Sunday, September 25, 2016
Usually, I can't get close enough to one of these guys to get a photograph. This one swooped low over our golf cart and then landed to perch on a branch of a tree at the Ocala National Golf Course. Fortunately, he must have needed some loving as he didn't fly away when I pointed the camera at him!
Monday, September 5, 2016
Saturday, September 3, 2016
[Note: Cedar Key is located on a small island off the west coast of central Florida, about 75 miles from Ocala. It is a unique fishing/clamming community pretty much unchanged since its inception.
The first photo below is mine. The other photos I borrowed from the Internet. We had no desire to visit Cedar Key in the middle of Hurricane Hermine.]
Originally, this was a restaurant known as the Captain's Table.
Somewhere along the line it became a bar called Coconuts.
It's last incarnation was as the Rusty Rim.
The Rusty Rim caught fire and was severely damaged.
It has been sitting vacant for several years as per the photo below.
Hermine came through yesterday and pretty much destroyed what was left of the Rusty rim.
Hermine also left a trail of trash along a downtown street.
And what would a hurricane be without some moron reporting while standing on the Cedar Key pier?
Past experience with hurricanes has led the powers-that-be in Cedar Key to require than new homes be built on stilts. In one storm some years ago the water rose to 12 feet above sea level. According to the news reports during Hurricane Hermine, Cedar Key was experiencing a water rise of 7 feet above sea level.
We have great affection for Cedar Key, first visiting the island in 1988. Down through the years we have taken hundreds if not thousands of photos in Cedar Key. You can see many of those photos by visiting our Cedar Key blog here.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Marion County has a great library system. The main library is a large, attractive building on the east side of Ocala. We posted a photo of that building previously which you can see here.
The Freedom Library is a branch of the the Marion County system and is located in southwest Ocala, about a 1/2 mile from our house. Many of the residents in this part of Ocala are older and they make good use of these facilities.
All this interest in libraries is due to the fact that the theme for City Daily Photo bloggers for the first day of September is "library." You can check other fine libraries around the world by clicking here.
Monday, August 29, 2016
Normally, I have nothing to do with Chick-fil-A as it is owned and operated by Dan Cathy, a right-wing religious kook who is a notorious homophobe.
But the dancing cow got my attention. He even posed for me. I mean, really, what else could I do? I was forced to take his picture.
Doesn't mean I'll ever eat at this place, though!
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
The first photo was taken in an Ocala strip shopping center. The second photo comes from The Villages. I wonder what the Indians are looking for; perhaps another option as to how the West was won?
The following comes from Wikipedia:
Because of the general illiteracy of the populace, early store owners used descriptive emblems or figures to advertise their shops' wares; for example, barber poles advertise barber shops, show globes advertised apothecaries and the three gold balls represent pawn shops.
American Indians and tobacco had always been associated because American Indians introduced tobacco to Europeans, and the depiction of native people on smoke-shop signs was almost inevitable. As early as the 17th century, European tobacconists used figures of American Indians to advertise their shops.
The cigar store Indian became less common in the 20th century for a variety of reasons. Sidewalk-obstruction laws dating as far back as 1911 were one cause. Later issues included higher manufacturing costs, restrictions on tobacco advertising, and increased racial sensitivity, all of which relegated the figures to museums and antique shops. Many also were destroyed during scrap drives for metal and wood during World War I and World War II.
Cigar store figures are now viewed as folk art and some models have become collector's items, drawing prices up to $500,000. Modern replicas of cigar store Indians are still made for sale, some as cheap as $600.
People within the Native American community often view such likenesses as offensive for several reasons. Some objections are because they are used to promote tobacco use as recreational instead of ceremonial. Other objections are that they perpetuate a "noble savage" or "Indian princess" caricature or inauthentic stereotypes of Native people, implying that modern individuals "are still living in tepees, that we still wear war bonnets and beads." drawing parallels to the African-American lawn jockey.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
On a recent excursion, we had occasion to stop for dinner at the Bahama Breeze in Tampa. Actually, the restaurant/bar is located on the causeway connecting Tampa to Clearwater.
The place was jammed with folks of all ages and everyone seemed to be having a good time although the photos don't show that as we arrived early, just before the big crowd. When we left there were no spaces available in the large parking lot!
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Monday, August 22, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
City Light Church is another independent, fundamentalist, ultra-conservative "Christian" church here in Ocala (we have a number of these). It was started in 2008 by Ken Brown and his wife, Paula. So far as I can tell they have no affiliation with a larger body nor accreditation from a recognized institution; which means that they can preach and teach pretty much what they want with no accountability.
[Pastors or priests in the mainline churches (e.g. Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian) are required to complete a bachelor's degree at an accredited college and then usually must complete four more years of graduate training which includes a period of internship. That is followed by examinations which determine their fitness for ministry after which they are ordained by their church body to function as pastors or priests.]
The City Light website states Mr. Brown has attended a college, but there is nothing to indicate he has a degree from any institution of higher learning.
The church affirms all of the so-called "fundamentals" which became popular among certain groups in the early 20th century: The Bible is the inspired word of God and is without error; Jesus is God's son, born of a Virgin, who suffered a sacrificial crucifixion by which God will forgive all who confess Jesus is Lord. Jesus now lives in heaven with his father but will return in the end times to gather all of his followers and carry them off to heaven, etc., etc.
None of this is to say that City Light doesn't do some good work and maybe even help people. But everything they do is predicated upon the need to convert people to their particular beliefs so that they don't suffer incredible pain in hell for eternity as punishment for their sins.
The church building has seen several incarnations. I believe that prior to City Light, it was a museum of sorts.
You can learn more about City light here.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Not long ago, we were thirsting for a Dairy Queen Blizzard. If you've never had a Dairy Queen Blizzard, I would high recommend you buy one asap. But you can't fret about calories.
The Dairy Queen we visited is a rather dumpy building in a rather dumpy part of town but it does have this very cheery mural. What was problematic was that the mural was behind the building where it could not be seen from the road. That made no sense to me.
But the Blizzards...ah, they are to die for!
Friday, August 19, 2016
In Southwest Ocala, there are two subdivisions that reside side by side: Majestic Oaks and Bent Tree. They are, in fact, so close that part of one street belongs to Majestic Oaks and another part belongs to Bent Tree.
But where did the name, "Bent Tree," derive? It came from the tree pictured above which is really more majestic than it looks. It was the inspiration for the name, "Bent Tree."
Side note: At one time, we almost bought this house. The price was right, but it was in bad shape and needed some $50-75,000 worth of renovations. Unfortunately, the boys at HGTV were tied up, so we decided to pass. As you can see, however, it was nicely renovated by the folks who did finally buy it.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
This is a new Aldi store under construction and will be the fifth Aldi store in Ocala and Ocala's surrounding area. I had been told that Aldi was a Swedish chain, but that is not true. It was founded by Germans in Germany and has expanded to over 10,000 stores around the world.
Aldi is a discount market, selling both name brands and its own brands. It is common practice for Aldi to charge customers for paper bags and ask customers to bag their own groceries.
I've shopped at Aldi's a couple of times and was not impressed. The stores here are smaller than our other supermarkets and thus Aldi has less to offer and I found some of their merchandise to be low-grade. Their "low" prices are not worth the aggravation of not finding my favorite brands, having to pay for bags and having to bag my own groceries.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Countryside Presbyterian Church is located in southwest Ocala. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), which is the largest and most liberal of the several Presbyterian denominations in the United States.
There's more on the church's website, here.