Floor Tile A Go-Go

New Tile in Living Room
I just completed laying floor tile in our living room/dining room areas. Laying tile is the most backbreaking job. Much worse than doing the roof.

I started on December 18.  I worked an average of 6-8 hours a day on it except for a half day on Christmas Eve and I also took Christmas Day off.  I just finished on Wednesday, December 29.

This is a Spanish porcelain, 20 inches X 20 inches and its called Petra Gold. Got it from Mastertile in Orange City.

Now we still have the hallway, both bathrooms, the kitchen and our utility room yet to do. Hope my back holds out.


Mike Burger Visits!

Mike Burger and Chris Howell
There was this really cool dude I met in high school named Mike Burger.

He was from Cleveland,  he had a couple of older brothers and drove a 1964 Volvo 544.

 Anyway we became good friends. He moved away to New Mexico in 1985. Although we have kept in loose contact over the years and I haven't seen him since that day 25 years ago.

He had a chance to come to Florida recently and we met up. What a pleasure to see him again!  Time has been good to him and he's as funny and full of life as ever. It's a shame we only had a few hours to talk and catch up. Boy am I thankful for such good friends. Hopefully in the future we can see each other more often than every 25 years.

Mike Burger, Chris Howell and Freddy

Sandhill Crane Takes a Rest

Sandhill Crane takes a rest

A group of Sandhill Cranes swooped in for a visit on December 17.

Charlotte got some pretty dramatic snapshots. She has already posted these to FB. But I couldn't resist the re-post.

New Scribefire

Well, there appears to be a new Scribefire plugin for Chrome.

Scribefire was one of those plugins I really missed when I moved to Chrome from Firefox.  The Scribefire plugin lets you post to your blog from your browser.

It works with a number of blogs but I'm only interested in Wordpress, of course.  Here is the Chrome plugin.



I've lived in Florida for 21 years now and I've seen a LOT of wildlife. Every kind of bird, armadillos, bears, raccoons, alligators and more. I've seen a number of snakes.

Sure, people have told me about seeing poisonous snakes in Florida.  I've seen a few baby rattlesnakes that were not very threatening.

But I ran into a rattlesnake in my backyard not too long ago that really got my attention. This one was a good 4 foot long and could have easily killed a person.


Fun with Tile

Paul and I installed some new floor tile: Enjoy the production.


British Sniper Sets Record

A British Army Marksman has set a record for a confirmed kill - 1.5 miles.  See this Wikipedia entry for details.


Disney Gets the Business

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney made money last year while it's rivals suffered losses.
According to the 2009 attendance estimates, the Magic Kingdom remained the world’s busiest theme park, with 17.2 million visitors, up 1 percent from a year earlier. The rest of Disney World’s theme parks — Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom — each recorded slight gains of between 0.5 percent and 1 percent.
On the other hand, attendance plummeted 10 percent at Universal Studios Florida, to 5.53 million, and 11.3 percent at Islands of Adventure, to 4.63 million. Those drops were so sharp that SeaWorld Orlando leapfrogged Universal Studios to become Central Florida’s busiest non-Disney theme park. But SeaWorld’s attendance of 5.8 million people was still 6.8 percent below a year earlier.
I'm curious as to how Busch Gardens' new owners will handle this quaint Florida treasure in the coming months and years.

Apollo God of Light

I was in elementary school in the 1960's during the space program. I followed Mercury and Gemini. Even at 11 years old I knew that Apollo was the most technologically advanced program in the world. I can remember watching liftoffs and splashdowns on TV.  Here's an amazing video of old NASA footage digitally enhanced. They've turned 30 seconds into 8+ minutes of astounding super slo-mo.

Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch (HD) Camera E-8 from Spacecraft Films on Vimeo.

This clip is raw from Camera E-8 on the launch umbilical tower/mobile launch program of Apollo 11, July 16, 1969. This is an HD transfer from the 16mm original.

The camera is running at 500 fps, making the total clip of over 8 minutes represent just 30 seconds of actual time. Narration is provided by Mark Gray, Executive Producer for Spacecraft Films.


What Are You Rebelling Against?

When I was a youngster rebelling was what all my friends did.  One of the best ways to show your contempt for authority was to listen to Alice Cooper.  Long hair, makeup, jumpsuit split down to the waist - all of it would simply enrage parents, teachers, coaches, and other adults. I got to see Alice Cooper in 1989. One of the best, most theatrical stage shows I've ever seen.  It flat rocked.  Oh yeah, I had an eight-track of Billion Dollar Babies that cycled over and over.  Here's a taste of some Cooper  - Under My Wheels.


The Decline of Newspapers

The internet is radically changing old business models and that’s altering how people get their news.

Since the turn of that last century newspapers have been the place where thoughtful, educated people go to get news, opinion and entertainment.  Now it appears that newspapers may become obsolete. To be sure, the newspaper industry was in trouble before the internet.  Papers have experienced a slow slide in readership that started in the 1950’s.

But in the past five to ten years the decline has accelerated. Advertising, the life’s blood of newspapers, has greatly declined. Papers are cutting back on publication days, some are going to online only and some are closing altogether. It’s not a crisis but a concern. Newspapers (printed on paper) will be with us for quite some time.

Is the decline of newspapers causing an “information gap”, where people are generally less informed? If there is an information gap, does this have an impact on politics the economy or culture?  How will people get their news ten years from now?  Is it time for a community dialog on the decline of newspapers and how to insure we have a well informed citizenry in the future?

Pork is Sacred in Texas

Some religions like Judism and Islam forbid the eating of pork. This guy must be in a cult where you are required to only eat pork.