and Jordenell reservoir.

Fish for tea in typical Easter fashion.

 

 


Saturday

Go over to Mikes to go trap shooting at the Kamas gun club. Use Mike 12 bore. Not so good a shot this week. Need to follow through when I pull the trigger rather than stopping. Best is 10 out of 25.

In the afternoon we go in search of an Easter egg to take to Mikes. Can you believe there’s no Easter Egg or even Spring Break Eggs to be had anywhere, rarer than a bottle of Bourbon in a mosque. Countries going to the dogs.

In the evening we’re off to dinner at Mike’s. Awesome ribs and great company. See Joanne and Dan from previous years.

 

 
Nigeria: Muslims target four villages, murder 100 people, ransack houses.

“The assailants ‘were well-armed’ with AK-47 rifles and machetes and arrived on dozens of motorcycles.”

Who pays for all this? Western governments, in ransom payments for hostages, and wealthy Muslims around the world who believe in the righteousness of the Fulanis’ jihad.

The West African nation continues to grapple with security challenges in other parts of the country. A decade-long insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast by the Islamic extremist rebels of Boko Haram and violence by armed groups in the northwest have led to the deaths of thousands.

But who cares? Certainly not the media, doesn’t fit with the Islam as a peaceful religion propaganda.


Sunday

Get to FaceTime the kids and grandkids. Easter eggs galore and they’re quite hyper as usual apart from Jasper who has tonsillitis – poor kid. Don’t know how Kurt and Fiona cope they’re so noisy and hyper.

Off to Home Depot, Americas answer to B&Q – to get some wood to secure the lounge patio door.

After lunch we take a leisurely stroll around the old barn down to the church and back.

Yeah, a Reubens for tea.

 

 

Awesome catching sight of this fellow.

 

 


Monday

Neat. Free books.

It’s a gorgeous spring day, blue skies and mid 60’s here in paradise. How lucky can we be.

Trip to the dentist to see what they can do about my tooth that exploded on the plane – better keep quiet about it or the TSA will start wanting to X-ray our teeth before boarding. After 8 attempted X-rays they finally get a Picasso. Seems like the best advice is wip it out.

Help for geriatrics crossing the road.

Wendy’s off to the CC for the afternoon and ends up working in the boutique where she can sit down and not antagonise her back.

After lunch I cycle down (great ride downhill, will have to man up and try the ride back in a few days) to Kimble Junction to meet Joe to explore the Millennium trail. This trail will do fine for a leisure (there we go lolly gaggin) hike.

Afternoon tea out on the balcony having a well deserved but rare moment to read “The Code Breaker” – all about the discovery of CRISPR – fascinating.

 

 

web_Macron and Le Pen

 

 
Well it seems the Archbishop of Canterbury was even spouting rubbish 14 years ago.

 

 
President Biden’s administration faced a dilemma yesterday after a federal judge overturned the national facemask mandate for passengers on public transport.

Many airline passengers peeled off masks and took selfies mid-flight as the verdict was announced. The judge in Florida found that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had exceeded its authority, a week after the public health agency had extended the rule until May 3.

Masks reduce the risk of the wearer being exposed Covid virus by over 80% and reduce the risk of spreading it to others by over 50%. Follow the science. For such a minor inconvenience who wouldn’t want to reduce their risk of infection and of spreading it to others.


Tuesday

Leisure (lolly gaggin) hikers.

Lazy start as usual. Gorgeous sunny day.

Then we’re both off ready for me to lead a leisure hike from Silver Star down to the Old Barn and back. Wendy catches the bus after 2 miles to save her back. Have 10 on the hike so quite a good turnout. Pleasant lot, including Mike and Joe, and it’s just really an opportunity for a bit of fresh air, some exercise, meet new people and a chat.

Quiet night in again and finish off “Anatanmy of a Scandal”, a great Netflix series.

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Make the perfect cup every time

AeroPress is a simple, easy-to-use coffee maker that consistently brews better tasting coffee and espresso drinks. It’s an espresso maker, a drip coffee maker and a French press, all rolled into one!

 

 
https://www.prageru.com/video/the-whiteness-of-wokeness?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_4055240


Wednesday

Wot no tooth fairy visit? I would have thought a wisdom tooth was worth at least $10.

Appointment with fear day. Off to be tortured by the local dentist as he tries to rip out a decrepit and battered wisdom tooth. For once the injection works but the gas and air seems a complete waste of time. Amazed he could get what was left of the tooth out. No pain but the sound effects of cracking teeth are terrifying. But as usual, for the rest of the day, I end up like a slobbering boxer dog on a hot day in July after a marathon. At least there’s no pain.

After care for wisdom tooth extraction is a right dogs breakfast of soft food, salt mouth wash, no straws. The most difficult being no alcohol for anywhere between 24 hours and 7 days depending upon who you believe. Guess I’m on the 24 hour side.

Kamas Lions Gun club range. Only $5.

Rather than sit at home mopsing around I go shooting with Joe at the Kamas Gun club range. Only $5 rather than $18 at the gun club. It’s outdoors and on an awesome evening like today it’s just great. Injection starts to wear off, so at least I can talk, but along comes some mild pain. I suppose it’s only to be expected, two Cocodamil soon disperse that. They’re amazing.

Playground on a snowy day.

Tea consist of Lobster Bisque soup followed by sitting spooning out of a tub of Hagen Das ice cream, just like a lonely, overweight American. The one good thing about this aftercare diet is I’ll get to eat soft junk foods like ice cream, cheese cakes and chocolate moose – each meal will just be two course dessert.

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Although formally known as third molars, the common name is wisdom teeth because they appear so late – much later than the other teeth, at an age where people are presumably “wiser” than as a child, when the other teeth erupt.

 

 

 

 
The Snowflakes, Wokes and Libtards strike again. Has common sense been banned in the UK

Midwives have been discouraged from saying ‘vagina’ when dealing with pregnant transgender patients if they dislike the terminology.

The guidance has been introduced by health chiefs in Sussex as part of their policy on perinatal care – previously known as maternity services – for transgender and non-binary people.

Last month it emerged that the same trust had begun a policy in which staff were told the phrase breast milk could be replaced with ‘human milk’, ‘breast/chest milk’ or ‘milk from the feeding mother or parent’.
In the care guide from Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, midwives and obstetricians are told: ‘Some individuals may have preferred terminology for their anatomy. 

These should be used wherever possible. For example, some people may talk about ‘front hole’ or ‘genital opening’ rather than ‘vagina’.

Staff are encouraged to record these requested terms on a document called ‘My Language Preferences’. 
It has a list of anatomical parts such as cervix, uterus and breasts alongside a column where the preferred words can be written.

The guidelines add that maternity care has typically been designed as a ‘women-only service’ which may not serve the needs of ‘trans’ and ‘non-binary’ individuals who identify as neither male or female.

Pregnant transgender patients should be treated according to their ‘self-identified gender’ rather than their birth sex, it says. They should be offered ‘pronoun stickers’ to wear advising staff how to address them….

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20220407 – Settled In, Let the Hiking And Biking Begin







Thursday

Lazy morning. Short bike ride for me.

Wendy and Marilyn went shopping, yet again. Whilst Bob and I had some piece and quiet to read.

Then we all take a stroll around the golf course in the gorgeous sunshine.

In the evening went to Grub Steak restaurant. As you’d expect with a name like that they do some awesome steaks, a tad expensive.

 

 
Just love the way American drivers are courteous / scared stiff of pedestrians and cyclists. I’m riding along the pavement and there’s a car blocking the pavement as they pull out the car park. What do they do? They reverse back to allow me to pass unhindered. No way that would happen in the UK.

 

 


Friday

Home of great ribs.

Lazy start again. Then we’re all off down to Salt Lake.

Wow it’s so warm down in Salt Lake, 72F and sunny.

First stop REI for a pair of Smart Wool slippers to replace my manky pair at home. They are that bad they can walk around the house on their own. Really liked those slippers but after 8 years they’re beyond redemption. Typical REI don’t have any in store and none to be ordered. Select an alternative.

Remember the American reversing for me and as I’m blocking the pavement as I pull out of a car park, a guy in a electric wheelchair is bowling along. Back up to let him pass – pay it back.

Then it’s off to Costco for some vitals. The largest Costco in the world complete with walk in freezer and anoraks provided. What a treat for Wendy and Marilyn, while Bob and I just have to suffer it.

Finally, it’s off to R&R barbecue for some of the best ribs for tea. We go for ribs, brisket and chicken and not to forget Hush Puppies for me – another american junk food delicacy. A tad expensive but worth it.

 

 


Saturday day

Bob and Marilyn leave about 03:30 for a 12 hour day back to San Diego.

I’m off to Mike’s and then we’re off Skeet shooting. Awesome. I manage 12 out of 25 in my first round, quiet satisfied with that, then it’s down hill from there. Mike sister beats me in the second round so I get a “Beat by a Girl” pin. I blame the wind.

In the afternoon I have to pay for my morning’s pleasure with a trip to the supermarket for our weekly shop. Wendy really needs to get an electric trolley.

Then a quiet evening in.

 

 
A niqab wearing Muslim woman standing as a Conservative candidate in the forthcoming Blackburn council elections says she wants to inspire other women to get involved in local politics. I’m sure the “bearded ones” will have an apoplectic melt down having a women (only half a man according to the Quran) in power.

Has anyone asked her whether she wants sharia law?

Amazing how many comments there were on this article in our local rag. Of course the woke snowflakes and libtards running the local rag have deleted the majority of them. Whatever happened to free speech?

Has the Conservative party finally lost the plot? Dumber than a sack of bricks. I certainly wouldn’t vote for her and it beggars the question whether to vote for any conservative if they are that stupid.

 

 

What more does Putin have to do before the EU will stop buying oil and gas. Disgusting.


Sunday

Some music on our Leisure Hike.

A lazy morning. Then it’s my inaugural Leisure Hike. Oh, sorry can’t call it that sounds too much like lolly gaggin according to the club hierarchy. So, it has to be called an easy hike, more like a leisurely walk or a stroll. A mere 3.6 miles and reasonably flat, from Willow Creek To the Old Barn and back.

The neighbourhood lion. Fortunately he’s very friendly.

It’s a sunny but cold day so quite amazed when there’s 7 of us. Wendy takes it easy and heads back to keep it under 2 miles.

Quiet evening in with a very pleasant and not too expensive Carmenera. We finish Yellowstone.

 

 

 

 

The race is on.


Monday

08:00 roads and paths all cleared. Thank the illegals.

Yeah, off down to the Basin Rec to see what the drop in pickleball is like. Joe says they’ve become very up themselves and too cliquey. Not my idea of pickleball, it needs to be fun and not taken seriously. But we’ll see. Well turns out there’s no pickleball as it’s easter holidays – sorry Spring Break – and the kids are using the gym. It’s bad enough that it’s in the morning, rather than the afternoon, us old guys don’t do mornings. Drive round to Willow creek where that have 8 FREE outdoor courts, sadly no one playing. It’s too cold.

Take Wendy round to her first day as a volunteer at the Christian Centre. Leave the car with her. Gives me the chance for some exercise as I walk home.

 

 
How lucky can you be here in paradise. Take every opportunity to use Shank’s Pony or the bike rather than the car. Despite the cold I manage to extend my walk home to 3 miles and have a pause sat on the bleachers watching a game of baseball. It’s as big a mystery to me as cricket and as about as slow, but a pleasant break.

 

 
How woke and snowflake can this country get. First we had had “happy Christmas” becoming “happy holidays”. Now it seems Easter has become “spring break”. Heaven forbid anyone should be offended. How can anyone be offended by being wished a happy anything.

Meanwhile I endeavor to be as politically incorrect as possible and rebel against any woke, snowflake or other libtard craziness. Time for common sense and old guys to rule.


Tuesday

Lazy start then a 3 mile walk to the bank and back. Yes, I know we have a car but it so nice to walk around here. Especially on the way back when it’s snowing. Arrive home looking like a snowman.

In the afternoon it’s off to the gun club with Joe. Get reacquainted with Mikes Walther PPX, complete with laser sights. Sadly the dots dancing all over the place like a whirling Dervish-a. Need to improve.

 

 
For years now I’ve been saying why don’t we send these ILLEGAL immigrants, predominantly economic migrants, to some African shithole country for processing like Australia does. Also post videos on social media of them being flown off, to make sure any future illegals get the message. After Tony Abbott, then the Australian prime minister, introduced the policy in 2013 to combat migrant boat arrivals, which peaked at 20,000 a year, the number of asylum seekers arriving by sea fell to 160 the following year. In 2015 none arrived.

At last Channel boat migrants will be sent to Rwanda. The migrants will be flown to the small African country while their claim for asylum in the UK is processed.

Only male asylum seekers will be sent because the Home Office judges that they are the most likely to be economic migrants.

We’re not the only country being invaded by illegal immigrants. 20,000 a day in the USA.

Crossing the Channel in small boats is to be made a crime. Which makes them criminals and I would assume criminals are automatically barred from entering this country anyway.

Sounds like great news but the downside is that Pretty Useless is in charge of making it happen. And of course the snowflakes will be up in arms, no doubt mount legal challenges and probably glue themselves to a few motorways. We will see.


Wednesday

Lazy morning. Wendy drives off to the Christian Centre (CC) whilst I do a bike ride to check out the safety on the route for tomorrows bike ride. Too much snow, so it’s unsafe. I cancel it.

A quiet afternoon with coffee and a good book – The Code Breaker.

Then a power walk up to the CC to meet Wendy. Starting to cope with 7,000 feet of altitude.

Pick up a chimichanga from Chubasco for tea.

Then off down to Salt Lake airport to pick Carol and Angela up.

 

 

 

 
Camels Are On the Horizon!

The founder of Dubai, Sheik Rashid, was asked
about the future of his country, and he replied, “My
grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel,
I ride a Mercedes, my son rides a Land Rover, and
my grandson is going to ride a Land Rover..but my
great-grandson is going to have to ride a camel again.
“Why is that?” he was asked.

And his reply was, “Hard times create strong men,
strong men create easy times. Easy times create
weak men, weak men create difficult times. Many will
not understand it, but you have to raise warriors, not
parasites.

And add to that the historical reality that all great
empires…the Persians, the Trojans, the Egyptians, the
Greeks, the Romans, and in later years, the British…
all rose and perished within 240 years. They were
not conquered by external enemies; they rotted from
within.

America has now passed that 240 year mark, and the
rot is starting to be visible and is accelerating. We are
past the Mercedes and Land Rover Years…the camels
are on the horizon.

The greatest generation consisted of 18 year old
kids storming the beaches at Normandy. And now,
two generations later, some 18-year-old kids want to
hide in safe rooms when they hear words that hurt
their feelings. They also want free stuff from the
government because they think they are entitled to it.

The “camels are on the horizon” for sure.
Something to ponder? History has a way of repeating
itself.

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20220331 – Back To Paradise After 2 years.







Thursday

For the rant of all rants – see rant section below.

Finally up, up and away in Virgin Upper Class. Great news they have a lovely Primitivio wine, very pleasant meal starts off with Duck and marmalade (a tasty combination), Chicken Kiew and then an excellent port to go with the cheese and biscuits. Then to top the meal off I tootle off to the onboard bar for one of my favorite Baron Otard brandies whilst they make up my bed.

Oh and forgot to mention my exploding tooth. Yet again one of my fillings explodes. Seems a regular feature of flying, or within a few weeks of landing. I assume an air pocket in the filling at sea level pressure explodes due to the reduced pressure at 10,000 feet. And then to top it all Wendy gets the trots. Too much brandy, rich food and tablets no doubt.

Welcome to JFK.

What a nightmare of a journey, flight delayed an hour leaving Manchester so we arrived 30+ minutes late at JFK; then sit for 20 minutes waiting to cross two runways because they’ve had an emergency on a runway; queues at passport control over 70 minutes, was horrendous; we missed our connection to Salt lake; had to rebook flight for next day flying out at 11am. Amazing no extra charge and they get us in first class.

Then we had to find a hotel for the night. Sat on the floor, no seats anywhere, in a quiet part of JFK, and then along comes about 30 religious penguins and start chanting and genuflecting. Took another hour of nightmare Skype calls, everywhere was full or very expensive. Seems like the same problem Mary and Joseph had in Bethlehem. Eventually got to a hotel …. and got some sleep.

Still every cloud has a silver lining, as we’re picking car up 7.5 hours later I update our pickup time on the Avis website. Can you believe its cheaper. £450 cheaper on car hire and get a full sized car rather than a Kia Soul that no self respecting American would be seen dead in. Go figure!

 

 
Nigeria: Muslims murder 50 Christians, abduct 100 more, burn down church, houses, stores

How come the media is not all over this story. The world yawns. This kind of story doesn’t fit the establishment media narrative, in which Muslims are always and in every case victims, so it will get no traction.

 

 
What is it with Virgin Atlantic. Once you’re on board the big iron bird and they close the door you’re in a different world of comfort, luxury, peace, quiet and awesome service. But anything to do with their staff or their processes outside big iron bird is a nightmare of incompetence and screw ups.

It all starts with their web sites. Completely lacking in common sense, poor interfaces and obviously never tested. I never knew that a web site could suffer with Alzheimer’s. But Virgin’s can. It constantly forgets your booking reference details and asks for them repeatedly.

They send us email to ask us to use their “Fly Ready” service to record the documents galore you need for Covid USA. Yet when you try they tell you “can’t complete now”. What they don’t tell you is that you can only start the process 24 hours before flight time, not even on the “day before” as per USA requirements. Common sense would suggest a message at the outset informing you you’re too early but oh no they want to help you improve your keyboard skills no doubt.

They send us repeated invites to check in online and yet whenever we try they tell us can’t check in now please try later.

We’re flying Upper Class, separate check in lane and everything supposedly first class. As a reward for being stupid enough to pay the extra for what should be tip top service they keep us waiting for 35 minutes whilst they try to print out our boarding pass.

Finally, after being fast tracked through security we can relax in the 1903 lounge. Still took 20 minutes but nothing compared to the +180 minute queue for cattle class, at last. For the poor soles in cattle class they were queuing all along the check in hall .Absolute chaos! All thanks to Manchester airport’s incompetent management and the efforts of a 7th century religious fruit cake barbarian rag head living in a cave.

Once onboard the incompetence of Manchester airport still pervades our journey. 25 minutes late loading luggage and then 30 minutes fixing a warped luggage cage. So much for the 50 minute faster flight time.


Friday

Up early for breakfast. Supposedly opens from 06:00, but what that means is the sloth opens the doors and then starts setting up. Continental breakfast but obviously they never had a breakfast in Europe. Pretty sparse, why not even a waffle machine, have they no American pride and self respect?

Off to the airport. TSA pretty slick and then the luxury of the Delta lounge. First class flight, but first class in America is really not worth it, just wider seats with more legroom, pretty crappy food and you’re trusted with real cutlery that you could stab someone with.

My long lost whiskey.

Land early. The new airport at Salt Lake is amazing. Off to Avis to pick the car up and we’ve got a free upgrade to a Ford Edge SUV. Not only that it’s brand new. Just love this car it has an iPad sized screen and Apple CarPlay to keep me amused, and of course it’s big.

Anyway we are here now and after an absence of two years and a day I’m one happy chappy back in Paradise.

Chubasco’s for my long slavered over Burrito.

Check our garage storage cupboard and all our stuff is still the, wine, bourbon, brandy, 9mm ammunition and a prized bottle of High West Midwinter Nights Dram although not quite as full as I imagined. Must be the mice or evaporation.

Our deck.

Quick trip to a supermarket (aka Grocery Store) then it’s a long awaited trip to Chubasco’s for a Carnitas Burritos. Soon get set up and have a quiet night in watching season 4 of Yellowstone, thanks to a 1 month subscription to Peacock, followed by an early night.

So what have we learnt from this fiasco?

1 Try and avoid Manchester airport.
2 Allow a minimum of 3 hours between flights.
3 Avoid JFK. Airport is hell; longest lines, hotels are expensive, mediocre and fully booked.
4 Have a “Survival Kit” in Hand luggage. USB A lead; USB C lead; watch charger; hearing aid charger; 2 USB A chargers; underpants; toothbrush.
5 Don’t wast money on Upper Class, it’s going down hill, stick with Premium economy.
6 If you have an Avis booking try going into modify pickup timetable to see if prices drops.
7 If you need a hotel then just rely on Booking.com. Keep it simple.
8 If you must go through Manchester then book fast track through security.

 

 
So good to be back after 2 years to the day’s absence. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back to paradise.

 

 

 

 
I see Macron is strutting on world stage in hope he can be seen as a contender for Nobel peace prize and win the election. Why would anyone be daft enough to try and negotiate with a dictator.

French commerce typically is not pulling out of Russia, typical chauvinistic self interest.


Saturday day

Keeping an eye on our deck.

Up early as our body clock is still shot to hell. Lazy start then off to the supermarket for the weekly shop.

In the evening we’re off to Steve and Barbaras for cocktails and Jeree and Diane have also come round to greet us. A lovely evening just catching up and putting the World to rights.

 

 
The social life has begun.

 

 


Sunday

Up early again as our body clock is still rebellious.

Off to Walmart, “where all the crazy people shop”, to get some essentials for our rental. Oh joy another supermarket.

Our friend Bob and Marilyn (B&M) arrive around 14:00, can you believe they set off at 01:00 in the morning for their 12 hour drive from San Diego. So good to see them after 2 years. Great that they’re staying with us for a week.

Go round to Ruth’s to pick up one of my bikes that she has very kindly been storing for us. Gentle ride home.

Dinner is pizza and plenty of wine with B&M.

 

 


Monday

Snowy Tuesday in PC.

Lazy start. Wendy and Marilyn tootle off to the Outlets centre for some retail therapy. That’ll be expensive.

I go for my first bike ride. Down to the old barn and then up to Park City Mountain Resort for a well deserved Dirty Chai – sadly Eva is no longer there to look after us but the dirty chai is still as good. 7,000 feet of altitude certainly takes its toll on us sea level land lubbers.

Evening dinner is Lasagne with Bobs special sauce, one of the best ever.

trivia header

 
A new American phrase to add to my language skills:

Lolly-Gaggin

1. To sit or meander about (whether in life as a whole or at a specific time) with no apparent purpose, direction, or desire for either.

2. The act of choking on a lollipop.

3. A term used to describe a singer’s voice who either has no vocal talent or who appears to have no idea what they are even singing about.

Eg:

1. All those bums ever do is lolly-gag around the park all day.

2. He was lolly-gagging like a cat on a hair-ball so I gave ‘im the ol’ heimlick.

3. Turn that lolly-gaggin’ crap off before my ears start up-chuckin’.

 

 

 

 
Don’t you just love sanctimonious Germany. They continue to buy gas and oil from Russia, $30billion of it since the start of the war in the Ukraine. But they’ve given a $1billion in aid to soothe their guilty conscience.

Europe, which gets about a third of its natural gas needs from Russia, has been wary of the economic impact a total ban on Russian energy – which Ukraine says is needed to force a peace deal .

Oh and now Europe are going to add more sanctions by setting a date when they stop buying coal from Russia – bully for them. They said they’d ratchet up sanctions more in the future. For gods sake what more does Putin have to do to warrant total sanctions. Everything possible should be done right now, no if, ands or buts. If Europe is stupid enough to rely on an enemy for their stragic power needs then they deserve all they get.


Tuesday

Back to the gun club at last.

Lazy morning. Wendy’s off shopping yet again with Marilyn. What do they find to buy.

Stattaco XC

In the afternoon I make my long awaited return to the gun club. Try a 9mm Stacatto XC automatic, all $5,000 of it, at that price you’d expect it to rub your balls and make coffee. I’m told it’s so easy to shoot and guarantees bulls eyes every time. Bull shit, it’s a nice gun, but sadly doesn’t do the aiming for you.

 

 
Back to the gun club. Awesome.

 

 

 

 
Why is Biden wanting to re-open the Iran deal. They’re a bunch of liars. They’ve even told us they want to kill us why don’t we believe them.

And to top it all the Islamic revolutionary guard is no longer declared a terroirs organisation.


Wednesday

Wendy relaxing again.

Cycle down to Willow Creek for a 5 mile walk with Joe. Great to see him again after 2 years of Covid crap. Have a Starbucks and put the World to rights. It really is about time us old guys, with a modicum of common sense and a detestation of wokes, snowflakes, libtards and political correctness, started to take control.

In the afternoon we’re all off down to Heber City for a trip to the sportmens warehouse for more 9mm ammunition; Wendy and Marilyn go to Walmart yet again; then pick up some fresh bagels; drive round for a viewing of B&M’s nearly finished condo; then liquor store for some more E&J XO brandy, it’s amazing and on special at $13.99 a bottle.

A few well deserved German beers. Salmon for tea followed by some High West Campfire, very tasty.

trivia header

 
A new American phrase to add to my language skills:

bros before hoes

men always back other men.

brose before hoes:

A woman didn’t come home one night. The next morning she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend’s house. The man called his wife’s 10 best friends. None of them knew anything about it.

A man didn’t come home 1 night. The next morning he told his wife that he had slept over at a friends house. The wife called her husband’s 10 best friends. 8 of them confirmed that he had slept over and 2 said he was still there.

 

 
In the liqour store we’re served by a guy with more make up, piercing and tattoos than a circus clown. Claims he’s left wing, not a democrat, they’re too middle of the road. Wants to live in Europe, prefers Germany, Sweden or Ukraine after the war, rather than this shithole. First time ever we’ve encountered an American who hates this country. Told him to go to on holiday to Europe, he’ll soon want to come back. We’re shocked.
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20220222 – Palm Coast, Mickey Mouse Town Then Home







Tuesday

Hot and sunny.

Easy day today as we drive 5 minutes down the road to Washington Oaks state park. Have a pleasant amble around the Washington Oaks Gardens state park. Then it’s Wendy’s lunch sat overlooking the coastal waterway.

Wander over to the beach to see if we can create a new record of 46 minutes sat on a beach. We give up after about 30 minutes. Have a stroll along the beach and then it’s back home, with a quick nip into Publix.

Afternoon tea and reading on the deck.

Tea tonight consists of a burrito for me and some brisket for Wendy from Captain BBQ. Quick service and the pulled pork burrito was good. Can’t wait to get back to PC and those great Mexican burritos from Chubasco’s. I think I’ll be living off them daily for the first week to make up for lost time.

 

 
Great start to the day as from our deck we watch dolphins frolic in the coastal waterway.

Then later on we’re rewarded with the machine gun sounds and sighting of a pileated woodpecker.

 

 


Wednesday

Hot and sunny.

Wendy fancies doing the hop-on-off trolley tour around St Augustine. We did it back in 2015 but forgot most of it and it’s a really relaxing way of seeing St Augustine. It’s a lovely old city with some amazing architecture and intriguing charm. Hop off for lunch and a free Starbucks dirty chai (they managed to piss me off with their app not being able to cope with £ sterling) sat with an awesome view of Flagler college.

Then it’s back on the tour. Our trolley’s full so there are lots of people left at the stops. What’s truly bizarre is how close together the stops are, heaven forbid the poor dears should have to walk more than 100 yards. At the penultimate stop there are about 20 Americans waiting to get on the trolley. It seems they’d rather wait at least another 15 minutes than walk 4 minutes to the trolley terminus – only in America.

Back home for a late afternoon tea then it’s a superb tuna melt on swirly rye bread – awesome.

trivia header

 

*

St. Augustine is a city in the Southeastern United States, on the Atlantic coast of northeastern Florida. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, it is the oldest continuously-inhabited European-established settlement in what is now the contiguous United States.

Although Christopher Columbus gets credit for discovering the Americas, it was the Spanish explorer Ponce de León who first explored the coasts of Florida and called the flowering peninsula “La Florida.” In 1565, Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez founded St. Augustine for the Spanish crown.

As far as downtowns go, St. Augustine’s Historic District is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The buildings are original Spanish Colonial dating back to when the city was first founded. There is the impressive Lightner Museum which will transport you back to the late 1800s when it used to be the Alcazar Hotel and was often called “the castle of happy returns.”

The real show-stopper of St. Augustine’s Historic District, Flagler College is a private four-year liberal arts university founded by Henry Flagler in 1968. The campus is utterly breathtaking. The centerpiece of the college, and the focal point of the city really, is the old Ponce de León Hotel, built-in 1888 as a luxury hotel. And luxury it is. Aspiring Spanish architecture and lush palm trees welcome you into the courtyard and give you the reverent impression that this place is steeped in history. You can take daily tours in the summer months and experience Flagler College for yourself.

Magnolia Avenue, is one of the most photographed streets in the United States. This gorgeous street is right by the Fountain of Youth and is sheltered by oak trees with draping Spanish moss. It is a beautiful sight to behold and one you won’t forget anytime soon.


Thursday

Another hot and sunny day.

Well Russia’s finally invaded the Ukraine. Is this another 1939 moment? I’m fascinated what sensible America thinks about it? Are they even aware that the Ukraine exists? Are they aware where it is?

Nip out and top up with petrol before there’s any form of panic buying.

And where may I ask are the United Nations in all this. I’ve not seen a peep from them in the press (AKA Apple News). They’re probably still getting on their high horse about Islamaphobia and ruminating on other snowflake, libtard and woke issues. Could there be a better display of United Nations impotence than Russia presiding on Wednesday over a Security Council session on Russia’s invasion? The sum of their actions seems to be the UN Secretary-General saying “President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine, give peace a chance,”. What a pity we don’t have a UN with teeth that can step up in situations like this and bring to bear an independent force to punish such aggression.

Meanwhile, here in the land of plenty and the home of the free we have a lazy day planned with a trip up to Anastasia Island state park. Like most of the parks around here it’s mainly yet another beach and another Hammock trail. This time a Dunes Hammock trail so we venture forth. Seems like every other Hammock trail we’ve been on except there are some hills on it.

Wendy wants to give the beach here a miss and drive down to Historic Butler beach to set up camp and have our lavish lunch. Not really much there, other than a very fine beach and to ensure that the locals don’t have to walk too far you can even drive onto and along the beach. That’ll save the poor dear’s legs.

Quick, stop at Publix. Yes, Wendy was with me at the time. Then it’s back home for afternoon tea on our awesome deck. Seems a shame sitting on a beach when we have such a great deck.

What is it with our next-door neighbour? Every time we sit out on our deck to enjoy the sun he’s out there with his blower, a phallic extension to his no-doubt minuscule penis and brain. He keeps blowing the same leafs every day off the paths and overnight they creep back on. Why doesn’t he have the wit to sweep them up and be done with it?

 

 

 

 

Sadly just about sums up how pathetic the UN are.


Friday

Hot and sunny again. Lazy morning and lunch at home.

Then we drive down A1A to Tomaka state park once the home of the Timucuan Native American village, Nocoroco and the Mount Oswald Plantation that once grew sugar, indigo and cotton. A tad disappointing nothing really much there apart from a Rio-style statue of a Red Indian (OMG is that PC?). The statue shows Oleeta, warrior princess, aiming an arrow at Chief Tomokie with murderous intent. Off to the side, warriors are poised as back up, arrows drawn. The story says the tribe turned on Tomokie for the sacrilege of drinking the Water of Life from the Sacred Cup. The chief, impassive at his fate, upends the sacred cup while threatening his assailants with a spear. You have to imagine the spear. It’s been missing from the statue for some time.

Have a stroll around the beach but no real walks there, not even a Hammock trail – what sort of Florida state park is it.

Drive down to Bullow Plantation Ruins Historic state park. They do like including that word historic wherever possible. It’s the ruins of one of Florida’s largest sugar (white gold) plantations and dare I say its slave quarters. Quite interesting to stroll around and there’s a pleasant walking trail to it. No doubt the 1619 Project has something to say on the subject and it turns out that they claim America’s lust for sugar, and the resulting obesity, is founded in sugar plantation slavery.

Finally, we head to Flagler beach. I know let’s get an espresso and explore this famous beach area. Well, it’s just another beach with a $1.50 pier, plenty of beach,es and alas nowhere for a decent espresso. Fox News is there filming. We’re strolling along Flagler promenade and there are all these geezers with “Let’s Go Brandon” flag and the Stars and Stripes. It’s a blue flag so I suspect they’re Democrats but stop to ask if this Brandon guy is a republican or democrat politician. Turns out “Let’s Go Brandon” is a political slogan that has been widely used as a minced oath for “Fuck Joe Biden” in reference to Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States.

Now I have a dilemma. Do I continue to seek out a MAGA hat or go for a “Let’s Go Brandon” hat, or perhaps both.

Have an interesting chat with them. Get their thoughts on the Ukraine. Surprise, surprise they think America should be in there fighting for freedom. Also interesting to hear their take on Trump losing the election. He didn’t lose there was massive election fraud, they’ve seen videos of ballot boxes being stolen.

 

 
UK RAISES ALERT LEVEL

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent Russian threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. The Russians have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s Get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government SWIFTly announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has SWIFTly increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have SWIFTly increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far, no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

John Cleese – British writer, actor and tall person

 

 


Saturday


Hot and sunny yet again. It’s like a Daytona race track on the inter-coastal waterway this morning as everyone with a jet ski seems to be racing up to St Augustine.

Depart for 3 days in Mickey Mouse town.

On the way we spot Wekiva State park sign and it’s only 5 miles off our route. We’ve plenty of time to kill so decided to visit. Can you believe it the park is full? You really couldn’t make this up.

Get to our Lake Buena Visita resort village early and have to hang around for an hour whilst room is cleaned. Sit around the pool. We’d booked a one room suite and we end up with a two room suite with full kitchen and all mod cons – very nice.

 

 
Don’t you just love those woke luvvies and their 1619 project.

“For the 1619 Project, Kruse writes about how notoriously bad traffic jams on Atlanta highways are — you guessed it — the legacy of “a century-long effort to segregate the races.”

How so? At first, Kruse seems to imply that it’s the placement of the expressways that has caused the congestion, with the path of roadways used to separate black and white neighborhoods. But why would the path of a highway produce “three-mile traffic jams that last four hours or more,” especially when the city’s Downtown Connector is, Kruse notes, “a 12-to-14-lane mega highway”? Isn’t it more likely that the problem is an excess of people trying to commute by car, regardless of the neighborhoods bisected by the road?”

Time to destroy another statue.

 

 


Sunday

Lazy start then off down to Disney Spring for a saunter around. Yes, I know we’ve been there before but it’s quite pleasant and there’s usually some free entertainment on. This time it’s a young dance troop from Oklahoma – good to know there’s something in Oklahoma. Judging by the queues for Starbucks and Giordehli’s you’d think they were giving it away, and what’s happened to the free chocolate samples. Wendy has a wander around the Disney store and manages not to purloin any of the plastic cards – I think she’s finally realised they are not free.

Back to our room and have afternoon tea around the pool.

Then for tea it’s a build your own burrito from Chipolte. Pretty good. Roll on PC and Chubasco’s.

 

 

 

 

Orlando just a different world to the rest of America. The adipose tissue capital of the USA. Somehow most here seem to have forgot their manners. And then you have the lobster boiled brits who just couldn’t resist a full day in the sun and are now suffering for it.

As to drivers in Florida. Well, I’ve been driving for 55 years now, in a lot of different countries, including Italy, but the drivers here seem arrogant, dangerous and in such a rush they forget basic safety. Even worse than Italy.


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SPANISH MOSS
Hanging off trees and landscape plants, Spanish moss is a familiar part of Florida’s environment. Despite its name, Spanish moss is not a moss but a bromeliad—a perennial herb in the pineapple family.

Most bromeliads, including Spanish moss, are epiphytes. Epiphytes grow on other plants, but do not rely on them for nutrients. They take nutrients from the air and debris that collects on the plant. Spanish moss has permeable scales that “catch” moisture and nutrients.

Spanish moss prefers moist environments, but its ability to trap water lets it survive dry periods. The plant can also go dormant until moisture conditions improveSpanish moss does not have any roots. It attaches to substrates by wrapping its stems around a surface. Also, it does not need roots for water and nutrient uptake, since all parts of Spanish moss have that ability. Spanish moss is commonly found on oak and cypress trees but can grow on other plants as well.


Monday

Off to Sea World for the day. It’s a long while since we’ve been there.

What a disappointment that was. The only experience of any worth was the dolphin show. What amazing creatures they are. I suspect they even have more intelligence than some of the Herberts driving around Florida.

Back home for afternoon tea and then off to Flannigans Irish bar, on the corner of our hotel, for our take away tea. For me it’s a Reubens, a fine last meal in America, Wendy goes for a Fish sandwich.

Well that’s the last day of our 6 week trip. It’s been so good to get back to America, we’ve really missed it. We’ve had a great time and everything went according to plan. Florida is a great location for a winter break, we’re becoming professional snowbirds, although we are starting to run out of new places to visit in Florida. Perhaps next year we’ll have to try Scottsville, Arizona, AKA God’s waiting room. We could also revisit the 4 corners area.

We also need to start planning my Rest Of AMerica (ROAM) adventure, where we visit the remaining 6 states we’ve never been to and visit as many National Parks as we can. Sadly they’re nearly all in the North of America so the weather in winter is not what we’re looking for.

We’ll right tomorrow off as a day of misery as we suffer the airports and journey home. Anyone remember what fun flying used to be until some 7th century barbaric rag head living in a cave from the religion of pieces and permanent offence struck. Since then we’ve had other Jihadis adding to the misery and now we have Covid restrictions and rules.

 

 

 

 

Let’s go to sea world we said. $253 plus $30 for parking. What a rip off. Only 2 shows, Orka cancelled. Sad and tired place more concerned with money making stalls and extra charging. Can you believe $39 to reserve a seat for a 3rd rate sea lion show. Depressing. Left early we’d had enough.

The place has been taken over by rampant greed. Not a patch on it’s former self.

Never again.

I was shocked when Wendy said “I’m glad we came”. Incredulous. Then she followed up with “At least we know not to recommend this to the family when they come”.

But, the best news of all with the screw ups on the ticket machines it turns out the $253 did not go through so it was FREE. Perhaps there is a God after all.


Tuesday

Hot and sunny.

It’s fly home day, so we’ll just write it off as a day of abject misery.

Sit around the pool for an hour and then drive to the airport. TSA was the usual nightmare, they even manage to stretch it to 35 minutes. But at least when they close that door on Virgin Atlantics big iron bird we can settle down into peace, tranquility and good service. Flight was good and on time.

 

 

 

 
Finally a review on our Pompano VRBO stay now that it looks like our deposit is being returned.

*** STAR

On the positive side the home was well maintained, clean, comfortable, well equipped, modern and well situated. We mentioned that there was no kettle and the next morning the hostess turned up with a brand new kettle – service above and beyond.

On the downside, the noise from light aircraft taking off from the nearby airport was annoying every day. The owner demanded a picture of our driving license and credit card (without number) as well as a signed agreement with other details prior to arrival (difficult when traveling). Considering we had to provide a $500 damage deposit, plus damage protection insurance, I found all this annoying and obsessive. Especially as our identity was never checked. We stay at a lot of VRBO’s and these demands and a deposit are a first. What’s more, this is all the sort of information hackers feed on. Even more annoying was that it took 2 weeks, to the day, before the owner authorised a release of the $500 – does it really take that long to check for damage? And then a further 3 days to return the money to my account.

Overall we would have given the house 4 stars but the excessive demands and deposit delay reduces our overall score to 3 stars.

Finally to the acid test. Would we stay again? Sadly, purely because of the offensive and intrusive requirements of the owner and the delay in refunding the deposit, the answer has to be NO.

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20220215 – Pompano Beach Then Palm Coast







Tuesday

Drive down to Hillsboro lighthouse, but alas it’s a private estate so can’t get close up.

Try to go for a stroll along the beach at North Ocean park but no access due to mansions and construction work. So it’s plan B down to the pier at Lauderdale by the Sea. Have a pleasant stroll along the windswept shore watching the kite surfers, ideal weather for it. Was aiming to have a stroll along the Fishin Pier but too much of a skinflint to pay $2 each for the privaledge. Hardly worth the effort.

Settle down to an espresso in some lovely adirondacks.

Then it’s back home for afternoon tea with the new kettle kindly provided by our landlady. Can’t believe she paid $30 odd dollars for a stove top kettle when you can get an electric kettle for just $15. Chatting to her it seems she boils her water in a microwave, but is not aware of how dangerous this is with the risk of superheated water forming and exploding over you.

Want to know how to make tea the proper way then – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jZDBz0qVtM

Wow, this settee is so comfortable. Can we take it home with us?

 

 
Wow, there’s these purple balloons washed up on the beach. They’re beautiful and colourful. Turns out they are the Portuguese Man of War jelly fish. We named this one Putin. There are quite a few baby ones that you could easily tread on.

How lucky can you get to see these. The highlight of the day.

See trivia below for more details of this amazing creature.


trivia header

 

The Portuguese man o’ war, (Physalia physalis) is often called a jellyfish, but is actually a species of siphonophore, a group of animals that are closely related to jellyfish. A siphonophore is unusual in that it is comprised of a colony of specialized, genetically identical individuals called zooids — clones — with various forms and functions, all working together as one. Each of the four specialized parts of a man o’ war is responsible for a specific task, such as floating, capturing prey, feeding, and reproduction. Found mostly in tropical and subtropical seas, men o’ war are propelled by winds and ocean currents alone, and sometimes float in legions of 1,000 or more! 

Resembling an 18th-century Portuguese warship under full sail, the man o’ war is recognized by its balloon-like float, which may be blue, violet, or pink and rises up to six inches above the waterline. Lurking below the float are long strands of tentacles and polyps that grow to an average of 30 feet and may extend by as much as 100 feet. The tentacles contain stinging nematocysts, microscopic capsules loaded with coiled, barbed tubes that deliver venom capable of paralyzing and killing small fish and crustaceans. While the man o’ war’s sting is rarely deadly to people, it packs a painful punch and causes welts on exposed skin.

Beachcombers be warned: The stalwart man o’ war may still sting you even weeks after having washed ashore. 

 

 

 

 
Sadly Pompano Beach is a tad like Benidorm, with so many high rise buildings, more bars than black eyed virgins in jihadi heaven and very busy. Fortunately there’s no drunken Brits with “Kiss Me Quick” hats on, no bars selling Watneys draught red barrel or Worthington E, with 24 * 7 English football on big screen TV.


Wednesday

Rescued turtle.

After a very lazy start we set off to Gumbo Limbo nature centre where they rescue sea turtles. A pleasant Hammock walk then tour the aquarium and many turtles.

Drive across the road to visit Red Reef park for lunch by the sea. Can you believe they want $25 to park. No wonder the car park is empty. The greed and audacity is dumbfounding. All is not lost there’s a car park across the road, just $3 an hour.

Wendy has lunch by the coastal waterway, I settle for my Sumo orange. Like them they’re so easy to peal. Risk our lives to cross the road to the Red Reef park beach and have a stroll along the beach. Again lots of Portuguese Man of War have been washed up onto the beach.

Certainly not worth $25.

Back home for afternoon tea.

Dinner tonight is a takeaway of clams, followed by ribs and prawns. Can’t believe this Flannigans restaurant, you’d think they were giving it away. It’s choka, and they’re queuing outside for a table. It seems a very Americanthing that they’ll turn up at a restaurant and be told there’s a 30 minute wait for a table, instead of voting with your feet they just accept it and join the queue like dutiful Japanese.

Anyway meal was good, and I survived the clams, unlike last time when I had an overnight meeting with Hughie and Ruth. Ribs were ok but not as good as R&R BBQ in Salt Lake or the Wheatsheaf Inn at Edith Weston in Rutland uk.


trivia header

 

Strangler fig is the common name for a number of tropical and subtropical plant species, including some banyans and unrelated vines, including among many other species which all share a common “strangling” growth habit that is found in many tropical forest species, particularly of the genus Ficus. This growth habit is an adaptation for growing in dark forests where the competition for light is intense.

These plants are hemiepiphytes, spending the first part of their life without rooting into the ground. Their seeds, often bird-dispersed, germinate in crevices atop other trees. These seedlings grow their roots downward and envelop the host tree while also growing upward to reach into the sunlight zone above the canopy.

An original support tree can sometimes die, so that the strangler fig becomes a “columnar tree” with a hollow central core. However, it is also believed that the strangler fig can help the support tree survive storms.

Strangler trees are able to colonize the difficult building-wall habitat in urban areas. Strangler figs in the tropics are pre-adapted to adopt an aerophytic as well as acrobatic urban life by clinging onto building envelopes.

 

 


Thursday

Hot, sunny and humid. I sit out on the patio for morning coffee and have to surrender to the humidity.

Drive up to Target to get two identical, unicorn, winking, talking handbags for the grandkids. Jasper doesn’t get one.

Then drive onto Deerfield beach. Amazed how easy it is to find parking and ONLY $2 an hour. The beach is crowded but it’s one of the nicest beaches we’ve been to. Sit and eat lunch, such a pity we forgot the beach chairs. Mind you we rarely tolerate more than 30 minutes sat on a beach.

Back home for afternoon tea, indoors, it’s way to hot and humid on the patio, plus we seem to be inundated with blood sucking insects.

 

 

 

 

Takes me back some years to this adult program.


There’s a lot of roundabouts in our neighbourhood. Survival tactics for these in America is to drive very slowly, assume there are no rules and assume American drivers haven’t a clue how they work. Turns out to be true, they’re clueless, but my survival tactics save us.


Friday

I guess he’s trying to escape the gridlock too.

Hot and sunny, let’s go down to that nice Deerfield beach with our beach chairs and sit and have lunch. Easy parking there, says he.

How wrong can you be. All the promenade parking has been taken over by yet another gay pride event. How many gays are there in Florida? Is it mandatory in this state? You never see an old unwoke, unsnowflake, unlibtard old geezers having an event to celebrate common sense. Even a giant multi-story car park is ALLEGEDLY full. We’re stuck in a traffic jam for 20 minutes, yes 20 minutes, waiting for the lights to change. An hour later we escape and try our luck down at Pompano Beach. Just typical of the daily dose of shit that descends these days. All we want to do is sit on the beach and have our lunch, doubt it we’ll even stay long.

After 1.5 hours of driving through hell we find a spot and lug our beach chairs onto the beach. Set a new world record as we last 45 minutes sat on a beach. Then off for a stroll down to the pier and an espresso to calm jangled nerves.

Drive back home for afternoon tea. Wow, it’s hot.

An American sized portion of cracked conch for starters – whatever that is, see trivia below – and some awesome crab cakes for tea from the fish shack.

trivia header

 
Conch is a common name of a number of different medium-to-large-sized sea snails. Conch shells typically have a high spire and a noticeable siphonal canal (in other words, the shell comes to a noticeable point at both ends).

In North America, a conch is often identified as a queen conch, indigenous to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Queen conchs are valued for seafood and are also used as fish bait.


Saturday

Deck.

It’s a 4 hour drive up Interstate 95 to our next VRBO at Palm Coast, just South of St Augustine. It’s the usual mayhem. But I’ve got a new defensive driving strategy. Sit in the middle lane at the speed limit and remember your rear view mirror is your best friend. If anyones unhappy about that then they can alway undertake or overtake. Whilst not exactly the best of lane discipline it minimises risky lane changes. I notice quite a few heavy lorry drivers use the same tactic.

Pool.

Arrive and unload. Remind me to never book a place on the first floor (2nd floor in America) lugging suitcases upstairs is no fun.

Deck chairs on the lawn.

VRBO rental is spacious, clean, very comfortable, with a great deck and views of the coastal waterway, old style Florida. It’s a tad quirky to say the least. Like an antique shop cluttered with weird collection of antiques such as collections of rolling pins; Delft ware; blue bottles, fortunately not the flies; 13 old style enamel coffee pots; 5 tea pots; a giant merry go round horse and two baby ones; a plastic bottle full of small bits of broken shells; tinfoil on top of the radio aerial are just a fraction of the assorted junk. All mod cons and at least it has a stove top kettle, alas it’s whistle less. Incongrously the washing machine cost $2 to use, good news the dishwasher, fridge and stove are free to use.

The bed. It’s a wonder we don’t get nose bleeds it’s that high up.

The grandfather clock has to be the worst feature, chiming every half hour. It’ll be amazing if it survives the week.

Of special mention has to be the bed. It’s so high you need a step ladder to get in it. I get all the daily exercise I need just climbing into it. Fallout of it and your dead. At least it’s very comfortable.

Publix is less than half a mile away so it’s a quick visit for tonight’s tea. I’ll suffer the full blown punishment tomorrow. Back for a Publix style subway and a cool beer with a bottle of Carmenera.

 

 
It’s goodbye to Pompano Beach, AKA Benidorm by the sea – high rise after high rise; traffic galore; draw bridge queues wherever you go; it’s a wonder the National grid can support all the traffic lights; crowded. It’s only saving grace was no bars selling Watneys Red Barrel or Worthington E; no bars with 24 * 7 big screen football replays; no “Kiss me quick hats”; no funfair; no Brit lager louts. All the resorts North and South of it seem the same.

Not really our sort of place.

Our rental was good though.


Sunday

Our lounge.

Lazy day planned to recover from the trauma of driving up I95. Hot and sunny. Sadly I have to endure Publix.

Turns out this VRBO is not in St Augustine but in Palm Coast 20 miles south of St Augustine. Prefer this location to St Augustine, not as busy and lacks an infestation of tourists.

Just part of our awesome deck.

Then it’s the afternoon sat on this awesome deck watching the boats go by. It’s really old style Florida here, full of trees and Spanish moss. There’s more dead leaves than good bacteria in a healthy gut and yet our next door neighbour disturbs the tranquility and provides entertainment as we watch him using his hi-tech blower to blow the leaves off his paths and driveways. 30 minutes later he’s finished. Has he not figured that they’ll blow back tomorrow, just an exercise in futility.>

 

 

Wendy off on her travels.

 

 


Monday

Lazy start then off to St Augustine for the day. It’s a 20 mile drive up a coastal A1A road hardly any traffic lights or even traffic, very pleasant for a change. Call in at Home Depot to pick up Kurt’s video doorbell. ABC wine store is very convienantly on the same trading estate. We walk to it. Alas no pavements and of course no one else is walking.

Then it’s a walk around St Augustine. Lovely town spoilt by us tourists and the struggle to park. We park down a remote side street and having the benefit of legs walk into town, oh so very un-American. Wendy finally finds somewhere to have lunch, then it’s a stroll around the castle, but at $15 a person to go in we’re still as tight fisted as we were back in 2015 – not worth it.

Back home for afternoon tea sat on this awesome deck.

It’s a pepperoni croissant base pizza for tea tonight. Cruelty to croissants, if Macron finds out he’ll be having a submarine hissy fit no doubt. One of the best pizza’s ever – only in America no doubt.

 

 

Deluded but dedicated. Apparently she parades down the street in St Augustine every day.

 

 
How come the daily slaughter and persecution of Christian’s hardly ever gets a mention in the press? Could it be because the woke, snowflakes and libtards don’t want to offend the main culprit. Yes, you’ve probably guessed it by now its that world famous barbaric, 7th century, pernicious ideology posing as a religion of pieces and permanent offence and seeking world domination. Let’s wake up before it’s too late.

A report which was commissioned by the British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and published in May 2019 stated that the level and nature of persecution of Christians in the Middle East “is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.” The report cited Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia where “the situation of Christians and other minorities has reached an alarming stage.” The report attributed the sources of persecution to extremist groups and the failure of state institutions – https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/02/persecution-driving-christians-out-of-middle-east-report

 

 
Wendy’s turn for a rant today. What choice and quality of American vitals she’s ranting about – tea, coffee, bread, cheese, beer (that’s me) and cereal (all too much sugar in them). As for most other things she thinks they great over here, but a trip to the supermarket does seem more expensive these days.
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20220208 – Siesta Key Then Pompano Beach







Tuesday

Rain forecast and again the forecast was right.

Never mind there’s unfettered joy as we head off to Publix supermarket. Alcoholic lemonade, how about that. They call it Hard Seltzer, 5% alcohol, only in America.

Evening see’s the demise of an excellent bottle of Carmenera, too good to allow remains to oxidise overnight, manned up and polished it off – awesome. Finished watching Jack Reacher series.

 

 


Wednesday

A gorgeous warm sunny day so we toddle off down to Sarasota Bay Front for a stroll around and a coconut shrimp lunch for Wendy. I get treated to a cup of typical black American dishwater coffee.

Then have a stroll around Sarasota and Wendy is orgasmic as she gets a visit to WholePayPacket (aka Wholefoods). Then, despite having to pay a Kings ransom for everything, no wonder they hide the prices, she begrudges me some Shark Steak and Mahi for tea.

 

 
What a great start to the day as I open the door to see how warm it is and there on a palm tree is a beautiful red bellied woodpecker singing his morning song.

 

 

 

 

 

 
What is it with USPS. Every time we encounter them they seem to screw up. They missed yesterdays delivery deadline, then claimed they’d delivered it at 14:55 today. Alas no parcel on the doorstep. Turns out the parcels small enough to hammer into the post box on the street. As a Brit we expect delivery to the door. Just one of the things that we excel at.


Thursday

Lazy morning but then off to a free Big Band concert in Phillipia Park. Then have a stroll around the park and Wendy enjoys her butty for lunch. Sat watching them fish and just about escape having an eye removed by a casting shrimp on a hook.

Back down to Turtle beach for some beach time, but after 30 minutes we’re melting. Back home for afternoon tea and some reading. My it’s hot. Take to the shade.

 

 
Free Oceans Eleven Big band performance in the park, in the sun, with all the rest of the waiting for god brigade. Is this what life’s come to? And now, as predicted, some geriatrics get up shuffle around. Sad but by the time some of then manage to get to the dance concrete the songs over. Not exactly dirty dancing. A bit like a Deer Valley concert sat in our deer valley approved chairs. No wonder there’s so many vultures circling above.

 

 

 

 


Friday

Another glorious hot sunny day. Take an afternoon stroll down to Turtle beach. Sit and watch the Pelicans entertain us. Then a major sin as we go to a bar and have a beer before 17:00. Wendy has a rum and coke and then staggers home – lightweight.

Try to sit out on the deck but it’s just too hot so end up in the shade outside our rental. Then our friendly little red bellied woodpecker comes around and starts chirping away. He’s also very good at catching flies. Try tempting him with his bird call on my iPhone.

Eventually Wendy gives up on watching “The Apprentice” and serves afternoon tea. Her head is still spinning from that drink.

 

 

 

 


Saturday

Leaving day. We have to be out by 10:00 or they very arrogantly offer to charge us another full day.

Because I want to avoid the crazy interstates toll roads it’s a five hour drive across florida. 150 mile of nothingness. Just scrubland and cattle, wot no cowboys. Very little signs of habitation and it’s at least a 50 mile walk if you run out of petrol.

Finally arrive after 5 hours and stop off for a dirty Chai at Starbucks before driving down to the nearest Home Depot to order a Wyze Doorbell Pro for Kurt. No chance of ordering it online as the clusterfuck website designers – 10 year olds whose mummy has to tie their shoelaces for them and have no idea that there are other countries outside the USA – can’t accept a UK zip code when trying to purchase online.

Finally get to our next home in Pompano Beach for a week. Can’t get in before 16:00. It’s all very nice, clean and modern. But what is it about American houses, they’re always so dark, like going into a funeral parlour, and very rarely have a decent central ceiling light.

I unload the car and then it’s the final tribulation of the day with a visit to Publix for tea and supplies. As soon as I’ve ordered my Reubens, which has kept me motivated all day as I salivated over the thought of it, my threshold of tolerance for this purgatory goes. Get me out of here.

trivia header

 
When you think of cowboys first thoughts always go to the Wild West, but Florida was also famous for its cowboys and cattle.

The herds ranged in size from 5,000 to 50,000 head. Rustling was prevalent throughout the state. This was because Florida was an open range. There was not a fenced pasture anywhere in the state and cattle roamed freely. The early cowboys would round cows up over miles and miles of open plains, in the hammocks, and by the rivers and streams. Then they would drive them to market.

Florida’s old-time cowboys had a unique way of herding cattle. They used 10- to 12-foot-long whips made of braided leather. Snapping these whips in the air made a loud “crack.” That sound brought stray cattle back into line fast and earned cowboys the nickname of “crackers.” Many rode rugged, rather small horses known as “cracker ponies.”

Cracker cowboys also counted on herd dogs to move cattle along the trail. Their tough dogs could help get a cow out of a marsh or work a hundred steers into a tidy group. For those rough riders of Florida’s first ranges, a good dog, a horse, and whip were all the tools a true cracker needed.

By the 1890s, cow camps were located in most sections of the state. One such camp was located near Lake Kissimmee. It was known as “Cow Town.” The area’s cattle were referred to as scrub cows, ridiculous in appearance. They were once described as “no bigger than donkeys, lacking quality as beef or milk producers.” They were valuable because the animals could survive in wilderness areas. By the 1920s, however, the quality of Florida cattle had improved greatly.

Raising cattle is still one of the biggest businesses in the state. Florida’s ranchers raise the third largest number of cattle of any state east of the Mississippi. Their herds represent many centuries of dreams. They link the sweat and success of ancient Spaniards and hardy pioneers with today’s modern cattle ranchers.

 

 
Driving along and just seen a major sign saying “Report impaired drivers”. We assume that includes mentally impaired. Wendy gets the iPhone out and starts snapping away. Within an hour her iPhone has run out of memory.

 

 

 

 
Don’t we just love VRBO and Airbnb for their cleaning services. They charge a kings ransom for cleaning and then expect that prior to leaving you wash the pots; empty the rubbish; strip the beds; pile up the towels and leave the place as clean as you found it. Anything else? Why don’t they just give me a broom and a mop and I’ll stick them up my arse and finish the job. What do the cleaners do for their money? I’m sure they only get a smidgen of the cleaning fee. Just more profit for VRBO and Airbnb.


Sunday

Lazy do nothing day, just relax.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Much to Wendy’s disgust our VRBO lacks a kettle and storage space for your, not that you would expect visitors to a self catering accommodation to have food items to store. Common sense the world over is under threat from the stupidity virus.

Not only do they want copies of our credit card, sans number, but also our driving license or passport.

They also want a contract signing, it actually has no contractual terms, but just wants your passport number and other information useful to any hacker. Bear in mind they’ve already had most of this information sent them, we have already paid in advance, they have a $500 deposit, plus damage insurance. What purpose does all this nonsense serve? I suppose they might be concerned that an imposter turns up to spend a week in our place!

Then when I turn my Smart DNS on I find that they have a Cisco router in place that block access.

Who are these people? Pettifogging individuals with a severe obsessive compulsive disorder.

Wendy and I have a guessing game as to occupation. Both simultaneously come up with number one occupation being Quality Control. Second is health and Safety.


trivia header

 
A lot of visitors around here seem obsessed with the fear of alligators. Here’s a few facts about them.

Once a week is a typical feeding schedule for alligators living in the wild. Excess calories are stored in fat deposits at the base of the alligator’s tail. Incredibly, by burning fat reserves, it is possible for an alligator to last more than two years between feedings.

Alligators primarily eat their prey at dusk or during the nighttime. An alligator’s diet consists mostly on what is available to them as they aren’t known to travel far for a meal.

After death the beasts will either take the carcass into the water and consume it or store it in an underwater den. They eat by biting and do not swallow the prey in its entirety.

What do alligators eat? Alligators primarily hunt at dusk or during the night. They lie motionless in wait for prey. Their prey selection seems to be determined primarily by size.

While still carnivorous, small alligators will often feed on their favorite food, Florida gar, as well as small snails or other crustaceans. The more the alligator grows, the bigger food source it will need. Some of these foods include fish, raccoons, birds, and even other alligators!

Humans are not an alligator’s natural prey. In fact, alligators are inclined to be afraid of 10 minutes humans. However, feeding alligators causes them to lose their natural fear of humans.

Don’t bother running from an alligator they can reach speeds of 30MPH.

They’re not bad to eat either, with popular gator tails.

Monday

Gorgeous sunny and warm day. Take a morning stroll to the outdoor Pickleball site. Just 10 minutes walk to 12 FREE outdoor Pickleball courts. All properly marked out with permanent nets. Even have forms to sit on. Pickleball Florida style.

Then we’re off down to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Another $6 saved it’s only 8 miles away but takes 35 minutes with all traffic lights. Can you believe it one every 100 yards in places.

Wendy has her sandwich lunch at the park. We take a stroll across to the Fort Lauderdale beach and then have an amble around the Hammock trail. Take a drive around the park and a stroll down the coastal waterway, wow it’s rough today.

Tortoises here are protected species and they ask you to drive slow to avoid that crunching sound as you go over one. There’s one speeding down the side of the road with a park ranger escorting it for safety, probably to stop the exits picking it up or taking it home. How neat is that.

Ever wonder why America has a serious obesity problem? Well this free ride to save a 5 minute walk may help answer that.

Then it’s an aborted visit to Wholefoods, apart from getting some Sumo oranges and Ethiopian coffee, followed by a visit to Publix. Two supermarkets in one day is just two too many. A real trial of my threshold of tolerance.

Back home to afternoon tea on our patio.

 

 
Momentous joy, Wendy has fallen out with Wholefoods. For the second time she couldn’t get the vitals we needed. She’s promised no more visits to whole paypacket this trip. Result. Praise be to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

 

 

 

 
Take me to the church

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20220201 – Siesta Key







Tuesday

Yes, after 2 years, they’re still lay there.

Lazy start as usual then off to Myaka State park for the Nth time this lifetime.

Had lunch sat in our Tommy Bahamas chairs watching the gators and Herons fish. I’m sure they’re the same gators from two years ago, maybe they’re even Disney animatronics.

Tree walk at Myaka.

Strolled over to the other gator feeding spot – avoiding the snake infested long grass this time – but alas no gators crunching on a turtle like last time. Then of course we had to do the tree walk.

Back home for chowder, crab and fish tea from Captain Curts. Not cheap but pretty good and plenty of it. Time for wine and a rubbish Netflix film on Heaven.

 

 

Mrs Osprey waiting for dinner.

Just our luck as we’re the first in line to get stopped at the drawbridge traffic lights. But on the plus side we get to watch a male Osprey zoom into it’s nest with a fresh striped fish wriggling from it’s talons. It seems that Mrs Osprey was not satisfied with todays lunch as he ended up promptly flying off with it. Women!

 

 


Wednesday

Lagoon at Oscar Shearer.

Wow, up and out for 09:30, off to pickleball. Outdoor, open play with a random wind to spice things up.

After lunch we’re off to Oscar Shearer State Park. Have a pleasant stroll around and just about manage to get a mile in. Sit on the lagoon beach to enjoy the sun. Note our backs to the water, let’s hope no gators decide to creep up on us.

Then it’s back home for afternoon tea and sat around the deck drinking and talking to a couple of very friendly retired nurses until sunset. Very interesting. Americans are so friendly, this would never happen in the UK.

 

 

 

 

Waiting at traffic lights in the USA.


It’s bad enough spending your whole waking life in America sat at traffic lights, people need to bring their nail cutters with them. But here they have something even more sole destroying, a draw bridge that then causes a 30 minute traffic delay. No doubt, for health and safety reasons, it’s raised every time a kayaker goes under to ensure he has at least 100 foot of clearance to avoid banging his head. All the delay because no one has ever sat down and thought about how to time the subsequent traffic lights to alleviate the delay. Not a skerrit of common sense, shear lunacy, someone should be shot for such blatant stupidity.


Thursday

Off kayaking from our condo.

Off out for lunch with Nancy and Dennis, old friends from a home exchange.

Go to Der Dutchman an Amish restaurant, serving traditional Amish food. A unique experience. Have a pleasant lunch with Nancy and Dennis discussing old times and putting this crazy, senseless world to rights. What always amazes me is how many things we and our friends agree upon yet the world is dominated by the crazies, the wokes, the libtards and the snowflakes. Perhaps it’s time for us oldies to stop being the silent majority and restore some common sense.

These free kayaks are a tad skittish.

Then it’s off for Wendy’s special treat with trip to Wholefoods in downtown Sarasota.

trivia header

 
Oh no, not yet another religion. That’s all the World needs. At least this one doesn’t seem to involve an Angel, mysterious revelations or death threats.

The Amish (/ˈɑːmɪʃ/; Pennsylvania German: Amisch; German: Amische) are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German and Alsatian Anabaptist origins. They are closely related to Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, Christian pacifism, and slowness to adopt many conveniences of modern technology, with a view neither to interrupt family time, nor replace face-to-face conversations whenever possible, and a view to maintain self-sufficiency. The Amish value rural life, manual labor, humility, and Gelassenheit, all under the auspices of living what they interpret to be God’s word.

Amish church membership begins with adult baptism, usually between the ages of 16 and 23. Church districts have between 20 and 40 families, and worship services are held every other Sunday in a member’s home or barn. The rules of the church, the Ordnung, which differs to some extent between different districts, is reviewed twice a year by all members of the church. The Ordnung must be observed by every member and covers many aspects of day-to-day living, including prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing. Generally, a heavy emphasis is placed on church and family relationships. The Amish typically operate their own one-room schools and discontinue formal education after grade eight. Most Amish do not buy commercial insurance or participate in Social Security. As present-day Anabaptists, Amish church members practice nonresistance and will not perform any type of military service.

 

 

Whilst the Amish may eschew power line electricity (AC) they don’t seem to have any issues with a (DC) battery on their electric tricycles. I wonder how they charge them? Perhaps they have to buy a new one when it goes flat!

 

 

Whole foods where they show the calories in their products but not the prices.


Friday

Turtle beach.

More outdoor pickleball in the scorching heat.

Then we take a drive down to Siesta village for a stroll around. Not really that much there to see.

Followed by a stroll along Turtle Beach. Get Wendy to sit in a kayak, on land, but I think thats as far as she’ll go.

Mind you don’t drown. Then along came a tsunami.

Back home for afternoon tea on the deck, topped off with a plesant beer.

Decide to watch Question Time on BBC for the first time in ages. Interesting to see anti-vaxers try and argue with a professor of virology, frantically shuffling through their notes to regurgitate some obscure and ridiculous arguments against vaccination.

Start to watch the new series “The Responder” on BBC. What idiot decided to do what could be a good drama with broad Liverpool accents and no sub-titles. It’s just such a terriable, senseless waste.

 

 

 

 
John Hopkins hospital has done a major analysis on Covid Lockdowns. It comes to a surprising, counter intuitive conclusion, but we need to learn from this ready for future pandemics.

“Overall, our meta-analysis fails to confirm that lockdowns have had a large, significant effect on mortality rates. Studies examining the relationship between lockdown strictness find that the average lockdown in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% compared to a COVID-19 policy based solely on recommendations. Shelter-in-place orders (SIPOs) were also ineffective. They only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 2.9%.

While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.

They also find that – on average – voluntary behavioral changes are 10 times as important as mandatory behavioral changes in combating COVID-19.”


Saturday

Lake Manatee, but despite the name no Manatees.

Leisurely start to the day. Needs to be as I think I’ve caught Wendy’s back disesase. I can hardly get out of bed or walk. Wendy thinks it’s the kayaking / pickleball. I think it’s old age and this bed that is so soft you feel as if it will just swallow you up. Need to write you’re name on your boots before getting into bed.

It’s a grey, overcast day but not cold. The Iguanas are safe in their trees.

We decide to drive over to Lake Manatee state paark for picnic lunch and womble around, given the stae of our backs. There’s not really much there, and not any wildlife, but at least it’s free and making good use of our state park pass.

Then it’s time for my punishment as I’m dragged into a Publix supermarket.

 

 

 

 
What is it with these aggressive, arrogant and impatient American drivers. Usually in white vans (they’re the same the World over), big trucks or SUV’s with giant tyres. Just a phallic symbol to make up for their shriveled dick and pea-sized brain. If they’re not an exhaust bandit trying to drive up your exhaust pipe they’re lane swap hogs. Try swapping lanes and what does the car behind in the lane you’ve signalled to go into do? They speed up, can’t bear the thought of someone being in front of them. And then they have the brass nerves to pip you. Perhaps the best solution is not to signal so that they have less time to speed up. Total dicks. So aggresive and yet when a pedestrian is around they’re like timid little mice freightened to death of that invisible 200 foot force field around the pedestrian.

Well for all you shrivelled dick, aggresive and impatient American drivers here’s two questions you might try answering:

1 What is safe stopping distance.

Answer:

Safe stopping distance is the time that it takes to bring a moving car to a complete stop. This includes

The time it takes you to react to the hazard (thinking distance), and
The time it takes for the brakes to stop the car (braking distance)
You can calculate it with this stopping distance formula:

Stopping distance = thinking distance + braking distance

2 What is the safe stoping distance at 70 MPH?

Yes, as you can see from the above chart it’s 315 FEET not 31.5 inches.

Thankfully I’m not allowed a gun or else I’d be helping stop pollution of the gene pool with these zounderkites and cockwombles.


Sunday

Siesta Key beach along with all the private beach areas – disgusting – tripping up on trespassers will be prosecuted signs and rope barriers everywhere.

Lazy morning again.

It’s overcast but at least it’s not cold. Decide on a walk up to the centre of Siesta Key, it’s about 1.7 miles. Have a stroll onto the beach as the sun comes out. Then go to have an afternoon drink and listen to some music, but Wendy can’t find anything she fancies to drink, so we don’t bother. Wendy catches the free shuttle back whilst I walk it. Need to try and get some exercise in to fix this back.

Afternoon tea on the deck but alas the suns hiding.

 

 

Another article for my scrap book of favourable coffee or wine studies.

Is coffee good for your gut? A new study shows the beneficial impact on gut bacteria.

Coffee is associated with brain and heart benefits, but new research shows it’s also great for your gut. 
If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll be no stranger to the fact that a cup of Joe can get everything moving. But other than keeping things regular, there wasn’t a hugely well-known link between coffee and gut health.

That’s why a study by researchers at the nutrition app Zoe, headed up by Tim Spector from Kings College, decided to look at how coffee impacts digestion – and they found some interesting outcomes. Namely, coffee drinkers tended to have higher microbiome diversity than non-coffee drinkers. It was also dose-dependent, meaning the more coffee your drink, the more diverse your microbiome.

Why is coffee good for the gut?

According to Spector, who spoke about the research on his Instagram account, coffee drinkers were very likely to have a certain bacteria dubbed ‘Freddy’ in their gut. “[It is] one of the key 15 ‘good’ bugs that we’ve linked to healthier blood sugar and fat responses after eating,” he wrote. It’s also linked to improved insulin levels in the body.

The benefits also come from coffee’s polyphenols – micronutrients known for their antioxidant benefits – which “can help reduce the presence of harmful microbes, making room for ‘good’ bacteria and helping them flourish – rocket fuel for your microbes,” Spector adds.

Surprisingly, the benefits could also come from the fact that coffee contains fibre. The fibre in the coffee beans has been shown to pass into the drink, with 100ml of the drink containing between 0.46 and 0.75g of fibre. 

It may sound like a small dose, but Spector writes that “if you’re drinking the US average of 3.2 cups a day this could add up to as much as 5g of fibre per day”. Given that most adults only eat 18g of the recommended 30g of fibre a day, according to the NHS, an extra 5g in your coffee could make a huge difference.

Another study also found that the fibre from coffee ferments to produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids and increases the quantity of some bacteria by up to 60% within 24 hours of drinking. 

Spector points out that the research has found that some types of coffee have different health benefits, including:

Roast coffee is shown to have higher levels of polyphenols

Adding milk could make polyphenols in coffee less bio-available

All types of coffee have been shown to contain some fibre, but freeze-dried contains the most

The health benefits are also associated with decaf

Large scale studies into over 50,000 people found that drinking coffee of any kind – white, black, decaf or instant – decreases the risk of death, especially gut disease death

 

 

 

 

Ever wonder how biased news media are? Then consider this:

The Johns Hopkins study on Covid lockdown received no mention on any of the five liberal networks this week. According to Grabien transcripts, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC all ignored the anti-lockdown findings after having spent much of the pandemic shaming republican states with minimal restrictions and events deemed by critics as “superspreaders.”

It wasn’t just the networks avoiding the study. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, Axios, Politico among other outlets also turned a blind eye to the findings, according to search results. 

How disgusting and biased is that, but what can you expect from a media that thrives on political bias and sensationalist reporting.


Monday

Venice beach.

Lazy start and then off down to Venice beach. Wendy has her lavish lunch sandwich as we sit and enjoy the sun, although it’s a tad breezy evidenced by all the people huddled in the shelter of the lifeguards building. At least it’s warm.

Then we have a stroll around the usual grot and clothes shops in the nice downtown Venice. I think overall we prefer Venice to Siesta Key.

Back home for tea and start watching the new “Jack Reacher” series. It’s pretty good.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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20220124 – Hudson Florida







Tuesday

Forecast is for rain all day and for once they’re spot on and it’s not too warm.

Never mind, make the most of it a trip to Wendy’s favourite Publix supermarket, some jigsaw time and a bottle of wine, not before 17:00.

Our America States and America National Parks jigsaws have arrived from Amazon. How sad can we get, but they will help us plan our ROAM – “Rest Of America” – road trip where we catch up on the 7 states we’ve not visited yet and hopefully a lot of the remaining National Parks.

 

 
How amazing is it that all these water molecules know exactly what to do and where to go. I don’t know whether you ever stop and think about the amazing science all around us, but it’s all very ingenious.


Wednesday

Yeah, it’s indoor pickleball at the local recreation centre again. Manage a good two hours play without much rest. Best of all It’s FREE.

Then back home and get ready for a rare lunch out. We’re going to have lunch with Mitch and his partner. Mitch was a lifelong friend of our good friend Hal, now departed, and we often met him in PC. As luck would have it he lives just 3 miles North of where we’re staying so got in touch with us about meeting up for lunch.

Had a very pleasant lunch with Mitch and Chuck. Reminiscing about Hal and generally putting the World to rights. Chuck had an interesting career, one of his jobs was stoping the alligators get into Weeki Wachee where his mother was one of the mermaids. He was also a Padi instructor so we got to talking scuba. Nice to see them both and hopefully we’ll catch up with Mitch in PC in the summer.

What’s going on? Been in Hudson Florida now for just over a week and alas no mystery call from any of Jere’s many friends. Why we even had to resort to going out with some of our own friends. There was a time when we could rely on Jerre from PC getting one of his many friends to get in touch to meet up, but it seems he has no mates near Hudson.

Then it’s back home for afternoon tea and a dirty Chai.

 

 


Thursday

Lazy morning as usual then off up to Weeki Wachee for a kayak down the river. Wendy comes along but gives the kayaking a miss. It’s a lovely float down with the flow, absolutely no effort. One of the best kayak trips, river is quite shallow you could wade all the way down. Fortunately the suns out and it’s quite warm. Wendy goes for a sandwich in the car and then a stroll around the state park.

After the kayaking we both go for a rangers talk on Floridas wildlife.

Back home for afternoon tea around the pool watching the wildlife in Cow Creek.

 

 

 

 


Friday

Lazy start dealing with Virgin Atlantic, always an ordeal unless you’re actually on board a plane.

Off down to Honeymoon state park don’t you just love a cafe where tips are compulsory if paying by card and they don’t do coffee. Don’t they not know this is America.

Have a stroll down the osprey trail, see plenty of them along with woodpeckers and other new species never identified before.

Then onto Tarpon Springs sponge docks famous for its Greek community of sponge divers. Now it seems to consist of shops selling soap, sponges, shells and a super abundance of $5 car parks. Like Blackpool in Florida but without the tower, pier, “kiss me quick hats” or funfair.

Turns out we went to Honeymoon beach in 2020, oh what a memory we have.

 

 

 

 


Saturday

Time to leave our three bedroom, three bathroom luxury and head down to Siesta Key for two weeks.

It’s a pleasant drive down with clear blue skys but the Iguanas will be dropping out of the trees at this temperature. Never mind if we come across one I’m sure we can barbecue it.
Manage to check in early. Wot only one bedroom, how will we cope?

Then of course it’s off to Publix for my daily dose of torture.
Get settled in. Free bikes and kayaks, but they’re very basic sit on tops with no backrest – oh these first world problems. Pleasant little pool, barbecue area and sheltered deck and loungers. Dock onto the waterway but today it looks a tad wild with the wind.

 

 

 

 


Sunday

Lazy start to the day. It’s clear blue skies but I think the Iguanas will still be tumbling out the trees.

Just a lazy relaxing day sat around the pool.

 

 

 

 


Monday

Lazy morning with newspapers and coffee around the pool. Clear blue sky and the Iguanas have stopped falling out the trees.

After lunch off down to Turtle beach. I go kayaking while Wendy sits in a sun trap and gets some sunshine. A couple of hours kayaking around the islands and mangroves, all very leisurely. Alas no gators or manatees.

Then we drive down to Siesta beach, Americas number 1 beach. Perfect very fine white sand, like plaster of Paris. Have a pleasant stroll, then back home for a late afternoon tea. Perfect end to a perfect day. This is the life.


trivia header

 
As most American rentals seem to lack a kettle, or if they do have one it’s a stove top kettle with a whistle on it that whistles when the water is boiling. Yes, my American friends, you need boiling water to make tea with. Anyway as our kettle was whistling over breakfast this morning it got me to pondering who was bright enough to dream this idea up. Hop over to Wikipedia for the answer:


A whistling kettle is a kettle fitted with a device that emits an audible whistle when the water in the kettle starts to boil. The action of steam passing through the device causes vibration, in turn creating the sound, known in physics as a tone hole.
The exact mechanism by which this occurs was not fully understood until a paper, The aeroacoustics of a steam kettle, was published by R. H. Henrywood, a fourth-year engineering undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, and A. Agarwal, his supervisor, in the journal Physics of Fluids in 2013.

Harry Bramson is the inventor of the whistling tea kettle.

 

 

 

 
For the sake of my sanity will Boris please resign. I have to sit here every morning listening to Wendy rant on about Boris being an idiot, liar and should man up and go. Then we have “he’s another arse licker” comments on any minister or politician who supports him. “Can’t stand him” seems to be reserved for any of the arse lickers who she just doesn’t like the look of. Mind you on the plus side it’s stopped her going on about cross channel illegal migrants.

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