Otto Says:

Happy Saturday infidels. I'll grace my photo blog this weekend with a portrait of Otto. He is my friend's black lab and a friendly dog he is and a wise dog he is.

Otto has asked to be a contributer to this blog and from time to time, he will post his wisdom to humankind.

So without further adieu - Otto says:

“I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." --- Otto, quoting John Steinbeck

Cape Sable - The Jewel of the Everglades

It's Friday and I'm so glad. It's been a crazy week as expected but not as nutty as last week when the lunatics were let loose in New York. I close my photographic essay of the Everglades today with the true jewel of the Everglades, Cape Sable. It lies on the bottom of the peninsula in Florida Bay. It can only be reached by boat. These are pristine beaches that show you what all of the South Florida coast looked like before 1896, which is when Miami was settled and established as a City. There is nothing here but beach. No tourists. No loud radios. No rubbish. No noise other than the sounds of birds and insects. You can sit here on the beach and observe osprey and other sea birds and the songs Mother Nature feels like singing to you.

For me, this is the holiest of places that must be preserved and respected at all costs. This place belongs to God. He let's us appreciate it, but we must make sure he gets it back in the same condition he gave it to us.

As Marjory Stoneman Douglas noted in her classic, "River of Grass", "There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth; remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them."

It's a treasure that must be defended. Have a great weekend infidels.


Big Cypress - Everglades National Park

It's getting near the end of the week infidels. And keeping with my current weekly theme, the Everglades, I offer you an image of a deer which are typical in the Glades especially in Big Cypress National Preserve which is part of the Everglades. This shot was taken off the loop road. The loop road is a 30 miles dirt road which turns off US-41 just west of the entrance to Shark Valley. It loops back to US-41 at Monroe Station, just west of the Everglades National Park visitor center in Ochopee, Florida. During the winter, driving along the scenic loop road and you will see all sorts of birds, gators, otters, and deer. The Florida Panther also lives out in these parts, but chances are that you will not encounter one since they are nocturnal creatures. In Spring, you will also see swallow tailed kites flying up above you. So drive slowly and keep your eyes open.

The loop road takes you through the Big Cypress Swamp which has a plethora of cypress head and drawf cypress. Makes good photo opportunities as well. Since you must drive the loop road, you can enjoy it in the air conditioned comfort of your car. There are no facilities along the 30 mile loop, so make sure you do your thing before you begin the loop. A map of the area is included below. Hopefully I'll see y'all in the swamp.


Another Image from Everglades National Park

Welcome to the middle of the week infidels. Today I offer you another image from Everglades National Park. What is so amazing about the Glades, is that you can come across such varied environments and landscapes in that 30 mile drive from the main gate to Flamingo.
On your drive through the glades you will come across sawgrass sloughs full of gators, birds, and fish. Then you'll come across pinelands and hardwood hammocks. Cypress Head Swamps and praries you'll see as well and finally estuaries, lakes, ponds, and Florida Bay. If you take a boat to the bottom of the state, you'll see pristine beaches as well.
This image is of the Pahayokee Overlook. About 20 minutes from the Main Entrance.
Other than that folks, I have updated my FLICKR account to include a wide array of my images. So if interested, please visit my FLICKR link from time to time to see what new stuff I've uploaded. Click here to view my FLICKR portfolio.

The Anhinga Trail - Everglades National Park

One of the gems we have in South Florida is the Everglades. While many of us infidels are familiar with and have traveled extensively into the Everglades, there are way too many people who do not even know of its existence. Folks would rather hang around Wal-Mart and South Beach and the various strip malls in Kendall it would seem. I find more out-of-towners and foreigners in the Everglades than I do locals.
The best time to go here is from Mid-December through April. This is the dry season where the skeeters are not around and when the air is cooler. This is where many of the birds come to hang out during the winter. This is where you can come pretty close to all species of wading birds, gators, and other fascinating critters you typically don't see in the mundane existence of City life.
The trail is on a boardwalk so you don't even have to get dirty people. The best time to get there is really early in the morning when the birds go out to roost. Great photo opportunities here for birds in flight and close ups. You'll find photographers with point and shoot cameras and those with the monster 600mm lenses as well.
You'll find me there too. I love this place.
Just take the Florida Turnpike South to the end and follow the signs to the Everglades National Park. It's the first turnoff on your left after the guard gate at the Royal Palm Visitor's Center.
By the way, a special thanks to Henry from Cuban-American Pundits for helping me put up the new PPB Logo that you see above.

A Different Side of Sobe a/k/a South Beach

South Miami Beach © 2006 by Michael A. Pancier

I have concluded in my 40+ years as a pirate and infidel that Mondays are always the best days to stand up and be proud of being an infidel. The late John Phillips once wrote: "Every other day of the week is fine. But whenever Monday comes, you can find me cryin all of the time." There are many who share John's grief. I say it is time to change the tune. Get a grip folks. Mondays are not a time to cry. They are a time to proclaim: "I'm an infidel dammit, and I don't care who knows it!" As the great soothsayer, Jimmy Buffett, once noted: "Someone's got to talk about accountability. Someone's got to raise some hell. It might as well be me." So I say to you all. It is up to all of us to raise some hell and be proud that we are infidels. And we will not cower and shall never surrender against those forces that are out to destroy us and our way of living.
South Beach Lifeguard Stand - © 2006 by Michael A. Pancier
And with those fine words to ponder, we will begin the week with a different side of South Miami Beach. There are those who only picture South Miami Beach as the playground of the hoi-polloi, glamour, Paris Hilton, and the very colorful creatures of the night. But despite its decadent reputation, it shows a different face in the early morning when the creatures of the night are back in their cavernous crypts awaiting for the sun to disappear beyond the horizon. For as an infidel and a creature of the light and the golden morning hour, South Beach provides many photographic opportunities that you will not see in Ocean Drive Magazine.

South Pointe Park - South Miami Beach, Florida © 2006 by Michael A. Pancier


Hello Autumn - A Time to Fish

Tarpon Fishermen - Florida Bay - Everglades National Park
© 2005 by Michael A. Pancier

Goodbye Summer - Happy New Year - And A Burro in Manhattan

Another week is done infidels. What a week this has been. I've been so busy, I've forgotten at times to look outside my window. So since this is the end of the week, here is the view from my west facing window this morning:

But this is it for 2006 folks. The last day of summer which coincidently will arrive on the date of the Jewish New Year 5767, Erev Rosh Hashanah. So for those celebrating the New Year, my warmfelt greetings and may the next year be a much better one than the last one. For the last image of summer, I once again offer you a photo of the gulf pier at Fort De Soto in St. Petersburg.

Fort De Soto © 2005 by Michael A. Pancier

Finally, on a more serious note which is in tune with what happened this week at the Circus Show at the United Nations, a Burro was let loose in Manhattan, and his name is Hugo.

I wrote an article earlier this week about El Burro before he gave his now infamous "devil" speech which was so vile and undignified that it even had Charlie Rangel and Pelosi calling him the "thug" that he is. What is so scary is that if you read my article then the transcript of his speech the other day, you would swear that I was clarvoyant. Read the article here. Maybe now his defenders will think again of who they are supporting here. But of course, there are still those abyssmally ignorant dolts out there that still support him which once again provides us with proof positive of what drugs do to your brain. BTW, Peggy Noonan has a great editorial here in today's WSJ.

On a related note which will have a huge impact on my friend Bonnie, Starbucks announced they would raise the price of their Hi-Test Lattes due to an increase in fuel prices. What gives? The price of fuel has been going down and now they raise prices? I'm suspicious. Read the story here.

Have a great weekend and New Year infidels. What say ye Mr. PM?

THE PM SAYS: "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. " -- Winston Churchill


Summertime Blues

Cocoa Beach Pier © 2006 by Michael A. Pancier
Salutations infidels. The last 24 hours have been unreal. We've seen the jackass of the Americas, Chavez, act like a crazed loony toon (which reminded me of an old donkey from the 1960's) at the UN yesterday and touting his new Book of the Month Club to compete against Oprah. The Shuttle landed safely. The rain continues to ruin my afternoon, but I did have a scotch and a cigar while staring at the rain thereby improving my spirits. But the reality is that summer's almost over folks. It will be over in a few days, Sept. 23, 2006, 12:03 AM EDT to be exact. Another summer has flown by of which the last month has been raining, especially on the weekend. Soon the water temperature will fall below 80 degrees which means no more swimming until next June. But soon the birds will come and I'll hopefully have a productive shooting season once again.

Adios, I'm a ghost.

Sir Winston Approves of the Previous Blog Post


Waking Up Before the Crack of Dawn

I am frequently asked by fellow infidels my reasons for getting up before the crack of dawn, which in my case is around 5:00 a.m. "Many reasons" I respond. I need to if I am going to make it to work early enough is usually one answer. Another reason, when work is not an issue, is because I want to be where I need to be to catch the best light of the day....the early morning golden hour, which is when photographers have the most amazing light to work with... Another reason is that I don't like to miss sunrises on the start of my morning commute especially as the days grow smaller. But perhaps the answer I would like to give, I am prevented from giving, which brings me to my point.

I am currently reading Franklin & Winston by Jon Meacham which recounts the relationship and friendship of FDR and Churchill before and during WWII. I'm at the chapter in the book which describes their conference at Casablanca in early 1943. After FDR left on his plane back to the US, Churchill's aide noted that Winston was up really early. When Churchill was asked why he would always get up so early to start his day, his response was, "To get an extra cigar in." Vintage Winston. But alas, unlike in Churchill's day, I cannot enjoy that extra cigar. I'm lucky if I can enjoy one at all. Thanks to so called liberal do gooders who must treat adults like 5 year olds and who insist on taking away individual rights to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of a good cigar. The ACLU crowd cries loud over idiotic dolts in Gitmo, but don't raise a pinky over these moronic laws inhibiting my right to smoke when and where I wish, like my own office. Like in a bar.

British Journalist, Martyn Harris once noted in the Daily Telegraph: "Pull out a Montecristo at a dinner party and the political liberal turns into the nicotine facist." How true. Winston would not recognize Britain or America today. Heck, you can't watch Tom and Jerry cartoons if they are found smoking a cigar. Groucho and George Burns would have to smoke outside while those anti-smoking fascists enjoy sipping Chardoney with their spouts and organic tofu.

As Mark Twain once noted, "Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man's enjoyment of his cigar." Well Mark, in Today's world, other than Las Vegas, Nevada, the ony oasis of sanity in the world, a man's enjoyment of cigars is constantly interupted by the government and by folks who haven't got anything better to do with their lives.

However, before the liberals take away more of my rights (i.e., the right to consume scotch and other libations), I will take some extra time this afternoon to go the pub and smoke a cigar. For thankfully, the Republican Controlled Legislature in Florida carved out a loophole to the farcockteh anti smoking constitutional amendment the people voted after being bombarded with ads of 12 year olds in bars coughing their lungs out due to cigarette smoke. If the bar doesn't serve a large percentage of grub, you can puff away in glee. So I will be there this afternoon, while it is still legal.

Ciao Infidels


Covet Thy Neighbor's Orchids

Today is another fine day to be an infidel. I'm reminded of those old axioms such as "Love thy Neighbor," and "Do not covet thy neighbor's wife's popcorn." But fortunately for those who carry the lens, no such rule exists regarding thy neighbor's orchids. Fortunately, a long lens allows me to covet my neighbor's orchids digitally to provide me a canvas for next artistic creation which I offer to you here.

I leave you with the words of our founding father, the greeat sage, Ben Franklin:

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
—Benjamin Franklin

To which we say, Amen.

Monday Morning Coming Down

Today is a good day to be an infidel. I awake to a nice sunrise and hear the sounds of our state bird, the Mockingbird...

Mockingbird, © 2005 by Michael A. Pancier
and then I make it to my 16th floor office overlooking a sunny downtown Fort Lauderdale.

View from my office taken this morning with a camera phone

© 2006 by Michael A. Pancier

So after about 90 minutes of dealing with idiots this morning, and upon reading the news of the day, oh boy, there are 4000 holes in Hugo Chavez' head it is reported. And though the holes are rather small, we had to count them all. Now we know how many holes it takes to fill the Teresa Carreño Concert Hall. So as I function on a major caffeine buzz this morning, I leave you with these words of wisdom:

My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.

-- Winston Churchill


To Everything There is a Season

Tern, Tern, Tern. Actually, there are a lot of terns in this image from December 2004 from Crandon Park beach at sunset and low tide. I thought it was going to be a bright sun shiney day. But after lunch time, it's rained like Noah's flood. Will I ever be able to enjoy the sunshine again this year? I guess I'd better get some winks. Hasta la vista infidels.

Miami Skyline At Dusk

© 2004 by Michael A. Pancier

It's a beautiful day in the Magic City. No rain on the horizon for now. Here's an image I took of the Miami skyline at dusk from Watson Island a few years back. From the look of the Bank of America tower, I would say this was taken in mid-December. Have a great weekend infidels.

Broward County, Florida Through the Lens of an Infidel

Happy Friday Infidels. Hectic week it was. Interesting week as well it was. I paid $2.65 per gallon today. It's been a while since I've seen those figures. The word's loony toons have been getting together in Havana this week blaming everything in the world on the USA and Israel (the whipping boys of the world's tyrants, pinkos, and dolts). El Niño has come back to pay us a visit, which on my coast I don't mind since it tends to send Hurricanes away from me. (I've had enough of them in the last 3 years). Hugo and Fifo are acting out their Brokeback Mountain Romance once again as they plan on riding together on horseback through New York City on their way to the United Nations (which has become the bully pulpit of the world's tyrants, pinkos, and dolts). And, the Atlantis astronauts keep losing nuts and bolts in space (seems this is a perfect opportunity for someone to invent something here, no?). So an interesting week it's been.
As for yours truly, the Infidel of Las Olas Boulevard, I end the week with some images of Broward County, Florida. I've worked in this County for over 14 years, but don't ask me how to find an address here. It's nearly as bad as Hialeah, Florida. But like in Hialeah, here in Broward County (home of the famous chad) there are some nice views and photo ops. I hope you have enjoyed my virtual abridged photo tours of South Florida. I'll do some more as I start shooting some more images for photo essays. So without further adieu, I present to you: Broward County:
Dania Beach Pier at Sunset © Michael A. Pancier

The Beach on the Corner of Las Olas and A1A
© Michael A. Pancier

Ultimate Cigars, Downtown Fort Lauderdale © Michael A. Pancier

Turtle, Fort Lauderdale Museum of Science and Discovery © Michael A. Pancier

Hummingbird, Butterfly World, Coconut Creek, Florida
© Michael A. Pancier


An Abridged View of the Florida Keys as Seen through the Lens of an Infidel

In yesterday's post, I offered some images from Miami. The one shot of Card Sound is what you see as you head south down US-1 to Card Sound Road which is the alternate path to the Florida Keys. The Keys was much nicer before all the development, but there's still some nice things to enjoy there. So without further adieu infidels, I present to you, the Florida Keys as seen through the lens of an infidel:

Key West Sunset © Michael A. Pancier 2006

Captain Tony's Saloon, Key West, Florida © Michael A. Pancier 2006

Bahia Honda State Park - Bahia Honda, Florida
© Michael A. Pancier 2005

Stilt - Islamorada, Florida © Michael A. Pancier 2006


An Infidel's Abridged View of South Florida

I would have thought that yesterday's image of "La Peliroja Estudiando" from Flagler College in St. Augustine would have drawn more comment. Oh well, infidels. So today, rather than people, I will take you to some interesting places from an infidel's eye view of my hometown, Miami, Florida. There are many ingrates out there who like to call my home a Banana Republic (usually those with latent or blatent racist sentiments). There are many others who call this place a petri dish for the bacteria we call corruption (actually I just penned that phrase, but I don't subscribe to the position. I just thought it makes a nice allegory, no?) but that is usually by folks who hide behind their own foibles by focusing on others. In any event, South Florida has some interesting places for infidels and photographers alike. Most folks don't see these places or don't bother to notice them. So for my fellow infidels around the world, I offer you my abridged view of South Florida as seen through these eyes of a proud infidel.

View of Miami Skyline from I-95 North at Sunset © 2006 by Michael A. Pancier

View of Card Sound from Card Sound Road © 2004 by Michael A. Pancier

South Beach Morning © 2003 by Michael A. Pancier

Miami Children's Museum on Watson Island © 2004 by Michael A. Pancier

Well folks, as some yahoo once said, "there's art in them there hills." We we don't have hills here, but we have Tequesta Indian burial mounds, we still have some amazing coastal plains, and some interesting architecture (other than condos and glass office towers). An artist can find art in the most mundane of places and in South Florida. An infidel, who also happens to be an artist, can also find, inter alia, a decent watering hole when the lighting gets too contrasty. In fact, I like that idea for a photo essay. So any of you local infidels out there send me a list of your favorite watering holes, and I'll see if I can create a photo essay.

Semper infidelus as my friend Pete would say.


Images from St. Augustine, Florida

G'day infidels. It's a beautiful morning in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Today, I've decided to give you some images from one of my favorite locations from the Sunshine State -- St. Augustine. Besides being the oldest City in the North American Continent, it is a treasure trove for photographers. You have the historic old town and forts, the historic lighthouse, you have many great nature opportunities along the coast and at the Alligator Farm (world famous for its bird rookeries). The images I've posted here today are a small selection of the images I've taken in this great city.

"La Peliroja Estudiano" © 2003 by Michael A. Pancier
"View of Old Town" © 2006 by Michael A. Pancier
St. Augustine Lighthouse, © 2003 by Michael A. Pancier

That's all for now folks. I leave you now with some words of wisdom from Jane Addams, known as the Mother Theresa of 19th Century Chicago. One of the great women in American history who you'll rarely see in any history textbook. She opened a home called Hull House in the slums of Chicago. An amazing example of what can be accomplished without the help of government. Hopefully my fellow photographer and friend Bonnie who lives in Chicago will treat us to some photos of this historic home and museum. What say you Bonnie? Here's what Jane had to say...
• We have learned to say that the good must be extended to all of society before it can be held secure by any one person or class; but we have not yet learned to add to that statement, that unless all [people] and all classes contribute to a good, we cannot even be sure that it is worth having. -- Jane Addams (1860-1935)

Morning Prayer

(St. Augustine Basilica, St. Augustine, Florida © 2003 by Michael A. Pancier)
Psalm: 140
Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;
Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.
Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.
The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.
I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.
O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.
As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.
Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

9-11 - The Day a Hard Rain Fell Over the World

(Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park: © 2004 by Michael A. Pancier)

It's a solemn morning infidels as I remember back five years ago. The crazy morning with the news going crazy. The day we all left work to get home to ponder. When our offices were evacuated for fear of crazed islamists crashing planes into our buildings.
It’s been five years since the day that the hard rain fell over New York City. It still angers me. I am irate as to how some memories falter. So many people’s lives turned on their heads in a matter of hours. I am filled with furor over those who refuse to see that evil we face in the world. Rather, they parrot and promulgate the “it’s America’s fault” cop out which was born from the blame America crowd of the 60’s and 70’s whose philosophy is the bastard child of vicarious socialists and leftists. There is evil in the world which clouds judgment and entices folks to succumb to the ideology of hate.

Hundred of years later, we remember the Alamo. Fifty years later, we remember Pearl Harbor. But five years later, do we remember 9-11? Or have we blocked it from our minds.

A hard rain fell over American five years ago today. Take a moment to pray today on this solemn Patriot’s Day. I leave you with the words of Bob Dylan.

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall
Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony,
I met a white man who walked a black dog,
I met a young woman whose body was burning,
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow,
I met one man who was wounded in love,
I met another man who was wounded with hatred,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
But I'll know my song well before I start singin',
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Miami's Freedom Tower

It's Sunday morning once again infidels. I've decided to take you on a tour of some of the interesting places in my hometown, Miami, Florida. Today I'll start with the Miami Freedom Tower. Once upon a time, a long long time ago, that was the tallest building in Miami and was the office building of the Miami Daily News. In the 1960's, this was the location where the first wave of Cuban Exiles would be processed as they escaped from the island. It sat vacant for many years afterward. Today, there's a museum in there. In all my years living here, I've never been inside.
Stay tuned for more interesting places in my hometown. Asta la vista infidels.

Jack Daniels - A Space Oddity

Howdy infidels. Nothing better than Jack Daniels to anger those idiotic dolts who detest our infidel status. Well I'm proud to be an infidel and proud to drink an American made Tennessee Whiskey. (thanks for the correction MacShutter)

Anyways, here is an image I created from some of my old shots using photoshop and various filters. The Sun is out and I think I shall have a cocktail and a cigar. Later infidels.

Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse - And The Week in Review

Greetings infidels from my 70 degree office high atop Las Olas Boulevard in Partly Sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Another week has gone by again. An interesting week for us in South Florida especially if you're a duck such as a Red Crested Prochard.

Yes, duck weather is what we've endured for the last week. Additionally, our local Baseball Team, the Florida Marlins, gave us a no-hitter this week which was exciting. Although, our football teams, the Miami Hurricanes and the Miami Dolphins gave us losses during the first week of football. Yesterday was a bummer as the fish lost to the phillies and the other fish lost to the steelers. Two losses in one night....that blows. Hence, my decision to enjoy a taste of Van Gogh Pineapple Vodka. It would be nice if I could have a cigar right now, but the powers that be, "goody two shoes pleasure police holier than thou liberal interest groups" have made it unconstitutional in Florida for me to smoke from my 16th Floor office because my second hand smoke would cause a pandemic unseen since the dark ages when folks came around in carts yelling "bring out your dead."

We did have primary elections here in Florida wherein Charlie Crist will be the GOP candidate who will trounce the opposition to become our next Governor. I am once again discouraged though by the election of judges. Judicial candidates are not allowed to state their positions. So other than incumbants, whose records are really only known by the attorneys who practice before them, when newbies run for judge, few people have a clue about them. Heck, I would say less than 1% of the electorate knows squat about who they are voting for; thus they vote based on the name of the candidate or whether they are first on the ballot. Frankly, judges should be appointed. Subjecting them to popular vote seems as fruitless as that old song "what's the point in getting sober, when you're only gonna get drunk again." I'm the one who is going to practice in front of these judges, not the general public. Hence, put them on a retention basis whereby the could be voted out if they get out of hand like we do here with appellate judges.

Now the image above is of the Hillsboro Lighthouse located on the treacherous Hilsboro Inlet in Northern Broward County. This shot is taken from the South Side of the Inlet from Pompano Beach. You cannot get to the lighthouse as it is a restricted area. This is an older shot. I'm going to have to make a trek out there soon to get some different views of this old beacon.

That's all for now infidels. Have a great weekend.


The Bar Awaits

Happy Thursday infidels. Nothing like 2 hours in traffic in the morning to make your blood boil. "Was there an accident blocking the road," you ask? Well the answer is "no." You see, the folks who drive have this moronic compunction to slow down to see the burned out remains of a car sitting peacefully on the side of the road. Certain dolts feel that this warrants being late to work. In fact, I am sure that these twits will come home today and tell their spouses, "Guess what, I saw a burned out car on the side of the road. It was cool." You wonder why people drink.

Another thing that pisses me off are fifo apologists and the NY Times. Y'all may think I'm crazy, but that mullett wrapper has some type of latent sexual fascination with the stalin of the Carribean. You think I'm paranoid? My response: Herbert Matthews. You think things have not changed today? Well I suggest you read this:


Where Yale Professor and reknown author Carlos Eire discusses how the editors at the times as usual are so seduced by the dark side that they refuse to publish anything critical of fifo or complimentary of Cuban Americans. Such typical drech. Makes me want to puke.

So, in light of the above, no wonder why folks say, "me voy pa'l carajo" which translated from Cuban to American English means, "You'll have to excuse me now as it is necessary that I go out to have a cocktail."

The above image is of the Tiki Bar at the Cocoa Beach pier. If I was in Brevard County right now, you'd find me there. Or Likewise, if I was in the Keys, I'd be on Duval Street as depicted below.



Congrats to Anibal Sanchez - 22 Year Old Marlins Rookie Pitches No-Hitter!

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

I thought this baseball season was going to be similar to 1998. I was wrong The Marlins who are loaded with rookies and are on the bottom of the team salary list are competing for the wild-card. It's been exciting watching the games and getting to know the young players and seeing them play with gusto. Well infidels, today 22 year old rookie, Anibal Sanchez, whose debut in the majors this year began with a victory at Yankee Stadiu, pitched a no-hitter in his 13th career start. Man the game today rocked! More exciting that the 1st Marlin no hitter by Al Leiter which happened on my birthday many years ago.

Congrats Anibal. Let's beat the Phils and Go FISH!


Breakfast on South Beach

Thanks to the friggin problems with blogger, my last post vanished. I will not recreate it. So I am replacing the phantom post with a shot I took a few years back entitled Breakfast on South Beach. I always wonder who these people are that have breakfast there. You never seem to find these folks there anywhere else. Shouldn't they be working someplace? Or perhaps they work at night. One of those age old mysteries I presume.
That's all for today infidels.

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." -- Albert Einstein

Ode to Joy - A Key West Sunset

The above image is of a herring gull gliding over a Key West sunset which I think fits the theme of today's post.
The other day, while driving with my 7 year old son, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony came on my satellite radio receiver. Yes folks, South Florida does not have a classical music station. We have enough hip hop and urban stations to eliminate civilization as we know it, but not one bloody classical station. In all honesty, the radio market in South Florida is geared towards those without brain cells or without functioning auditory nerves. So I got a satellite receiver in my car which offers me all types of music including three classical stations. So as I am driving and listening to the Ninth, and explaining who Beethoven is to my son and what a symphony is, I finally reach the last two movements of the work. It had been a while since I had listened to it. But everytime the effect on me is immense. The Ninth is without a doubt the greatest work of music ever written by man and it will never be surpassed. Many say it was really written by God using Beethoven as his scribe. I would not doubt that. I was amazed that my son sat quietly and actually listened to it and liked it. There is hope for mankind. Anyone who does not feel an overwhelming sense of emotion and joy after listening to the Ninth, is either dead, deaf, or an abysmally ignorant dolt with a negative I.Q. (Note: if you haven't heard the ninth on headphones in the dark, you should. It will ease all the pain that troubles your soul.)

So infidels, while I spend another day staring at the raindrops, you can sit for a moment and read the words to the greatest musical work ever written (translated in English)

Joy, bright spark of divinity,
Daughter of Elysium,
Fire-inspired we tread
Thy sanctuary.
Thy magic power re-unites
All that custom has divided,
All men become brothers
Under the sway of thy gentle wings.
Whoever has created
An abiding friendship,
Or has wonA true and loving wife,
All who can call at least one soul theirs,
Join in our song of praise;
But any who cannot must creep tearfully
Away from our circle.
All creatures drink of joy
At nature's breast.
Just and unjust
Alike taste of her gift ;
She gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine,
A tried friend to the end.
Even the worm can fell contentment,
And the cherub stands before God!
Gladly, like the heavenly bodies
Which He set on their courses
Through the splendour of the firmament;
Thus, brothers, you should run your race,
As a hero going to conquest.
You millions, I embrace you.
This kiss is for all the world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
There must dwell a loving Father.
Do you fall in worship, you millions?
World, do you know your Creator?
Seek Him in the heavens!
Above the stars must He dwell.

Labor Day 2006 and the Best Yuca & Mojo Recipe

Well Infidels, it's Labor Day, the last great summer holiday. After today, it's nothing but labor until Thanksgiving weekend. All you infidels are hopefully at the beach, or fishing, or drinking. I'll be at the grill today. But thus far here in South Florida, it's been bloody raining. Non-stop, I say. We were under a flood watch yesterday. Hell, we've had over 4" of rain yesterday compared to the 1/2 inch of rain with Ernesto we had earlier in the week. So no swimming for me thus far. But I did grill some pork chops with mojo yesterday as well as my famous yuca. Tasted awesome. I had mojitos on Friday and will have some more today, but yesterday, I had to settle for Coronas. Today, it's time to grill the steaks and eat some of the Yuca with garlic mojo I made yesterday

Here's my secret yuca recipe. I dare anyone to find a better one. First you get some Yuca (frozen is easier) and boil it in water and kosher salt until tender. While that is cooking, you have to make the mojo. The mojo is the trick folks. This stuff will make your house smell like heaven.
You chop up about a 1/2 cup of red onion. Then you use the morter and pestle to smash a lot of garlic. I usually use about 20 cloves until it is pasty and fragrant. The secret is to add a little salt to the morter and then smash the garlic. You heat up 1/4 cup of olive oil and when warm, add the onion. Let is simmer until it sweats and then add the garlic. Make sure it is not too hot, (if the garlic starts to burn, you messed it up) about med. heat. After the garlic starts to get a light gold color. Then add 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsely and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano and fresh black pepper to taste. When the mixture is starting to just stick a tad to the skillet, then add 1 cup fresh squeezed sour orange juice. Raise heat to med/high and let simmer for about 12 minutes until you get a pasty/soupy consistency. When ready, pour hot over the yuca and enjoy heaven. My secret is how you handle the garlic. My way ensures the garlic is soft and sweet. If you chop the garlic or if you burn it, it will make the mojo bitter and too strong. (Folks you need to watch Alton Brown's garlic episode to understand).

My photo for today is a photoshop composite of the Anna Maria Island bay pier combined with a more exciting ocean. I'll title the image, "Labor Day."
Also folks, today is the big UM/FSU game so GO CANES!

Finally, sad news today. Steve Irwin the crocodile hunter died in a diving accident in Austrailia while filming a nature documentary when a sting way stuck its barb in Steve's heart. I found his shows amusing and he will be missed. Shows you how nature must always be respected. Steve survived crocs and cobras, but was done in by a friggin sting ray.

Rest in peace Steve and now you can enjoy the natural world from the otherside. Read the story here: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,20349888-2,00.html