Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt and the Panama Canal

It was refreshing to hear MSNBC television show host Chris Matthews comment on the current uprising in the streets of Cairo and explain this significance of Egypt and "of course, the Panama Canal". I wish more television hosts were as astute and knowledgeable as Chris Matthews is about geography. Why, in my life I have even heard some morons who think that the Panama Canal is located in the country of Panama. These idiots think that Panama is located in some part of the world called Central America; how stupid can you get? I'm glad Chris Matthews set these "dumb dumbs" straight on the correct location of the Northern African canal, "the Panama Canal."

We need television hosts to set us straight along with liberal politicians such as President Barak Obama and New York Senator Charles (Chuck U) Schumer as so many people these days ARE so uninformed about even the seemingly most basic facts about modern life. For example,when running of President, candidate Barak Obama said that he had visited "57 states". Some ignorant Americans don't even know that there are 57 states in the United States of America. Senator Schumer recently commented about the three branches of government when he cited "the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Presidency". There again some people don't even know this! We are fortunate as a nation to have such smart and wise political leadership who takes the time to educate the "unwashed masses" to these basic facts.

Yes, we as a country are blessed that "the best and the brightest" seem to gravitate towards political office and television so that they can inform and enlighten us with their superior intellect and knowledge.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Medlley of Songs:Itsy Bitsy Spider, Falalala,lalalala, Patty Cake, What Child Is This?, Falalalala.lalalala. Chicadedede, Hummingbird Hum, Falalalala,lalalala, The 2 days of Christmas. Falalalala,lalalala. Christmas Eve 2010 with "Kenzi" and family. (All sung in multi-freestyle harmony.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Exciting "Clown Shoes" beer pouring

"Clown Shoes" Beer

I went to the local Dennisport liquor store this week and spied a bottle of "Clown Shoes" handcrafted Black IPA (India Pale Ale) on the beer shelf and thought I would give it a try. Now, I don't have an educated nose or tongue to discern the subtleties of an expert beer connoisseur as far as the aftertaste and describing the intricate flavors and aromas of a fine crafted brew but I must admit that the name "Clown Shoes" piqued my interest as well as the colorful graphics of the picture on this beer bottle enough to make me say to myself "What the heck, I think I am curious enough to try this beer brand and spend some of my hard earned rapidly depreciating US dollars and see what this here beer is all about and take the plunge into the unknown and purchase this said beer product

Normaly, I like pretty much any type of beer as long as it is cold but once in a while I do experiment with some brews that I have never tried before and this was one of those times.

Now, I can't claim that this is a "magical brew" but the strangest thing happened when I opened up this bottle of "Clown Shoes" IPA. Believe it or not, somehow, two pairs of my shoes ended up on my kitchen island countertop and seemed to want to congretate around my recently opened and poured bottle of "Clown Shoes" beer. It was one of the strangest things I had ever seen but somehow these shoes, a pair of size 12 "Crocs" and a pair of Saloman brand slip on shoes seemed to have an affinity towards this "Clown Shoes" brand.

Some people say that you can judge a quality beer by the size of the "head" on the beer when you pour the beer into a glass. I thought that I would try to measure the time it took to settle the head of this beer and decided to record this exciting event with my video camera (tease for a future posting) and see how this beer head would perform once I started filming this spectacular event. I made sure thast I recorded this event in HQ sound surround to capture all the subtle sounds of the beer foam collapsing as the poured beer settled into a drinkable state. So, get ready to experience the excitement of a poured "Clown Shoes" Black IPA !!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Great Stirrup Cay

I saw a Manta Ray at Great Stirrup Cay. Here is a photo from the beach looking out at the water and the cruise ship in the distance. Everyone on the big boat boarded a smaller tender boat to get to this private island. I played volleyball and entered a volleyball tournament with some people I met who were from Michigan. We had a good team as everybody was quite skilled but ran into a team that we beat once but lost in the championship game. This team had a couple of "Stormin' Mormons" from Brigham Young University that played on the BYU men's volleyball team. These two guys were each over 6'6" tall and could really jump; as they say "you can't teach height". Our tallest player was only 6'5" but he stubbed his toe and couldn't jump as well after that.

The water was quite clear and you could see some fish even without snorkeling equipment which was available at only $30.00 for rental.

There was a reggae band on the island and also a free barbecue with hamburgers, chicken, hot dogs, and plenty of fresh fruit.

All in all, a good day; saw a Manta Ray, listened to reggae, volleyball I did play, and swam in the bay of Great Stirrup Cay.

Friday, January 14, 2011

"Cruise Dog"

I recently returned from a short cruise in the Bahamas. The first night I noticed that this dog appeared on my bed with either a dog bowl or a large croissant. I named him "Whitey" after his all white appearance. "Whitey" didn't seem to move much and his dog bowl was empty. His coat was soft and fluffy but seemed kind of dry; I never did see his eyes so I guess he slept a lot on this comfortable bed. I made sure that I gave "Whitey" some water as I filled up his
bowl before going off to dinner. When I returned the bowl was empty and his fur seemed a little moist so I'm sure he appreciated that.
Good ole "Whitey", I sure do miss him . He was very well behaved as he never barked or jumped
and was very patient for me to give him water.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I fed these sea gulls some stale baked blue corn tortilla chips today here on Cape Cod at the Soundings motel beach. Unlike the fair weather tourists these gulls are true snow birds as they stay on the beach all year round.

I have fed some of these gulls for quite a few years now and you know I think some of them know me. I do remember telling them that my name is "Rick" and now pretty much every time I come down to the beach they say something like "Rick, rickrickarickrickrickrickrickarick. " I always say, "nice to see you again you sea gulls you. Rick is my name but you don't have to wear it out." I am always amazed at how quickly these flocks of sea gulls appear as there could be just one sea gull when you get to the beach but after they keep saying my name over and over again in short order its like a bird convention. I guess they are glad to see me and want to make sure they tell their fellow birds of a feather that I am here.

Now that they seem to know how to say my name I'll have to work on teaching them some more words.


I went down to the beach this afternoon to fetch a pail of sea water after an approximate 5" snow fall that occurred last night here on the Cape. I get the sea water from the end of the Belmont beach jetty which is seen here in the distance where the sea meets the sky. The large jetty boulders were nice and slippery with the coating of ice and snow so it is somewhat of a mini-adventure to get salt water for my sea salt operation this time of year.

I don't know how these sea gulls stand it to stand and swim in this almost freezing water all day but I guess they are used to it.

I have been to some beaches where the sand is almost the color of snow but here on Cape Cod the sand is a light brown or some would say a sand color.

For some reason, after collecting my container of salt water from the end of the jetty my fingers were really freezing. It was a little windy but not too bad but probably holding a jug of near freezing salt water didn't help. I had to stop and put on my gloves but was surprised at how fast my hands felt cold as usually it takes a while for the cold weather to get your hands to feel numb.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Pay It Forward"

I recently returned from an abbreviated cruise in the Bahamas as the recent blizzard in the Northeast cancelled my original plane flight from Boston to Miami. I had to take a later plane flight and instead of meeting the cruise ship in Miami I ended up having to board the cruise in Nassau two days later. To meet the boat in Nassau I had to book an additional flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau and spend the night in the Ft. Lauderdale airport. I did find a leather couch in the airport to sleep on but for some reason I didn't get a real good night's sleep that night. I guess the constant announcements in the airport terminal about the TSA safety reminders about reporting suspicious behavior and keeping track of your luggage are not the most soothing lullaby music. Plus, I didn't want to fall into a "deep sleep" and risk the chance of someone walking away with my luggage and cameras. With an 8:00 am flight to Nassau I didn't think it was worth getting a room somewhere and I wasn't the only one spending the night in the airport so it was somewhat like "camping out".

On my flight from Philadelphia to Miami I was in the first class section and enjoyed a few Becks beers in addition to a "Comfy seat". I sat next to a young man named Brian who was lives in the Miami area. He goes to college and is studying medicine and also promotes "Hip Hop" artists in Miami area night clubs. Brian and his family had a family reunion in Austria over the Christmas season. Brian was telling me that he and his mom were stranded in Philadelphia for a night. His mom is a nurse and is affiliated with the US Army. Brian said that he and his mom were going to spend the night in a USO room at the airport but they met someone at the USO room who received a hotel room and offered to share the room with his mom and him.

As it turned out, Brian's mom's luggage was sent to Ft. Lauderdale and she was on a different flight to Miami. Brian had his girl friend meet him and his mom at the Miami airport and offered me a ride to the Ft. Lauderdale airport as they were going there to pick up his mom's luggage. So, I ended up with a ride to Ft. Lauderdale which was fortunate as I didn't have any previous plans on how I was going to get to that airport. I was the recipient of a "pay it forward "good deed with the airport ride from Brian and his mom who in turn received motel lodging from a stranger the night before.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Nassau Light with Paradise Island

Photo of Nassau Light with Paradise Island and the Atlantis hotel casino in the background 12/29/10. I adjusted the film exposure as this shot was taken after dark. Kind of amazing what you can do these days with digital photos as far as altering them after the picture is taken. Makes you wonder with any picture you see whether the picture is altered or unaltered.

Nassau Harbor Lighthouse

Near sundown on 12/29/10 Nassau Harbor Lighthouse photo taken from Norwegian Sky cruise ship.

The Choice of A "Frequent Flyer"

I was in the US Air terminal in Boston, Mass on December 28th as my scheduled flight for December 27th was cancelled due to the recent blizzard. While waiting for my flight I noticed a couple of birds who apparently live inside the terminal. What I wonder is whether these two birds made a decision to fly into this terminal at some point or if they inadvertently flew into the terminal through some open door or window and are desperately trying to find a way out so they can go soaring out into the open skies of the wild blue yonder. I tried to ask this bird this question but all it said was "chirp, chirp. potweeet" so I'm confused as to that answer.

Do these birds feel trapped in their climate controlled cage with really no predators in site and chances to eat all sorts of spilled human food like potato chips, popcorn, and perhaps some peanut butter and jelly sandwich scraps? Or, do these birds feel blessed in their perceived excellent choice of habitat? Maybe these birds are on "stand by" due to the snow storm and are patiently waiting for the next available flight South like the people in the terminal as everyone knows going South in the Winter is too far to walk.

If you were this bird what would you choose? Would you choose the comfort and security of a climate controlled airport terminal or the freedom and adventure of living in the great outdoors?
We all make choices every day in our lives similar to these birds.