A Dump from the Camera Phone

What did we do before our phones had good-quality cameras attached? I know what I did — carried a point-and-shoot in my purse. And before that, I just missed out on being able to share random things I see. But since blogs didn’t exist then, none of us knew what we were missing. Onward, to things I’ve photographed!

I don’t ever want to get into a car accident with a vehicle that reads “prepare to meet god” anywhere on it. It seems more like a threat than a recommendation, you know? At any rate, this guy’s bumper stickers had a charming homemade look about them. I wonder how I can print up slogans on strips of vinyl?

We found this display at the local Publix supermarket — a huge bin full of little 8-ounce bottles of colorful pop. It was the name “Chubby” that caught my eye, since the ingredients list pretty much started with high-fructose corn syrup and made its way through two other sugars. At least this is semi-truth in advertising! If you want chubby kids, give them this soda (pop)!

At the mall, this huge window display in the Victoria’s Secret smellystore caught my eye. Yes, our mall has three VS properties — the regular Victoria’s Secret, full of underthings; the VS Pink, full of collegiate underthings; and this third place, which is all perfumes and lotions and I will never go in there because it smells too much. Anyway, this woman’s face seems somehow wrong. Maybe it’s the shadows, or maybe this is a Photoshop disaster. Her puffly lips, her mangled nose, her GINORMOUS collarbones. It’s all wrong, wrong, wrong.

And lastly, from the home front: bouncy balls. Our littlest cat is really taken by these foam balls, and will carry them around in her mouth. Then she meows at you so you’ll throw it for her, but because she has a foam ball in her mouth, it sounds hilarious. They certainly don’t stand up to much abuse, though — our carpet is covered with little shreds of red and purple, and those balls look like incomplete Death Stars. I just gave her the green one yesterday. Naturally, Target stopped carrying these toys two weeks after I bought them. Because that’s what the stores here do.

Flora, Fauna, Fungus, and Bacteria

Came home today to find this ginormous mushroom next to the parking lot. Did a double-take, saw the tiny lizard on top of it. He scampered off just as my phone made its picture-clicky sound.

Meanwhile, the sourdough starter from the freezer is ready to use. It grew to more than double its original size (marked with a line) in two hours. Sadly, the pantry stuff isn’t quite there yet. (Although another day or two might get it there.)

I think I’m going to mix a little of the pantry stuff into the freezer batch and go down to just one container. Because the freezer stuff is peppy as heck, but the pantry stuff has more age to it, which means a more sour flavor. Since baking sourdough is an all-day project, I’ll just feed this stuff until Wednesday or Thursday, when I can get back into the swing of things with a practice loaf.

Trip to Miami – Photos!

So we just got back from a quickie trip down to Miami (Well, okay, to Hollywood. Which is right next to Miami.) for reasons I’ll explain in the next text post. I figured I’d make a seperate entry for my snappies.

First off, BUGS! The first 100 miles or so of our trip from Orlando to Miami was through lovebug country. If you don’t know about lovebugs, count yourself lucky. You could look them up on the Wiki, but the short version is that they’re pairs of bugs joined at the junk, both of them trying to fly at the same time, which ends up in a staggering, shambling trip through the sky. I don’t know if it was time of day or location, but the bugs were heavy over the turnpike.

This was just after the first stop. We had to wash the windshield, and I scraped corpses off the bumper. 40 miles further along, we had to make another stop for another wash-n-scrape. My car looks like it has a flame job from all of the bug guts. We’re hitting the car wash this morning.

We stopped at a couple of service plazas along the turnpike on our way down. They’re so much more than a rest stop — it’s like a rest stop meets a food court meets a truck stop. A few quick-service restaurants, large restrooms, stands selling perfumes and belt buckles, and tons of brochures and coupon booklets. We were surprised to find Earl of Sandwich representing, so we had that for lunch.

Our hotel was the Crowne Plaza at Hollywood Beach. I priced it out at $170 per night, then managed to get it for $75 at Hotwire. This may well be the first hotel I’ve stayed at that supplied fluffy white robes. I think the only problem is that there aren’t enough pillows.

Here’s our view to the east. Our room was on the top (10th) floor, on the north side of the building. As you can see, we’re right across the street from the Atlantic Ocean. Faboo!

And our view off to the west of the Intracoastal Waterway. There’s our hotel’s pool down below, too. Nice pool, nice hot tub, expensive pool bar beers. I mean, five bucks for a Miller Lite?

And there was Friday’s goal: The Westin Diplomat. About 5 blocks to the north, on the beach side of the road. Man, that place was nice. But I wasn’t about to pay $300/night to stay there.

After all, we were already staying someplace with the gall to charge five bucks for a bottle of water.

We did walk over to the beach and got our sandals full of sand. Which I guess is what they’re made for. I find with the Atlantic, approaching the beach is prettier than the beach itself. Because the beach itself is just a uniformly wide strip of sand, lined with hotels and condominiums.

So yes, Miami was lovely. Well, not actually Miami, but Hollywood. And more technically, Hallandale beach. Did we have fun? This sign says it all:

Unloading the Phone Camera

Every now and then, I realize that I have a load of vaguely-interesting snappies on the ol’ phone. So here’s a bit meaty wad of them.

Lots of construction walls are up in the Magic Kingdom, and instead of just telling us something like “This area is being refurbished for your enjoyment”, they have signs on them with inspirational quotes. The grammar on this one perplexes me. I think the period after the first word should actually be a comma, to make this one complete sentence. Either that, or an additional word needs to be socked in there, like “it” after “me” — although “Togetherness. For me, it means teamwork.” still sounds awkward. I’m sticking with my preferred two-comma, one-sentence approach.

And you know what? Don’t even get me started on the font. What a weird mishmash of lowercase and uppercase letters.

There really should be a “People of Costco” photoblog. I never see anyone weird enough at Wal*Mart, but there are frequently good snaps to be taken at Costco. This guy was totally into the pool table display. That’s right, this guy. And did you know, I have a phobia about ultra-long, untrimmed hair? Can’t stand the idea of it touching me. Neatly trimmed and well-kept isn’t nearly as bad, but when you can tell they haven’t had a haircut in a decade? Ewwwww.

This display was at a McDonald’s out on the coast. They had their Easter display all set up, with the glitzy tinsel cross and the creepy, doughy bunny. Both of which seemed inappropriate for a McDonald’s.

Last but not least, I visited the mall with a buddy this last week. And we always like to try on weird and unusual things. I paired together this ribbon-shouldered shirt (Tommy Hilfiger, forty bucks!) with some ghastly plaid shorts — the waistband is almost all the way up to lower boobsville. Add in some ankle socks and sandals, and I think I could fit in with the best of the tourists.

More Snappies

I was visiting the daily Dear Abby column over on Yahoo!, and saw this frightening ad over on the right:


Now, I’ve seen plenty of the “Obama urges moms to go back to school” kind of ads. They’re on Web sites, on Facebook, every ding-dong place. but this was my first encounter with Obama encouraging a serial killer to get discounts on car insurance. It’s not through Geico; he’s not a caveman. SHUDDER.

Classy Classmobile

Meanwhile, I saw this truck the other day while driving around with my parents. Stay classy, dude. I bet you get ALL the chicks.

From the Photo Archives

Here are a couple of pictures taken from my various travels that I haven’t posted yet.

Sherwin-Williams Van

Is anybody else horrified by the Sherwin-Williams logo? They want to “Cover the Earth” with paint! How environmentally-friendly is that? Every person, animal, and object would end up like that chick at the beginning of Goldfinger (and according to my other half, in the original book of Goldfinger, the whole painted-chick thing [along with most of the other good action stuff] doesn’t happen).

No Peaking Playing Cards

We saw these playing cards at a Pier 1 store right before Xmas, in with all of the other crappy little gifties. I don’t mind round playing cards; what I do mind is the concept of not “peaking” at the cards, a homonym error mentioned by The Rejectionist just yesterday.