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Chilly New Years Eve Eve

10:25pm and it’s 47 degrees out there in Palm Bay. Now I used to laugh about camping in single and negative digits, you got the best sites, no noisy neighbors and best of all not one damn mosquito (I have been bitten outside in these Florida temperatures!) But now? My blood has thinned, my nerves have suffered serious damage. Even the 40’s are too cold. Give me the mid 70’s any day. I’ve actually pulled out my warm blanket. Of course on the First it’s supposed to be back up around 80 again! No wonder so many people get sick down here with these crazy fluctuations. It’s also freaking hell on the arthritis and joints. I feel like a 90 year old man I hurt so bad. It’s not doing mom a lot of good either. She’s in a lot of pain. I think our chances of seeing the ball drop are about 0. I want to keep the tradition of getting a picture of the first sunrise of the new year but it depends on the pain level.

Hawk – Happy Early New Year to Anyone Reading This

A Great Christmas Eve

Mom and I feasted on take-out (okay, delivery) Chinese and then we went to a local area called the Lockmar lights (named after the development they’re in) it’s block after block where the majority of the neighbors have gone absolutely insane with the Christmas lights. They’ve put arches of different colors, blinking and even artful centers on the tops. There’s hundreds of arches and trees with tens of thousands of lights wrapped and draped around them. There’s even dozens of families out in their yards (especially on Christmas Eve) and driveways having fires and get togethers. There were musical displays and even a Santa passing out candy-canes (too many people in front of us so we didn’t get to see him). Saw these cool icicle lights that looked as if they were dripping off a tree, never saw anything like that before. We both had a blast and I was able to spend about an hour crawling around block after block before my hip began to scream. I think we saw 90% of the lights before I had to head for home. I was so glad I was able to keep my promise to mom to take her out to see lights this year.
If you’re in the area head for Dickinson Street Northeast in Palm Bay and you can’t miss the lights. There’s even a church on the corner of Emerson and Nesbitt that’s lit up with arches that helps you find the turn. A GPS or map is rather helpful! Go, I think they’re up until at least the 1st of January. They’re absolutely amazing and completely free. You’ll have a great time if you like amazing Christmas lighting.

Merry Christmas, Hawk

What the Hell is Wrong With Denny’s?

My mom sees her doctor once every four months. When we’re done with the visit, I play the part of the chauffeur not sure if mom is Miss Daisy or Tess. . . I’m leaning more towards Tess. Well anyway. When her appointment is over we treat ourselves to Denny’s. Sometimes breakfast or lunch but most of the time we’re bad (if either of our doctors is reading this, look away) and treat ourselves to desert, usually hot fudge sundaes.
So we walk in and there’s a line of people paying and getting ready to leave. And the cashier is slow as molasses in winter. She keeps making mistakes and calling for the manager. For some reason neither she nor any other employee thought the elderly lady who had to sit down and the disabled gentlemen on a walker would like to be seated. We were forced to wait until everyone was checked out.
On the left seating area I saw an open table just ten feet away. As we followed the receptionist we passed row upon row of empty tables. We walked through a maze of empty tables, not easy to do on a walker until we were seated as far from the door as it was possible to get and still be in the restaurant. Service was acceptable, perfectly trained to ask how everything is and not at all prepared to have a mouthful of ice cream spit back in the glass so she could be told “Just fine, thanks.”
So pissed off about the stupidity in the seating. There were open tables everywhere and we walked past them all. It caused us pain and was downright rude and insulting to make the elderly and disabled walk so far when there was open seats everywhere.
There are plenty of other restaurants all in the same area. Denny’s may lose some business.

Hawk Has choices, will use them.

Goodbye Greg. . .

I was and still am crazy for King Crimson and Emerson Lake & Palmer, I can’t imagine what EL&P would have sounded like had the negotiations gone through and Jimi Hendrix hadn’t died. But, water under an old bridge. Today we say goodbye to a master. . . actually two John Glenn passed away just recently and as much as his actions affected out lives and his unbridled bravery helped move the space program forward, he will be missed. But at least for me, not as much as Greg Lake who proved you didn’t need a dedicated guitar player (but what would they have sounded like with Jimi?!) to form a successful and incredibly popular band. He, along with a few others such as John Entwistle also proved to the musical masses that the bass wasn’t relegated to keeping time in the background, barely heard with the rare momentary solo. They made the bass PART of the band, and integral, important, significant part of the music and for me, it changed my life. After my first listen to ‘Brain Salad Surgery’ my mind was blown. Nothing could sound that powerful and complex. The intertwining and mixing of the sounds. I’ll admit it gave a chemically altered brain pathways to follow and explore. The ability to listen to each instrument, including my favorite, the bass. Greg Lake helped change music forever. Emerson, Lake & Palmer left a footprint no one’s been able t fill, though many have tried.
Greg, you will be greatly missed. Your music is still something I look forward to and always turn the volume up when it comes on. Goodbye brother. If there’s is a Heaven you’ve joined one hell of a house band. You will not be forgotten. . .
Young Greg Lake
Greg Lake on Stage
Greg Lake with a Dual Neck Bass & Guitar

Hawk (Saddened beyond belief)

Long Exposure Shots Tonight

Rocket launch tonight, sitting there all set up and ready to go, camera focused just shy of infinity, aimed right the trees light up as the launch began and. . . the auto-shut-off kicked in and I had to jump, grab the power switch and flick it on and off. Luckily the camera fires up quick but I still got a late start on the 30 second exposure.

A plane circling the area, I guess to stay out of the launch zone, turned and headed almost directly at me. You can also see another plane WAY off in the distance just above the power lines. Plus there’s a ton of stars in this one and you can see the end of the rocket’s smoke trail on the left.

Hawk (shutterbugging again? I think I am!)

Winter Weather

While many of my poor northern friends have already seen snow this year this is Florida’s dry season which is why downpours are extremely rare. I jot dripped on going out to get the mail but as I was curling back up in be to read (hey, what else do you do when the heavens open up, huh?) it really started coming down. Even better and rarer there have been some blasts of thunder so loud it felt like the house was moving. It’s still rumbling off in the distance as I write this. But a thunderstorm in December? Not that’s rare. And I’ve got hours until I have to cook supper so I can curl up with a good, spooky, book and drown out the sound of my mother watching TV 30′ away. Look for the review soon’ish.
Happy Thundersday! Hail Thor!

Hawk (ready, set. . . read)

Book Reviews, Anyone?

I honestly don’t know who if anyone is following the blog. There’s been no comments but then I gave a weeks notice that I was taking some time off from Facebook and I got one smartass public comment, not one actual request for my email address and two people, one of which who’s sent an email. I guess I’m not as popular as I was. So maybe posting some book reviews might generate some traffic or comments.

I just finished ‘The Boy Who Drew Monsters‘ by Keith Donohue and my review. . .
‘I’m still confused. It’s a horror story but it’s not. It’s a ghost story but it’s not. JP’s parents can’t decide if he’s getting better or worse. His mother’s realized some but oh so far from the real truth while his father lives in a complete delusion where he believes it’s just going to take a good talking to and maybe a shake or two and his boy will be just fine.
We come across a housekeeper at a local church who says that she can help the boy. I almost wish the author had let that story line play out. It would have changed things, extended the drama. Perhaps even brought the disbelievers, the priest and the father (who seemed to begin to understand something right at the end) deeper into the story. It felt a little rushed but also dragged in places. A better editing would help. I must say, even though there were a few breadcrumbs of hints the twist at the very end caught me pretty much by surprise. I also liked that it ended right there. Leave us guessing, let us wonder. And whatever you do NO sequels! Let the story stand on it’s own. It shouldn’t, it doesn’t need to, continue. It’s over. Let it rest.’

Since I’m in a spooky book mood my next read is going to be ‘Haunt Book One – Dead Scared’

Hawk (Spooky books for Christmas? Why the hell not?)

Grissom Pictures

Okay, it’s been a LONG time since I did an image post on the blog there’s no descriptions. The pictures mostly speak for themselves. One I’m quite happy with was finally catching an otter having himself a sand bath in the middle of the road. I got as close as I could without scaring him off. First otter picture, now all I’m waiting for is a bald eagle in the wild. It was great to get out of the house and spend Black Friday with the camera and the critters. Hurt getting home but I was able to do it. Yay!

Hawk (Thirteen shots shared out of three hundred taken. Not bad.)

Finally Able Again!

Black Friday spent at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands once again. Black Point drive is over a hundred miles round trip and as much as I love heading up there it’s still too far. Even going to Grissom is forty-five miles not counting the driving around the facility. The last mile or two on the way home had me pounding the steering wheel in serious pain wishing I was home. Just a little longer is what I kept telling myself and it worked. Really did enjoy getting out and boycotting (except for the burger at McDonald’s, I was hungry!) the commercialization of Black Friday.
I shot something like three hundred and fifty images and kept thirty-three. Of those there’s probably a dozen that I’ll be editing and sharing with everyone. It just takes me a bit longer these days so bear with me. I’ll get them done as soon as possible.

Hawk (Shooting pictures again!)

Black Crapsday Plans

It’s been a while and I don’t know how long I can handle it but once again I plan on spending Black Friday out taking pictures in protest of the rampant commercialization that goes on. I may allow myself to buy a snack or even a light lunch but I will buy nothing else. I don’t know how long the pain will let me stay out but I’m charging all my cameras and batteries, dunno what I’m taking with me but rain or shine I’ll be ready. Hope I can spend at least a couple hours communing with nature. No way I can make Black Point, 50+ miles is just too much on me but I’m hoping that I can at least make it to the Grissom Wetlands.

Hawk (Getting geared up and hopeful.)