Monthly Archives: December 2012

20121226 – Dress Shopping And Goodbye Sarasota

Wednesday – warm, manages 79F, but a short monsoon downpour and grey afternoon.

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Spend the day sorting Wendy’s Christmas presents. Return the failed dress and get our money back. Swap the dressing gown for a small – should have stuck with my gut instinct and bought the small, that’ll teach me to listen to shop assistants. Then spend sometime looking for a replacement dress. Waste of time, nothing seen – joy!

Here we go again. This is one of the people the PC fascists are avoiding upsetting with Christmas wishes – numpties.

Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque has issued a fatwa against Christmas, warning followers it is a sin to even wish people a Merry Christmas. The ruling was DSCF7985posted on its Facebook site on Saturday. The head imam at Lakemba, Sheikh Yahya Safi, told the congregation during prayers they should not have anything to do with Christmas.

Thursday – coldest day so far only manages 66F but brilliant sunshine. Lovely waking weather.

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Drive out to the Crowley Museum and Park. Original 19 century Homestead and nature reserve. Sadly hardly see any birds or wildlife but a lovely walk and pleasant lunch.

Then we drive down to Anna-Maria Island but after 30 minutes driving down Longboat Key we give up. Obviously much further than we thought. Longboat Key is a lovely area plenty of stylish properties and condos but very little public beach access. Drive back through Armands Circle and I DSCF8020can feel the call of a skinny Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks. Very pleasant sat in the sun people and car watching – all those lazy geezers using valet parking. I can never understand it, that lazy they’d rather pay someone than walk a few yards and then have to wait an age to get their car back, in which time they could have walked to their car.

Wendy gets a new dress from one of the many chic shops.

Here they go again – banning Christmas:

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Saudi religious police stormed a house in the province of al-Jouf, detaining more than 41 guests for plotting to celebrate Christmas, a statement from the police said.

The host of the alleged Christmas gathering is reported to be an Asian diplomat whose guests included 41 Christians, as well as two Saudi Arabian and Egyptian Muslims. The host and the two Muslims were said to be severely intoxicated.

The intolerant and repressive country only recognizes Islamic faith and practice and has in the past banned public Christmas celebrations, but is ambiguous about festivities staged in private quarters. 

Friday – warm, sun and cloud with rain at tea time.

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Wendy’s tidying up and packing so I get from under the feet and go kayaking on Siesta Key. Leisurely morning around the Islands. Plenty of birds but alas no Manatees or Dolphins today. A great way to see the place and so very relaxing. One on one with my guide Martin, an ex-pat who really knows his stuff and has a real passion for it.

Really getting into the American way as I call in at Starbucks on my way home for my Gingerbread coffee – looks like I can get it with just coffee, none of this latte, froth and lashings of cream on top.

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Finish off packing etc ready for our drive down to Fort Lauderdale tomorrow.

We’ve loved it here in Sarasota. There’s just so much to see and do.  We managed to visit most of the places on our list and I would gladly come back. Weathers been just lovely, not too hot and not too cold. A few days when we had a hour or so’s rain but no days where it was a total wet day. Weather that allows you to enjoy whatever it is you’re up to. Enjoyed the culture here. Diving’s not really that good. Kayaking is great and if I come again will do much more of it. Such a pleasant way to see the place and nature. Next time hopefully the Mayaka river will be a bit deeper so that I can get to do that – highly recommend kayakfl.com. Also want to explore Anna- Maria Island, Holmes beach, it come high recommended and there’s some great kayaking. I think we just have to become Snowbirds and do November and December out here – although next year we’ll probably get back home just in timeIMG 0821 for Christmas. 

Continued details of the Revocation of Independence are posted below. Please read (if you can’t read try and find someone who can), inwardly digest and obey.

In order to better appreciate English humour the following English comedies will be broadcast on every TV channel – “Fawlty Towers”, “Only Fools and Horse”, “one Foot in the Grave”. These will be the full blown English version and not any sanitised or censored US version.

American TV advert times will be quartered and must have a 15 interval between advertisement slots.

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For a period of 3 months all the junk on your TV channels will be replaced British TV channels. Yes get used to it less than 30 quality channels to choose from rather than hundreds of dross. We believe you’ll thank us for it. There will be a referendum after the trial period to see whether you want to go back to the hundreds of free dross or pay $300 a year for British TV.

The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $12/US gallon. Get used to it.) The extra will go towards your health care system and of course some will be skimmed off the top by the Inland Revenue – taxman.

You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are P1130799not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

20121224 – Christmas Day On The Beach For A Change

Monday – Grey and overcast but at least it’s warm.

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Wendy tootles off to the supermarket while I get some work done.

After lunch we go mad and go out for a short birding / nature walk to the “Red Bug Slough” – sounds appealing doesn’t it. Alas no gators just Anhingers and Osprey.

Tuesday – Warm 77F, sunny in the morning overcast in the afternoon.

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Open our presents in bed. Didn’t we do well. I bought Wendy a dress and dressing gown. At least got one of them right, dressing gown ok but she’s not too sure on the dress. I’ve got a £100 to spend along with iPhone case and at last some handkerchiefs, . What is wrong with the World, Wendy tells me it quite difficult to find handkerchiefs these days.

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Drive down to Siesta Key Beach – voted Americas No 1 beach – have a pleasant couple of hours with the Kindle, picnic lunch and people watching. This geezer and his wife turn up complete with a loaded porters trolley and a full cart. Then starts to erect all sorts of wind driven kites and flyers. Most amusing, gave us hours of fun. Awaited the arrival of family and children but alas none came seems that he’s just a big kid who enjoys his flyers etc.

Very pleasant at these temperatures, make such a change from being too hot and sweaty. P1130835Makes beaches quite attractive.

Beach is heaving further down, as crowded as Blackpool on a good day. Mind you it is so clean and just fine pure brilliant white sand. Full of American families having simple fun. Building sandcastles. Cycling and walking along the beach, some even swimming and surfing. After our lunch we have an hours stroll along the tides edge.

Then we go mad on the way back and treat our selves to a Starbucks. I get the chance to be really trendy and order a “skinny gingerbread latte” – how cools that.

All that remains left to do now is have our belated Christmas dinner. Alas no goose.

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Continued details of the Revocation of Independence are posted below. Please read (if you can’t read try and find someone who can), inwardly digest and obey.

The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).

There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into P1130855account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of ‘-ize.’ 

You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without shooting someone, suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.

All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect.

We like the idea of turn right on red if it is safe to do so and just to show how open we are to your good ideas we will adopt it in the UK. You of course will have to learn it’s a turn left on red.

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Immigration is a travesty with appalling queues and service for overseas visitor. In order to boost the economy and make you aware of the problem for the next year all overseas visitors will be given priority and American passport holders will be forced to queue like a visitor. The situation will be review at the end of the year to see whether you have learnt your lesson and improved the service.

The TSA will forthwith start using common sense – yes we appreciate that’s going to be difficult – but profiling will be a minimum requirement. You know it makes sense. Why should everyone be inconvenienced for a minority and we’ve had enough mumbo jumbo from the do-gooder PC thought police.

As you are predominantly a Christian Nation you will be required to cease this PC mumbo jumbo of wishing people happy holidays. Instead you will wish people Happy Christmas or Happy Easter as appropriate. Anybody who is offended, is obviously mentally deranged, and can apply for political asylum in some foreign country (not the UK) of their choosing.



20121221 – More Culture

Friday – clear blue sky, windy and only 63F. The coldest it’s been.

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Morning working. Alas the World hasn’t come to an end so now I have to go last minute Birthday and Christmas shopping. Bloody Mayans, last time I listen to them – no wonder they’re extinct. I know what to get, yet in the land of plenty can I find it. Never mind plan B problem solved.

After lunch we drive down to Casey Key and visit Nkomis beach. Blowing a gale but clear blue sky. Thankfully I’m not diving today. I think the boat we went out in would have sunk today.

It’s the American way. How to eat ribs – spend 15 minutes with knife and fork stripping meat off into bite sized chunks. Throw knife away. Use fork DSCF7952to deliver bite size chunks to mouth. Chew.

Then we have another only in America business. Flocking usually with pink Flamingos but will use other critters. Confused. We were. You pay a Company an obscene amount of money to put plastic critters all over someones yard along with a Birthday or other celebratory sign.

Saturday – another cold sunny day. Only 63F again, how will we cope?

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Wendy’s birthday – 64. Presents include two Columbia walking shirts and this year I’ve excelled myself and bought one birthday card to act as a belated card for last year plus this year.

Afternoon of culture as we go to the theatre to see “Best of Enemies”. Based on a true story of school desegregation in the 1970’s in North Carolina and the role of a Klux Klux Clan and member of the black community. Disturbing to think that in our lifetimes this level of racial prejudice existed in a supposedly civilised country. Very enjoyable and thought provoking.

School Massacre – relax the NRA have the answer. A week after last weeks gun massacre they’ve obviously been burning the midnight oil to finally come up with the definitive solution. More guns! Armed guards in every school. Can you believe it? Where will that stop. Armed guards in every church. Every shopping mall. Every hospital. Every cinema. Hang on a moment why not arm the teachers? Why not arm all children and then they can defend themselves?

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Who are these numpties? I know it’s nothing to do with us, but this is a country we like and care about. But when will they realise the answers simple. Get rid of the guns. Not just the black ones, the assault rifles, the automatics. All of them. Britain has the toughest gun control. None allowed – results 1 gun death per 7,500,000 citizens per year. USA has 1 gun death per 28,000 citizens per year – 267 times the rate in the UK. What does that fell you.

I heard a great phrase today that can aptly describe this lunacy from the NRA. If the NRA leadership threw themselves to the ground they’re that stupid they’d miss. 

Sunday – warm and sunny.

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Lazy morning. Well not really got 3 hours programming done – joy.

After lunch we drive down to Sarasota for a walk around the Harbour front. Leisurely coffee at Marina Jacks – I’m sure the waitress fancied me judging by the number of time she offered more, coffee that is. Then a chat with some friendly fishermen. I suppose it must get boring for them so they welcome a chat with anybody.

Now for some light humour. Let’s hope any Americans sad enough to read this blog have a sense of humour. They need it with buffoons like the NRA to cope with.

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To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:

In light of the recent massacre and the annual slaughter of 10,000 citizens a year through an obsession with an outdated and dangerous 2nd Amendment; your failure to financially manage yourselves; also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Details of Revocation of Independence will be posted on this blog over the coming days. Please read (if you can’t read try and find someone who can), inwardly digest and obey.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas , which she does not fancy).

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Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

The 2nd Amendment will be amended forth with and the word “arms” will be replaced with the words “pink water pistol”.

Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler or a water pistol. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry either in public.

You will immediately notify the Inland Revenue – your new tax collectors – of the location of the fiscal cliff so that they can assess any taxes due.

Within 7 days of this notice all retail outlets will cease the silly practice of advertising the price of goods without taxes. You have to pay the tax so you’ll start being sensible and include the tax – the price you see is the price you pay.

Also within 7 days it will be illegal to produce any bill or invoice (tab but get used to the correct term) with a tip or gratuity already included. Tipping will not be illegal but will normally only occur where there has been good service.

20121216 – Historic Spanish Point

Sunday – hot and sunny.

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Usual lazy morning then off down to Lido beach for an hours sun, sea, and Kindle. Followed by a leisurely stroll around the over priced shops of Armands Circle. Which is really a roundabout but doesn’t quite have the same traffic rules as a normal roundabout.

Followed by a Starbucks. Broke my own veto. Mind you I did ask if it would be ok for me to pay the amount of tax I felt like. Fell on deaf and disbelieving ears. Obviously barristers don’t read the Times or stoop as low as the Daily Mail.

Progressing through the TV series Damages on even days and The Tudors on odd days, curtesy of my free 1 months Netflix trial. Seems worth it P1130822for TV series, especially if you VPN into the USA where they have a much wider choice than UK viewers – now there’s a surprise. Mind you nod off to sleep for more than 10 seconds during Damages and you’ve totally lost the plot. Both great series even if Damages is a bit convoluted.

Well it looks like you can write Egypt off the tourist map.

Women who were not wearing the hijab are banned from voting in the Egyptian elections. 

Monday – hot and sunny.

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Lazy morning then in the afternoon we do the American thing and go down to the local Mall. Well it’s 15 miles away but I suppose that qualifies as local. Wendy seemed to get the impression after 5 minutes that I was bored. Actually I was probably sulking because I couldn’t have a ride on the colourful train around the Mall – great for kids. Call in at dive shop to set up my dive.

Seemingly a little late of the mark, but perhaps just in time for possible renewed flak from the next controversial film, The Innocent Prophet from the likes of Terry Jones. Anyway UK parliamentarians have called for a ban on the previous controversial film, The Innocence of Muslims. Knowing our PC correct Dhimis they’ll probably succeed. One day we’ll wake up and wonder where “Free Speech” has gone, but by then it’ll DSCF7932probably be too late.

Looks like we’re in for some more tantrums, riots and killings as a new film “The Innocent Prophet” hits the streets. Hope its as good as the Monty Python swipes at Christianity. Hopefully it’ll desensitise the fundamentalists some more. Perhaps one day they’ll get back to doing whatever it is good God / Allah / Budha / Darwin / Apollo / Mother Earth / Oak Tree fearing folk should be doing.

Tuesday – warm and sunny.

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It’s supermarket day for Wendy the 2nd highlight of her week after the Mall yesterday.

I spend  the day at home working in peace and quiet. Have a great time programming – once a nerd always a nerd and proud of it.

Having no religious affiliation is now world’s third biggest ‘faith’ after Christianity and Islam. Christianity is the largest faith with 2.2 billion adherents or 31.5 per cent of the world’s population. There are about 1.6 billion Muslims around the world – or 23 per cent of the global population. No wonder so many have no faith when they look at the lunacy that is carried out in the name of religion. Never mind all the senseless violence, how can any rational person believe the Earth was only made a less than a few thousand DSCF7934years ago and ignore evolution?

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2250096/You-wouldnt-believe-atheism-worlds-biggest-faith-Christianity-Islam.html#ixzz2FdDJ4bpz

Wednesday – hot and sunny.

Visit Historic Spanish Point, a local park /  homestead. as well as being an Indian site, complete with burial mounds, dating back 4000 years. Then in 1860’s it became a early Florida homestead. Lovely location and plenty of things to see. Staffed by informative and enthusiastic volunteers who make the place so interesting. Have our usual lavish lunch.

Thursday – hot and sunny but wind starts to get up.

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I’m up at the crack of Sparrows. Have to be at the boat dock for my dive by 08:00. 

Only 3 of us on the dive with 2 staff. 3 of the 5 are dive masters so am in safe hands. Boats just about big enough for us to get in. 45 minute ride out is just below my puke threshold. Dives about 44 foot deep around artificial concrete pipes dropped onto the sea bed to start to form an artificial reef. Visibility is a bit poor, only 15 to 20 foot. See a few big Grouper, Sardines and some Flounders. Bit of a disappointing dive really but it helps me keep my hand in. 

When we get back to the surface it’s got a lot choppier. I just about get back on board before I loose my breakfast and shout for Huey and Ruth. Abandon all DSCF7945thoughts of the 2nd dive. Being sea sick is bad enough but the thought of being sea sick 40 feet below is disgusting. By now the winds getting up and I get to really appreciate the beauty of a tiny boat bouncing around like a cork in 3 foot swells. Stepping onto tera firma was never so welcome. Must investigate Qualms Sea Sick pills to see wherever they’re compatible with diving or am I likely to nod off on the bottom.

Afternoon around the pool with Wendy, rehydrating and replacing lost breakfast.

And then they say they don’t need gun controls.

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Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, NC. Awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith & Wesson 38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his ear.

Mind you I see Obamas done the smart thing and passed the hot potato onto the Vice President to come up with recommendations.

20121213 – 26 Primary School Children Gunned Down – LUNACY

Thursday – warm and sunny.

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Leisurely morning.

In the afternoon I’m off Kayaking in Sarasota bay then down the Mangrove tunnels. Manatees, Herons, Osprey, Storks, Pelicans, Conch and Cormorants so close you can touch. Awesome day out. Great guide and so much of nature seen. Really interesting, must do this again, especially as I managed not to capsize. Such a lovely way to see a place.

Wendy goes window shopping in Sarasota and fortunately doesn’t spend much apart from an extravagant $1.16 on a cup of tea at Wholefoods. Now thats a supermarket you could spend a fortune in. Some awesome foods especially their luxury Granola and better still they sell bottled Hof Brau. Heaven.

Is maths an American strong point? Why do I ask? Subway are offering a 6″ for $2 and a foot long for $5. Doh! 

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Just in case you think I have any religious bias against “that religion”. Here’s two equally disturbing  violence advocating quotes from the Bible:

“I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword” (Gospel of Matthew 10:34) or  “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled” (Luke 12:49-51).

Friday – warm and overcast.

Picnic all packed ready for a day out at Myakka State Park – one of our favourites. A bit overcast so a change of plans.

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We head up to St Petersburg. Can’t really find a city centre to explore so we head down to St Petes Beach. Take our chairs and lavish picnic onto the lovely white sandy beach – this is a first for us since the kids grew up. Glorious sunshine and not a cloud in the sky although it’s the coolest it’s been so, far only73F, just nice for sitting on a beach. Over lunch we’re treated to a passing school of Dolphins and watch Brown Pelicans diving. The dolphins are only about 30 feet out.

Have a lovely stroll along the beach – our exercise for the day.

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Then drive down to treasure Island. Not really that much there other than more pristine white beaches.

Come across the most politically correct pier in America – see photo. Spot what’s missing?




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Another sad day for America, yet another massacre. This time it’s 26 primary school children gunned down. When will they ever learn? As I’ve alluded to before these are daily events now in America. But oh no the 2nd is sacred. Don’t infringe their rights or you’ll be on the NRA hit list.

But some good news from the world of science:

Humulone, the bitter-tasting chemical compound found in hops, is said to be effective against cold and flu virus

Have to increase my daily alcohol intake to a good quality lager and red wine!

Saturday – warm and sunny.

Finally go down to Myakka State Park. Interesting bird talk with the ranger. Lunch looking over the lake. Then a stroll down to the weir. Unfortunately we take P1130799a wrong turn and poor Wendy has to risk life and limb with me wading through the long grass. She throws a real wobbly when she learns there are rattle snakes in there and I’ve led her astray! Mind you when she sees a cottonmouth snake – first snake we’ve ever seen in the wild – she quickly moves onto high ground.

Todays wild sitings include a Bald Eagle, Kildeer, Avocet, Snipe, Palm Warbler, Osprey, Turkey Vultures,  Roseate Spoonbill, Black Vulture, Anhinger, Wood Stork, Herons galore and a Cottonmouth snake.


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On the way home we call in Sports Authority to pick up a couple of shirts. Now bear in mind it’s just a day after 26 kids were massacred and there they are parents buying their kids a Colt M4 and 1911 pistol. Pump action suitable for all levels of PLAY – 2 Day sale only $29.99, see picture. Have they and the store no respect, shame or common sense. And of course if you’re over 18 you can buy anything from a rifle to pump action shotguns. No bloody wonder there’s so much gun crime. Will they ever learn?

 

Sadly one aspect of American culture. The political system is designed to have so many checks and balances to protect democracy and limit power of anyone group or individual that achieving change or even another amendment to the constitution is extremely difficult and rare.


Three Very American Things to Ponder:

1. Cows
2. The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments

C O W S

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are P1130809unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

T H E C O N S T I T U T I O N

They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq . Why don’t we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we’re not using it anymore.

T H E 1 0 C O M M A N D M E N T S

The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,” and “Thou Shall Not Lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians…It creates a hostile work environment.


20121210 – More Culture and History

Monday – warm and sunny. Overcast in the afternoon and then rain. At least its over night. The heavens open up with a thunderstorm and torrential rain for about 20 minutes.

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Wendy’s not feeling so good so we have a leisurely day in and get some programming done.

Don’t you just love this obsession with the second amendment “right to slaughter”, sorry my mistake “right to bear arms”.

A local married man and father of 5 was shot and killed yesterday. Why, what had he done? Well he was sat in his car at some traffic lights and a guy driving past just shot him at random. No road rage just mindless random violence. I’d better stop giving my Churchillian or European salute to drivers who annoy me. In Oregon 2 people are shot at random in a shopping mall. Madness. That’s it I’m not going shopping any more.

Meanwhile two boys 7 and 11 –  yes still in primary school – with a loaded handgun try to DSCF7878rob a women.

Tuesday – warm and sunny but poors down with rain in the afternoon.

In the morning we venture down to the mangroves in the South Lido nature reserve for a stroll and some bird watching. A majestic Osprey, some weird looking crabs and a tree that looks like it’s covered in shells.Then it’s lunch at my favourite coffee shop. Wendy gets her weekly supermarket fix – god bless Publix – while I enjoy some music, coffee and a book in the coffee shop.

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Well into the series Damages. A great series. Just two more episodes to the end of season 1 – gripping stuff if somewhat convoluted. You stand no chance if you drop off.

The monsters at the UN strike again.

Human Rights Day at the UN: Election of Islamic Slave-holding Mauritania as VP of UN Human Rights Council. Slavery is still very much alive and legal in Mauritania. Modern-day slavery and the silence of black leadership in the country exposes these demagogues for what they really are: ghouls. UN Watch condemned today’s election of Mauritania, a country that allows 800,000 of its 3.5 Million citizens to live as slaves, as Vice-President of the UN Human Rights Council.

Wednesday – warm and sunny, despite the forecast of rain they got it wrong.

Leisurely morning. Coffee and papers around the pool. Then it’s the “W” word with a bit of programming work.

In the afternoon it’s yet another cultural overdose. A Broadway musical and a history 367 1776lesson no less. 1776 all about declaration of Independence and separation of America from Great Britain – the failure of taxation without representation. We’d better just keep our gobs shut or we could be lynched.

Can’t believe I actually remained awake through a musical and even enjoyed it. Mind you fortunately there wasn’t too much singing. Really interesting how it all came about. Sadly a clause banning slavery was stricken out because the Carolina delegates objected and it was a compromise to get them to vote in favour. Then 90 odd years later it comes back to haunt them and they have a civil war.

Don’t you just love it when a so called Christian Church wishes everyone a “Happy Holiday” in the press. Come on you dhimmis , grow some balls, and remember who’s paying your wages.

20121207 – Cultural Overdose

Friday – hot 83F and sunny.

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Have leisurely morning, even get a bit of programming done. Then have a walk around our estate. The whole place is built around a golf courses. As usual no one walks their all in their golf buggies. They even drive up to tee off. Spoils a good drive. Lazy. There’s a real opportunity for designing the ultimate golf cart that you den’t even need to get out of to play. Just lazy.

Sarasota really is a city of culture, wasted on us, but to show willing we attended the Sarasota Orchestra winter wonderland Christmas music. A full house of Sarasota ravers, Zimmer frame gridlock and duelling walking stick mayhem. Makes us feel quite DSCF7839young. Looks like shorts and trainers aren’t quite de rigueur and not even a pair of jeans in site. Are we still in the land of the free?

Now I’ve been studying what the conductor does to earn his corn, sadly only the guy playing the triangle and one of the violinists, who kept making gooey highs at him (wonder whats going on there), seemed to pay him any attention.

They’re still twittering on about that dam cartoon, (in case you missed it you can watch it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFogvC4_zgY) but now there’s a chance to make some money:

Two Muslim organizations and are demanding 782,000 euros in damages from the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo for supposed incitement to racial hatred following the publication in September of cartoons inspired by the Innocence of Muslims film.

No doubt this attack on free speech will end up inciting more actual hatred of islam than the cartoons ever did.

Saturday – hot and sunny again.

DSCF7826After lunch we drive down to the Oscar Scherer State Park for a spot of bird watching and a pleasant walk down the river. Turns out to be almost a bucket list day as I spot the elusive, well at least for me, Pileated Woodpecker. I’m ecstatic, it is a very stunning bird. How lucky can you get. If things get any better, I may have to hire someone to help me enjoy it. There were about 4 of them all told – see pictures.Lazy morning again. Book our cruise from Fort Lauderdale on the 30th down to Columbia and Panama canal. Sounds a really good itinerary and about £500 per person cheaper than in rip off Britain.

In the evening we try our free trial of Netflix. Not many worthwhile films but some good series. S0067864Start watching Damages – a cracking series.

Don’t you just love Christmas. The season of exploitation by the marketing Moguls. About the only time these days anyone uses the word “Christmas” there’s money involved. While the rest of the PC numpties are avoiding offending anybody by wishing “Happy Holidays”instead,  even here in this bastion of religion. Grow some balls and wish people “Merry Christmas”.

Yes here in the “land of the free” – despite having the highest incarceration rate of any country – you can even hire temporary storage for your Christmas presents according to a Christmas card left on my car windscreen. Sick – don’t you just hate Christmas cards that have been produced by the greed goblins in the marketing department. Exploitation aside its really nice to see some constants in the World in the form of the Salvation Army, tinkling their bells; wishing you a MERRY CHRISTMAS; collecting money for the needy. Restores your faith in human nature. Well worth stumping up for.

Sunday – hot and sunny.

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Lazy morning sorting out changes to our itinerary due to the cruise; swapping Hertz car bookings; arranging hotels at Disney World. As an additional treat for Wendy we’re spending three nights at Disney. Anybody would think we’ve never been before, but hey ho here we go again. I’m sure the greeters will all be saying “good to see you again Mr Edwards”. Wendy’s excuse is that there’s a new Fantasy Land – yes that’s the one aimed at the tiny tots – of it’s a small world fame, I can here that song already getting on my nerves.

As usual Hertz are incredibly helpful. NoDSCF7876 cancellation fees and “no problem sir”. They even come out cheaper than their web site, pays to speak to them.

After lunch we drive down to Venice. A pleasant stroll along the pier and for the first time ever we actually get to see fishermen catching fish. Usually they just stand there staring into the sea and no signs of a fish. Then visit Venice beach. OK but nowhere near as nice as Siesta Key beach. Venice itself is a real sleepy hollow.

What all of these places seem to lack is a pleasant cafe / coffee shop. Amazing in the home of Starbucks.

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Get back to the good news that not only has my Mac Air sold on eBay but the guys actually paid. 4th time lucky.

Then it’s a pleasant sit around the pool complete with Kindle.

Some more trivia for religious fruitcakes to get upset about:

Sweden’s newly appointed ambassador in Tehran has reportedly upset Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – by crossing his legs during a meeting.

“Pointing the soles of the feet towards someone is impolite because the soles of the feet (shoe) are considered dirty, closest to the ground, closer to the devil and farther away from God. When in the presence of Muslims, be careful not to raise or cross your legs in such a way that the sole of the foot faces others in the room.”  Well worth knowing

20121203 – We’re Back – Off to Sarasota Florida

Monday – cold and miserable.

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Yes the blogs back. I’m sure all my loyal fans, all two of them, will be orgasmic with excitement.

Happy 20th birthday to SMS. Amazing innovation. Certainly not for me, my fingers aren’t sharp enough. 

Airport hotel overnight to avoid the forecast snow that somehow never materialized. Perhaps I can claim the £60 back from the Met Office for being so incompetent.

Map to APH parking is wrong. Now there’s a surprise. When I mention it to the Herberts at APH all they do is argue with me.

I see they want to tag my hand luggage, how considerate of them. Or could it be that they want to DSCF7761weigh it? Yes, you guessed it another ploy to try and make the airport experience even more miserable – greed conquers all.

As usual Wendy attacked the brandy bottle in the airport lounge with gusto. So much so she kept on falling off her one inch high heels as I helped her to the plane. She blames her high heels, all one inch of them. Fortunately we’re allowed on board. 

Disable wifi, phones off but oh by the way you can use your mobile on our in the air mobile service, it just happens to cost an arm and a leg but is obviously miraculous technology as it can tell wireless from the phone not to interfere with the flight systems – ain’t science / greed wonderful.

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Oh and by the way we get on board retail therapy.

Why do air miles not mean miles? You think your 5,000 miles will get you across the Atlantic and nearly back, but it turns out they’re really only enough to taxi you to the runway!

Meanwhile back in multi-cultural Blackburn you’ll no doubt be delighted to know that double yellow lines outside some of the mosques, don’t really mean don’t park. No according to a local councilor, who shall remain nameless, there’s a 30 minute dispensation to park. When I get back I’m going to put in an application for a 30 minute waiver on the double yellow lines outside Number 39 my favorite Donner Kebab house.

 

Tuesday – hot and sunny.

Early morning disaster at the Motel as I screw up on making my waffle, obviously out of practice.

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 Drive down from Orlando to Sarasota just under 2 hours and no traffic jams. 

Great condo, right on the golf course. Pity it’s wasted on us. All very quiet and luxurious, with a nice pool. Looks like yet another great home exchange. 

 Just been to the supermarket and done my bit, selected my coffee, toothpaste and breakfast cereal. So now resting outside the coffee shop with coffee, free wifi and newspaper. Whilst Wendy enjoys herself in the mega mega supermarket – strange what women enjoy. 

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Well I know we’ve arrived. I’m home. Sun; 80c; free wifi every where; 25M wifi in condo; big parking places; friendly people; great coffee shops; fantastic bagels; cheap quality wine. 

Why is eBay such a waste of time. We’ve had 3 failed buys on my mac air laptop. 1st silly cow backed out as there’s no box, despite accurate description. 2nd was a fraud attempt to try and get me to ship it to Nigeria. 3rd Herbert clicked on it by mistake and must have course then confirmed his mistake. Bloody eBay are useless.  Takes days of lost opportunity to go through their bureaucratic processes. Then don’t allow negative feedback – never mind I’ve left positive feedback with asterisks around it. They do nothing for the buyer. No wonder there’s so many time wasters as they don’t stamp on them. It’s so simple, if you bid then it’s a binding transaction and if you don’t buy you should be struck off. If the buyer makes the mistake they should suffer not the seller. 

Wednesday – warm and sunny.

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TV news here is driving us nuts. Nothing but Kate being up the duff. No mention of Fiona and Kurt! Then you get adverts for medicines with so many caveats its a wonder anyone buys. Sales message lasts about 10 seconds and then you get 50 seconds listing all the possible side effects. 

Drive down to Main Street Sarasota. Have a walk around to try and find a tourist info office. An hour later we find it. As usual over here they’re always well hidden to avoid people using them. Must remember no won walks in America.

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God are they still banging on about that bloody film. “Egyptian Christians sentenced to death for anti-Islam film,” from Reuters. CAIRO – A Cairo court on Wednesday sentenced to death seven Egyptian Christians tried in absentia for participating in an anti-Islam video that was released on the Internet in September and had prompted violent protests in many Muslim countries.

“The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet,”

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Meanwhile I’ve come across some great photo morphing, animation and speech apps. Perhaps I could use them to produce my own muslim desensitizing movies. Perhaps we could have the Moscars to recognize the best desensitizer of the year.

 

Thursday – hot and sunny.

Breakfast of a fantastic granola then Blueberry Cobbler coffee by the pool.

After a leisurely morning we drive down to Siesta Key Beach. Voted the number 1 beach in America. Gorgeous fine white sands and gentle shelving sea. So very clean.

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Have our lavish lunch of a melon sized apple – bigger is better in the US. Then a leisurely stroll along the beach. Afterwards a brief stroll around the village and a coffee for me while Wendy has a raspberry green tea frappes – very tasty.

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Timbuktu residents say that Islamist extremists controlling the city publicly whipped 6 young people, males and females aged between 16 to 22 years, who each received 100 lashes. What was their heinous crime, it must have been something serious. Yes, they were caught talking with each other on the city streets. What a religion of enlightenment and tolerance.