Follies in Florida
My adventures in the Sunshine State

Sep
26

I really have not been in the mood to write for the past couple of weeks.  Not that there has been a lack of things to write about, but I have just been bummed for most of September.  After what was a great trip home to visit the family, I found myself back in Houston a week later for my grandmothers funeral.  She was 94 and lived a long and healthy life.  I was so glad I went the week before and spent some quality time with her.  We watched the Cowboys play the Texans at my aunts house.  If that didn’t bring me down enough, Hurricane Ike blows through Houston and destroys the city knocking out power to everyone I knew.  I spoke more to my mom in those days she did not have power than I had the previous three months.  I am just glad everyone was safe, although I still know of some folks that are lacking electricity.  On top of that, the Texas v. Arkansas game was canceled, so the Hogs just got to delay the inevitable loss that will incur this weekend.

At least the last weekend of September should bring some much needed fun.  I am heading to New Orleans for the weekend for my friend Felipe’s bachelor party.  I have not been to nawlins since my brother-in-law Lloyd’s bachelor party right before Katrina hit.  I am curious to see if the city is any different than when I saw it last.  It should be a good time.

Aug
20

I am in need of a much needed break from work.  What better way to relax than with a few margaritas and a good plate of homemade enchiladas.   Not sure what the next six days will bring, but I am looking forward to seeing the family and catching up with some friends.  I gotta go pack for my flight.

Aug
19

Mother Nature is a funny beast.  All weekend the path of Fay was projected to give my area a direct hit.  As a result I stocked up on enough bottle water to last me a month.  I spent all day Monday tracking the storm and was ready for the worst.  I completely expected to wake up in the middle of the night to crashing thunder and high winds.  When I finally woke up this morning and looked outside, you can imagine my surprise to see the sun and no rain insight.  I was just happy to have power so I decided to watch the Olympics and make a protein shake to get the morning going before I logged on remotely to get the day started.  Unfortunately I spent more time this morning watching Brazil play Argentina in soccer than work.  About 11am I got an email that the office would open at noon.  Living so close to the office there really was not an excuse to go in, so I eventually rolled in around two only to spend the afternoon talking baseball.  While I am glad we were spared from the worst, I still want to experience a hurricane while I am here.  Three more months of hurricane season.

No rain and calm winds to end the day

Aug
17

It looks like me and Tropical Storm Fay are on a collision course.  I say bring it on bitch.  This is not my first hurricane encounter.  Back in 2005 I was in New Orleans for my future brother-in-laws bachelor party only to have Hurricane Katrina interrupt the party and send us scrambling to make our way back to Texas.  We had to sleep in the airport, but I was happy to get the hell out of there 5 hours before Katrina made landfall.

In preparation I got my hurricane checklist and hit the grocery store to get stocked on supplies.    It looks like my trip to Houston will be put on hold until the storm passes.  I want to be here to document my first hurricane experience in Florida and I want to make sure all my stuff is safe and secure.

Aug
16

I am just a few days away from finally getting a chance to go home and visit the familia, but Tropical Storm Fay has decided to make her her path right for the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.  I have missed flights this year because of traffic, mechanical maintenance, and now I might be able to chalk up Tropical Storms as the next reason.

I want to be able to say I rode out a hurricane/tropical storm while I live in Florida. but not the one time when I plan a vacation to go home.  That just sucks.  I will keep the blog posted on the latest storm developments and if I make it home.  Here is a map of the latest storm path projection from the National Weather Service.

Aug
12

Today is my sisters 30th birthday.  Send her some birthday wishes via her blog, On the Go with L.  I think the blog needs to renamed to On the Go with Major.  All she blogs about these days are Major and whether or not he took a dump in their house.  But I digress, have a great 30th birthday Lauren and a blast in LA.

Then

Now

Aug
09

Actually yesterday was the 8th of August and the official opening day of the 2008 Olympics, but I was stuck at work until 8pm yesterday and had no desire to go anywhere near a computer when I got home.

Every four years the USA gets to show the world its dominance in everything.  I am particularly a fan of Team USA Basketball because of all the Olympians I feel they have the most to prove.  I will also be watching Track and Field very closely.  Our Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Jim Hardee’s son Trey will be representing the USA in the decathlon.  Check out his blog here.  You have to be one heck of an athlete to compete in the decathlon, it makes perfect sense that Trey competed in Track and Field for the great University of Texas.  There are over 15 athletes from UT competing in the Olympics, this says a lot about the quality of the athletic program.  I know all the Horns will be bringing home the gold.

Aug
03

My buddy Arkansas came to visit for the weekend and there were plenty of items on the agenda.

FRIDAY

After running a few errands and a quick bite to eat and short conversation with Dick VItale at the Broken Egg, we headed for the marina to get ready for our fishing excursion.  We paid our $55, which I thought was cheap for a fishing trip, and boarded the Flying Fish II.  We upgraded our standard pole for a 3-hook version to catch three times the fish.  After a 1.5 hour choppy boat ride which took us about 5 miles offshore and the fishing could commence.  I baited all three hooks with freshly cut squid and I was ready to cast the line, but I was interrupted by a lady yakking over the side of the boat about 10 feet down from us.  Part of me felt bad for the lady, because the day was only beginning, but the other part of me laughed my ass off.  She obviously did not take her dramamine before the ride.  It took only 5 minutes before I landed my first catch which brought me three fish on the three separate hooks.  I was kinda disappointed with the size of the fish, I mean we were deep sea fishing and some of these fish could have fit in my aquarium from college.  When it was all said and done, we caught 16 fish between the two of us.  These fish were not much of a fight but fun to catch none the less.  After arriving back on dry land, we collected our fish and got them cleaned for us for the bargain price of 50 cents a fish.  It would have taken us 3 hours to do what took the boat crew 10 minutes.  We grabbed a quick bite to eat afterwards and headed back to my house exhausted after a long day on the open sea.  Great success!

SATURDAY

I slept in Saturday morning and finally got up to get a haircut at the Barbary Shoppe.  They do a great job and Arkansas got his haircut there too.  We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling around the apartment before heading to the Rays baseball game.  It was BJ Upton figurine day for the first 10,000 fans, so I made it a point to get to the stadium early to make I got one.  Last time sprinkles and I went to the Rays game and we got there too late to get one.  Needless to say I was pissed.  I know its ridiculous to be so obsessive over a starting lineup figurine that probably cost $1.00  to make, but I love sports collectibles so get off my back.  We got to the gates an hour before game time and all the damn figurines were GONE!!  I was pissed.  My mood went from happy to disappointed.  We walked to our seats and seeing all the happy people with their figurines just made my blood boil.  The only thing that calmed me down were the numerous beers I drank.  Thank God for alcohol!  During the 7th inning the sandman’s wife Jackie felt sorry for me about not getting a figurine, or maybe she was tired of my bitching about not getting one, but convinced the people next to us to sell me and Arkansas their figurines for $5 each which I gladly paid.  With the coveted figurine in hand, I was ecstatic.  On top of that the Rays beat the Tigers 9-3.  We stayed after the game for a free LL Cool J concert which ended up sucking, but I didn’t care I was on cloud nine.

SUNDAY

Not much to report here, we spent the day being lazy because we both felt sick from all the food we ate at the baseball game the night before.  Just a recap of what I ate; hotdogs, peanuts, nachos, an ice cream sundae and then pizza late at night.  I was miserable all day but still took Arkansas to eat hamburgers at one of my favorite places, 5 Guys.  Then it was off to the airport to send Arkansas on his way,  Thanks for coming to visit.

Flying Fish II

Flying Fish II

Arkansas on the ride out

Arkansas on the ride out

Heading back to shore

Heading back to shore

Me with all the fish we caught

Me with all the fish we caught

The coveted BJ Upton figurine

The coveted BJ Upton figurine

More pics to be posted soon.

Jul
29

Now that I am officially an old man, I want to thank everyone for their birthday wishes.  With that said, i totally expect 27 to kick ass and officially announce my goal of running a marathon for my 27th year of life.  Not sure which one I will shoot for, but once I do I will announce it on the blog.  Anyone that wants to run it with me is more than welcome.  Arkansas I am talking to you.

Check out one of the funnier e-cards I got from some of my buddies at my old place of employment, Zale Corporation.

http://www.tbs.com/ecards/videoecardpreview.jsp?contentId=128259&ecardId=b4b5c44d0000011b6a5a2ab90aa54a2c

Jul
24

Today is the 85th anniversary of a Houston icon and my favorite place to eat hot dogs, the wonderful James Coney Island.  In celebration of the anniversary they are selling hot dogs for  $0.85.  If I were there I would order ten.  Unfortunately there are no James Coney Islands outside of Houston.  It’s one of those places that everyone from Houston loves, and everyone outside of Houston hates.  I do not know why, but even my own brother-in-law Richard aka Lloyd would rather eat a Sonic chili dog than a delicious Coney Island hot dog. I think he’s crazy.  Thankfully I will be in Houston in a few weeks and get my fill on hot dogs and Delaware Punch.  That day cannot come soon enough.

Mr. Weenie himself