Catch Me If You Can ...

Xmas time is approaching. Of course yesterday was the annual lighting ceremony on Main Street in Miami Lakes. Tried to get 2 1/2 year old Michelle to take her picture with Santa. It was not her bag. She would rather run around like a banshee so you can chase her. Her Thing 2 shirt is most appropriate.

See y'all real soon.

Have a Happy Holiday Infidels

Please allow these words from the great Bob Marley to give you something to ponder and think about during these times of Thanks:

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
ooh!Some say its just a part of it:
Weve got to fulfil de book.

Wont you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs;
These songs of freedom.
Redemption songs.

Straight, No Chaser

All that you touch, All that you see, All that you taste, All you feel.

All that you love, All that you hate, All you distrust, All you save.

All that you give, All that you deal, All that you buy, beg, borrow or steal.

All you create, All you destroy, All that you do All that you say.

All that you eat, And everyone you meet, All that you slight, And everyone you fight.

All that is now. All that is gone. All that's to come and everything under the sun is in tune but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

--- Eclipse, by Roger Waters, from the Pink Floyd album "Dark Side of the Moon"

Image of Anna Maria Island, © 2005 by Michael A. Pancier


The Early Bird Catches the Shot

Good morning infidels. It's a chilly day in South Florida. 58 degrees. Brrrr. Anyways, to start the week, I offer y'all a photo I took several years ago in St. Augustine, Florida. St. Augustine is one of the most photogenic cities in the State of Florida. Of course to get these kind of shots, you need to get to your destination early, while it is still dark, and you must get eaten alive by noiseums all for that one photo of our sun rising over the horizon. You snooze, you miss out on one of nature's best art shows. No two sunrises are alike, and they are free to watch and enjoy. You don't even need to pay royalties to photograph the sunrise. And...the taxman can't tax it either. So wake up and come out to play infidels.

It's Friday and 5:00p.m. Somewhere

Infidels, another week is passing. As usual, it's been a hectic week. I have been short with words, but do offer you some lyrics from the great American Poet, Jim Morrison. As I've stated before, before the music died, artists could and were encouraged to create art. The music was reborn in every decade. In the 60's, it was the Beatles. In the 70's, it was Pink Floyd and the Sex Pistols. In the 80's, it was the Post/Punk New Wave Movement. In the 90's, it was Nirvana. When Nirvana died, the music died with it. Nothing new or innovative. Nothing with depth or creativity. Everything now is more or less bunk. So here's a toast to the Age of Aquarius, the Soft Parade, by Jim Morrison of the Doors...........
The Soft Parade, By Jim Morrison

When I was back there in seminary school
There was a person there
Who put forth the proposition
That you can petition the Lord with prayer
Petition the lord with prayer
Petition the lord with prayer
You cannot petition the lord with prayer!

Can you give me sanctuary
I must find a place to hide
A place for me to hide

Can you find me soft asylum
I can't make it anymore
The Man is at the door

Peppermint miniskirts, chocolate candy
Champion sax and a girl named Sandy
There's only four ways to get unraveled
One is to sleep and the other is travel
One is a bandit up in the hills
One is to love your neighbor till
His wife gets home

Nursery bones
Winter women Growing stones
(Carrying babies to the river)

Streets and shoes, Avenues
Leather riders selling news
(The monk bought lunch)

Successful hills are here to stay
Everything must be this way
Gentle streets where people play
Welcome to the Soft Parade

All our lives we sweat and save
Building for a shallow grave
Must be something else we say
Somehow to defend this place
(Everything must be this way
Everything must be this way)

The Soft Parade has now begun
Listen to the engines hum
People out to have some fun
A cobra on my left
Leopard on my right, yeah

Deer woman in a silk dress
Girls with beads about their necks
Kiss the hunter of the green vest
Who has wrestled before
With lions in the night

Out of sight!
The lights are getting brighter
The radio is moaning
Calling to the dogs
There are still a few animals
Left out in the yard
But it's getting harder
To describe sailors
To the underfed

Tropic corridor
Tropic treasure
What got us this far
To this mild equator

We need someone or something new
Something else to get us through

Calling on the dogs
Calling on the dogs
Calling on the dogs
Calling on the dogs
Calling in the dogs
Calling all the dogs
Calling on the gods
Meet me at the crossroads
Meet me at the edge of town
Outskirts of the city
Just you and I
And the evening sky
You'd better come alone
You'd better bring your gun
We're gonna have some fun

When all else fails
We can whip the horses' eyes
And make them sleep
And cry....

How About a Birdgasm Baby?

(c) 2005 by Michael A. Pancier
Great Blue Herons at Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Delray Beach, Florida. Special Thanks to Manola for coming up with the term "birdgasm". No need to explain what's going on here, I would hope.

Photos from a Distant Land - Cuba

While my blog usually has images from yours truly, I will depart from the norm today to bring you some poignant images of Cuba by Jordi Miralles showing the real people rather than the images being catered to tourists. No commentary is necessary.

You can see the rest of his images here.

Monday Morning Blues - I'd Rather be On the River of Grass

(c) 2005 by Michael A. Pancier
"Well they call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad." Well it's not stormy weather wise here in South Florida, but it's the start of another hectic week. It's even more hectic for us infidels who would rather be walking along the River of Grass that is known hereabouts as the Everglades. A fellow photographer took some shots of spoonbills there the other day. I need to get my boots ready cause it's time to traverse the Glades. In the interim, on my XM radio, I heard this song from Loggins and Messina which I had not heard in a long time. It blew me away, it was so awesome. A great tune for 2 part harmony. The lyrics were intense as well and I offer them to the infidels out there ... let's get this party started ...
Watching the River Run

If you've been thinking you're all that you've got,
Then don't feel alone anymore.
When we're together, then you've got alot,
'Cause I am the river and you are the shore.

And it goes on and on, oh, watching the river run,
Further and further from things that we've done,
Leaving them one by one.
And we have just begun watching the river run.
Listening and learning and yearning.
Run, river, run.

Winding and swirling and dancing along,
We pass by the old willow tree
Where lovers caress as we sing of our song,
Twisting together when we greet the sea.
And it goes on and on, watching the river run,
Further and further from things that we've done,
Leaving them one by one.
And we have just begun watching the river run.

Listening and learning and yearning.
Run, river, run.And it goes on and on, watching the river run,
Further and further from things that we've done,
Leaving them one by one.
And we have just begun watching the river run.
Listening and learning and yearning.
Run, river, run.

Time for Sushi

Osprey on Florida Bay
Copyright 2006 by Michael A. Pancier


Friday Orchids And the Wind Cries

It's Friday Infidels. Another week goes by. A hellish week it's been, but it's now a quiet Friday here in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

There's been many changes this past week in the country. Who knows what the future will bring.

Despite all the changes that we encounter each and every day, the beauty of nature remains constant; an absolute. An orchid bloom will always be beautiful as will the sight of an eagle soaring in the wind. On this quiet Friday morning, a song by Jimi Hendrix rings in my head that I believe accompanies my image. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

After all the jacks are in their boxes;
And the clowns have all gone to bed;
You can hear happiness staggering on down the street;
Footsteps dressed in red.
And the wind whispers Mary.

A broom is drearily sweeping;
Up the broken pieces of yesterdays life;
Somewhere a queen is weeping;
Somewhere a king has no wife.
And the wind, it cries Mary

The traffic lights, they turn, blue tomorrow;
And shine their emptiness down on my bed;
The tiny island sags down stream;
cause the life that lived is dead.
And the wind screams Mary.

Will the wind ever remember?
The names it has blown in the past?
And with this crutch, its old age, and its wisdom;
It whispers no, this will be the last.
And the wind cries Mary.


Happy Birthday Cohiba Jr.

Today is Cohiba Jr.'s 8th birthday. Time flies folks. So in honor of his 8th trip around the sun, I post this image of him from Anna Maria Island, Florida.

One of Those Days You Feel Like Screaming


All Is quiet Here at the Polls

Been here in Miami Gardens precinct since 7:00 a.m. Turnout is low. All is quiet. Everyone has been doing their job according to the law; no funny business seen. Looks like rain this afternoon, so it may affect further turnout. Ho hum.

Thankfully they have a net access here.

That's the latest from the polls.

Signing off.

UPDATE: Well I spent the entire day at Precinct # 218 in Miami Gardens. Turnout was real low. Mainly a lot of seniors. All the elections staff followed the rules to the letter and no issues to report. Let's see what the final results are.


Rainy Days and Mondays in South Florida

Nothing like a rainy Monday in South Florida to bring out the best in drivers. You can almost guarantee that some idiot will have an accident and cause major backups. So it was quite fun being stuck on the Turnpike for almost 90 minutes (on a drive that sans traffic takes 30 minutes). Thank God for XM radio and cell phones.
Tommorrow is the mid term elections which should be interesting. I'll be poll watching and making sure the process is done according to the book. I had a great time doing it during the 2004 election. Met nice people from all parties and (some jerks as well), but overall, based on what I saw in 2004, everything in the polls I monitored were done according to the law. Let's hope 2006 goes smoothly and without any incidents. What will we end up with on Wednesday? It's anybody's guess, but something tells me I'd better hold on tight to my wallet.
On the home front, Ma is back in the hospital due to an intestinal infection. She was dehydrated pretty bad on Saturday so I got to spend hours and hours in the ER with her. After that, I'm determined to never get sick ever again. That's too much for anyone to have to handle.
Finally, I leave you with a photo of South Beach I took recently which has some photoshop work done to it. On Wednesday, I'll give you my report from the polls.
And to end this quote, since there is a strong possibility of a change in Congress, I leave you with these wise words from Dave Barry:
“The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery."
Ciao Infidels.

Good Times and Riches and Son-of-a-Bitches, I've Seen More than I can Recall

Another week has gone by infidels. Ma has been slowly acclimating herself to living at home again. I've been out of the loop with what's been going on the world, and that's probably a good thing. I got my new Jimmy Buffett album, "Take the Weather with You", which I will enjoy shortly as I sit here in my Tommy Bahama tropical shirt enjoying the fact that I live in the Sunshine State of Florida (although it's been raining this week). But hey, I can look and feel tropical and will most likely drink tropical come choir practice. Choir Practice is the term we use when it's time to enjoy the end of the week drink. Me thinks I will have a single malt to which I will say a prayer of thanks.
After my prayer is over, then I will make that famous toast slightly modified: "Whiskey for my friends, and beer for my horses."
Have a great weekend infidels.

Reflections on a Thursday Morning

The reflection of this snowy egret provides a great anchor to quote an excerpt from one of my favorite Stevie Nicks' songs...

I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down.
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life.

What a songwriter Stevie was in the Fleetwood Mac days! Those were the days when songwriting was a real art. Where a song could also stand on its own as a poem, a work of art. What do they call art today? "Hips Don't Lie????" Oy vay! So have we evolved in 30 plus years? Sadly, no. As Devo aptly predicted the continuing de-evolution of popular culture...
We're pinheads now
We are not whole
We're pinheads all
Jocko homo
Are we not men?

The First Day of November

Hope all you infidels had a nice Halloween. Halloween is tops on the infidel calendar. But now it is the first of November. The year is nearly over. October was a terrible month. I'm optimistic that things will only get better.

The above image is of the Maine coast in fall. As the cold arrives, the chill in the wind picks up, and the waves crash even harder along the rocky cliffs. A sight to experience.

For some particular reason, these lyrics came to my brain this morning, and I will share them with you:

Theres a song that they sing when they take to the highway
A song that they sing when they take to the sea
A song that they sing of their home in the sky
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep
But singing works just fine for me
-- James Taylor