Monday, February 28, 2011


I started shrimping about 15 years ago. When I moved over to Melbourne from Fort Myers my only pastime was golf. I had given away my rods and reels and sold my boat several years earlier. However, I have always been drawn to the water and I had heard about “dipping shrimp” and was anxious to try. So!---I began asking questions and eventually bought a 18' pole with a net on the end and a couple of lanterns.

I started out on the Eau Gallie bridge, hanging the lanterns over the water and occasionally would see a shrimp swimming near the surface and would try to scoop them up. Sometimes successful, sometimes not, but after several nights I had enough so we could have a few for supper. My bride quipped, “these sure are expensive shrimp!” and I retorted, “Yep, but not as expensive a new boat and fishing gear would have been”. She just laughed.

My shrimping location was somewhat less than desirable. I was hit with a beer can once, just missed with a beer bottle, and both tail lights were stolen from my truck. So! I started looking around again. I had heard they caught a lot of shrimp from the pier at Titusville, but there was some talk about a “rough crew'' up there. I decided to try it and it was one of the best decisions I ever made, even though it was a hour away.

At the Titusville pier, they had a system set up whereby everyone would gather at the bait shop at 6 PM. There someone would check your light to make sure it wasn't more the 100watts, and was grounded, charge $2.55, then you were given a lottery number. When you number was called you could go out on the pier and set up. (The sooner your number was called the better your chances of getting a good spot. The last number called could go out first on the next night and wouldn't have to pay.

I had made up an electric light to use, but it had a standard three prong plug. Wrong. It needed a twist lock plug, so I had to rent a light. Next trip I found my twist lock plug was the wrong size, so I had to rent another light. Then I final got it right.

There was quite a bit of camaraderie between most of the shrimpers because they had been doing it together for years and it was somewhat hard to get to know them because of the brief exposure to them at the drawing, then after you got a position, you were just exposed to the ones on either side of you. Gradually, I got to know a few of them and they were a big help.

I never did get my limit of a 5 gallon bucket full of shrimp, but I got a lot better.

Things changed after a couple of years. The pilings under the restaurant at the beginning of the pier needed to be replaced and we were chased off the pier and had to go over to the adjacent bridge. There was no lottery there and it was first come gets the pick of sites. In addition there was no electricity, so you had to use batteries(and later generators) and nearly everyone switched to underwater lights. As a result, we had to get there early to get a decent position, because the farther out on the bridge you go the higher you are from the water, requiring more length of poles with the nets. After a year we were able to go back to the pier, but then a storm finished it off, and we were back on the bridge.

With a lot of time to mingle, I got to know a lot of wonderful people, from all walks of life. First names we usually all that was needed, except when there were multiples ie Big Tom, Canadian Tom, Spittin' Tom or West Virginia Bob, Alaskan Gene etc. One of the brightest stars was Puerto Rican George. Actually he was Italian. He had several business, including a car dealership. Shortly after five he would come driving up, yelling at anyone he saw while still 100 yards away, with a big cigar in his mouth an a can of beer in his hand. For about 15 minutes there would be greetings, curses, and stories. Someone asked PR George how he got a dealers tag on his truck when he couldn't even get a green card. Another time, recalling an event when Spittin' Tom almost fell overboard, but was saved by the shrimpers next to him. The next night several people told Tom that they had “dibs” on his shrimp, if he fell overboard.

My wife was a little concerned that I might topple over, but I assured her that I was certain 2 or 3 of my friends would jump in to aid me. I did add the caveat that if the shrimp were running well, they would mark where I went in and then as soon as the shrimp run slowed down, would call 911.

Sometimes the shrimping would be a family affair and sometimes people would bring food and we'd have a picnic .The first time my granddaughter Katie went shrimping, she really enjoyed all the pre-event good nature banter among the shrimpers and she picked real quickly how to spot and dip the shrimp. On the way home that night, I told her that among the people she had met that night were: a retired engineer, a retired preacher, a retired bank robber, and a retired Madam. She said, “They are all really nice, and when I get my driver's license, I'm going to come up here every week”

After a couple more years, I was having difficulty on the bridge. I could get my gear out there, taking four underwater lights on wires, 2 batteries, a stool, net, and bucket. I would just make several trips with rest in between. However, late at night, when I was tired, as I started pulling in my first underwater light, without a word being said, a flock of my friends would descend upon me, gather up my gear, and load it into my car. Wasn't that nice? Plain old good hearted Americans helping out a friend.

The next year, I was using a scooter and would shrimp from an adjacent wooden dock. I could carry all the gear I needed on the scooter without

any trouble. Eventually a number of people started using the dock, when the bridge became too crowded and some of my friends would occasionally drop by. After a long delay the new bridge was built as well as a new pier, which

is really first class, and is handicap available, but the long delay's resulted in the breaking up of a fun loving large group of shrimpers. I think we'll all remember the wonderful times we had. Experiences like that make you so proud to be an American. And “that crew up there” wasn't so rough after all.

Charles Shultz Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.

You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them..

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.

4 Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.

These are no second-rate achievers.

They are the best in their fields.

But the applause dies..

Awards tarnish..

Achievements are forgotten.

Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one :

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson :

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the
most credentials,the most money...or the most awards.

They simply are the ones who care the most
Pass this on to those people who have either made a difference in your life,
or whom you keep close in your heart, like I did.

'Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia !'

Be yourself, everyone else is taken

Friday, February 25, 2011


You have to be a certain age to appreciate this.

(If you don't know what clotheslines are,better skip this.)

1. You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes--walk the entire lengths of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

2.. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first.

3. You never hung a shirt by the shoulders, always by the tail! What would the neighbors think?

4. Wash day on a Monday! . .. . Never hang clothes on the Weekend, or Sunday, for Heaven's sake!

5. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y'know!).

6. It didn't matter if it was sub zero
weather....clothes would "freeze-dry."

7.. Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were "tacky!"

8. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

9. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

10. IRONED? Well, that's a whole other


A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link
For neighbors always knew,
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.

For then you'd see the "fancy sheets"
And towels upon the line;
You'd see the "company table cloths"
With intricate designs.

The line announced a baby's birth
From folks who lived inside -
As brand new infant clothes were hung,
So carefully with pride!

The ages of the children could
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed,
You'd know how much they'd grown!

It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly were strung.

It also said, "Gone on vacation now"
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, "We're back!" when full lines sagged, with not an inch to spare!

New folks in town were scorned upon
If wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way.

But clotheslines now are of the past,
For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home
Is anybody's guess!

I really miss that way of life. It was a friendly sign.

When neighbors knew each other best by what hung on the line.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I don't feel that stupid any more

Coffee Time?

I think its time to have a "Coffee Party".
You know-like a Tea Party, but with grown ups.

Now there were some gray heads in the Tea Party movement and they were very concerned about the socialization of America. They liked their

Social Security and Medicare but afraid that if others got the same benefits, they might lose some of theirs. They feared socialization and didn't seem to comprehend that their roads, fire and police protection, community water and sewer systems and a myriad of other conveniences that they use daily, are the products of socialization, or what could be called civilization. You know, the things that separate us from the third world.

Misguided as they were, they were able to help elect a new Governor who had used millions of dollars, which were stolen from taxpayers, to finance his campaign.

After promising to create 700,000 new jobs, the first thing he does after coronation was to announce he was cutting 5% of state jobs, thus exacerbating our unemployment problems. He then turned down over $2 Billion in high speed rail federal funds that would have provided thousands of jobs to unemployed Floridians. He also made no effort to “privatize” the operation of the high speed rail, which could have removed his objection of local taxpayer expense. Guess he was afraid to touch the third rail that his predecessor had-(Obama money). During his campaign, the Governor appeared to be running for a higher office, focusing on national problems instead of State problems. Seem like this is continuing.

The Tea Party didn't oppose allowing a State Senator, that had “put the bite” on Brevard Community College and the University of Florida, to run unopposed, and who repeatedly lied, make that forgot, about large assets and questionable income.

Of course his cohorts on the (non) ethics commission cleared him of any wrong doing.

This is the same guy who wanted oil on our beaches, so he could get into the pockets of big oil, despite the fact the majority of citizens didn't want the drilling, at that time. After the election, he immediately worked to overturn the voter mandate to de-politicize redistricting.

How could he have been allowed to run unopposed? This “conservative” has hired some 16 lackeys with the minimum salary of six figures. What in the world will these people do when legislature is not in session? You know-- raise money. The rest of the legislature does the same thing.

Funny thing is they are supposed to represent us, but they could care less. Their dereliction of duty has caused local governments to hire lobbyists. Yes HIRE LOBBYISTS to represent the counties, cities, and school boards, because the legislatures and their high priced help can't do the job. It's costing the taxpayers extra money to hire lobbyists to talk to our “representatives” Now isn't that something special--for “conservatives”.

The Tea Party had no problem with the allowing the same governing party to remain in power even though it consistently appoints maggots,( that bilk the taxpayers) to the boards and commissions, that sell off or otherwise devastate our water supplies, and are in bed with all the insurance and power companies.

Heard enough??

Time to activate the Coffee Party??

The Tea Party supported some real dipsticks, but some were legitimate candidates and helped to alter the balance of power in Washington. One candidate didn't quite work out like they had hoped. Although strongly conservative, he votes as he thinks is best, not as the party tells him. We need more like that on both sides of the aisle.

A democracy seems to work better when there is an occasional change in leadership. This happens a lot in our national government. For too long we have allowed the Republicans free hand in running our State government. It's not that I am enamored with the Democrats, but we need some restraint in the currently out of control Republicans. Enlistment of Independents or rational Republicans and Democrats, would sure help because the current crop of Florida elected politicians have become the vassals of big money interests and only pay lip service to their constituents. This is comparable to the dictatorial regimes in North Africa isn't it. It's time we alter the balance of power in the State and reject the leaches now running it.

Ready to start the Coffee Party?

Or forget the whole thing--

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Banana Test

There is a very, very tall coconut tree and there are 4 animals,

A Lion ,
A Chimp ,
A Giraffe ,

A Squirrel

They decide to compete to see who is the fastest to get a banana off the tree.

Who do you guess will win?

Your answer will reflect your personality.

So think carefully . . ..
Try and answer within 30 seconds. Got your answer?

Now scroll down to see the analysis.


If your answer is:

Lion = you're dull.
Chimpanzee = you're dense.
Giraffe = you're a complete moron.
Squirrel = you're hopeless.


Obviously you're stressed and overworked.
You should take some time off and relax

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Four worms and a lesson to be learned!!!!

A minister decided that a visual demonstration
would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.

Four worms were placed into four
separate jars.

The first worm was put
into a container of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a
container of cigarette smoke.

The third worm was put into a
container of chocolate syrup.

The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the
Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in

The second worm in cigarette

Third worm in chocolate

Fourth worm in good clean
soil...Alive .

So the Minister asked the congregation,
What did you learn from this

Maxine was sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said,
'As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!'

That pretty much ended the service!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Men and Women think diffently

· When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
· When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

· A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
· A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

· A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
· The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

· A woman has the last word in any argument.
· Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

· A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
· A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

· A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
· A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

· A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
· A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.

· A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
· A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

· Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
· Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

· Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
· A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Forgot My Glasses

Yesterday my daughter asked why I didn't do something useful with my time.

She suggested I go down to the senior center and hang out with the guys. I did this and when I got home last night I told her that I had joined a parachute club.

She said "Are you nuts? You're almost 74 years old and you're going to start jumping out of airplanes?"

I proudly showed her that I even got a membership card.

She said to me, "For heaven's sake, where are your glasses! This is a membership to a Prostitute Club, not a Parachute Club!"

I'm in trouble again and don't know what to do! I signed up for five jumps a week!