Tuesday, July 21, 2015


The governor of our great state assigned me to my first duty this morning.
Not directly of course but via email to all the state properties including the State park of which I was working security today. The first order of the day for security usually is to run "articles" back and forth to all the gates. Seeing how we have some 30 miles of incredibly beautiful roads on this the largest park in the state, it takes a good while to make 2 trips to all the gates.
It is of course a fantastic way to spend the first half of the day.

As I was leaving the park office, the property manager told me he got an email from the Governors office to have all the flags lowered to half-staff. It was in honor of our service members who were killed in Chattanooga as the latest victims of radical Islamic terrorism.
He walked out with me and he lowered the flag that was in front of the office building he works out of.
I told him I would be honored to lower the rest of the flags in the park.
I got in the DNR truck and headed down the hill.
My first stop was not a gate but a house reserved for the Governor and family when they visit this reverie from big city life.
This old, but well kept cabin has its own overlook. After I took my hat off and lowered the flag I stood back and took this picture.

As I coasted down the steep switchbacks heading to the first gate I contrasted in my mind an image of what Obama deemed worthy of honoring that had stuck in my crawl since the shooting. 
Obama finally gave in later this day and had the White House flag lowered after Mitch McConnell, my Governor and others shamed him by lowering the flags under their purview.
I continued making my rounds delivering "articles" and lowering flags around the park and I seemed to remember a flag that was at the Lodge so I headed that way.
There are many guests staying at the lodge this time of year and there was a group sitting on the "porch" within close proximity to the flag, laughing it up and enjoying a rare rain-free morning.
I again took my hat off and lowered the last flag in the park, I got back in the truck and drove around the lawn and looked back on the half-staff flag, but it just didn't look right to me.
It seemed way too low so I stopped the truck, took my hat off again and adjusted it to a level I thought my Governor and Property Manager would approve of.
I turned to leave when I heard someone from the aforementioned group holler out to me (we don't yell down here, we holler).
"Hey what's the flag being lowered for!?" He hollered.
 "The Governor ordered all the State properties to lower them to half-staff in honor of the murder victims in the Chattanooga terrorist attack", I hollered back.
"Ok, thanks," he hollered in return.
As I headed back I wondered how they would process this information.
I didn't have to wonder too long because in just a few steps away from the flag I heard their conversations return to the same care free manor complete with laughs and guffaws aplenty.
I turned back and looked while thinking I could understand this if it were a bunch of teens or even young adults. But these were people around my age, a bunch of old farts.
I wasn't expecting wailing and gnashing of teeth, or even the donning sackcloth and ashes.
But maybe a few minutes of conversation diversion to the tragedy in question.
Not that what they did was anything vulgar like going out and playing a round of golf just minutes after seeing an American beheaded by Islamafacists.
No, I just would have felt better if they would have shown just a few seconds of solemn attitude, just long enough for me to get back in the truck and head back up the hill.

Oh, the image that I had in my mind that Obama deemed more worthy than the lives sacrificed by our military......

Like they say, a pictures worth a thousand words.

Sunday, April 12, 2015



Sitting here in what has become a ghost town within a ghost village trying to figure out how the hell four months slipped through my fingers so fast.
Well, almost four months, in just two weeks I will be hitching my wagon and heading up north. Hopefully way after the other snowbirds have completed their great migration North as well as the spring breakers.
I've made that trip home before in the middle of spring break caravans, it's took all the worth of spending a week in Clearwater away. Can't even imagine trying to make that journey hauling my home behind me.
My time here has had mixed results, mostly on the plus side. 
The one negative aspect would be going from having the entire area where I park at my home park all to myself, to having many fellow volunteers all around me. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed making friends with most of my comrades, but I am not used to the drama created by one or two misfits who have a need to create angst where none exists.
I don't do drama and I don't have time to waste one minute of my life on those who do.

On the positive side:
This has been the shortest winter I have ever lived through.

Also, I have for the longest time had a great interest in South Florida's geology, geography and history.
Every since my 2nd marriage went to hell I have had a fantasy of having my bike down here, spending months and getting to know south Florida and the Keys.
Now sitting here in the Industrial Area of the park, the park visitor numbers have definitely slowed to a trickle giving me time to debrief myself on what I was able to do and see this season.
It's safe to say I have left a lot on the table for next year and years after that.
January and February's weather was not conducive for long road trips on the bike (sorry, I don't ride in shit weather anymore). And the half-day schedule for 80 hours a month make stringing more then a few consecutive days together a bit of a challenge.
In all, I've made the trip to the Keys 3 times, two of those being to Key West where a great time was had by all.
The last time was when I went to Key Largo alone for some camping and scuba diving and a great time was had by me.
All those ventures to the Keys was by truck, not by bike. Even the trip I did to Key Largo by myself, the hauling of a hundred pounds of scuba gear made the bike impossible.
I guess I could have got geared up in my scuba attire, tanks, BCD, weights, dive mask, fins and all and rode the bike. Wouldn't that have broke the internet with people snapping pictures, creating memes and such?

I have made some nice short 250 mile runs on the bike though. Maybe not as grand as riding across Seven Mile Bridge while tracing Standard Oil and Florida East Coast Railroad baron Henry Flagler's "overseas railroad to Key West".
But I did get to ride to Lake Okeechobee, Everglade City and many little hole in the wall places in between.

I do have one last 3 day break coming up next week and I've got one more road trip in mind.
I would like (weather permitting) to ride to Palm Beach and tour the home and museum of the oil and railroad tycoon, Henry Flagler. He and his FEC railroad are responsible for bringing the masses and development that changed Florida forever.


I've just finished the book The Last Train To Paradise, it was a non-fiction about Henry Flagler and his vision for developing Florida's east coast via his intrepid railroad building prowess.
Powered by Standard Oil profits he created a network of swamp crossing rail and developed most of Florida's east coast paradise, including but not limited to, Palm Beach and Miami.
Then he set his aging sights in his "overseas railroad" to link the Keys to the mainland all the way down to the most happening to town in all of Florida, Key West.
I've always stole glances at what remains of the hurricane cursed sections of the railroad bridges that run along side the "overseas highway" while driving to Key West.
Before there was a Seven Mile Bridge for cars, there was a Seven Mile railroad bridge.
Much of the Roman style viaduct arches and spans are still standing giving testament to the the men who toiled like ants rebuilding an anthill over and over as hurricanes came and killed many and threw lengths of rail into the sea like Pickup Sticks.
The hurricanes that seemed hellbent on destroying Flagler's Key West pipe dream during construction in the early 1920's seemed to have offered Flagler an uneasy truce after completion.
That is until 1935, the Labor Day weekend hurricane made the others look like pikers.
A rescue train from Miami was sent to rescue hundreds of men who were building the overseas highway.
The train arrived to the first group of people just in time to get them loaded only to have the railroad cars ripped off the track by a 30 foot tidal wave.
Didn't matter to the Engine 447, the rail bed was mostly gone anyway.
The only saving grace, Henry Flagler was no longer around to see it. He also was no longer around to save it and to pour countless more millions into a project that never really ran in the black.
Though the "overseas railroad" may have hauled thousands of paying paradise seeking passengers, it never did haul much of the bigger revenue generating freight that Flagler envisioned.

But even though the Overseas Railroad never paid anywhere near the Standard Oil dividends, having that link to the Keys and all of the east coast of Florida made much of what the Sunshine State is today and Henry Flagler is credited for the development of Florida, and rightly so.


Now just two weeks out from the morning I will break camp and head to Indy I am beginning to feel that tug of homesickness. I miss my beautiful home park, my little hillbilly cracker house on the lake and Nashville Indiana itself. What a great little town I have adopted as my own.
But of course it goes without saying I miss my peeps the most.
Thank God and Steve Jobs for my Ipad and the FaceTime app, but seeing my grandson growing up without me on a tablet will just get you so far.
I miss all my family, well except for little sis, she and my buddy Bob her old man have been here just a 20 minute drive up the Tamiami Trail.
It's been lots of fun hanging out with them, not to mention all the free great meals I copped and free laundry service!

The friends I have had the most contact with since last May are my coworkers of the DNR persuasion.
Things will be different there with the loss of a friend who was a DNR employee. I got that message while on a road trip to Okeechobee.
He was a really good dude, he dropped dead of a heart attack in the shop, we were the same age.
It will be sad to not see Shawn any more but will be great working with my DNR pals again.
I feel really appreciated there and I'm proud of the work I've done for the park.
Nashville seems to be as much my hometown now as any place I've took up residence in my closing in on 60 years.
Left Loogootee as an infant, lived inner city Indy for the first 6 or 7 years, moved to the Greenwood area for my Wonder Years, got married and moved to my folks back yard. Got divorced..... Got married again and moved to Martinsville. Got divorced and moved back to Greenwood, then to Camby. Got married and moved to Indy, got divorced and moved to Grenwood again. Got a home in wheels and moved to Nashville. I guess my home still is in Nashville even though me and my home on wheels are here in SW Florida.
All the above locations save Florida are in my home state.
So I guess my one true home would have to be the entire state of Indiana.
Just not in the wintertime anymore.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Tomorrow I will head down to Key Largo in hopes of falling in love again.
I can't think of a better place to do that.
There is an old hit song of the same name and I still like hearing it on the radio.
"We had it all, just like Bogey and Becall, starring in our own late late show, sailing away to Key Largo.........here's looking at you kid".

I'm will be down in the Keys trying to rekindle the lost love that first turned my head back in 91'
That song will no doubt be playing on a loop in my brain all the way down there.
Don't worry this love will never cheat on me or have a divorce lawyer try and bushwhack me.

I'm going to John Pennekamp State Park for 3 days of camping and scuba diving.
I first fell I love with diving many years ago in Cancun.
I had never done it before so I did a resort course and after some pool instruction I got aboard a dive boat and with the aid of a dive master as my dive buddy I did my first dive on the reef off the coast.
It was love at first breath under water. When I got back to the states I looked into getting my C-card and the following year I got certified.
I used to do a lot of diving and have logged some pretty cool dives.
Then the world turned to shit, well my world anyway. Some wrecks, some operations, some heart problems, some divorces took the wind out of my sails and the air out of my tanks.

Slowly I have been trying to get back into the sport that gave me just a hint of what being weightless in space might be like. After all that is how they train astronauts to do space walks.
I still have all the gear, in fact I have some new gear, some of my old stuff was too worn out to be safe.
I have done some dives in the past couple years. Not very many and not with the same excitement and thrill I used to have for this sport.
Mostly I have not gotten real comfortable yet under water.
This is a sport you need to keep your skills up to enjoy it, after all it is a sport that will kill you if you do it wrong.

We were in Key West in January and I did a couple shore dives off the beach at Fort Zachary. 
Last year I did a couple shore dives in Pensacola.
Not much to brag about just getting my fins wet.
Nothing like doing the Devils Throat 135' deep off Cozumel or wreck dives in the gulf.
I will need to work up to that again.
But mostly I just need to fall in love again with this amazing sport.
Right now I'm just in like.

I hope after these next few days I will be rewarded with Bogey telling me "here's looking at you kid".
I know, wrong movie....... But same cool guy.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Nixon sure had one. It came after only one scandle. The most open and honest administration in history has had more scandles than... (insert your favorite simile here).
In an effort to avoid redundancy I won't list them all again as I have in previous posts. Just to simply, jot down any 3 letter government acronym of all the US agencies that Obama has his hooks in and you will have the list. Better yet, use a spreadsheet.
This latest scandle with the Hillster and her devious email server should be added to the list. So far the leftist propaganda machine has reluctantly ceded that Hillary may be guilty of a slip of judgment. As of yet the media has failed to hold Obama's feet to the fire on this scandle or any other of his illegal acts.
Hillary is holding a presser this afternoon to try and get her media buddies to lighten up and help her fool the public to believe her nest of lies.
It will be interesting to see if you the media take the bait and fall in line. Or will the heir apparent to the throne finally find herself on the other side of the tipping point. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Dateline NBC used to be worth watching when they ran this gotcha series on perverts trying to meet and molest children online.
Working with the online watchdog group, Perverted Justice and local law enforcement, young adults posed online as 15, 14, 13 and younger waiting for trolling creeps to make contact with them for the purpose of meeting them online and later in the real world to do God knows what.
The series was riveting and very successful at catching these creeps and getting them off the streets. One of these freaks of nature was actually caught twice on this show, recidivism at its finest.
The series went on for months, until a deputy prosecutor was caught up in the sting.
He was on his way to meet up with a supposed 13 year old boy and got spooked and drove by the supposed meeting place.
Since the crime of solicitation of a minor online had already been committed, a few days later local law enforcement showed up at his house with Dateline NBC in tow to execute a warrant.
The perv took the cowards way out and shot himself when he saw the jig was up.
Comes now the pervs family, they wanted to get paid because their freak son and brother killed himself because he got caught.
NBC paid them off for having a freak for a son and brother and NBC discontinued the To Catch A Predator series.

I will relate a To Catch A Predator episode that did not make the NBC show because NBC was not doing that series when this happened.
The crime took place in a quiet neighborhood in Anytown America.
A boy about 7 years old was at a neighbors house just goofing around, most of the kids there were older than the boy. He hadn't been in the area that long, maybe a year or so.
One of the kids who was at that house, a kid that lived maybe 3/4 of a mile away and was maybe about 12 approached the 7 year old.
He offered to show the little boy a robins nest if he would do something for him.
The boy went with him and after he saw the nest the older boy took him down to the creek,(or crick as we called it) behind the house. The little boy was confused but naive so followed.
When they were isolated the 12 year old turned aggressive and grabbed the boy by his shorts and said he wanted to see if he was a boy or a girl meaning he was going to pull the boys shorts off.
The boy tried to pull away and began crying.

The older boy, when he saw this was not going his way rethought his disgusting plan.
He decided to stop but now he needed to cover his tracks, he did not want the boy to tell.
The little boy pulled away and started back up the trail that led to the house, his bike was there and he needed a fast getaway. The older boy followed and kept repeating the same two threats if the boy told anyone. "Don't tell anybody or I'll kill you! Don't tell anybody or I'll hit you!"
He got on his bike and while the little boy petaled across the bridge towards his house just across the creek the older boy followed on his bike and kept repeating the same two threats.
Across the bridge and into the boys yard he spotted his mother, the distress in her sons face brought her full attention. Through sobs the little boy could only tell the mother the the older kids on the bike following him was going to kill him.
This was no soccer mom, this was a souped up wildcat, she lit after the older boy who did an abrupt u-turn and bid a hasty retreat.

When the boy had collected himself he related the whole story. The mother got out the phone book and looked up the kids last name and reamed out the kids grandmother before she was told they were not the parents. The mom related later that the grandmother did not seem too surprised. The parents were notified but that's where it ended.

The house where this event began was where the older kids creepy girlfriend lived.
The creepy girlfriend started a smear campaign saying he little boy had made it all up, even though the little boy was too young to even know what a homosexual or molester was.
Nothing came of it and the dust settled after a time.
That was over 50 years ago.
And that little boy was me.
I have a hard time remembering the events of yesterday, but the details of that day over a half a century ago never dimmed.
I still think about how many little boys or girls in that situation are not just threatened with death, it is carried out.
I grew up in "the valley" never seeing that boy again and was glad of it. I heard he eventually married the creepy girlfriend who was more like a boy herself than a girl.
Come with me to now to present day.
I don't often dwell on ancient memories from the past, but when I do it's for a good reason.

If you have read this forgettable blog of mine, you know that I am spending the winter living in my camper while volunteering in exchange for a free campsite in southwest Florida.
I've been here 2 months now and having the best winter of my life.
There are many volunteers working and living here as well as paid rangers at this State park.
There are many group activities and one night a week is Game Night in the rec hall.
I came in late but decided to stop in and say hi.
There were the usual suspects but one unfamiliar face at the table.
I said my hi's and one of the guys I work with called me over to make introduction with the unfamiliar face. 
"Mark this is a retired Ranger John Highland", (some names have been changed to protect the perverted).
"John this is Mark........ Sorry your last name escapes me right now Mark", (a common malady around here).
We were already shaking hands when I realized who this was.
I looked at John or Johnny as I remember him being called in the old neighborhood and announced my full name while looking him in the eyes.
I looked for any sign of recognition in his eyes, none were noted.
Not surprising given the 5 decades and 1100 miles since our last encounter. His name may even have slipped by me if my cousin working here hadn't mentioned a former ranger who grew up in my neighborhood and told me his name.

I didn't see any reaction in his face when I told him my name, but if he would have looked in my eyes he would have seen something.
He would have seen shock in my eyes at first, then he would have seen controlled rage. He would have seen a grown ass man whose was spinning thoughts in his head about how the tide has turned, how I could lure him to my "crick" and though I'm pushing 60 I still have enough strength in my body to snap him in half, cut him into little pieces and feed him to the local population of alligators.

I stood behind him and studied about it for just a bit. The 20 year old me would have waited outside the building for him to come out and do something less than murder, but a hell of a lot more than what the 60 year old me did.
In the end I walked into my camper and washed my hands, washed them real good.

I heard many years ago that the perv and the creepy girlfriend who was more like a boy than a girl had gotten divorced after having some kids. I often wondered if maybe he had grown up to be a child molester and maybe did something to his own kids and wondered if that had caused the divorce.
I just found out today that John Highland had come out of the closet and was now living in the Keys as a gay man.
Can't say I'm too surprised.

Monday, February 9, 2015


I can't remember what happened yesterday, but I think if I had ever been in a helicopter that had been hit by RPG fire it would be burned into my memory for the rest of my life.
I have known 3 men who lived and survived that experience in Vietnam.
One vet recounted his experience of being shot down at night, crash landing and dodging tracers to make it to a rescue chopper.
Another vet was a door gunner that served 3 tours and was shot down 3 times. Another vet and fellow blogger and friend Pitchpull, probably has memories that would make my hair stand on end, if I had any hair.
Trauma does have a tendency to imprint much detail into ones mind.
I have one incident from my early childhood that was a near death experience that was forever imprinted in my feeble mind.
This occurred in the 50's when we lived on Rural Street before it was a no-go-zone for white people.
I was maybe 4 or 5 and was innocently innocently walking next to Rural Street balancing my young tender body on the curb testing my balance against the speeding Edsels and Desotas 
I looked up to see my towering father making a beeline towards me. Towering, all 5'8" of him. I started to greet him with a "hi daddyeeeeeeeeeee!"
Ass meet belt, belt meet ass.
I learned my lesson about playing in or in close proximity to traffic that day. If I didn't fear the oncoming traffic but I sure as hell feared dad's belt.
Now the fog of war, or the fog of 55 years has not changed that memory one bit. I could not conflate that experience with the multitude of ass whippings I got during the rest of my childhood. It's possible to forget major instances that occur in our lives but to say you misremembered a near death event that never happened to you is not, unless you are psychotic.

Brian Williams is certainly not the first anchor or journalist to make stuff up or "misremember".
In fact MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS and most of the print news wouldn't have anything to talk about if the didn't make stuff up.
They are the propaganda arm of the left and they have to lie to make things like the debacle-in-chief not look like a complete ass.
The left claim that Fox News is the propaganda arm of the Right.
But that's just because news that is presented in a balanced form and not filtered through the prejudices or ulterior motives of leftists so it looks so foreign to them and does not serve their purpose.
In closing I do think Williams should give up the anchor gig but I don't think he should be drummed out of the business.
I still believe there is a place for him that would be very suited to his particular talent.
I hear they have an opening over at Onion News, can't think of a better match.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


If you read my last post you know I am spending the winter at the Koreshan State Historic Site here in Estero Florida.

It is the site of the now defunct attempt to create a Utopia, a New Jerusalem based on the teachings of self proclaimed Messiah Dr. Cyrus Teed in the late 1800 hundreds.
To be a good Messiah though you need to be able to live forever or in lieu of that, be able to rise from the dead.
Dr. Teed did neither.

When I became a Christian many decades ago,  (I know, I'm not the best example of one these days), I developed an interest in the study of other religions and cults. I just wanted to know more about what others believe and why.
I have come to feel that in most cases one mans religion is another mans cult.
If a cult gains enough believers, takes root, spreads and hangs around long enough it pretty much gains acceptance and if it becomes large enough will be referred BY SOME as one of the Worlds Great Religions.

I know what I believe and I know why I believe it. I don't disparage others who have chosen a different path as long as that path doesn't tread on me or other innocent victims whose beliefs differ.
The cult of Islam was invented in the seventh century by a man who would marry and sexually assault a six year old child and begin a reign of murder and terror that continues today.
I felt the need to vent about the cult of Mohammed after what I witnessed today.
I never wanted to see these barbaric acts of fundamentalist Islamics, I never watched these Ninja wanna be pigs when they cowardly behead some innocent victim.
I just didn't want that image in my mind or my soul.
Today after much internal debate I watched the horrific murder of the Jordanian pilot. He was burned alive by ISIS.
It was indescribable and it has darkened my soul and fueled my rage just by watching it. It was just a walk in the park for these monsters, after all they have no problem burying men women and children alive, beheading, crucifying or raping children. These Islamics are worse than the Nazis and like the Nazis have given up the right to he considered human beings. Chris Kyle called them savages, I'm not sure I want to insult savages by calling Islamic radicals that. 

Mohammed's followers call him a prophet of god but they worship Mohammed as a god and will not even allow drawings to be made of him under the threat of death.
But you can name your damn kid after him, just not a stuffed teddy bear. That mistake almost got a teacher in the Mideast executed.
They are compelled to murder anyone who even respectfully attempts to replicate an image of the barbarian Mohammed.
These worshipers of Mohammed are themselves guilty of the mortal sin of idolatry.

Defenders of this cult love to try and attempt to deflect the guilt of these terrorists by dredging up the past and citing things like the Crusades or the Inquisition.
Like if God grades on a curve this will have some relevance.

To say I have complete contempt for this cult is the ultimate of understatement.
Of all the "Great World Religions", of all the cults large and small, new and old, in the parlance of the Star Trek junkies, Islam is the Klingon of religions. They are compelled to slaughter anyone who does not fall down before Baal and worship their false god. Their god does entertain the concept of free will. What kind of a god would accept worship gained at the barrel of a gun or the glint of a knife blade?
It is clear that the fundamentalist Islamics worship the god of this world.

Liberals love to argue that Christians are guilty of the same atrocities in the past.
They are referring to medieval minds hundreds of years ago, who were not acting on New Testament teachings or following the example of Christ.
As if to add to my point, just now I read that Obama during the National Prayer Breakfast said Christians were as guilty as ISIS for things done during The Dark Ages. 
Me thinks Obama is living in the dark ages with his head up his own ass.
Islamic fundamentalists are following commands of their Quran and are emulating the actions of their so-called Prophet.
Islamics will point to writings in the Quran that talk of peace, when they attempt to persuade the public that they are the religion of peace. They gloss over the multitudes of the Quran's scriptures that calls for murder, rape and enslavement of infidels, which is anyone who won't bow down to their false god.
Obama and his band of terrorist apologists want you to believe Islam is all rainbows and Unicorn farts.
I have to just shake my head and laugh every time I see those Coexist bumper stickers.

I wish I would have been the one who thought up this response to that stupid bumper sticker, this is genius!

I would add a pithy comment here but I just can't out-pithy the above.

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
                                             II Corinthians 4:4 KJV


Monday, February 2, 2015


Not really, that's just one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies, The Wizard Of Oz.
No, I'm not gay, I just remember watching that movie as a kid and being scared shitless.
I don't have the DVD, it's just one of the movies that I have to stop my channel surfing and watch the remainder of it whenever it and my remote cross paths.
The Cowardly Lion spoke those words as the witch hunting crew traveled through the Haunted Forest. The Tin Man assured everyone that they were safe and shucks he didn't believe in spooks anyhow. That's when a gang of lurking spooks picked him up and promptly kicked the shit out of him. The Lion started chanting his mantra in reaction to the Tin Man getting his ass canned because he said he didn't believe in spooks.

There is an entire industry devoted to the paranormal and fleecing the believers in the paranormal. Probably one of the most successful scammers in the business is a charlatan named John Edwards. His shows are filled with audiences who have become shills without even knowing it. Edwards has "greeters" roaming through the crowds before a taping digging out key information from the audience that will be later used by Edwards as he "communicates with the departed ones".
His shows are also heavily edited to eliminate the 90 percent stuff he gets wrong.
"The letter M keeps coming to mind, Mary?, Martha?, Mark?, Michael?, does that mean anything to you?". Of course it's a method of initiating a "cold reading" of a random member of the audience or he may be focusing in on a potential shill that one of his handlers had previously gleaned information from. Then it just goes from there with Edwards or any other fake psychic leading the shill to give them positive indicators when he is on the right track.
Sort of "your getting warmer, no colder, ok warmer, warmer, no colder, now warmer, warmer!, warmer!!, YOUR BURNING UP JOHN!, THATS IT!.
You nailed it John Edwards! How ever did you do that!?!?"
I didn't mean to go off on a tangent here about my disgust for fake psychics, which includes all who claim to be.
I guess it's a subject that goes hand in hand with my disbelief in ones spirit crossing back over once one has taken the dirt nap.

The subject came up in my mind as the hair on the back of my neck raised just a bit Saturday night after the Ghost Walk ended and I was tending to the props.
I was one of the prop men or "grip" as they are listed on the ending credits of a movie.
This was the first weekend of the 24th annual Ghost Walk the volunteers put on here at the Koreshan State Historic Site in Estero Florida.
The old settlement pathways are lined with over 400 hundred luminaries and there are 8 scenes in various buildings and stages throughout the park.
The scenes and buildings are illuminated with mostly real candles and lanterns and windows in some buildings are dimly lit with hidden battery powered flickering candles or lights.
When it's all set up it is very effective if not just a bit eerie.
It's not a ghost adventure at all, nor is it meant to be.
The history of the Koreshans and its progression and decline are portrayed chronologically as the audience is ushered from one scene to the next throughout the settlement.

I have put most of my efforts here at the park into learning all about he early 20th century machine shops and power house as this is my assigned place to work and serve as Docent for the winter.
Of course I am completely mesmerized by all the antique technology that surrounds me in the Industrial Area of the Unity settlement.
I am likewise fascinated with the rise and fall of this bizarre group of individuals that made up the Koreshan Unity.
Founded in the late 19th century by the late (and as of 2/2/2015 un-reincarnated) Dr. Cyrus Teed, or Master Koresh as his followers addressed him.
He was to be their Messiah and lead the world in the New Jerusalem that was to begin here in the swamps of Estero Florida.
Some would call this a cult, of all the studies I have done on cults this group certainly qualifies as a personality lead cult.
I don't call it that here in mixed company, it does not seem to be politically correct to do so officially.

The Unity flourished in the early years with new members giving over to Master Koresh all their earthly goods, separating their family's, men in one compound, women in another and their children given over to be raised by others in one large group.
Oh yeah they were also required to take an oath of celibacy.
Yeah nothing cult like there huh?
So the Unity members not getting jiggy with it anymore needed to find something to do with their hands so they worked and they worked hard. They produced and built and commenced commerce in the area and made money.
Then in 1908 The Messiah died so they put him in a tub and waited for Master Koresh to reincarnate, and they waited and waited and, well this is southwest Florida, not known for having weather that would lend to preserving a dead master. They were finally ordered to bury the now rotting master so they entombed him near the beach still expecting one day would be the Second Coming.
Then one day a hurricane blew through and the tomb door did not roll away. The whole damn thing blew away, out to sea and his body except for a few bits and pieces were never heard from again.
Over the next decades some of the more faithful remained but without procreation and without a walking talking Messiah to bring in new shills the Utopia gradually died out so the 4 remaining members donated the property to the State of Florida in the early 1960's.

Damn! Chasing rabbits here again,
I said all that to take you to one of the buildings I was in Saturday night, a building like all the other buildings in the settlement that would make a great place for a ghost to hang out.
This is one of the largest buildings here and it held the Seven Planetary Sisters who were the seven women that ran all the sects businesses.
There are two floors, three if you count the Copulla. That is where the guy whose job it was to watch over and serve the Planetary Sisters resided.
It's a tiny room, about half the size of my camper that sits atop the building.
Sparse and austere to be sure, but the view was stunning!
The miniature penthouse of The Planetary Court building has windows a plenty and a door on each side that opens up to two widow walks that had me lingering up there longer than necessary to turn out the battery lanterns.
This and the second floor are off limits to tour groups.

So there I was, looking down at the settlement at a view shared by the long departed watchdog of the Sisters, wondering how he felt with two floors of the fairer sex below him.
Two floors of women he could not have, only protect them and serve them.
Wondering if he even wanted to have any of them. Wondering if he ever did have any of them.
Wondering about all those long dead people who gave up possessions, freedom and even family to come here expecting a glorious new utopia only to watch their New Jerusalem devolve into a collection of structures being reclaimed by the Florida jungle.

I could spend hours here but I have many props to secure for the night so I turn to leave my tiny observatory of historical follies.
Just a few steps down from the doorway you pass through the attic of the Planetary Court and you make a left turn to head down more stairs that lead into one of the Planetary Sisters bedroom. Hmmmmm.
It's really dark in here now. I left my flashlight tuned off. Like the Tin Man I was temping any ghosts that may be lurking in the old building.
I'm still in the attic facing the doorway that leads to the sisters bedroom, the only way out for the fella that served the sisters. I stand still there in the darkness, the only light is the battery powered candle in the window of the sisters bedroom electronically flickering a dim yellow light through the doorway, my eyes adjusted to the dark I can see the way out.
I just can't see what's to my side in the pitch black attic.
Or what is behind me in the Copulla.
My assurance that has comforted me over the years that ghosts do not exist starts to evaporate as the tiny hairs on the back of my neck begin to stand.

The words of the Cowardly Lion start echoing in my mind.

I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks, I do!, I do!, I do believe in spooks!

Monday, January 26, 2015


Smokey the Bear used to say forrest fires instead of wildfires.
Don't know why the change was made, possibly even Smokey is subject to the P.C. Police.
You think about someone throwing a cigarette out the window of a passing car, how simple and easy it would be for someone walking to just step on the butt to extinguish the flame.
How if there is no one around to save the day, that same small flame will grow into an incredibly destructive force and require vast resources and many times, loss of life to vanquish it.
The United States is the focal point for enormous ridicule and derision from most of the planet it seems.
Often referred as The World Police, meant not as a compliment for sure.
Starting with the Korean War, then Vietnam, the Israeli/Islamic strife to the current run of Islamic aggression against its neighbors and human beings from other cultures.

The leftists in this country blame their own nation, saying we have a bloodlust, we are warmongers, Dick Cheney wants Halliburton to make him more money or President Bush wants more oil money.
"No blood for oil" is the mantra of the Idiocrats.
Don't bother to Google that word, I just made it up.
Defined in your volume of the Venster dictionary 2015 edition as follows:
Idiocrat derivative of idiot. "One who ignores fact or reason and will never let logic, truth or common sense get in the way of attacking someone who uses facts, reason, logic, truth and common sense while protecting liberty, democracy, capitalism, freedom, and free thought."

The thing the detractors of the defensive posture taken by the U.S. forget is the terrible price the has been paid in the past when someone walked by a smoldering cigarette and just stepped over it. It was easier to just ignore the small ember. Surely it will go out on its own. If not then someone else will surely stomp out the glowing flame.
Turns out everybody just kept stepping over it, then it got bigger and they walked around it. It went from ominous threat to a raging inferno. The time for stomping the burning ember passed and by the time we joined in the fight Hitler was dominating on three fronts.
We paid a terrible price for the neglect of others.
The world except for the Axis Powers weren't bitching back then about our involvement in the affairs of others.
World War I and World War II polarized our foreign policy, by the 1950's the Third Reich was dead but Communism went from carcinoma to an aggressive malignant tumor.
Our involvement in Korea then in Vietnam began to wear on people and they gradually forgot about the importance of stepping on small embers.
Our vigilance turned into complacency until that day I took my mother to the airport on 9/11.
We snapped out of our coma that day and soon we started kicking the living shit out of these Disciples from hell.
But when politicians prosecute wars and seek to win the hearts and minds of a people that posses neither, you end of with a war of attrition.
Our patience for the "a" word is variable.
It doesn't help when the left side of the nation wants the security they enjoy, they also want to be a dead weight on the process required to accomplish it.

Comes now ISIS, or ISIL, or whatever you chose to call this growing network of evil baby raping murderers.
Obamas fumbling Mideast policies created this vacuum and nature as well as evil abhors a vacuum.
ISIS is filling it with increasing numbers of evil Islamic lunatics who worship a man they call a Prophet. I have other names for a murderer and child molester. I guess there is two of them to start with.
The horrific thing and the difference in the threat posed by ISIS and Nazi Germany, the Japanese Empire or even the dead Soviet Union is the latter three understood and respected the doctrine of M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction), (I know, M.A.D wasn't in vogue during WW II).
The radical Islamics not only do not fear mutual destruction, they embrace it.
They believe it is their destiny to bring about what the Christian world calls The Apocalypse.
They are doing the bidding of the Anti-Christ.
Soon thanks to Russia, China, North Korea and Iran the Nuclear Genie will be out of the bottle. Once these Islamic lunatics get their hands on a nuke it will only be a matter of time before they use it. If Pakistan falls to the radical elements in that country the radicals will instantly have their fingers on the button.
It's inevitable that either one or both of these things will happen in our lifetime unless you plan on checking out in the next few years.
Am I trying to sound ominous? Not really, I just lose my patience when the sky is falling loons bend science and distort evidence trying to redistribute Americas wealth making fanciful man-made C.O. Global Warming claims when Global Warming will more likely happen with the push of a button.

There are fires all over the globe now ranging from smoldering embers to growing flames. The rest of the planet is either walking around these fires or critiquing the ones trying to put them out.
It's almost too late now.

Proofing this post made me almost hit the delete button. I wrote it with good intentions but it came off as overblown and mellow dramatic.
Then yesterday I read this article.
Then last night I was in some unknown city with my daughter I looked off in the distance and saw a large nuclear explosion, I grabbed my daughter we ducked and covered behind a large tree and waited for the shockwave.
It hit and all around us buildings were leveled but the tree and me and Nicole were spared.
Then we started gathering supplies and I was trying to figure out how we could get to my fishing shack at the lake. 
Then I woke up back here in Fort Myers and thought what the hell, I'm posting this load of digital crap!

Saturday, January 24, 2015


for some reason I cant find this old post in the edit file. but was able to do a search on it so I will link to it so go here if you want a laugh at my expense.


Friday, January 23, 2015


He Said, She Said, Ed Said

always wondered what I would do in the face of real danger. I never had to experience combat. I enlisted in the Army National Guard in 73 just after the draft had ended.
Can't say I had some high altruistic motive for doing so. It was more to do with my undiagnosed ADD boredom, looking for something different to do with my rudderless life.

I made it through Army basic training just fine in fact near top of the class in all but one area.
The ability to take shit from someone else. You see back then I had a real problem with authority. Yeah not exactly a virtue in the military.

Flash forward some 40 plus years, I have some regrets about that. I admire those who serve our country in the military and regret I was not a different person back then.
Watching a movie such as American Sniper always has me reevaluating myself in Army Basic Training.

I don't flatter myself thinking I could have even qualified for SEAL training much less earn a Trident. 
Basic training was tough enough for me. When I learned what BUDS training consisted of, I was in awe of anyone who could make it through that hell.
These guys who earn that title even if they never have to do one actual combat mission deserve accolades.
Then you think about those guys who make the grade then get deployed and do a tour in country, then do two tours, then do three tours, then do four tours.
But that man who joins the military, applies for SEAL training, then is one of the few that actually graduates BUDS, then is deployed 1,2,3,4 times. Holds the record as America's deadliest sniper in U.S. history. Comes home, devotes his life to helping other vets who are disabled and has his life taken by some returning vet. This is the guy the Hollywood elitists want to call a coward.

What am I missing? Is Michael Moore qualified to make judgments on an American hero because he makes fake documentaries trashing the U.S. and can devour a whole can of Crisco at one setting? Is Seth Rogan qualified to make judgments on an American hero because he can smoke a whole pound of weed while he jokes about how many times he whacks off each day?
Ok, I got that out, I was supposed to blog about the content of the movie American Sniper.

I have to admit Bradley Cooper is one of my favorite actors. Not because I look just like him (I wish), I just think he can play any role convincingly, he even does well in comedic roles. And Clint Eastwood is a proven quality as an actor as well as director.
Watching this movie or any combat movie more often than not leads me down memory lane to my own lackluster military career. And always has me wondering if I would have had the right stuff in the heat of battle.
I can't usually remember what happened last week, but I will never forget the time in basic training when the enemy of one of our fight songs led by the DI's was switched overnight. It went from,,
"I want to be an Airborne Ranger, I want to live a life of danger, I want to go to Vietnam, I want to kill some commie congs". You see, almost all of our Drill Instructors were fresh back from country. Vietnam was still their enemy.
Then suddenly overnight, the song was changed, not the tune, just the enemy. That next morning as per usual we started our morning run around the Parade Grounds while singing war songs.
"I want to be an Airborne Ranger, I want to live a life of danger, I want to go to Israel, I want to kill some Egyptians".
Yeah overnight.

This was1973, the Yom Kippur War pitted Israel against an Egyptian/Syrian alliance when the Muslims launched a surprise attack against the Jews on the Jewish Holy Day of Yom Kippur.
In basic training you get news not from the network TV, but by word of mouth so reliability sometimes suffers. I had not been training that day, I was stuck on KP duty which was worse then crawling through mud while a D.I. was kicking you in the ass.
My buddies came through the chow line with wide eyes exclaiming "man were going to war!, they put some infantry units on ready alert and us Nation Guard guys are getting 6 additional weeks of combat training and then we're going to be sent over to the Mideast!"
It was the next day when I went back to training that the war song was changed to killing Egyptians.
The day after that one of the guys in our BTC decided he would bug out. He had joined the 82 Airborne unit. An Airborne infantry unit, a unit you join expecting to someday go into combat with. That day he just refused to train, he stood against the barracks wall and threatened to hit anyone who came near him.
Why would you join a damn infantry unit then bug out if you thought you would have to fight.
Ahhhh the Phony tough! 
That line is from one of my favorite movies, "Full Metal Jacket". The narrator talks about the phony tough and the crazy brave.

What was I thinking during this time? I had lived my young life being both phony tough and crazy brave at times up until this point. Funny thing was, I wasn't really terrorfied at the possibility of going to war, it was unexpected for sure, I thought I was there to learn how to operate bulldozers. I had joined an Army National Guard Engineering unit. Now I was going to have to go through infantry training then go on the other side of the planet and kill Egyptians.
I hadn't planned on killing Islamics, but I was the one who signed on the line, I wasn't going to bug out.

Yeah I know the point of this "he said, she said, Ed said" was to give my take on the movie American Sniper. But when I'm watching a really great film I get inside the movie and I wonder things like what would I do? How would I handle that situation?
Movies I've seen about combat always take me back 40 years ago to BTC in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri and I remember how tough I thought Basic was at the time.
Uhhhh, I keep getting off track here, chasing rabbits as a former pastor said. I'm supposed to be reviewing a movie here.
American Sniper had me cursing under my breath the Islamic terrorists and cheering when Chris Kyle blew one of the scumbags heads off. The end of the movie had the entire audience in silence and we ushered ourselves out of the theatre as if it had been transformed into a funeral home.

American Sniper is an amazing movie, I would not expect it to garner many awards though. It will not be politically correct to do so. Hollywood is replete with the phony tough. 
Michele (sic) Moore has made a good living utilizing freedoms fought for by others.
His hack so-called documentaries would not be possible in most other places. This talentless Crisco Kid has found his niche, tearing down the very nation that he uses for his own personal gain. And he calls the likes of Chris Kyle a coward?

Back to Fort Leonard Wood 40 years ago.
Turns out Israel had no need for either the phony tough or the crazy brave. They kicked the living shit out of the Islamics just like they did in 67.
I was a relief to all of us of course, as for the phony tough, the 82nd Airborne guy that wanted to bug out when he thought he might actually have to go into combat and who before that spent all his spare time telling everybody how badassed he was, got handed a DD and was sent packing. I went on after Basic Training to A.I.T. and played in the mud of Fort Leonard Wood on a D7 Cat bulldozer for a couple months. Never got tested on the battlefield, had to settle for a few barroom brawls instead.

But it always left me wondering, when I think about the ones who have been tested, like the guy in the movie I sat and watched today, or the guy who sat on the other side of my sister who was tested in Vietnam. I wonder if I would have measured up. Not a war hero, just a soldier who could one day say I did my best.

To read She Said go here.  http://ihavearighttospeaktoo.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 16, 2015


Just spent the last few days in Key West, now my little mini vacation is over and I have to drive back up north.
All the way to fricking Fort Myers Florida.
Got to Florida 3 weeks ago today, the weather has been wonderful. Certainly nothing to bitch about there. The first five days I got down here I had respiratory infection. That's the first time I have been ill in about 4 or 5 years and the memory of chest colds fade rapidly once you are well.
Oh! I took one of the volunteer camps kayaks down the Estero River the other day that is right next to where I am camped and when I was launching it I got a splinter in my finger from the dock and it really smarted, hmmm.
Ok I guess I need to turn my attention further north for bitching inspiration.

The Bozo in the White House keeps releasing more terrorist from Gitmo so they can resume murdering the normal people of planet Earth.

The idiot "pants up don't loot" vermin are dipping their soft non-calloused hands together in concrete filled barrels and blocking the interstates in Boson and nobody thought to reenact the Boston Tea Party with their dumasses and dump them in the bay.

Al Sharlaton is at it again whining that the elite Hollywood leftist only nominated the movie Selma for 2 Academy Awards.

The Bozo in the White House is threatening to block the will of the people again by blocking the Keystone Pipeline while pissing on the Constitution with his Executive Actions on everything else.

Yeah that ought to do it.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


wouldn't say I've been humbled.
After all that would mean it was something I had not expected.
It would also require another person that was trying to humble me.
I left Brown County State Park Christmas Eve with the gratitude and respect for the work I did there for the last seven months. I had become one of the main go to guys there and the Park Manager, Assistant Manager and Maintenance Supervision doled out pats on my back on a regular basis. Sounds like I'm patting myself on the back here.
Don't mean to, it's an attempt to make a larger point. That point being my ego was receiving a proper balance of nutrition.
This park in Florida, Koreshan State Historical Site has been the prize I've had my eye on since I visited my cousin here last February. My cousin was a tour guide here and he gave me a personal tour of the Settlement. The entire park and Settlement was fascinating but it was when we got to the antique machine shops and the turn of the century electrical power house, my eyes lit up with all the voltage the antique Nikola Tesla designed Westinghouse alternator could generate.
I have always had an affinity for cogs and wheels and pulleys and rotors and stators and pistons and electricity and early technology.
And here it all was, in one small area of the park, a dim, ancient looking, hand blown bulb appeared above my head. This is where I wanted to spend the rest of my winters.

I came to Florida that warm humid February (at least down here) without a clue of where I was going to live. I had been staying with my brother for well over a year since my last and final divorce and I knew it was way past time to give him his home and privacy back.
I had been looking for an apartment close to or in Nashville Indiana. Close to my lake lot and fishin shack, close to the park I love so much Brown County State Park.

15,000 acres of beautiful rolling hills and vistas, mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding trails aplenty.
I had put in my name on a waiting list at a Senior Living apartment in Nashville months before. I never heard back from them so I figured being such a nice place to live, the residents there would probably hang on to those apartments like grim death!

My cousin had been coming this park in Florida for the winter for several years, volunteering at the park, in return he and the other volunteers got to camp for free for 20 hours of work a week.
Sounded like a perfect solution to me!
When I got back home I made several efforts to do the same at the park at Nashville.
Finally got my gig going there and loved the 7 months I spent there.
Christmas Eve would find my hitching my wagon and heading south to my new home in Florida for the next 3 plus months.
I wasn't exactly sure what I would be doing here, I told the Volunteer Coordinator I wasn't above picking up trash or cleaning toilets.
The real gig I wanted was in the Industrial Area of the park, where the gear and motor heads run and demonstrate all the gadgets and cogs and wheels, and monster engines of days gone bye.
That would have to be a job I would have to wait for I was told.
The guys who have that job loved what they were doing and would hang on to that gig like grim death!
Sure, who would blame them? I would go there and do what was required of me and put my name on another waiting list for that job. Another waiting list that I would probably never hear back from.

The day after Christmas I pulled my camper in the Volunteer Camp. My cousin had gone back up to Indy for the holidays and was not back yet.
The other volunteers at the camp were very welcoming and helpful when they learned who I was. Apparently my cousin has a lot of juice here!
One of the men helping me get set up here was also the guy who runs the Industrial Area.
Real great guy as is all the other people here. Most people are nice here in the tropics, it's hard to be an asshole in this weather!

It took several days to be able to find out what I was supposed to do so I just hung out with the Industrial guys. Learning what I could, helping when I could, trying not to get in the way, trying not to shoot my mouth off all the while trying to showcase some semblance of talent in this arena. I learned they were a guy short! The big guy of the Industrial Area put in a good word for me and that did the trick! I got my dream job in the Industrial Area down here right off the bat, but I understood going in I was no longer the go-to guy, I had to check my inflated ego at the Florida Welcome Center.
Like the good Lord says, "humble thyself and pray". I would add humble thyself and learn.
These guys make that very easy to do.

I prayed all the way from Nashville Indiana that I wouldn't flip my camper and contents upside down in a ditch on the way down here. I humbled myself gladly and switched my brain into the sponge mode. You have to know when it's time to shut the hell up and listen to the wisdom around you. There is plenty of that around here. There are a variety of very sharp old guys that are very good at what they do and very good about sharing the knowledge they have acquired over a lifetime of turning wrenches, turning lathes, running wires, building cabinets, writing books, just about anything you can think of this group of volunteers has a pool of talent that I hope to draw from. 
This job consists of repairing and rebuilding an antique power station, machine shops, monster crude oil burning engines, gas engines and firing them up for demonstration.
The most important aspect of this gig is to be on hand when people stroll in and just shoot the bull with them, show them the large and small machine shops and the power house and explain the history of the park and how everything works.
I haven't been assigned shifts for giving tours yet, but I have already started doing it.
I really love getting my hands greasy around here and I really enjoy talking to people about it. 

As I said, well over a year ago I had put my name on a waiting list for a nice apartment in Nashville.
Funny, yesterday in the old power house as I was being mentored by the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the Industrial Area, I got a call from the apartment complex telling me they finally had a place for me now, "no thanks", I said, "I've already found a home".

Monday, January 5, 2015


This is what I was hoping for. To hell with tourist traps, I want to explore the real South Florida. 

I've been here a little over a week now. Pretty much settled in now, can't say I have been worth my salt as of yet. I keep asking what they want me to do, they keep saying just settle in, enjoy and we will put you to work soon enough. So be it.

That's what sprung me loose on this first of what I hope to be many recon missions of South Florida. I've fantasized about doing this for decades. Pretty much started thinking about it since the collapse of my second marriage. I should have done it then, it would have saved me wasting 10 years on a third loser marriage.

Since I have been still occupied getting my camper set up on the new site I didn't have a full day to explore so I set my sights on riding my Honda Shadow to Immokalee by way of Corkscrew Road.

After 13 miles of riding the flattest, straightest and open road I was wondering where the hell it got its name.

The home version of this is what we back home called The Samaria Flats.

This was The Flats times 10! Somewhere along this stretch I passed a little metal shack of a building t-boned into an old beat up camper as to make living quarters.

The front part of the shack had a sign that advertised "Corkscrew Country Store".

Note to self, gotta stop here on my way back from Immokalee.

About then Corkscrew Road was starting to live up to its namesake with some with some sexy long smooth bike loving 90 degree turns. The kind that you don't have to be a Cafe racer to lay into and enjoy.

You just get a nice lean into the corner and with perfect visibility and no opposing traffic you let the throttle dictate what position of the road you take. Centrifugal force at its best.   Corkscrew Road is the exit I took off of I75 the day after Christmas. It led me directly to the park that will be home to me and my Toy Hauler camper for the winter.

Leaving the park heading east on Corkscrew this very warm, humid January day, the mass of restaurants, condo developments and numerous Publix grocery stores give way to citrus groves, marshes, panther warning signs and open roads.

After a few nice long curves and passing some hiking preserves that will need hiking in the near future Corkscrew Road tees into State Road 82 that will head me toward Immakolee.

The main industry of Immakolee is the Seminole ran casino. I don't care much for casinos but only thought it fair to drop in and pay reparations to my Native American brethren.

Took me a grant total of about 10 minutes and were all good now. Squared up. Your welcome Kimosabe.

Heading back on this short 70 mile test run I saw a sign in Immokalee on S.R. 29 that said Everglade City 47 miles. That would be due south of Immokalee and that was what I was looking for. A route to Everglade City that kept me off of interstates or the stretch of Tamiami Trail that drudges through heavy traffic and monotonous planned communities.

It will take me longer to get there for sure but I'm more interested in exploring the real South Florida than making good time to each place I intend to visit.

Heading back across Corkscrew Road I kept my eyes peeled for the Country Store.

When I came up to the gravel drive to the stores parking lot there on a trailer was the craziest coolest homemade swamp buggy rig I ever saw.

I pulled up to the front of the shambled store and saw a few locals sitting on the stores porch.

"How y'all doin?" I spoke in my best Southern Indiana drawl.

"Good, how you?" they responded.

"I'm good" I said. "Just a bit parched, ya don't happen to have any cold beer in there for sale do ya?"

"Yeah, I got a little bit" she said and led me inside to an old fashion style coke bottle cooler.

Inside was an ecletic collection of beer. No Coors Banquet to be found but there were a couple of Carona's of all things so I settled on one of those sans lime wedge.

I'm sure fruiting the beer in this place would have been an egregious error of protocol.

I sat down with my thirst quenching beer a couple of seats down from ol boy who I was sure to be the craftsman of this mutation of motor city.

Ol' boy was more than happy to talk about his swamp conquering machine when I asked about it. I sat on the porch with ol boy and the others had a good conversation about much of nothing. The proprietor of the store had migrated down south from Ohio some thirty five years ago. She had run the store for the last twenty.

Seems like in Fort Myers you can't throw a rock without hitting a Publix store.

I kinda of like this store better.

After a half an hour my limeless Carona drained, it was time to head back to my home on wheels. I told them I'd see em again. This store is right on my way to a lot of other places I need to see.

As I was heading back across Corkscrew Flats I recalled the decisions I had to make when the idea of becoming a park volunteer carney first started taking shape.

I had serious thoughts about taking my brother up on his offer to buy my bike and just get a standard travel trailer instead of a toy hauler.

I finally came to the decision to sacrifice comfort space for cargo space and found a camper that offered both.

Some toy haulers have dedicated garages in the back. I didn't like that configuration. I wanted a camper that would allow the cargo area to be used as practical living space when not hauling my toys. Finally found the perfect fit, a 2014 Grey Wolf 25RR.

With my rental house sold this is going to be my primary home for as long as I can sing for my supper and live this vagabond lifestyle.

The low gas prices hit at the perfect time and with trailer in tow dragging my MPG down to a little over 8 miles it's a damn good thing.

Saw we are having a cold front coming through later this week, gonna drop down to 50 as a low Thursday night. Course it's supposed to be 2 below back home.

See ya in the spring back home folks!