Archive | May, 2008

Gilligan’s Island

31 May

Is it the best TV theme ever? A recent national poll came to that conclusion. Thoughts? The song was performed by a folk group called the Wellingtons, but it was composed by Sherwood Schwartz. Schwartz was the creator of the TV series and had absolutely no music background. I just picked up season #2 of Gilligan on DVD — that was the first season filmed in color. 32 episodes (3 discs) from the years 1965 and 1966 … all for just $13! Good family fun and pretty hard to beat that price, folks.  Jump in your boat and sail on over to Wal Mart … that’s where you can find it. The “Ginger or Mary Ann?” debate continues to rage on — some 4 decades later. For the latest internet voting results, go to . Poor Mrs. Howell. She’s still looking for her first vote. Even Thurston voted for Ginger.

Unique evening in the surf

30 May

It was a unique evening in the surf today. Tons of little silver minnows in the shallow water. These fish would occasionally leap out of the water and then twist and turn their way back down to the surface like an Acapulco cliff diver. One even landed squarely on my face while I was floating on my back in about 4 feet of water. The minnows attracted an unbelievable number of shorebirds including assorted gulls, brown pelicans, and orange-billed royal terns. I got a little nervous at one point as the birds hovered directly overhead. Got me thinking about the old Alfred Hitchcock flick, “The Birds.” A pelican recently attacked a lady swimming in the surf and she ended up with 20 odd stitches in her melon. If a pelican tries that mess on me, it’ll end up as BBQ pelican breast on our evening dinner table. Sorry, PETA!

The always-hungry brown pelican


New releases

29 May

Check out these new releases. Don’t think you can go wrong with either one.

What can you say about Al Green? He is simply the best. Al’s newest release is “Lay It Down” and trust me … he still does. Fewer of you have probably heard of Alabamian Rick Bragg, but he is one of my favorite living authors. Read his “All Over But the Shoutin” and “Ava’s Man” and then pick up the final piece of this down home trilogy entitled “The Prince of Frogtown.” All three works are funny, gut wrenchingly sad, and ultimately uplifting & unforgettable. Trust me … you will not be disappointed.

Fresh Pineapple

29 May

Another great summer treat. Now I love the canned stuff as much as the next guy, but there is just something extra special about buying and enjoying a fresh Hawaii pineapple. Many folks are think it’s a bit too intimidating, yet cutting up a prickly pina is not that difficult — and very much worth the effort. See the link below and give it a shot! Fresh pineapples run about $4-5 each at your local grocer.

Cincinnati Chili and BBQ

29 May

Just returned from Cincinnati where I had some meetings and attended the Reds vs. Pirates game on 5/27. Reds phenom Jay Bruce made his MLB debut and went 3-3 as the Redlegs defeated the Bucs, 9-6. Bruce got the customary shaving cream treatment following the game as he was being interviewed by FSN. Teammate David Ross was the culprit (as proven by the picture seen below).

I enjoyed some local food traditions while in Cincy. At Gold Star Chili, I woofed down a couple of Chili Cheese Coneys, while at the ballgame I quickly dispatched a Montgomery Inn BBQ sandwich. All were very tasty (as expected). Cincinnati chili is typically spiked with cinnamon and is frequently served over spaghetti & topped with a mountain of grated cheddar cheese. The two top competing chains in the area are Gold Star and Skyline — and both have their own devoted fan base.

The Montgomery Inn has been around for decades and their pulled pork sandwich offered at Great America Ballpark is served with crunchy homemade potato chips. The sandwich was excellent and the pork very lean and tangy. I must say it was the best BBQ sandwich I have had at a ballpark concession stand. And that includes all the time I spent in Texas, Memphis, and the Carolinas. Visitors to the Montgomery Inn through the years have included Presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush and Clinton, Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Selleck, Elton John, Pete Rose, Sparky Anderson, Johnny Bench, Andre Agassi, Arnold Palmer, Mark McGwire, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Bill Cosby, Britney Spears, and of course, their most famous booster of all, Bob Hope.


Summer means homemade popsicles

23 May

Nope — we aren’t going to buy the pre-made variety from the local grocer. Not that they’re bad. Many are pretty tasty. But most are pricey and filled with lots of added sugar and other funky stuff our bodies don’t really need. Try this little trick. Buy one of the popsicle trays like the one shown below and fill them up with 100% fruit juice. This particular batch (see below) includes pomegranate juice, ruby red grapefruit juice, and a pineapple/banana blend from Dole. They are totally deelish, refreshing, and 100% guilt free. Have a 2nd one if you want — and you will want!

Here is the link to buy your own Sip-A-Pop:

Don’t Sing This One in the Shower, guys

23 May

Was at the YMCA the other day. I had just finished my workout and I was dressing in the locker room. I heard some dude in the shower whistling (very loudly) this sappy hit tune from the 70s. All I could think was “Are you kidding me?” And just when I thought he was finally finished, he started all over again — this time in a higher key. The guys around me were chuckling and it was all I could do to not bust out laughing.  

Not the most manly thing to hum, sing, or whistle in a mens locker room. Can you imagine an NFL player doing such a thing? His teammates would laugh him out of the league. So be mindful of what you whistle, guys. People are listening … and judging you. If you must whistle loudly, whistle something manly, will you? Like maybe the theme from “The Bridge Over the River Kwai.” Any other suggestions for manly locker room whistling?  

Old School Games

23 May

Sometimes I have to remind my kids that life did exist prior to video games.

A favorite childhood memory is the classic Rock’em Sock’em Robots game (picture seen below).

Good fun!

We have a 1996 reproduction here at the beach pad, but it appears authentic in every way. It still falls apart if you get a bit too rough with it (take note of the sagging ropes). And even if it gathers dust most of the year, it’s fun to look at and recall when life was a lot less complicated.

Fresh Herbs are the best

23 May

It’s hard to go back to store bought herbs once you begin growing your own. We have started our own herb garden here on Siesta Key — with fresh mint and basil leading the charge. We’ll be using the mint for iced tea, Mojitos, and Indian dishes. The basil will be saved for my homemade pizza and my nearly world-famous pasta bake. The mint started slowly, but really took off after the recent rains. The basil is doing great, but requires a lot of H20. 

That’s the mint on the bottom — can’t you smell it???

Benny Rubin

22 May

Recently caught an old film on TCM called “Love in the Rough.” It was a B/W golf musical from 1930 starring George Montgomery (Elizabeth’s dad) and a comic named Benny Rubin. The latter looked terribly familiar, but I just couldn’t place him. Turns out he was huge in vaudeville and later made countless TV appearances on shows like Dragnet, I Dream of Jeannie, The Munsters, Whats Happening, etc. He also appeared in several movies including “Citizen Kane” and “Here Comes Mr. Jordan.” The guy had a great comic presence — and he could actually dance a little bit. His early schtick was similar to Chico Marx … and he was apparently a master of dialects. Jack Benny was a fan and friend and often included Benny in his radio and TV programs. The pictures shown below may ring a bell with some of you Baby Boomers out there.

Benny died of a heart attack in 1986, but he can still be seen and enjoyed on a TV set near you.