Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Snuggie™ Sand Sculpting and Some Florida Facts

As you know from my last post, the Tumbleweeds were in Florida recently.  

My Wyoming friends roll their eyes when I tell them how hot it is in Florida and I can't blame them, really. It has been know to snow in June in Wyoming, but I just can't abide the heat. And the humidity is so thick and heavy, it's like wearing a hot wet Snuggie™ around your head. And arms because Snuggies™ have sleeves.

It wasn't as hot as it could have been and we did get to have our own bathroom.  For several days. *squeal*

Sarasota is on the west coast of Florida, south of Tampa and is home to the Ringling Bros. Circus, tons of old people and Siesta Key, a barrier island known for its powdery white sand.

We were there during the World Championship Sand Sculpting Event but only saw them from a distance, outside of the the roped off area because; A: we ran out of gas in the parking lot while waiting in line to find a spot among the 13.7 million other people waiting to find a spot, B: we got sidetracked with a couple who had a Boxer almost as cute as Jas, and 3: we didn't pay the $5 to get in closer because there was only 15 minutes left before they shut it down.

And Jeopardy was coming on soon. Shut up, we don't get to watch tv that often.

If you want to see them go here. The sand is so fine it feels like powdered sugar and they really did some cool things with it.

This is not a sand sculpture. Unless by
sand sculpture you mean sand that
has been walked on by a bunch
of people who should not
wear bikinis.

I joke about there being a lot of old people in Florida because it's one of those stereotypes that are true, but it's true only for the lower half of Florida.

Northern Florida has winter, working people, and southern accents. There are beaches and the summer and spring are hot, but it's not the Florida that you're most likely to see on tv or in movies.

Orlando, in the middle of the state, is the armpit dividing point. Anywhere south of there is more made-for-tv Florida: retirees, bright colors, banana trees, and Yankee accents. 

If I weren't such a pansy about the heat, I would extol the virtues of all the different kinds of Florida there are.  It would be an awesome state if not for that water-boarding Snuggie™ of heat oppression.

I don't want to end on a negative so I leave you with the following pictures guaranteed to make you happy, especially if you like sharks or hot dogs. And really, who doesn't?

Just a little Florida landscaping
in the neighborhood.
Jaws cruising along crushed
glass and seashells.

Deep fried hot dog at The Old Salty Dog.
A dog friendly place on Siesta Key.
Well, not friendly to hot dogs, obviously.
Don't say you've never wished this would
happen to that RV in front of you
on the highway.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dr. Jasmine and Mrs. Hyde

Our Boxer, Jasmine, is just a wee bit on the crazy side.  She has two distinct personalities: inside dog and outside dog.

When Jasmine is inside the truck or house, she is the picture of sweetness.  She looks at me with love, waiting for the merest suggestion of command to do my bidding.  Words that come to mind are: calm, attentive, obedient, and good-natured.

Inside dog: "May I help you?"

When she is outside, Jasmine is the picture of demented craziness.  She pulls at the leash as if my very presence is toxic and also goes deaf the minute the door is opened.  Every sound, shadow, and smell is of the utmost importance to her and requires her immediate attention.  Words that come to mind are: spastic, psychotic, possessed, and attention deficit order.

Outside dog: "Chase all the things!!"

Jasmine will chase anything, including birds that are flying, the shadow of herself on the ground, and tree stumps that look threatening. In South Florida recently, she discovered lizards. They were everywhere; in fact, Florida may have almost as many lizards as old people. Walking down the sidewalks in Sarasota, she was more spastic than usual as lizards scurried about in front of her.  I'm surprised her little brain didn't explode with all the things that needed chasing.

She may not remember sit, stay or who I am while we're walking, but she knows where the lizards live and this bush will never be the same:

She attacked that bush every time she got near it after seeing lizards run into it once.  Twenty years from now, that bush will be gone and in its place will be a condominium for old people (Florida's largest commodity besides lizards) and Jasmine would still stare intently at that very spot where there was once a lizard. 

Hopefully the old people won't mind being stared at by a crazy Boxer.

If only Jasmine could use her laser-like focus for something other than chasing lizards, she could probably do great things, like fix the economy or make me a sandwich.

No matter what she does though,
that face is hard to resist.

But I *would* like a sandwich.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Douglas on the Road: The Thing Edition

Check out my latest Douglas on the Road column in the best small town newspaper in the free world, The Douglas Budget.  (It's better than the ones in the pay-per-view world too. Probably. I've never been there.)

Find out the secret of The Thing in Dragoon, Arizona and how a grasshopper almost murdered me.

Also, there are spiders.