Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A few new animated sigs...

Ah, but from what I see in my comment window I have not explained what these are used for. I am an avid gamer and communicate to friends and teams in gaming forums. These are added to the end of comments as an identifier and just to show off a bit (gamer and team props). Hope that helped ;)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Couldn't pass this up...

Smart Test

Take the test and see how you do...

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

b13's 13th photoblog post...

I know, I have more that 13 posts... but this IS my 13th photoblog post.
Clicking the images will open a 6X8 version so that you can get a better view.

This is going to be a long one… but I hope you will all look through these pics. During my three days in the Florida Keys I took over 200 pictures and chose 74 to share with you (I also added five that my niece took but I’ll explain that later.) Please return if you can not view them all the first time.

Day One
Our first mistake, was instead of taking 95 South from the airport in Ft. Lauderdale we jumped right on Interstate 1 and hit lights as well as traffic in Miami, Hollywood, and the seedier sections of the East coast of south Florida. Two things you see right away are palm trees and traffic.

It looks like they are building a new roadway and understandably so. A storm would wash away the current road and the higher road will likely keep the crocodiles at bay. (See the sign)

A ride that should have taken us two and a half hours stretched out over four… but we made it to the house that my sister rented. And what a house it is. There is a wrap-around balcony and multiple bedrooms and bathrooms.

The sun was already beginning to set so I took a few quick pictures of the backyard…

…and the beautiful view from the dock before going inside for the first of many wonderful meals that were cooked by a Patty, a chef that was hired for the week. I never thought Mahi-Mahi would taste so good. And her crab cakes were to die for!!! Oh yeah, that view from the dock….

Day Two
Woke up early and took a few more pictures from the dock before venturing out.

What it must be like to live here all year long… although I wouldn’t want t be there for a storm.

Palm trees, palm trees everywhere.

Out front I found some lizards hanging around.

And quite colorful if you are patient.

The dried out husk that the coconut fruit sprouts from reminded me of creature from an alien movie or an Oddworld game.

Our daily outing took us to a glass bottomed boat ride. Docked nearby was the African Queen. I thought it was bigger in the movie but this was it and even in this condition the sign stated that it was available for a ride. I’m brave, but not that brave.

Oh, and the next thing you notice down here are the pelicans. To this day I can hear Andy Panda yelling “MISSUS PELICAN!!!”

So, we took a 45 minute boat ride out to a reef. It was a warm and sunny ride with some clouds on the horizon.

I took some pictures through the glass bottom of the boat but they do not give the view justice. We saw thousands of colorful fish as well as some large barracudas and a sea turtle.

Now, I’m sitting on the ledge looking over the glass and a drunk guy leans over me and knees me in the back. I kindly asked him to take a step back and he says to my sister “This guys got an attitude.” I thought to myself “This boat is about to have one less drunk on it.” But I refrained from ripping him a New York asshole. I’m just happy he didn’t hurl on me.

This is not him… but it might as well have been. Haircut, the 80’s called and they want you back.

The birds hung around looking for a snack.

Some views of the shore from the boat.

Pirates… ARRRRR!

Ok, a few things caught my eye here. How many tennis balls end up in the drink? And why is there a fish-tank with coral… on top of the coral?

I want this boat…

Now, we go back to the house for some lunch and I come to learn that the neighbor feeds the pelicans and egrets every day; so they began to congregate.

I learned that the pelicans are VERY efficient flyers and although awkward on land are graceful in the air.

The neighbor was worried because since the last storm some of the egrets have not returned.

These birds were very trusting and she fed them by hand and had names for each and every one.

Before dinner was served I took a walk and snapped a few more pics.

Upon picking up a coconut I gave it a shake but did not hear the familiar swoosh of milk; but rather a rattle. I placed it on the ground just in time to see many…and I mean MANY red ants come pouring out of a hole. Alas, I fumbled for my camera and set the macro function but the ants had all scurried into the grass. This big guy kept poking around to see who disturbed his home.

Off in the distance my sister heard a sputtering engine. I then saw this guy using a stick to try to get his boat back to shore. Good thing the water is low in the keys.

I saw the chef pull into the driveway up the road and figured I had about an hour before dinner. I set up my camera by a small dock and waited for the sun to set on yet another day.

After dinner I saw Jackass 2. If you can stomach it, rent it. I was in tears.

Day Three
For my last full day we planned on going to a beach by mile marker 35 on Interstate 1 then continue to mile marker zero in key west to watch the sun set from the furthest southern location in the United States.

I’m hesitant to write jokes, but “Does this suit make my ass look fat?”

Now I shouldn’t have said that because God was watching over me this day.

I was walking along the beach in water up to my hips… snapping away at interesting sights.

I spotted an island off in the distance that I would later kayak out to with some family members.

I saw some coral that you can see a face in if you stare long enough… or have the imagination of an artist.

I walked along the rocks and was having a relaxing stroll.

I asked the snorkelers what they were collecting and saw a basket of crabs and lobsters that were going to make a good meal for someone.

And then it happened…

My life flashed in front of my eyes… I slipped and fell… With my camera in hand. Instinct took over and although my head went under, my back slightly wrenched, and my entire arm seemed to be wet… I held the camera aloft and had a few specs of water on it which I quickly wiped off after running to our towels.

When I fell, I heard people gasp. When I came back up I even heard a few snickers. If I search long enough I bet I will find pictures of myself on someone’s blog when they return from vacation.

I had even more of a scare when I turned the camera back on and got an “err” message. After a few turns on and off I realized that the dial was between settings. WHEW!

After a quick lunch we continued to marker zero. What a tourist trap. It’s like going to Disney, but with a lot more beer and boobs. And what the hell is the hole in the seat for... Wait a minute... Key West... I don't want to know.

Fortunately I was able to see what NOT to do when you get a really expensive car.

YAY! I was there. Ok, next.

This dog was cool.

And kind.

Best… Golf cart… EVER!

Is it a real Cuban cigar just because it is rolled by a Cuban?

Ok, If this mofo knows the future, why the F is he reading a newspaper?

Now you know why the seat is bagged…

The dock is full of sightseers and carnies.

These five pictures were taken by my niece. (You can thank her for the last shot.) My brother-in-law and I were chosen to help this magician suit up in a straight jacket (could have fooled me) and get chained up before escaping in under three minutes.

If you get to Key West you should check him out. He was very funny and entertaining. And made you “work for it.”

I can’t even comment on what he made me do…

I’m so embarrassed.

Really, REALLY embarrassed.

He let me stand on his ladder to get some beautiful shots over the crowd’s heads. Words can not describe the view so hopefully my photos do a good job.

Got back to the house in time for dinner and watched The Illusionist afterwards. There is no going wrong with Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti. Late to bed, early to rise, onward and up north where the cold wind blows… This blows :( Can I go back yet?