Category Archives: About Me

Still Kickin’

Yup!  I’m still here – and my days are still a’dwindling down!

Truth be told, the word ‘dwindling’ hardly describes how I perceive time passing.  It implies only a gradual progression.  ‘Hurdling’ would appear to be more appropriate.  It is scary!

And yet, I still feel so very young – both physically and mentally.  I’ve yet to feel  my first old man’s ache or pain.  And I am still quite capable of running around and jumping up and down!.  Here I am two months ago at 77 1/2 shooting hoops – not too bad for an old coot!  My vertical jump must be at least 3 inches!!  🙂


But, alas – I am well aware that, however much I am in denial, decline is inevitable!  😦

I feel badly that I haven’t posted in so long.  My intentions were to get back to regular posting.  I even paid the $80 required to maintain the bandwidth used for uploaded media and for the Blog itself.  But -been busy-busy-busy.  Still am, but will make an effort to resurrect this Blog.

The last two posts contained photos of vintage Packard autos taken at the car museum in Ft. Lauderdale.  The purpose of the trip, however, was to photograph car parts for our Camera Club’s themed competition.

Here are some that I took. There are many more uploaded to my Flickr site  here.












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Hands and CookooBird Bikers

Ye Gods – no post since September!  Well, as the old saying goes:  “Time flies when you’re having fun.”  In truth, it also flies when one is not having fun!  So I’ve discovered.

True, I have been busy with my Camera Club activities, my new social life, and entertaining visitors.  But, despite good intentions to get back to posting, it seemed that whenever I got some leisure time I would either be too lazy to post or use the time to catch up on my reading.

And I have just now discovered that WordPress changed the posting process – rather confusing, but I shall soldier on!

I intend to write in the future about some of the things that have happened since my last post but this post relates to the weird title above.

First – Hands

The theme for my Camera Club’s January competition was hands.  Actual judging will take place tomorrow, January 20.  I was not very enthused about this theme but I suppose it helps one to improve one’s skills trying different things.  I took many photos of hands – both mine and those of others – and finally settled on entering the following two in the competition.  Frankly, I’m not very enthused about them.

The first photo is of my own hand.  I placed a black foam board against the back of a dining room chair for the background and set my camera up on a tripod a foot in front of the chair.  Then, after I set the camera aperture, ISO and shutter speed to fit the lighting and depth of field I wanted, I set the timer to 10 seconds; leaned way over so that my hand would be approximately where I intended it to be when the photo was taken; pressed the shutter button half-way to set the focus on where my hand was; pressed the shutter button fully to start the 10 seconds; rushed behind the chair and and posed my hand holding two dice in front of the foam board – and waited for the shutter to snap the photo.

It took a few tries before I was satisfied with the following:

Baby Needa a New Pair of Shoes

The second photo I chose was of two elderly ladies’ hands.  I enhanced the photo in Photoshop by posterizing – a process that thickens edges and overall adds emphasis to almost every feature.


Second, Cookoobird Bikers:

I couldn’t think of an appropriate word to describe a group of more than a hundred crazy bikers, who for the 2nd year in a row on Martin Luther King’s Birthday (National Holiday) staged a foolish and dangerous demonstration to encourage people to put down their guns and get on their bikes.  Nice thought, I suppose; it certainly is a good thing to discourage violence – – but I’ll let this video I made from part of a local newscast show what craziness was going on in South Florida yesterday.

A wee bit of the top of the TV screen unfortunately doesn’t show in the video because I had my camcorder on the kitchen table in my breakfast nook aimed at my little kitchen TV and didn’t realize it wasn’t quite high enough to capture the entire screen.

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Egads!  I have not posted to this Blog since February 25th – definitely a record length hiatus for me!

The reason? Well, I was terribly busy for quite a while, entertaining visitors and travelling.  Since then, I have been decompressing; enjoying the return to my dull sedentary lifestyle.

I had three sets of relatives stay over, one couple for ten days – very enjoyable, but also very stressful.  There were also trips of varying lenghts to Orlando, Brooksville, Myrtle Beach, Naples (Florida, not Italy), Jupiter (Florida, not the planet!) and St. Petersburg ; plus several photo-shooting outings nearby with the Camera Club.

Naturally, I spent money like a “drunken sailor” – eating much too much at too many expensive restaurants, and piling up many miles on my odometer – so much so that I decided it was time to get a new car, which I did a few weeks ago.  I will likely post some photos of my new four-wheel baby soon!

Thankfully, this Summer should be a quiet period, at least it has started out that way.  There should be no more visitors until the last week of September when I’ll have a niece and her husband as well as a nephew come for a week.  I’ll be taking them to a Miami Marlins game in their new stadium and an NFL game between the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills.  They are crazy Bills fans, planning on wearing their Bills jerseys to the game.  I will have to buy and wear a Dolphin jersey, of course.  The rivalry between the two teams is intense – but the rivalry between the fans is even greater.  I must make it quite clear where my loyalties lie!   🙂

I have quite a few photos to post in the coming days, as well as a few videos.  This post was just to announce that I am still “kicking” and have not abandoned the Blog.

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Still Kickin’

Tempus Fugits , that’s for sure!  It is exactly 2 months since my last post.  Time seems to be going by faster when I’m busy – and I’ve been busy.  This month alone my calendar shows twelve days with some appointment, meeting or activity.  It used to be rare that there would be more than three or four.  I sometimes think I’d like to return to my former sedentary, insect-like, hermit life so time would slow down again.  But that is not going to happen – I’m having too much fun living rather than just existing.

On the 13th of this month I had another birthday – such event no longer a joyful occasion.  I now have accumulated a number of years on this planet equal to the number of trombones that led the “Big Parade’ in The Music Man!  It is so hard for me to believe and accept that I am so ancient when I still feel so good physically and my mind appears to be functioning as well as ever.  But, the calendar does not lie!

I can vividly recall wondering if I would ever be able to accept the concept of years in the 1950’s, because as far back as I could remember the years were always in the 1940’s.  It seemed so alien to me.  I can remember reading George Orwell’s “1984” when 1984 was far off in the future!  Now that ‘far future’ year is 30 years in the past!

Anyway, I took a weekend trip to Key West from the 12th to the 14th – just to get away and to avoid brooding over the March of Time!  The last time I visited Key West was 1967!  Yikes!  So long ago I can hardly believe there were automobiles back then – but obviously there were, ‘cuz I sure didn’t walk 170 miles!

For those not familiar with the Florida Keys or Key West I’ve borrowed the following from a Wikipedia article:

The Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida, forming the southernmost portion of the continental United States. They begin at the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas. The islands lie along the Florida Straits, dividing the Atlantic Ocean to the east from the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest, and defining one edge of Florida Bay. At the nearest point, the southern part of Key West is just 90 miles (140 km) from Cuba.

—- The total land area is 137.3 square miles (356 km2). As of the 2000 census the population was 79,535, with an average density of 579.27 per square mile (223.66/km2), although much of the population is concentrated in a few areas of much higher density, such as the city of Key West, which has 32% of the entire population of the Keys.”

The map below shows the distance I drove – from Pembroke Pines (in the upper right) to Key West (in the lower left).  I would guess that the distance form Key LArgo, the first large island on US Route 1 off the mainland to Key West is about 115 miles – – many, many tiny islands connected by bridges.  The longest bridge is approximately seven miles long – noted on the map.

Florida Keys

I made this video of the Seven Mile Bridge while heading back home on the 14th.  It is a weird feeling driving along on this two lane highway, knowing that for many hundreds of miles on both the right and left there is nothing but water!

I spent the weekend strolling around on the beaches, fishing piers and the quaint neighborhoods.  I also drove through most of Duval Street, the main shopping street which runs  from the  southernmost point of the island – also the southernmost point of the continental United States north about a mile to the northern end of the island.  I had my video camera going while driving through this famous street and then returning to my motel.   That was an interesting experience.  The traffic was so heavy and slow that I think I could have walked the length faster.  I’ll include that video in my next post.


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December is a month of milestones for me.

Last week in my walking program I passed 4,000,000 steps!  Plus, over the coming weekend I will pass the 2,000 mile mark!  Woo Hoo!!!   😀

On this coming New Years Eve, at the stroke of mid-night, at the point that the ball finishes its descent at Times Square, I will be a non-smoker for exactly 25 years!!!  Yay!!!  😀

The other milestone is not quite so exciting.  On the 13th I hit the BIG 75!   😥   Well, I guess it beats the alternative – some consolation.  A niece sent me  one of those humorous cards, which actually are not so funny – rather cruel, I think – in which it was suggested that I try not to whimper all day.  Hmmmmph!  I don’t believe I actually whimpered more than an hour – or two!   😉

One thing I did do on my birthday was to go to Brian Piccolo Park to shoot some hoops.  I know – – I am weird – – I took my camcorder with me to document the fact that I am still capable of running and jumping even at this advanced age.  I am obsessive about staying in decent condition.  I figure If I run around and jump up and down a lot like a kid, then Father Time will think I am one, and will leave me be for a while.

Here are some frames I captured from the video.  Heehee… Check out that vertical jump – must be at least three inches off the ground!  The form on the Jump shot is definitely pretty good though – if I do say so myself.  I could stand to drop ten to fifteen pounds of blubber, I know.  But at this point in my life when my metabolism has dropped close to zero that is a difficult task.


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Brilliant! – – ‘least I think so.

There are times, now and then, when I am in absolute awe of my brilliant mind!   Sadly, there are many more times when my denseness or complete ignorance appalls me.  But last Saturday was a day of the former.  Yay!  😀

I had what I first believed to be a minor problem in the bathroom of the master bedroom.  The plastic spring on the bar that holds the toilet tissue roll had, after what I assume to be 32 years of loyal and efficient service,  become worn to the extent that it could no longer push the ends strongly enough to keep the bar attached to the sides of the toilet tissue holder.  Thus, the holder could no longer hold.  Simple enough to solve, I thought.  I’ll just go to the hardware store and purchase a replacement bar.  So that’s what I did.  One look at the photo below and it will be apparent that there was a problem!

Toilet Paper Holder

The bar on the top is what needed replacement.  It is very odd looking – I’ve never seen another of this kind.  It is composed of two pieces which snap together, one of which with the plastic spring attached.  The bar is big enough around that the toilet paper roll will fit almost snugly.  The replacement bar is plastic also, and also is in two pieces – but the spring is metal and fits inside it. – as in every other one of its type I’ve ever seen.  The problem is obvious.  The little thingies on the ends of the replacement – what they’re called escapes me at the moment – are larger, and won’t snap into the smaller holes in the holder.

Well, I was quite disturbed by this revolting development.  It seemed to me  that I was going to have to buy a whole new holder assembly; remove the old one and install the new.  As I’ve noted in this Blog several times – I am no do-it-yourselfer.  I have neither the aptitude nor the inclination for such projects.

But then – – I suddenly had a EUREKA! moment.  It occurred to me that since the old bar was hollow, all I had to do was separate the ends, insert the entire replacement bar, and snap the ends back together!  The metal spring in the replacement bar was strong enough to push the ends out and snap into the holder.  Ta – Da!  Brillaint!  😉

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A “Selfie”

Last Tuesday the Oxford University Press’ dictionary declared ‘Selfie’ as the 2013 Word of the Year.  A Selfie is a self photograph usually taken on a cell phone or a tablet and uploaded to a social media site.

The next day, while walking in CB Smith Park, in recognition of the dictionary’s declaration, I became inspired to create my own Selfie for upload to my Blog.  So I took a short break at a picnic pavilion three miles into my walk, set my camera for a ten second delay, and took the photo below. It being quite warm out I was a bit sweaty.

At CB Smith 01a I am quite proud that I’ve kept myself in pretty good shape, considering that this old bod is but three weeks from its 75th birthday.  Yeah, it wouldn’t hurt to drop ten or fifteen pounds but losing weight is difficult for me.  I swear my metabolism has slowed to almost zero.  I have to stay quite active just to avoid packing on more blubber.

Sadly, it is what exists above my shoulders that displays the ‘ravages of time’.   I say ‘sadly’ because I no longer recognize that face in photos or in the mirror.  When I look in the mirror each morning I want to shout:  “Who the Hell are you, and what have you done with ME?  I want ME back!”

It is bad enough that I had to discover years ago, after I had retired, that I had lost my identity.  I hadn’t even a clue before retiring how much I had defined myself in terms of the positions I held.  I was ‘the Chief of…’ or ‘the Director of…’, and the ME outside of my job was minor or insignificant in comparison.  It took a long time for me to build another persona within my head that I could respect.  And now that I am ‘somebody’ again inside my head, the face outside has disappeared, and been replaced by a stranger!   😥


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