Aug 30, 2009

Being watched in Jacksonville Airport...

So I am sooooooooooo behind on my blogs, I am having 'Blog Anxiety'...but I know that this will ease with postings, so I'm going to try and post one a day until I catch up... ok so where to start...

OK so I was on a trip back to England last week and booked a Jet Blue flight out of Jacksonville to get to JFK ( read about the vacuous teenagers here..). I've not used JAX before and it was a pleasant surprise.

I walked into check-in, a light airy area with hardly anyone around...Jet Blue check in was a breeze ( I lovvvvvvvvvvvve Jet Blue) and soon I was in the light and airy departures lounge..and here's the thing. I was busy reading my book and I felt like I was being watched...I looked up, could see no-one remotely interested in I went back to my book, but still with the feeling that I was being watched. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw what appeared to be a giant man walking past the terminal.!!!..ok, so it wasn't a giant man (see below) but I think he had been watching me! It was a large electronic piece of wall art..very clever. I approve. Then it was off on my Jet Blue plane...lovely big leather seats and loads of leg room, why can't all airlines be this good!
I shall be using Jacksonville airport was what all smaller city airports should aspire too

Aug 21, 2009

Vacuous drivel at JFK

Just a quickie as I'm waiting to board my plane at JFK airport back to England. Actually just a little social comment.

I was sat next to two 17/18 year old girls at lunch and could not help but listen to their conversation. I say conversation, but I mean vacuous drivel. You may think vacuous is a cruel word being that it means
1. Devoid of matter; empty.
2.a. Lacking intelligence; stupid.
b. Devoid of substance or meaning; inane: a vacuous comment.
c. Devoid of expression; vacant:

3. Lacking serious purpose or occupation

but the conversation between these two was inane beyond belief. The best line was ... Girl one...'did you see those pretzels that are one side pretzel and one side cracker?', Girl two ' I know aren't they amazing, when I saw them on the television I was like, that's sooo amazing, uber cool'....I give up...what is today's youth coming to?

Aug 18, 2009

Get to know Incubus...

Just thought some of you may be interested in what Incubus sound like... I think this is their best song

But love this one too!


You know you are getting old when.....

The Sunday before last we were disappointed to not see Coldplay in Tampa as Chris Martin was ill. We are even more disappointed it has not been re-arranged basically Coldplay and Live Nation are making a load of interest off us and everyone else - our 4 tickets were $580!

Anyway to make up for it hubbie and decided to go to see Incubus - ( an American Grammy Award-nominated rock band, from Calabasas, California. ) They are sort of alternative rock...and they Rock!!! And their lead singer is a touch hot too, even though I'm not into skinny rockers!

Brandon Boyd - lead singer of Incubus

On the way to the Fairgrounds we stopped at Five Guys Burger & Fries, the best fast food burger in America. It makes my mouth water just thinking about can see my bacon cheesburger here, and their fries are proper 'chips' (in England we call fries chips) with their skins on..they even tell you where the potatoes are from that day when you go in! Yummy!!!

Anyway the subject of the blog was know when you are old when....

Well I haven't been to a concert like this for a while..there is tailgating outside the venue as it is a huge fairgrounds site and the venue is open air save for an awning over the band so i know I'm getting old when ....
  1. We have Ponchos with us in case it rains ! I think we would have been the only ones that would have had ponchos with us as everyone else except the man in front of us with his binoculars ! were young enough to be our kids!2. I am worrying about whether I will be able to drive following the massive contact high I'm getting from the young man pictured in the left of the picture...and when he kindly finished his 'cigarette', 5 girls on the next row down lit up the biggest joint I have ever seen!..

3. Both hubbie & I have to wear our glasses ...and still couldn't see much....where were those binoculars now....

4. When the band finished the regular set I was deafened by the seat smacking and foot stomping for an encore!! Still they came out and gave us 3 more songs so I guess it worked!

I still loved it though and the venue is great when the breeze is blowing like it was Saturday, so we had a great if we could just get our Coldplay money back.....

Aug 17, 2009

A World record and a Tiger Meltdown...

I'm just going to add a quick blog about two sporting events this weekend, because both events may never happen again ..
It's the World Athletic Championships at the moment in Munich, and today was the 100m showdown between Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell.. all great sprinters and it was sure to be a fantastic race.
What transpired is one the most amazing things that you will ever see.... (Ive included a link below if you've not had the opportunity to see it) The 'lightening bolt' ran 9.58. The previous record was 9.68...this was out of this world....It was moment that will probably not be repeated for a long time, at 23 Usain Bolt is truly in a different class...Tyson Gay summed it up when he said he was proud to be in such a historic race...truly awe inspiring.

The second sporting event involved my sporting hero, Tiger Woods. Today Tiger lost after leading into the last round of a Major, the PGA Championships...

Congratulations to South Korea's Yang Yong-Eun, it will be a long time before Tiger loses again from that position...Tiger was just showing he is, after all, human.

Aug 11, 2009

Harry Potter Endurance...

Hubby has been on a 'cinema visiting' drive recently...which is fine by me as I love the big screen. At home we have a new cinema ( before we had to drive to Orlando) and it's great to only have a 5 minute ride now, and in Jax we go to Tinseltown which is just up the its hardly a trauma to go!

Any way I digress, we wanted to go and see the new Harry Potter movie, but realised that hubby was well behind in the series and I hadn't seen the last one, so it was off to Blockbuster to stock up on HP for a weekend of catch up.
Well we discovered that Hubby has only actually seen HP1, so that meant we had 4 films to see before we could get to the cinema to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.. OK I'll give it a go as long as we have cinema snacks.. Hubby went for Peanut M&M's and I went for Dark Raisinets ...apparently they have antioxidants in them, so they are healthy right?
We also picked up some 'pop at home' popcorn....which is a semi empty box that you bang in the microwave and 'da darrrr' it fills up magically with the addition of some heat.. quite good actually until wife drinks too much Zinfandel and drops said bucket of popped corn onto the carpet and we scramble to stop Gary going into a popcorn comatose....

By 6pm Sunday 4 Harry Potters have been digested, raisinets and M&M's consumed and Hubby, who had Monday off because we were supposed to go and see Coldplay in Tampa (cancelled because of Chris Martin illness) suggested we go to the 10.15pm performance of the Half Blood Prince... hmmmm 'I think I'm Harry Pottered out' I said ...
Just proves there is only so much HP you can take in such a short period of time, but I'm sure my HP juices will be running again by later in the week, so I'll review the movie then!

The Local Wildlife

I've talked before about the local raccoon population. The apartment complex is on a nature preserve so the raccoons, as long as they don't attack anyone, are safe from persecution here...and they are thriving. What amazes me about them is that they are fearless. On our way back home each weekend we invariable see one hanging out at the bin store. I was on my way to deposit the recycling when I caught this one coming out of the huge compactor bin... this is the automated bin that crushes the trash when you push the button, as I said...fearless.. He / she jumped down when I opened one of the recycling bins and hid behind the soon as I had finished he/she started to follow me back to the car..I did say to it that I only had empty plastic bottles, but it still kept coming ( don't know whether I thought I could train it...!)...just as I hopped back in the car it stopped by the bin and lifted itself in its hind legs to smell if I'd deposited anything tasty...sorry little one, nothing there...I think he realised and was soon back up the steps for some tasty treats.
I think they are so cute, but realise that they are not cuddly little bears...I do worry about their diets though. Raccoons will eat almost anything, but are particularly fond of creatures found in water—clams, crayfish, frogs, fish, and snails....hmmm none of those in the bin stores.....they also eat insects, slugs, dead animals, birds and bird eggs, as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds....well there is probably some cockroaches in there and some potato peelings...Around humans, raccoons often eat garbage and pet food....these ones are living solely off garbage..I am waiting for the day that I see a Raccoon making off with a piece of pizza...( I have seen a squirrel doing this by our apartment - imagine Gary...Squirrel and pizza in one place at once, it was too much for him!) ..the next stop for our little raccoons here will be diabetes medicine!!

A government website makes some recommendations about feeding Raccoons...Don’t feed raccoons. Feeding raccoons may create undesirable situations for you, your children, neighbors, pets, and the raccoons themselves. Raccoons that are fed by people often lose their fear of humans and may become aggressive when not fed as expected. Artificial feeding also tends to concentrate raccoons in a small area; overcrowding can spread diseases and parasites. Finally, these hungry visitors might approach a neighbor who doesn’t share your appreciation of the animals. The neighbor might choose to remove these raccoons, or have them removed.
Don’t give raccoons access to garbage. Keep your garbage can lid on tight by securing it with rope, chain, bungee cords, or weights. Better yet, buy garbage cans with clamps or other mechanisms that hold lids on. To prevent tipping, secure side handles to metal or wooden stakes driven into the ground. Or keep your cans in tight-fitting bins, a shed, or a garage. Put garbage cans out for pickup in the morning, after raccoons have returned to their resting areas
OK so our apartment complex inhabitants are breaking all the 'Raccoon Rules'...they leave food bags lying around without compaction, the lids to the recycling bins flip - too easy...
I also love the recommendation for how to prepare your children for a Raccoon encounter....
If aggressive raccoons are routinely seen in your area, prepare your children for a possible encounter. Explain the reasons why raccoons live there (habitat, food sources, species adaptability) and what they should do if one approaches them. By shouting a set phrase such as “Go away raccoon!” when they encounter one, instead of a general scream, children will inform nearby adults of the raccoon’s presence.
Do they believe that the Raccoons understand English?, maybe I was right to talk to the one by the bins...he is obviously more intelligent than I gave him credit for, and as such I am going to name him Eric, not after anyone, just looks like an Eric! I am going to ask hubby if we can adopt Eric so that he may have a proper diet, it will be an excuse to get more fish into Hubby's diet!

Aug 6, 2009

A Rant...Pick up your dog poo! you know by now that during the week we live an apartment complex in Jacksonville, FL. It's well maintained, if a little old and the maintenance guys clear rubbish up every morning, so at first glance you'd say it looked pretty clean for a big developement. A closer look however reveals tons and tons of dog poo that people don't pick up.

Gary has a Bag on Board attached to his lead, with bio degradable bags, however I've only seen one other owner picking up after their pet here, and there are lots of dogs.

It's disgusting, especially during the hot humid days where it really starts to smell in certain areas - the stinkiest area near us ( about 500 ft away) has a sign that says to pick up dog poo...Ha! Huge big dollops everywhere...we don't walk there anymore..

I wondered what I could do to encourage people to pick up..I'd love to post something in everyone's mailbox that tells them that pet waste left on the ground, especially near streets and sidewalks, gets washed into storm drains and drainage ditches which flow to the local waterway. This water does not get cleaned or treated along the way, so anything that goes into the storm drain or ditch goes into the water. Bacteria, parasites, and viruses found in pet waste can be harmful to water quality and human health.

These offending dog owner's dogs (including Gary) are probably walking in the old poo and picking up bacteria, and if the owners cannot be bothered to pick up, then it's likely that they have not had their dogs wormed dog is picking up your dog's bacteria...thanks for that.

I love this North Carolina postcard which people are sent and encouraged to post in places of interest (vet clinics, animal shelters, and other sites) ...I'd like to post on some people's heads around here!

It seems in some places (Boulder) you can get people to pick up, then they leave the bags! You've done the hard part people, throw it in the trash...

I'm going to approach the management to ask them to include something in next months flyer and ask them to consider putting up some more dog poo bag stands (say that quickly when you've had a few !!) I only know of one and this site is enormous.

I'll let you know how I go!

Aug 5, 2009

The Ugly Truth

Just a quick one...we went to see 'The Ugly Truth''s not often I manage to drag Hubby to a romantic comedy, so I had my fingers ( and everything else crossed ), and we loved it... and the ladies in front of us were actually wetting themselves laughing ( she had to get up twice!)

I'm posting a review from another reviewer on Mr Movietimes as she was so spot on...go see it, its funny and although you know how it's going to end its fun getting there!

p.s. Gerard Butler is a rough sort of way....LOL

AWESOME...AWESOME!! Every woman should see this movie and bring their teenage daughter ESPECIALLY if you are in LA LA LAND about men [as i was in most of my life..which is why i am a single parent...]. i truly identified with Katherine's character and the crap i was raised to believe as a sugar and spice and gorgeous child.. Believe me no matter how great you look ..YOU HAVE TO TRULY BE YOURSELF.....STOP TRYING TO CHANGE THEM. STOP LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT GUY..SHOW YOUR TRUE SELF. Get your head out of the clouds about your knight in shining armor. MEN ARE SIMPLE... they truly do not need anyone in charge of them...controlling them. females either should make an exit ,accept the guy with all his imperfections,or if it makes them happy keep your stupid search going for mr. wonderful.

Aug 3, 2009

Breakfast, Beaches and Digging Holes....

So I'm finally getting around to updating you on my weekend when Cole & Kerri came to stay.. After a night out for pizza, the morning bought blue skies and rumbling stomachs. After agreeing that cold pizza was not acceptable fair we decided to go out and try a local diner which we'd seen advertising breakfast. Here's Cole & Kerri whilst they were waiting on pancakes and omelets..
Hubby had an omelet too and I went for some of their home made corned beef hash. Apart from the the wait (approx 20 mins..which is a little slow in a diner over here) the food was tasty and good value, we might even go back..the problem for the diner is that are so many options around here..I think if we had 60 days we still wouldn't be able to go to every restaurant / take away within a 5 mile radius...too much choice!!

We got back to the apartment to find Gary and Oscar the pug trashing the place..running backwards and forwards and jumping on each other on the sofa.

So it was time to pack up some things and head out to the beach. We packed the cold bag with waters and cokes and left over pizza from last night.. then it was downstairs, into the car and off to Ponte Vedra beach to the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Reserve is over 60,000 acres (240 km²) of salt marsh and mangrove tidal wetlands. It includes oyster beds, tidal lagoons, critical habitat and offshore seas spanning St. Johns County and Flagler County. The cool part of this place is that even on a Saturday there was hardly anyone on the beach... It took us about 25 mins to get there but it was worth the drive.

Parking was super cheap at $3.00, but we only had $20's expecting there to be a manned payment point...well they are so trusting here that you just use an envelope and put the $3 in a drop box.. fortunately all the times that I've ever stopped for fast food meant that I had lots of dimes and nickels in the car's change pot, and we managed to scrap the $3 together....then off down to the beach.
They've made cool walkways through the dunes down to the beach and also there are signs up about whales which you can spot from the beach.... everyone else kept walking whilst I read that we wouldn't be seeing any whales today as they are only around in March.

Down on the beach the dogs were super excited. Oscar has never been to the beach and this was a new experience for him, but Gary showed him the way, running in and out of the surf, then rolling in the sand & shell bits..nice!

Then Gary started digging a hole. I'm not sure why he likes to dig on the beach, but he does and soon there was a huge ( well for a small dog!) hole. He was even digging under an out hang so his head was disappearing as he dug!

Being a beach newbie Oscar does not understand hole etiquette and jumped down into Gary's hole knocking the side down...Gary looked on perplexed at the damage! Cole pulled him out, but you couldn't be mean to him as he looks so cute even if he had been naughty!

We stayed for about 2 hours which was long enough for Hubby and Cole to get burnt (men) .. Kerri and I had sun tan cream on..don't ask. We hopped back in the car with the guys wanting to return home that evening. Fun times, hopefully they come back soon...

Hubby and I went out for some barbecue that evening. I'm not even going to mention the establishment as it was so poor ..we wont be going again..the ribs were dry and chewy, not good!

Aug 2, 2009

Haircuts and Pizza...

Gary has been due a haircut for a had even got the point where one of the maintenance men who works at the apartment complex shouted over to me ' he needs a haircut' ...cheeky bugger, but OK, it was time for a summer haircut and his nails definitely needed chopping back especially as we were having company this weekend.

I used a different groomer than usual and was pleasant surprised when they only charged me $35 - he normally is over $50. As he wasn't completely traumatised he will be going can see Gary's spots better now..I did ask him to sit up for this picture, but he thought that meant roll over for a tummy tickle...hmmm note to self required.

He went to 'U dirty dog' , it's quite a cool place as you can go in a bathe your own dog there too.
Any I picked him up and then packed the house up and we made our way in yet another storm back to Jacksonville. Hopefully this weather would clear for when Hubby's nephew and new wife ( and little pug, Oscar..Gary's best friend) got there later. We planned to go and get some dinner and then go to the beach on Saturday.

Well they arrived later than expected from Gainesville and the storms had moved through by then, so all that remained was dinner to be decided on (after the dogs had stormed around the apartment like wild things for 15 minutes!)

Kerri, Cole's wife is a vegetarian, so it narrows where we can down a little, however the consensus was pizza, so we would could go and try a pizzeria that we had passing, but never got too.

Well what a was great..and I normally don't rave about pizza, but this place was fab. We had some Pesto Cheese Bread with Basil Pesto & loaded with Mozzarella Cheese (heavenly!), then I had a small personal Chorizo Pizza...Crumbles of mildly, spicy Sausage, sliced Green Olives, Red Onions, and fire Roasted Red Pepper. Yummy...the boys had a super large meat pizza, which was also delicious and Kerri has a thick Sicilian style cheese pizza - we took tons back to the apartment and everyone was sated! Hubby and I will definitely be going again...

When we got back, Kerri zonked out asleep, whilst I watched a little t.v. whilst ..the boys played Fallout 3...we were computer game widows ;-) Beach Saturday, and weather forecast is great!
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