Saturday Night Serenade–Feeling Alright

Last week, I was feeling a little down, remembering a lot of those we lost over the last year.  I was determined to be more upbeat this week.

And then yesterday, a young man struggling with mental illness boarded a plane in Anchorage and flew to Ft. Lauderdale.  Upon arrival, he retrieved his belongings from Baggage Claim, removed a gun, and proceeded to shoot up the place.  Why?  Because the voices told him to.

And don’t even get me started about the four thugs in Chicago who held another mentally challenged young man against his will and tortured him, streaming it LIVE ON FACEBOOK.

It just leaves you shaking your head.  What the hell is going on with the world?  I have no idea, and I don’t have the solution to the problem.  I’m pretty sure our next Commander in Chief doesn’t either.

Here’s what I think.  If we want a kinder, gentler world, we need to be kinder and gentler in our circles of influence.  So, new rule for 2017: BE KIND.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  Yeah, I’m going to give that a whirl.  See what happens.

I hope this evening finds you feeling alright.  A little Joe Cocker can’t hurt, anyway.  Be sure to hug the ones you love, I know I’ll be doing that.

In this new year, I wish you peace, love, and kindness.  Happy Saturday night!

Hurricane Matthew Update

20161007_141932Many thanks to everyone for all your kind thoughts and prayers for those of us in the path of Hurricane Matthew over the last couple of days.  We fared exceptionally well.  Due to a tiny shift to the east, we experienced precious little in the way of effects.  We had no damage, we never even lost power.

Having spent yesterday at home, finalizing our ‘battened down’ status and preparing for the storm that didn’t come, today we decided to venture out.  There were some power outages in the area and we did find places where branches and palm fronds were blown about.  The first place we attempted to go for lunch was closed, but we found a Chili’s that was open.  Afterward, we took a drive by the beach and found remarkably little in the way of storm effects.  Beyond the breakers, the water was calm.  We didn’t see anything in the way of erosion.

Palm Beach County, at least our little portion in the north, managed to dodge the bullet.  Fingers are crossed when it comes to the projected path, which seems to loop around to possibly hit us again.  So who knows?  But for now, we count ourselves very fortunate.

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Rock You Like A Hurricane

Image result for hurricane matthew wptv

Well, gang, it’s starting to look a little scary.  For the longest time, hurricane forecast tracks have taken this storm over the eastern Bahamas.  But the latest predictions have it coming uncomfortably close to us.  In all honesty, it’s been a while since we’ve been impacted so it’s probably our turn.

Come Wednesday night and Thursday, we could all be hunkered down waiting for the whole thing to blow over, no pun intended.  Think of us, along with Vic and Vile & Arianna.  We’ll keep you posted.

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Good Neighbors

Cops are in the news a lot this week.  If your only context for law enforcement officers was what you saw on television, you’d come away with the idea that they’re either power-drunk thugs or, incomprehensibly, targets.

Our next door neighbor Joel is a deputy with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.  He’s a regular guy.  You know, he mows his lawn, walks his dog, has friends over for pool parties and barbecues.  He also puts on that green uniform and badge everyday and heads out into the scary neighborhoods to try to help keep people safe.

One day a few weeks ago, while Mr. R. was at work, a guy showed up at our house.  Understand, we live in the country with an acre and a half of land.  Our property is completely fenced and there’s a gate across our driveway.  Nobody ever comes to the door.  And we like it that way.

Anyway, our 85-lb. land shark, Jack, started losing his mind when this guy, a stranger to me, unchained the gate and proceeded to make his way to our front door.  Between Jack’s ‘I’m not playing with you, bitch’ protestations and the ‘Bad Dog’ sign we’re required by the county to display in the front window (an unfortunate reminder of the time Jack decided to sample a neighbor lady who showed the lack of judgement to stand in our driveway), dude decided to return to his truck parked out front.

From there, he started honking.  Repeatedly.  Again, I did not know this man and there was no way I was going outside to see what he wanted.  Anxious about the situation, I texted Mr. R., who was at work twenty minutes away.  He was very clear about my course of action.  “Do NOT, under any circumstances, go outside to see what he wants.  And let me know when he leaves.”

When nearly half an hour had passed and he hadn’t heard from me, Mr. R. called.  “No,” I assured him, “dude is still out there honking.”

So my love called…Joel, who just happened to be on his way home from work and was only a block away.  He sped to my house and settled the situation calmly and assertively.  The guy was looking for his runaway teenage daughter and someone had given him our address as where she was staying.  Can you imagine if I’d opened the door to him in the beginning?  Would he have believed me when I said no, she’s not here?  He’d have demanded to search my house.

Of course, I thanked Joel profusely, as did Mr. R.  We even sent him a restaurant gift card as thanks.  He reassured us that no thanks was necessary and he was happy to do it, we should call him anytime.

When I see police shootings, I think about Joel.  He has a wife and a baby daughter.  He has hopes and dreams for his future.  And he works hard to do his job to the best of his ability.  There are lots of Joels out there.  I, for one, appreciate them.

From The ‘Only In Florida’ File

From the local news today, this little nugget.  It was reported this afternoon that a 3 1/2 foot long alligator was in a nearby Wendy’s restaurant.  I’m sure you’re wondering, like I did, just how that gator got in Wendy’s anyway.

It seems that a 23-year-old dude from my neighborhood (of course) pulled up to the drive-through window and when the server handed him his drink and turned to get the rest of his order, dude tossed the critter through the window.

Needless to say, he was arrested, and more importantly the gator was returned to a local canal.

Yep.  That happened today.  You can click here for the video story.

 

In The News

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A popular ‘human interest’ story in the news involved the saga of a couple of llamas that got loose in Arizona today. Sounds more like ‘critter interest if you ask me, but what do I know?

Mr. R. is the news professional in our house. He’s an assignment editor at one of our local television news stations.

“You want to hear my new punk band name?” he asked me after work today.

“Of course I do,” I replied.

“Llamas on the Loose,” he announced proudly.

The man needs a vacation.

Having a Better Day Than This Guy

wpid-20141022_151401.jpgYes, that’s a pickup truck.  Yes, the wheels are in the air.

I saw an accident on my way home from work today.  And by ‘saw an accident’ I don’t mean that I saw the wreckage along the side of the road as I passed by.

I mean, I saw someone stop and someone behind them not stop.  There was a massive explosion of debris flying all around.  The second vehicle flew up, executed a half-twist in mid-air, and came to rest on its roof.  The first vehicle ended up two lanes over, pointing in the opposite direction of travel.

I’ve never seen anything like it.  I mean, maybe on every episode of CHiPs or The Dukes of Hazard.  But never with my own eyes.  I sat stunned for a moment.

Luckily for the driver of the truck, a handful of commuters slammed their own vehicles into Park and ran to render aid.  Just after I snapped this photo, those guys got the door open and, along with a Sheriff’s deputy, they pulled out the driver who walked away from the mangled truck to the sidewalk, looking dazed but not obviously injured.

And yes, I snapped this photo.  Is it ghoulish to take a picture of an accident?  I wanted to send it to Mr. R., my steely-eyed newsman who works for a local television station.  I knew he’d want to get it on the air.  And that’s what I did.

I’m impressed by the number of people who stopped to help.  It sort of makes me want to step up my game, to be honest.  I’m not sure what I could have done, but maybe I should have thought of something more useful than contributing to live, local, latebreaking.