While watching TV, I suddenly realize…

Posted in social network, worldweary by paulie on July 23, 2011


When did segregation really end in Florida?

Posted in worldweary by paulie on May 11, 2011

This week’s Florida This Week discusses Florida’s and Tampa Bay’s claim to have been at the forefront of desegregation.  Apart from having seen with my own eyes ‘colored’ drinking fountains in a Miami bus depot in 1973, a friend tells me he knows the small window on the side of the well known Coney Island Grill of St. Petersburg was for transacting business with black people, who were not welcome inside.  He says he himself bought food through the window and it continued to be used until the 1980’s.

Fresh air

Posted in worldweary by paulie on April 14, 2011

One day my school arranged for the whole third grade to be bussed to the suburbs. The concern was that it was bad for us to spend all our time in the city, a popular notion at the time. There was even a social program called something like the ‘fresh air fund’ that brought city children to visit the country. Adults sometimes referred to me as a ‘fresh air fund kid’. Social programs did not reach me since my mother would never accept ‘welfare’.

Mr. Cole was our school’s principal and we loved him fiercely, I think because he always managed to convey warmth an love to us. His wife was the principal of another school in the suburbs where the buses took us that day. We spent the morning playing outdoor games on the school’s great lawn and after that we were paired with one of their third graders and went home for the afternoon.

I went home with none other than Mr. Cole’s little son and we played quietly in his room after a lunch made by his mom. They lived in a house! I remember the view from his bedroom (he had his own bedroom!) on the second floor was nothing but the sun streaming through the leaves of a great tree.

When the time came to walk back to his school, board our buses and go home something went wrong with me. I told Mrs Cole I could not go home. She was dutiful in asking me what was the matter and I told her if I went back I would only die. There was quite a stir, consultations with the representative from my school, etc. I was asked to elaborate on my statement and said something about how bad people would get me or I would die in the war (a reference to the Vietnam war. Word on the street was the selection was unfair and if you were selected you went there to die). I even told them about the foreboding I carried about how I was fated to die. I was sent home on the bus, of course.

One day when I was 34 years old and still a fresh air fund kid, I was enjoying a rare day out of the city with my new girlfriend who lived in Queens and had a car. Driving in Long Island I thought saw the school. The memory of that day returned and I was saddened to realize that in those times it was presupposed that survival was too much to hope for. I’d always imagined I held on the the possibilty of growing up, being bigger and stronger and maybe escaping the city and my fate.

I do not know what school I visited but in my memory it resembles this one in the town of Manhasset, NY.

The Robin’s roost

Posted in nature by paulie on February 2, 2011

I estimated 240, 000 Robins passed over me southbound from this small area of low woodlands. The estimate was conservative, though. A similar number of birds left heading southwest. These Robins are here for only a few days more before they will begin their northerly migration. The location is 28.213,-82.762.

Kelp Gull visits Florida

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on January 19, 2011

Taken 1/5/11 at Anclote Gulf Park, Holiday, FL where the gull visited a tide-exposed area for several days.

Birders soon appeared from all around the state. It is cheaper to see him here than to pursue the gull in it’s native range: the shores of the South American continent. As of this writing the gull is still seen now and then on exposed flats.

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Limpkin city

Posted in nature by paulie on November 29, 2010

I went to investigate the large number of Limpkins reported by Ken T at 28.1944,-82.503 and saw not a single bird. Still, there was plenty of evidence of Limpkin activity. My photos show areas strewn with empty snail shells and I could hear Limpkins calling from the woods on both sides of SR54. There are a series of ponds here that are drying out, revealing fish and snails to a large number of wading birds including two kinds of inland Sandpiper, seen in the embedded video. I evaluate the tiny birds as Least Sandpipers and the single tall bird as a Stilt Sandpiper. Please comment if you can recognize the bird. I was disappointed to see only the pink egg masses of the exotic Apple Snail.

Yellow-Breasted Chat: I’m famous again

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on November 7, 2010

The Blue-Winged Warbler, Curlytailed Lizard and now a Yellow-breasted Chat in this yard. It is only the third verified Chat in my county of Florida! We also saw three Robins today. First of season! And I discovered a colony of Red Headed Woodpeckers here in town. Local ornithological types already knew about the woodpeckers but it does not change the fact today was a banner day for my county’s bird history!

Connecticut at Halloween

Posted in worldweary by paulie on November 6, 2010

These are wallpaper-sized photos. Click to enlarge.

Uncasville, Ct

The Mystic River looking south toward Mystic

Crabapple at the Connecticut College Arboretum, New London

Viburnum(?) at the Arboretum

Living in a painting at the Ct. College Arboretum

Ct. College Arboretum

Norway Maple, Ct. College Arboretum

Stone wall with Parthenocissus quinquefolia, the Virginia Creeper. Ct. College Arboretum

The 1885 schooner Amazon at Mystic Seaport

Euonymus alatus at Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford, Ct.

A private house, formerly the Nut Museum of Old Lyme, Ct.

Railway bridge over the Connecticut River in Old Lyme looking toward Old Saybrook

Goldenrod gone by at Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford Ct.

Mystic Seaport

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Jennifer Mee’s Myspace: the screen captures

Posted in worldweary by paulie on October 28, 2010

btw Rachel Robidoux is Jen’s mother.

Cash for my coffin

Posted in worldweary by paulie on October 25, 2010

It’s hard to know what you can recycle. It was too disco for me anyway.

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Street art in the big 727

Posted in worldweary by paulie on September 7, 2010

Yeah maybe it is generous to call it art but I prefer to since the 727 is a normally creativity – free zone.

It was a bad idea to make an arrangeable sign that is so short you don’t need the pole – mounted – suction – cup tool to rearrange it.

The most clever part of this installation is the timing.  The long labor day weekend gave it an extra day of life.

I look forward to future mischief.

I wonder if this installation was by the same artist:  http://sicluceatlux.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/street-art-exists-in-the-big-34691/

Local Sandhill Cranes have raised two colts!

Posted in nature by paulie on August 27, 2010

Baby Sandhill Cranes are called colts, in case you did not know it.  This pair of cranes is generally found in the area between the Holiday Rec Center and Gulf Trace Elementary.  Often I link my friends directly to my films where they reside on youtube but in this case the ‘related videos’ were dominated by references to hunting of Sandhill Cranes and even Whooping Cranes.  Here I can supress ‘related videos’.  To browse films that are mine with a minimum of relating go to my youtube channel page:  http://www.youtube.com/user/yourboypaulie

An exotic lizard in this yard

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on August 20, 2010

I think he’s called a Curlytail.  I have seen these at Nassau, The Bahamas.  This one turned up in my dooryard today.  Funny, I think his tail unculs when he relaxes.  The species is an exotic invader.  Here’s what Fish & Wildlife says about him: http://myfwc.com/WILDLIFEHABITATs/Nonnative_NorthernCurlytailLizard.htm

Frog chorus at the Heron’s water hole

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on July 2, 2010

After months of gradually drying up the heron’s waterhole filled in a few minutes with the first good rain of summer.  The fact that it dries out so badly is hard on the fish but is what makes this a good frog pond and here and there you can see them busily amplexing on the surface.  One of the calls you hear is the Bufo Marinus, whose trill is nearly indistinguishable fron the Screech Owl’s.  The rule is if the call is coming from the ground it’s the toad.  If it’s from a tree it’s the owl.  Bufo Marinus, the Marine Toad is non-native, grows as big as a dinner plate, and secretes poison.

How to find the Aberdeen horse-mask man (Horse Boy) in Google Street View

Posted in social network, worldweary by paulie on June 29, 2010

That’s it.  You’ve seen him now.  This is the man captured in Google’s Street View wearing a horse mask and standing around on a street in Aberdeen.  But my screen captures aren’t good enough, are they?  You still need to see him in the Google, don’t you?

Here’s how:  Copy and paste this address into Google: 16 Hardgate, Aberdeen, UK (or Scotland if your’e a devolutionist).  Search the address, select ‘maps’, find the ‘more’ drop down menu and select ‘Street View’.  You are looking up Hardgate Street.  Pan right using the onscreen directional controls.  Creepily, he is standing right next to you.  If you proceed forward down Hardgate and look back his gaze follows you, I presume as he looks at the cospicuous roof-mounted camera on the Google car.  Too bad we don’t know which way the car went.

I saw the story in the BBC’s online newswire.  They have been on it for a week but they still don’t know the guy’s name.  I instantly thought of The Godfather and I badly wanted to post a comment somewhere with the line “Johnny Fontaine never gets that movie!” but the blogs weren’t on the story.  I posted this so I could get that out of my system.

My search for horse-boy would start in the nearest pub.  This man has the body of an alcoholic, with his protuberant liver.  And where else would you wear that shirt?

I am not horse-boy.  I am Paul The Octopus.

What kind of bird is this?

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on June 27, 2010

Actually, I know.  But I won’t spoil your fun.

Dear BP: this is my beach

Posted in nature, worldweary by paulie on June 25, 2010

Dear BP and your friends in Washington (please forward to Sarah Palin and Republican Congressman Joe Barton).  This is my favorite beach (link to video).  It’s close to my house and I come here every few days to walk and to see what I can see.  I usually have my small video camera with me and I done a lot of shooting there.  I have a library of films of the species you might see, however inconspicuous.  I have already posted some of my films to youtube.

You might think you’re over the hump with this oil spill but my anger is only just rising as the oil comes closer to me.  If I can control myself I will translate my anger into action.  I was thinking of re-shooting all of the same places and species once they are covered with oil.

Actually, I have three youtubes.  And I have a wordpress, a digg, a technorati, a twitter, a buzz, a friendfeed, a facebook and a myspace.  Yes, that is a lot of places to post but don’t worry it’s no trouble.  They intersyndicate automatically.

I heard you had goons keeping people off the beach in Louisiana and Alabama. That wont work with me.  I am a goon.

Local Western FL naturalists will meet to discuss the oil spill

Posted in nature, social network by paulie on June 9, 2010

At the center of the West Coast of Florida, in the town of New Port Richey people will gather on Saturday to discuss how they will meet the oil when it arrives.

Many local people participate in organizations such as Audubon, Sierra Club, Florida Native Plant society and Friends of Werner Boyce – Salt Springs State Park. Many are part of more than one.

They plan to gather outside the New Port Richey City Library at 10:00am SaturdayJune 12, 2010 to discuss how to respond to the oil, how to obtain needed resources and volunteerism.

To see more of the park pictured above visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/yourboypaulie

My Palm Warbler has left for Canada

Posted in florida garden, nature by paulie on April 18, 2010


It seems my Palm Warbler has got underway.  He is ‘mine’ because he comes to the place outside my window where I feed birds.  He visits every day of his winter vacation, which he has spent entirely within my small back yard since at least 2006.  Another Palm Warbler occupies my small front yard.  Usually these birds do not appear at any kind of feeder but my small friend somehow learned to eat the bird chow that my domestic birds didn’t want.  It’s how I know he is mine.

My hopes go with him as he flies through the night, probably for weeks, looking at the stars and sensing the Earth’s magnetic field to find the place in Canada where he will see his hen again if she has also survived.

I know his mission to make a new Palm Warbler is critical and much more important to him than risk to his own life but when November comes I will look for him every day.  I wish I could tell him that if he can somehow get back to me I will be ready with chow and orange slices and we’ll enjoy the mild winter days together one more time.

Can I drop cable TV yet?

Posted in social network, worldweary by paulie on April 13, 2010

Truth be told I already have. Or at least I’m down to the ‘local’ level of cable service with 12 watchable channels. It has not helped me lose the feeling I am overpaying, maybe because $20 monthly is too much to pay for that meager offering.

Anyway I’m scouring the internet for things to fill the television void and I’m having only mixed success, though I’ll admit I have evidenced a fascination for programs on the subject of the internet itself.

But this is not television by any stretch. I see unattractive people who said to themselves ‘I watch tv so I can do tv’. They imagine they are qualified to broadcast themselves wearing their MMORPG headset, without a pop filter and with no special lighting and it will look and sound fine. Makeup! I have never been so appreciative of TV with it’s real dialogue that does not rely on cursing in place of vocabulary and hosts who don’t talk over one another and titles that are spelled correctly.

Where’s that satellite TV flyer?