Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Oracle's Poetry Corner

When I was but a tad of a lad growing up along the sugar like sands of the Panama City beaches I discovered the marvel of poetry. Though it was required reading in high school English, I took it upon myself to read, memorize, and recite select odes to love, beauty, and compassion.

The effect the words, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach..." had when whispered into the ears of some of those belles of the Redneck Riviera was, in a word, awesome.

While I could recite from memory, "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree..." I was never able to write anything that I felt came close the English masters. As a side note, I do not remember what prompted me to memorize Kubla Khan. Coleridge's poem is still one of my favorites, but it never was particularly effective  in seduction.

Anyway, getting back on track, since I was never good at writing poetry on my own I decided to look on-line to see if there was some help available for frustrated poets. Sure enough, there is, and with the assistance of The Surrealist Compliment Generator I was able to compose:

My Ode To The Lump Trump

You mutter such objects of Tea Party delight that the mind's ability to sew
Slices of mordant ivory becomes tamed with visions of Tamils in Constantinople.
For that I pray that you ever have naked women to toss tiny pickles and coo
In oblivious delight at your witty urbane opener of foreign post whilst
Your higher cortical centers ever send forth ignorant bliss and immortal contagion.

You so truly know your inner plankton, it is a revelation not unlike discovering
An impacted toll booth upon the plains of Patagonia. Yet the unwashed
Cry for the stiffness of the earlobe. The turtles are fallen and the rain stands still.
How long, they mumble, must I suffer with your undergarments?
You are the Ayatollah of Confusion on the night of Divalí.

So precisely, your head fits into the smallest of diameters as your
Pharyngeal hair tickles the divine underbelly of my terrestrial erector set
With saponifying liquors causing your dainty nostrils to flare with the humblest
Grandiosity of an ant swallowing a water buffalo. But, beware
For Marmots will stick to you in Delaware.

Your raving is like 1000 Caucasian carnivores playing mumblety peg with an eggplant,
And I scream out ENGINEER YOUR AUNT! Do it! You will be grateful for having done so.
Yolutsky promises to cease diddling with your ears, and teacups smash, flounders
Ignite spontaneously in your presence as your hands do the work of
10,000 highly trained lesbian jumping beans smuggled in from the south.

Fighting for the liberty of the fruit tree tastes nothing like the glint of
Sagittarius rounding itself around your uvula. I know the time will soon arrive
When we will see people manufactured in crates and sieves of glass. Entranced by
The bitter harmony of your lips, I gaze beyond reason to find the oasis of your ruptured soul.
May you always be as vivid as your hallucinations.

As the bile slowly rises in my incandescent eluxulator, your mere presence
Has a calming effect upon my rabies. The perils of your eyelashes torture my libido
Into a state of crass belief in Roman Catholicism even as your nose hair is pleasingly
Twisted with the roots of a bristlecone pine that is so precariously perched on the side
Of a cliff it may easily uproot and fall upon the Republican lobbyists below.

'Lo, EUREKA,' I yelled into the cat, 'Thou art truly laborious and divergent.
My nose bleeds for your impending encounter with the front fender of a Mercedes Benz.'
In hunger you most certainly drool
Pendulums of sinusoids and wounded mosques.
The ocean's foam matches the froth of hair streaming through your lips.
Your hair sends forth a sheen reminiscent of a wounded man streaming bandage
Gauze from the highest church steeple. You have not yet reached the height of your depravity.

Tribes of primitive hunters, with rhinestone codpieces rampant, should build pyramids
Of Chevy engines covered in butterscotch syrup to exalt the diastolic, ineffable,
Scintillated and cacophonous salamander of truth which slimes and distracts from each
And every orifice of your holy tea bag, topped with hair reminiscent of a self-digesting yak in heat.
Never was a man so badly meant to wear corrective glasses.

***************************

If that doesn't cause you to quiver, I don't know what will.



Friday, April 29, 2011

Petition To End Oil Subsidies

Take action!

With sky high gas prices, don't you wish you had a fuel subsidy?

Click HERE to read more and sign the petition.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Florida: Land Of The Terminally Deranged

I've got a question. This isn't going to be a rhetorical question. I would really like an answer.

Do the Republican legislators, both here in Florida and in Washington, have some sort of contest to see who can come up with the most ridiculous, asinine, dick-headed, and generally thoughtless idea to shove up their constituents' butts?

If so, then Senator Cliff Stearns (R - Genuine Florida shit heel) wins the SOG City Oracle Hershey Squirt Award  for his little gem of a plan.

Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D - California Dickhead) can share this award for agreeing with Stearns.

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show discusses this latest "kick in the nuts" to the 9/11 responders:




This Stearns plan does not bode well for the State of Florida. Tourists are going to look at this and conclude that the state is breeding these bozos and maybe it would be best to steer clear of stupid and vacation elsewhere.

After watching the video, I think that my question turned out to be rhetorical after all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

US Health Care: Best In The World

The caveat here:

If you can afford it!

Anti-healthcare Republicans, their Tea-bagger puppet-masters, and their I've-got-mine-so-screw-you supporters should be ashamed - very, very ashamed. I know, I used the S-word, should

This is supposed to be the greatest country the world has ever known. So, how do we stack up against other nation's health care programs?

  

How about that lady in the video? Almost $200,000 just to have a battery replaced in her pacemaker!

That is not just unreal - that is obscene.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Education? US Don't Need No Damn Education

Education and that book learnin' crap is just a waste of our hard earned tax dollars and can better be spent on wars and shit. Besides, us patriotic Americans don't cotton to those know-it-all assholes who talk with big words and shit.



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We may not have to wait 500 years for Idiocracy to become the new normal:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

GOP: America Is Broke

According to the Republicans we need to cut social services programs because this country is broke. Broke, as in we have no money, for anything - except more war and handouts to the rich.

The warmongers in Washington headed by John McCain (R-I want to kill something) are not apparently aware of this cash flow issue. A big priority for McCain is to step up the war effort in Libya and bomb those Gadhafi-ites back to the stone age. Money seems to be of no concern to McCain.

It would seem reasonable for this arrogant has-been to explain to the American public why it is just peachy for the U.S. to enter into another war when there is no money to take care of the folks back home - that's us, here in America.

If another war is so damned necessary to this country's economy, then let McCain, his supporters, and the military-industrial complex pay for that war with their dollars and not our tax dollars. Additionally, if they want another war, let them go wherever and fight it. Put McCain back in a war plane and see if he can get his dumb ass shot down a second time.

I don't know about you, but I am getting sick and tired of these damn Republicans tackling every issue under the sun except the one that is truly important right now to the American public - JOB CREATION. The national debt isn't the immediate priority. To the whiners who keep sniveling about their children and grandchildren inheriting the huge debt, I can only say, fuck the children! Leave them out of this. That is a bullshit argument.

Unless these children and grandchildren are as stupid as their ancestors, they will be able to figure out a solution to the problems that we dump on them. That not only includes the national debt, but also climate change, global warming, renewable and sustainable energy, and the wholesale pollution of this planet.

Of course, that point becomes moot if we keep attacking education as an elitist endeavor, and stripping money from academic programs.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Much Belated Birthday Remembrance

April 5th was the birthday of the first woman I ever fell in love with. She was 34 at the time, but that never mattered. She was beautiful beyond imagination and she could sing like an angel. She stole my heart when I was but a lad of twelve. She died three years ago this coming June. I can't believe I missed her birthday this year.



The rather homely looking guy dancing with Gale in the video was a moderately famous private eye who went by the name Peter Gunn. In real life he was just an actor, but damn Craig Stevens for cutting in on me.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Smart Like A Fox, Or Dumb As A Frog Fart

That has got to be what Floridians are wondering after learning of Florida CEO Scott's decision not to join Louisiana, Alabama, and 800 other plaintiffs in their Federal lawsuit against Transocean, owners of the Deepwater Horizon rig that self-destructed last year in the Gulf of Mexico.

Instead of joining the Transocean lawsuit, Scott and his Gaddafi-like nursemaid, Pam Bondi, have decided to rely on BP's warm, compassionate, and generous good nature to voluntarily come forward, accept responsibility, and compensate Florida and its people who were injured due to the oil gusher in the Gulf.

To quote the thousands of Floridians responding to this decision,

"ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" 

Corporate giants taking responsibility? Get real! While I can't deny that Scott is a sleazy, scum-sucking crook, I don't believe he is that stupid.

There is something in this decision that will benefit him personally. It has nothing to do with saving the state legal fees. He could care less about you, me, or Florida and if you believe otherwise, I have a slightly used oil rig sitting at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico that I will gladly sell you.

There is some serious Big Oil ass-kissing going on here, and for this Scott should be tarred, feathered, and ridden out of state on a rail. It is too bad that this old Southern tradition of dealing with carpetbaggers is no longer in vogue.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, April 21, 2011

France: In Monochrome

I just heard April in Paris on the Standards music channel and it brought back some fond memories of our last trip to France.

As nostalgia swept over me, I pulled out our photo album. I hope you don't mind me sharing those pictures with you.

We stayed several days in Paris at the beginning and the end of our trip through the Chablis wine country aboard the barge La Litote.

Here are some images from that trip (you may click to enlarge):

Our hotel - Samantha Brown stayed here, but we were first.
The next several images were taken in and around the Jardin des Tuileries, the most central garden of Paris connecting the Louvre with the Place de la Concorde.




From Paris we drove to the wine country to begin our barge trip cruising along one of the canals of France.


A lock-keeper's cottage.



To celebrate her birthday, the Belle of Ballast Point and I took a balloon ride.


Skimming o'er the fields of grain.

Cow chasing.
Back in Paris, some wining, dining, and sightseeing before returning home.

Mojitos and a real Cuban cigar at the Habana Club - screw that damned embargo.
At the palace of Versailles.
The river Seine.
Street scene and Notre Dame.
La fin.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BP Rewarded For Polluting The Gulf

 Take action! 



"One year ago today, BP's oil began to pour into the Gulf of Mexico. It did not stop for 87 days."


Click HERE to read more.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Speechless Worth Repeating

Fellow blogger Jeff Tone of The Liberal Curmudgeon recently posted this YouTube video:





This is one of the most powerful non-speeches I have never heard, and it bears repeating.

And, here in Florida, how is CEO Scott's 700,000 jobs in 7 years plan working for you? 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Iguanas, Giraffes, Elephants, And An Old Goat

This past Saturday was an animaly kind of day for the Oracle. After a mid-morning five mile hike through the paradise that is SOG City the Belle of Ballast Point and I headed for one of our favorite food and beer emporiums, the Bamboo Chicken - or as they prefer to call themselves, The Green Iguana on South Westshore.

As a side note, the Iguana has a new menu with some really tasty choices, like their Freakin' Patty Melt. I am not trying to be crude here, that really is how it is listed on the menu. The Ba Da Bing Burger is another outstanding selection.

Anyway, while we were enjoying our food choices one of our friends at the Iguana, Jenna, stopped by to chat and told us about her adventures from the night before. It seems that Jenna and her friends stumbled upon a mini circus on Dale Mabry near the Bucs stadium where they fed a giraffe and rode an elephant.

Well, giraffe feeding and elephant riding have been on my bucket list ever since I saw Samantha Brown do it on a couple of her shows on the Travel Channel. So after polishing off our lunch we headed up Dale Mabry and sure enough, there was the Shriner's mini circus in the parking lot south of the stadium.


With camera at the ready, we strode inside.



Blonde on a whirlygig

A dollar bag of carrots buys a friend

Midway of mirrors

Seven bucks a person - cheaper than a trip to Thailand

My wench captured a pirate
We will wrap up with a picture of a most charming fellow, Bucky the Goat, who is either an orthodontist's dream patient or nightmare.


Oh yeah, I had one last thought. Speaking of Ellie the elephant, do you know the difference between a saloon and an elephant fart?

One is a barroom and the other is a BARROOM!

You are welcome.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Music: Sea - Hymn For Her

See them and hear them at the WMNF Tropical Heatwave May 14. Maggi and Pierce will just blow you away, and my how the baby has grown - cuter everyday.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tax Day, Make Them Pay

Tax Day: Make Them Pay!

"On Tax Day, April 18, as millions of Americans patriotically pay their taxes, we will call on corporations and millionaires to pay their fair share."

Click HERE to find events in the Tampa Bay area being held this Monday. If the Republicans think we can afford to give billions of dollars in tax breaks to big corporations, then America is not broke.


At hundreds of events from coast to coast, fed up tax payers will present tax bills to corporate tax dodgers for the billions of dollars their legions of lobbyists helped them avoid. Monday will be a peaceful, dignified, and powerful day of action to call on corporations to pay their fair share. And to  demand that our elected leaders make them pay.

Status Report: Florida Jobs

To read more visit:

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Food: SOG City Scallop Ceviche

While I never intended for the Oracle to be a food blog I do enjoy dining and writing about the experience. Plus, Urbanspoon turned out to be a good source of blog traffic. Unfortunately, I think I got too caught up in the review business. It became an obsession to visit new restaurants and blog about them.

One of the problems I encountered was that I was running out of decent restaurants to visit and write about unless I wanted to drive to East B.F.E. (a really long drive). I also discovered that if I didn't dine at every crappy little restaurant I could find, this review business was freakin' expensive.

I suppose I could have told the restaurant proprietors I was coming with the hope of getting comped, but that just never seemed right. Besides, they couldn't afford me. I may be a ho but sure as hell ain't no cheap ho. It's going to take more than a prime bone-in filet mignon and a bottle of Romane Conti 1997 to curry my favor. On top of that, my bride doesn't cotton much to my favor being curried by anyone but her. Women can be such poops about such as that.

Looking to the future, the Oracle will feature fewer restaurant reviews. But, fear not Foodies, the Oracle will still dine and dine well, and we will still share with you our experiences - like this tasty delight from the Oracle kitchen:

SOG City Scallop Ceviche

This ceviche blends the flavors of Peru, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.
Serves - 2
Prep. time - 10 minutes
Time to marinate - 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator

1 dozen sea scallops - cut into quarters
1/2 cup red onion - cut onion in half and thinly slice
Juice from 3 limes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large pickled jalapeño - minced
1 medium tomato - chopped
3/4 cup cilantro - coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons fish sauce

Place all the ingredients, except for the fish sauce, into a medium bowl and gently stir to combine.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate. You may want to gently stir a time or two while the ceviche marinates.

Just before serving add the fish sauce and gently stir to combine. The fish sauce adds a whole new taste dimension to this dish.

This ceviche may be served on a bed of lettuce, but I enjoyed it yesterday evening all by itself. The only accompaniment was a bottle or three of ice cold beer. Be sure to save the tiger's milk as an after dinner treat, an aphrodisiac, or as a morning-after cure.

Bon appetit, y'all.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Republican Dilemma

The budget proposal plan offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, and embraced by the House Republican leadership, would reduce spending by some $5 trillion over 10 years with structural overhauls to Medicare and Medicaid while also making permanent all Bush-era tax cuts.

Try this little factoid on for size: The elimination of all Bush-era tax cuts over the same period of time would do exactly the same thing without touching Medicare and Medicaid.

And, the Republican dilemma? Do we give the Purple Shaft with the Barbed Wire Cluster to the rich or just stick it to everyone else as usual?

Hmmm, I must ponder on that a moment.

Okay, I'll go with "stick it to everyone else." As the ancient Roman Senators would say, pauperes confutuere.*


________________________________________

*Editor's note: Through on-line research, that appears to be the proper Latin to English translation for the Republican mantra.

I leave you with this: "Veni, Vidi. Flati"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Red Light Camera Protests

A coalition of the usual suspects including the Campaign for Liberty, the Libertarian Party of Florida, the Republican Liberty Caucus, Florida Civil Rights Association, the 1787 Radio Network, the Florida Tea-baggers for a Law Free America [okay, I made that one up], and the Florida Civil Rights Association, protested at several intersections around the state and the Tampa Bay area yesterday.

Video footage provided by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office shows a number of the probable participants on their way to and from the protest sites.



A lone dissenting voice not heard at the protests reasoned, "The best way to boycott the red light cameras is to STOP AT RED LIGHTS. That way no revenue would be collected by anyone. But for those that do go through red lights, you should be fined for your careless and potentially deadly driving."

That voice of sanity would have quickly been drowned out.

How predictable, and how sad.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The SOG City Word Cloud

Dave of Re/Creating Tampa blogged recently about a nifty web site that has given the Oracle a new toy to play with, Wordle.

Wordle lets the visitor create their own personal word cloud, and it looks something like this here:


To create this SOG City word cloud I simply typed in the Oracle's web address. Once you have created your cloud you can do with it what you want. If you save it, it can never be erased. Once you leave the Wordle site you may never see your word cloud again, so you better copy your cloud or save the web address while you are on-site.

Thanks to you Dave, I can now give my other toys a rest.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Technology: Time Travel

Not only does the following video display the awesome power of time travel, at the end of the video I will tell you how you can stop time. Okay, here goes:



To stop time, scroll down the page.







The secret to stopping time? Click the PAUSE button on the video.

There, isn't technology awesome?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tampa: The Cameras Are Coming

Are red light cameras a good idea? I really don't think that is the important issue. They shouldn't be necessary. All it takes is for drivers to exercise something that is in short supply in this country - common sense.

It is against the law to run a red light, but more importantly, it is unsafe. So why keep doing it? Because it is your Constitutional right as an American to break any law that you don't agree with or that inconveniences you in some manner?

A Tampa opponent of the cameras recently whined, "It destroys our liberties." The liberty to break the law by running a red light? Give me a break! The cameras are being installed specifically for bozos like this.

And, not a moment too soon.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hello Music Lovers

Several years before the prick that is Scott bought the state of Florida I downloaded a song from Amazon to include in a CD I was burning that was dedicated to my home waters - the Gulf of Mexico. I am listening to that CD even as I type. The second cut is The Gulf Coast Of Florida performed by John R. Butler.

I was mightily amused the first time I heard this tune, but since the delusional allowed Scott to buy the state this song takes on a "holy pink slip, it's Scott's song" kinda persona. I doubt that Mr. Butler wrote this tune with Scott in mind, but it sure is fitting for him, his fellow carpetbaggers, the Goobers in the Villages, and others who don't give a flying fig about my home - Florida.



Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Dilemma In The Making

It looks as though the Goobers On Parade (GOP) want to force America to walk on their Path to Prosperity. Prosperity? It is more like a path to extinction if you ask me.

Ponder this, if the Republicans get their way then we can say goodbye to the so-called Obamacare, and au revoir to Medicare. One should then ask, what about the old, the sick, the poor, the unemployed - essentially all Americans, excluding the filthy rich - should they need medical attention?

The Republican position appears to be that they should do the rich folks a favor and just die. That would certainly hasten the demise of the poor and the middle class, which is where this country seems to be heading anyway.

Assuming the Republicans and their obscenely rich puppet masters achieve this goal a dilemma will rear it's horny head. With all the poor and middle class gone there will be no one left in America except the rich - the rich rich, the moderately rich, and then the barely rich at the lower end of the rich spectrum. Now what?

This country will be right back to the class system we have now but with a higher monetary baseline, and the cycle will start all over again in perpetuity. In the meantime, if everyone is rich then who is going to clean up the place, scrub the toilet, drive the garbage truck? The Donald?

I guess it would depend on a person's bank balance.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley included his thoughts on the Republican plan in a recent email:

For months now, the House Republicans - led by Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) - have been promising a bold, new plan to cut the deficit.
  
After much anticipation, Rep. Ryan released his plan today.  But it's hardly a bold, new plan. Instead, Ryan's plan is a rehash of the same old failed ideas they've been touting for years.

What's the Republican solution to our budget crisis?  More tax cuts for the wealthy and big multinational corporations; attacks on our teachers, firefighters, and other public servants; and announced today, a plan to end Medicare and give our seniors coupons for private health insurance.

Unbelievable.

Make no mistake: No one is going to kill Medicare on my watch.  We're not going to go back to the days when many of America's seniors were living in destitute poverty without access to health care.  We've made a solemn commitment to our seniors, and we're not going to break that promise.


So, how do we bring down the deficit?  
  • End the exclusive tax breaks available only to millionaires and billionaires.
  • End the subsidies for the highly-profitable oil and gas industries.
  • Bring the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a responsible end.
  • Get our economy back on track - by investing in education and clean energy technology, boosting manufacturing, and keeping families in their homes by fixing the broken housing market.
Right on Senator. Right on.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Photography: Stripped To The Essentials

For many years I have dabbled in the photographic arts. I love taking pictures and consider the darkroom, whether digital or chemical, to be a second home. One thing I have never accomplished with any degree of success is picking a photographic theme or series and sticking with it, like Scott Bravard of Finding Tampa, a photographer whose work I truly admire.

Today I followed a link on the Internet that led me to an article about NYC theme photographer Erica Simone (CLICK HERE) .  Ms. Simone's work has truly inspired me. I think I have found a theme that I can emulate here in Tampa. I need to move on this project quickly though before Mr. Bravard beats me to it or before the Belle of Ballast Point catches me.

She can be such a poop about old guys wandering about the neighborhood butt-nekkid.

Go figure!
_________________________________________

Editor's note: If you find images of the nude human body to be offensive, you may have a problem that needs professional evaluation - go forth and seek help, do not tarry here. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Acadiana Cabbage

To my great surprise the SOG City garden produced one huge head of cabbage - with more on the way. I don't cook cabbage too often so I pondered what to do with the head in my hands. On many occasions when presented with a dilemma I do what any person with half a brain would do - Google it!

And, yes I do have half a brain. It's the left half. I killed off the right half years ago through degenerate living and over indulgence in this and that, so keep your smart-assed remarks to yourself. Now, back to cabbage.

Did you know that there are more ways to cook cabbage than there were for cookin' shrimp in Forrest Gump? I will spare you the list and just tell you the one I settled upon, with a few minor changes to what I found on-line:

Acadiana Cafe's Cajun Cabbage

6 thick bacon slices cut into lardons
1 tablespoon of butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup of chopped green pepper
3/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper - more or less to taste
15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 1/2 pound cabbage, sliced

Cook the bacon in a large pot until brown and crisp. Add the butter and onions and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent.

Add the green pepper and garlic and cook an additional 5 minutes or until the peppers are soft. Add the cayenne and mix well.

Next add the cabbage and tomatoes and mix to combine. While this mixture may appear dry it will cook down and render moisture. Cook slowly over medium heat until the cabbage is tender but not mushy, gently stirring from time to time.

Prep and cooking time is about an hour, and this side dish will feed a small army - 6 to 8 people.

I served this dish with a couple of deep fried pork steaks resting on top.

___________________________________

I was curious about the originator of this recipe so I Googled the Acadiana Cafe. This place looks like a "must do" food stop for seafood, catfish and Cajun cookin' should I ever get back to San Antonio, TX. 

Bon appetit, y'all!  

Monday, April 4, 2011

SOG City Saturday Adventures

We started our Saturday as usual with coffee and the paper in bed. Since my bride landed a job, coffee and the paper in bed has become a real treasured event. After a bit we managed to drag ourselves out from under the covers to don our jogging togs for another weekend treat - a five mile hike. Other than for physical fitness and weight control that hike affords the opportunity to commune with nature and to see what is going on in the paradise that is SOG City.

One leg of our hike takes us along Interbay Boulevard east to Ballast Point Park. We were somewhat hesitant to take that route since the tornado that bounced through South Tampa took the same route, but we decided to give it a try to see how far we could get. We were also curious to see how the cleanup was going.

We made it as far as MacDill Avenue before we saw any serious damage. The first sign of a storm provided an interesting photo opportunity.

I was ruminating on the significance of our flag tangled in the tree, the bent flag pole with the cross in the background when one of the parishioners from the Faith Tabernacle of the Biblically Bizarre accosted me with the question, "Are you a vetran?" Assuming that he was asking if I was a veteran of the U.S. military, I answered in the affirmative.

This toad of the church ministered to by the long, long dead Pastor Green proceeded with yet another interrogatory, "Ya know why that there flag is hung like that?" Before I could volunteer that it was probably due to the tornado, this disciple of the delusional blurted out that it was, "Cause this here country's in trouble."

If he hadn't chortled gleefully, I would have let it go, but his arrogant assumption that I was like minded just pissed me off. He was taken aback to know that we are Obama supporters and believe that it is the Republicans who are tearing the country asunder. This professed Christian began making hand gestures and muttering something about assholes. At this point we decided to continue on with our hike before this man of God wound up getting himself bitch-smited upside his greasy head.

As a side note, I swear I saw his snaggletoothed self on the AMC series The Walking Dead last season - third episode, fourth zombie on the right. Really!

Anyway, we walked on, putting this unpleasant encounter behind us, and were pleased to see the progress made by TECO and the cleanup crews. With only a few minor detours we made it to the park.

Ballast Point Park hosts many family picnics and birthday celebrations., but on this day there was one that was pretty in pink.



The little table and chairs sat there patiently waiting for the birthday Princess and her court.

We still had two more miles to go so we didn't tarry, but I can image that this was a most joyous occasion for the young lady and her friends.

Later in the day we hopped into the cruiser and headed across the bay to the Trop. We had tickets to enjoy (I use that word loosely) the Rays play the Buzzards from Baltimore, or some such, from the civilized setting of the Whitney Bank Club.

The Belle of Ballast Point goes primarily for the game. I go for the unlimited food and adult beverages. For me, the game is secondary, but those soft, comfy seats are a real butt-cheek delight.

Prior to the start of the game my bride exhorted me to take a picture of "those men working." I asked why, "...haven't you ever seen men working before?"

Without waiting for a response, I took the shot. Sometimes it is best to just shut up and shoot.

The food on this visit was mediocre at best, although the beef brisket was melt-in-the-mouth tender. Food wise the Center Field Brewhouse (renamed simply The Brewhouse) provides a tastier dining experience and more bang for your buck. We'll go back there on our next trip to the Trop.

We were sad to see the Rays lose - again, but were happy that someone finally scored. Watching this game was less exciting than watching paint dry. We were sorely afraid the game would go into extra innings just to get a score.


Finally, late in the game the Orioles (I was corrected by my bride on the name) scored three runs and we got up and departed. It was too painful to watch any longer. Oh well, there are still 159 games left to turn this into a winning season.

That was our Saturday. How was yours?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The House Weeper's Pet Project

House Weeper Boehner constantly snivels that this nation is broke. How broke? Apparently to Boehner, not all that broke.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

The SOG City Cleanup

The Tampa Bay area experienced some really nasty weather yesterday, of that there is no doubt. Three tornadoes were reported, but according to official news sources only one was confirmed. After touring a south Tampa neighborhood today I feel comfortable saying that if what hit the Bayshore and Interbay intersection wasn't a tornado it was definitely missing a great opportunity.

Said the security guard for Lykes Lane, "...it just skipped along, bouncing up and down like a rubber ball." Whatever it was caused a lot of damage, took out power, took off roofs, but thankfully caused no human injury. Traffic can move along Bayshore in the Interbay area, but it moves very slowly. Interbay is impassable. It is a mess over there.

Looking east on Interbay
Looking west on Interbay
Jason Boone had been working on his art studio for months
The first unit is Gail's Beauty Salon
The owners of Cellini and TDY Pub discuss the damage - Michael said they will be open as soon as power is restored - maybe today
In the tree is Dan of Danglin' Dan's Tree Service
Interbay And Tyson





We, at the Oracle, consider ourselves to be very lucky. This storm hit about a mile away from us, and the worst weather we had was this:

Wind, rain, and an over-flowing pool

Call A Spade A Spade

While enjoying lunch the other day with our dear friend Donna, we were flabbergasted when she suggested that it might not have been a good idea for this country to have elected Obama as president.

The reason this became a spit-take moment for us is because Donna has been a staunch Obama supporter from day one. It turns out that she still is. Her concern stems from Obama's inability to get much of anything accomplished due to the obstructionist agenda of the Republican party and their teabag puppeteers.

Her feeling, and I have to agree, is that if Obama were a white man there would have been a bit of angst over a Democrat in the White House, but we wouldn't be seeing the seething hatred stemming from having a "nigger" running the country.

There, I used the N word. Do you find that offensive? Well, so do I, but that is what all of this anti-Obama rhetoric appears to be about since Obama can do nothing right, even if it is to agree with the Republicans. The word isn't used much out in the open because we are oh so politically correct...but behind Christian conservative, Republican, Tea-bagger doors?

In spite of the Republicans, taxes are lower, healthcare costs have come down, the economy is improving, and the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in two years. Obama is doing a fairly good job, especially under the circumstances, but think of all he could get accomplished if he were simply white. That is a pitifully sad commentary on this country.

My point here is this - let's just end the hypocrisy. If you hate Obama because he is black, then say so. Let's knock off all of the socialist, communist, birther crap and call a spade a spade. Admit that you would rather see America implode and sink into the sea rather than have an African-American as president.

The honesty would be refreshing.

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