Sunday, August 26, 2007

YouTube Is Great!

He's now just a mouse click away.

I've been somewhat under the weather of late and forced to lay low and rest. As a way of passing the time I have been turning to YouTube to watch all sorts of things that I would never have been able to access in any other way.

Until very recently I didn't realize that this site had all kinds of professionally crafted and copyrighted material, in addition to the amateur stuff, which people have posted to share with the wider world. It's really incredible what I can now watch: old episodes of Leave It To Beaver; Thelonious Monk concerts; interviews with the likes of Frank Zappa & Bob Dylan; hysterical shrieking speeches delivered by Adolph Hitler to hypnotized German audiences; guitarists Steve Vai and Buckethead collaborating on the soundtrack for the sci-fi flick "Ghost of Mars" (Buckethead wears his mask in the recording studio too!); Jimi Hendrix on the Dick Cavett Show; very old episodes of the Honeymooners with Ralph screaming "TO THE MOON ALICE!" and vintage stand-up comedy routines from the likes of Richard Pryor, Alan King, Jonathan Winters and Lenny Bruce. Sheesh, I'm exhausted from all of the choices at my fingertips. In case y'all didn't know about it yet, this site is worth a look.

I'll be better soon and will complete my historical tour of Alabama as promised last week. Also more giant spiders from interior Florida. Stay tuned......

Wally & the Beaver

Monday, August 20, 2007

Driving through Dixie

I've been on the road again for the last few days and managed to visit a few historical sites that I had wanted see, for years now, and actually discovered a few more that I didn't know were so close to the ones I had set out to visit.

I'll list the towns and y'all can try to guess the historical sites: Dayton, Tennessee (something to do with monkeys); Montgomery, Alabama (rebels and a King) and the obscure village of Georgiana, Alabama (a hot rod Ford and a two dollar bill). I'll be putting up a post concerning my history adventures sometime later this week and shall award no-prizes for the best guesses concerning the actual sites themselves. They shouldn't be that hard to figure out. I have very brainy readers.

For now I just want to share some random shots of the South in late August taken along the lesser traveled back roads and byways of Dixie. Hope everyone is enjoying their August.

Front porch
Georgiana, Alabama

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Painting of George Wallace
Alabama State Capitol

Montgomery, AL

All Saints Chapel
University of the South

Sewanee, Tennessee

Stevenson, Alabama

Green light
Florala, Alabama

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp

I don't live far from the Disney Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold their pre-season training camp. Practices are held in the morning and afternoon and the public is invited to come and watch for free. Since I had never been to an NFL training camp I thought it might be fun to go and watch the boys limbering up for another grueling season of battle on the gridiron of professional football.
The Buccaneers are coached by Tampa native Jon Gruden who led them to a Super Bowl victory over his former team, the Oakland Raiders, in a laughable blowout back in 2003. Since that time, Chucky (a nickname given to him by his players because when he fixes his intense stare on something he reminds them of the evil doll from the Child's Play movies) has not had much success since then and some in the Florida sports media speculate that his time in Tampa may soon be running out if he isn't able to return the Bucs to their former glory in a hurry.

Chucky goes over the play with B. Gradkowski

All in all it was a fun morning at the Hess Sports Field where I mingled with devoted hardcore fans and members of the press corps to witness the sweat and toil of life in the NFL. I wish the Bucs the best of luck as they embark on their 2007 campaign.

Cadillac Williams eludes the lumbering horde

Jeff Garcia rolls out

Chas Gessner snags one

Josh Bidwell punts a boomer

Friday, August 10, 2007

My old-fashioned barber shop

I was inspired to share the simple joys of the barber shop that I frequent after reading Devastatin' Daves blog post about a visit to Durf's in Bridgeton, Maine:

The Central Barber Shop is located at 207 Broadway in downtown Kissimmee, Florida which is the county seat and largest city in Osceola County. I found it quite by accident one day while checking out the central business district for the first time. It's a real throwback to the old barber shops that I went to as a younger man that have been rapidly disappearing with the advent of unisex "haircutterys" beginning back in the 1980's.

The last real barber shop that I frequented regularly was in downtown Santa Monica, CA (now long gone) that was owned by a real character who knew the history and lore of that town better than anyone. He would spellbind me with captivating tales of yesteryear while briskly clipping my thick mass of hippie curls.

The sights, smells and rituals of an old-fashioned barber shop are definitely something from the past that I am happy to be supporting in this era of large chains and impersonal service. This particular place is always packed and the loyalty of their regular customers is quite evident, with many patrons getting a haircut twice a month. The price is right if you're into frequent visits.

So, if you're ever in the swamps of central Florida and need a little trim off the top come on in and sit a spell at 207 Broadway in the heart of beautiful and historic Kissimmee.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Out and about in the sweltering South

We've been doing a lot of traveling recently and have also relocated to central Florida for the time being. (Further bulletins as events warrant.) Since I haven't put out a blog post in over a month I will probably be spitting them out for the next few days just to catch up with all of the material I have been collecting while on the road. I have one planned about my barber shop, a report from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp and something on the way all of the hot weather we've been having here in the Deep South is being reported in the press. Can anyone tell me what the heck the "heat index" means?

For now I'd like to share some random photos that I've snapped from the past four weeks that I thought might be of interest to you my gentle readers.

Oh and by the way, it is less than a month until the college football season begins!

Osceola County, Florida

Summer jungle growth
Reedy Creek Swamp, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Big fat gator
Osceola County, Florida

Daniel Creek
Cloudland Canyon State Park, Georgia

Storm at dusk
Celebration, Florida