Saturday, August 31, 2013

Police fury

Congratulations to the DOJ for their recent decision to allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults. Predictably, police organizations are up in arms. Guess what boys. Prohibition doesn't work. Never has. Never will. We know it and so do you.

I, for one, don't want the police state this "war" has created. The United States has less than 5 % of the world's population but has almost 25% of the world's prisoners and keeps them incarcerated longer than than other nations.  

Just as the unlimited cold hard cash  from alcohol prohibition gave rise to the mafia, the richer-than-God profits generated by this cash cow "drug war" gave rise to the cartels and funds the quasi-military police state that is developing in the country. The UN estimates that the drug market in America alone is worth 60 billion dollars. At this point police have grown very fond of the gobs of dirty money they keep for themselves. Time to gut the profit all around. Money, power and prestige corrupts everything it touches on both sides of the law.

Source: Police Groups Furiously Protest Eric Holder's Marijuana Policy Announcement

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Being west coasters, alligators are to us mythical as fire-breathing dragons. Seeing one is a top priority. Apparently around here, the two best places for sightings is in ponds at golf courses and Myakka State Park. So, when my son and his family were here two weeks ago, we went to the park.

Unfortunately, that day we only saw one, a baby who hangs out in the lily pads at the beginning of the boardwalk. He was very cool but not The Sighting we'd hoped for. Not the ominous, cold-blooded monster gliding through the reflections of clouds on the water. But the little guy was cool. Leo was intrigued but Frank, being a year, wasn't too taken one way or the other.

It must be a guy thing. They were both much more impressed with the power of the jungle vine and prospects of swinging through the trees on it.

We took Thea and her parents to the park yesterday. We didn't make it to the vine but we had much better luck with the alligators. Altogether we saw 10! The baby was still hanging out by the boardwalk and we saw nine others, big ones cruising the river in classic alligator fashion, indomitable Masters of the Domain.

But the baby was the best of all.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Aftermath and arrivals

Thanks to Laura, our very cool landlord who OKed everything, and M. Lee's quick action, there were three repair guys out here today and they fixed nearly all the damage from the lightning strike the other night. I'm really grateful. Internet, A/C, TV and the garage door are working again and she approved a new stove. That will take a few days to arrange, but basically we're ready for Thea and her parents to arrive. And just in time. If their plane is on schedule, they are minutes away from landing at Tampa International. We wanted to be at the gate to greet them but simplicity prevailed. We rented them a car, which they'll pick up at the airport, then they'll drive themselves here with the GPS. They should get in sometime after 02:00. Like Leo and Frank a couple of weeks ago, this is Thea's first really different environment and first warm ocean!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


From the screen porch it looks like a candle casting flickering light on the ceiling. From another room it looks like a glowing blue faerie imprisoned in a lantern covered by a cloth. It's the fried modem blinking on top of the dead TV, both left awestruck by the visitation of last night's lightning and it's mind-numbing EMP. It doesn't matter about the TV but we need the cable for internet. That does matter. And it would be nice to have A/C when Thea Bella and her parents arrive tomorrow. M. Lee opened the screen porch sliding door today and all the windows to cool off the house. They will be open until the A/C gets fixed. It's nice. Welcome to Real Florida, chillins.

Monday, August 19, 2013


19:30 GMT
Just now Swami, Minerva and I had to come in from the screen porch. Rain is getting my laptop wet. This is only the second evening since getting to Florida that we've been inside. I don't like it a bit I can't afford to ruin another computer.

21:59 GMT
I'm posting this from my phone. It's very quiet around the house now. M. Lee is getting up early to do a Metric Century so he's already sleeping. Swami, Minerva and I are still inside. The storm fried the router and the modem so no internet. It was fast and furious.

A low pressure center settled over Cancun, squished the topical storm brewing there and spewed it out over the Gulf, or so says Weather Underground. A wisp of that must have made it up to Alligator Creek. Something did anyway. And it dropped two, count them.....ONE.....TWO..... bolts of lightning right on our little cracker shack. Holy FUCKING GOD!

The house is on stilts and the lightning dropped below the upper level. I swear I saw it possess my computer screen for a moment. I know that's impossible but my new theory about lightning is that, like rainbows, it has an aura surrounding it as well as being the "thing" we see with our primate vision. Anyway...TWO...

BAM!!! BAM!!!

My teeth could have exploded right out of my head and it wouldn't have shocked me more. There was only enough time after the first blast to babble and huddle together before the second bomb exploded somewhere between us and Frieda's Pineapple Palm (which touches the house). Did I say Holy Fucking God?

And then it was over but for the rumbling and the rain. Now frogs are happily croaking outside in the lagoon otherwise known as the lawn.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Great thunder tonight. One round cracked so hard the chair my legs are resting on vibrated. Now it's rolling by high above like a long jumbled tumbling afterthought. I love it. The downpour has turned to light rain and the mist that was blowing over me as I sit here on the screen porch has stopped. Occasionally a seabird squawks by. I can't bring myself to go in. Lightning is still making a black silhouette of the trees along the creek. It's much cooler tonight. The little critter out in the mangroves who sounds like he's playing a tin can with a stick has started up again and there are fewer, smaller tiny winged creatures crawling around my computer screen.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New old poem

I posted a new poem at annasadhorse tonight, Epitaph. This makes 27 to date that I've posted there. As with the others, this one is not new, just new to the site. I wrote it 25 years ago. I never submitted it anywhere but I did read it on the radio and at poetry readings around town. I was living in Ashland, Oregon at the time, a theater town and good place for poets. It's where I founded SkyRiver Press, but that's another story and it's late.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Onshore wind

The onshore wind, laden with the chemical fragrances of all the creams, blocks, sprays, lotions, deodorants and perfumes wafting from the beach goers, burns in the back of my throat as I sit in the shade at the edge of the beach waiting for the bridge over the ICW to go back down. Not the worst of problems but, while posting this, they let some traffic through then stopped it again so I still can't get off the island. Now a repair truck has arrived and guys are working on the traffic light. At this point, cars line the ramp and the road leading up to it. OK. Seems it's fixed. Bridge going down. I'm on my bike. Gotta make a run for it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hello and good-bye

The family visit went ALL TOO FAST! Misters Leo and Frank and parents are leaving today.

Leo munching a tasty
peanut butter sandwich at the beach

We had the best time. And damn it went fast! There were many firsts; swimming in the warm Gulf, taking the ferry, seeing a baby alligator, eating positively delicious mangoes from Mango Jacks...

Frank says NO to hats! He won.

...hearing grown-up alligators talk to each other during the heat of the day. I even got to see Mr. Frank brush his own teeth for the first time.

Friday, August 2, 2013

News at 8:01 AM

The gods mock me.
My bday fortune from
the Chinese buffet

Yikes! It's August 2nd already. My birthday. Don't even ask. Anyway....extra peanuts for all...and seeds. There are now a fair number of tiny little Doves visiting Frida's Palm Cafe on a regular basis and several bright red Cardinals, many Red Wing Blackbirds and maybe even a Northern Mockingbird now and then. That's the official state bird of Florida although, clearly, the state bird of Florida should be the Giant Wood Stork. Come on, Florida. Live a little.

I'm way behind in the news here. Haven't even mentioned that I read poetry at the Sarasota Writer's Group in July. Now the tiny town of Nokomis goes on the World Tour list. Nice people. Some good writers. Each reader is allotted a whopping 10 minutes to do with as they will. Most were novelists reading from works in progress or their books newly minted via Amazon's CreateSpace. They all seem to go for the glossy photo covers, which I don't care for, otherwise Amazon does a great print job. Doing a book of poems that way is on my short list.

Snooty the Manatee celebrated his 65th Birthday
with a tower of fruit last week
as the Ancients sang Happy Birthday.

The Big News around here is that tomorrow Misters Leo (age 4) and Frank (age 1) arrive with, as Kristiana and M. Lee say, their handlers. So here's to a week of fun at the beach plus a few extras like a visit to Snooty the resident Manatee at the South Florida Museum. Snooty was born at the Miami Aquarium when his mother was there recuperating. Eventually she returned to the wild but, for whatever reason, Snooty remained behind and has spent his entire life in captivity, a sad fate. I hate seeing any animal confined to a zoo, circus, aquarium or whatever but they do serve to teach us humans the enormously important fact that other life forms live on this planet and deserve our respect and protection. And Leo is going to love this guy!

Misters Leo and Frank

So Venice Florida, collectively having the oldest population in America, has the grandkid thing all sorted out. Tomorrow I pick up the baby gear at A to Z Rentals. They have it all, high chairs and potty chairs to strollers, kid's bikes and even the family beach cabana so we will be set then the family arrives in the evening. More to come.