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Archive for April, 2011

I met Dave over thirty years ago in southern California. He had bought a home in Studio City, at the end of a cul de sac. The parties he threw were legendary. It was there I met George Clayton Johnson, collaborator with Rod Serling on the early editions of Twilight Zone. He also did Logan’s Run and Oceans Eleven (12 & 13 too). George Takei (Sulu) made a guest appearance one night too. Enough with the name dropping, but when I throw a party today, I’m lucky if my kids show up… Anyway, by the time he moved “back home” to Tampa, he had bought the other three homes that were adjacent to his. Why they city didn’t change the street name to David Alexander Drive I’ll never know. His wife, Debbie, insisted that the three “extra homes” would be the “warehouses” for his collections of comic books, movie paraphernalia, and drawings related to both. They have lived here in Tampa for 21 years now, on five acres of secluded land. He finally built his warehouse which you see here. And yes, there is stuff in the homestead too, but not as much as was stuffed into the original SoCal home. Anyway, they have four grown children, and Tyler, the eldest, is being groomed for the wacky world of comic books. Dave is in Sarasota today, looking to buy yet another collection, afterall, that’s his biz. He tells me one of the books is worth $20,000. I’ll take his word for it, as I write him the check. I’ve really enjoyed the visit, getting caught up on old friends, learning a little bit about his business model. So, without further ado, here’s where it all happens.

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What a spectacular engineering and aesthetic bridge! From our angle of approach it doesn’t look like much, so I’ve embedded the Wikipedia URL here if you want to look at aerials etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunshine_Skyway_Bridge.

In this case, my picture taking cannot possibly do it justice, but I tried. One more thing: the sequence of pictures is over the bridge, and back. I’ll let you figure out which is which.

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Dave went to Pass-a-Grille beach as a child, so we took in the sun, did some people watching and gazed at the expansive horizon. The silhouettes of St Pete and the Dos Cesar Hotel (off to the right, looming), are kind of cool. My photographic genius of taking pictures into the sun are writ large here. Further down the road, Dave spotted a boat that was partially sunk. Out came the telephoto lens for a pretty good shot. (And no, I wasn’t at the helm.)

With the sun fast disappearing, I got some more of a kite being flown, and kids fishing. We needed to get to the Sunshine Bridge fast.

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The Pier was cobbled together around the 1970’s, and it shows. Regardless, it’s a sight that can’t be missed, so we drove the 1/4 mile out to the end, where people paid some money for fish, and hand feed the pelicans. That was fun. Architecturally, I don’t know what to make of it, and upside down pyramid? An UFO that got stuck in the bay? In any event, here it is in all its color and style.

In St Petersberg, we ate at Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish, where the choices were salmon, mullet, mackerel, and mahi mahi. We had the later, served with cole slaw, German potato salad and garnish. We took half the fish home, there was so much. The smoke house is right next to the diner, and the owner opened the trays to show the mahi mahi and salmon. They have been in business for over 60 years, and this outlet is the one and only. Can you tell?

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Dave was my tour guide for a six hour drive of Tampa and St Petersburg. From University of Tampa, we followed along the Hillsborough River with women crewing, and joggers running. The river flows into Tampa Bay, which has a sizable port with ships, trawlers, and yachts. The university’s history includes Teddy Roosevelt commandeering the hotel (that a Mr. Plant built) for the Spanish American war. (And before you ask, no, I wasn’t around for that event.) The grounds and facilities were then converted to the university of today. The endless hallways pictured can be imagined as hotel rooms, and old pictures displayed on the walls testify to their former glory. The weather was hot and muggy, but the vibrant colors and towering cumulus clouds were worth the effort. The coeds helped too…

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Nice time lapse photography. Let’s see if this works, embedding it in WordPress. For full effect, be sure to go to full screen.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/22439234″>The Mountain</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/terjes”>Terje Sorgjerd</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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Standby

I was all primed and ready to go last week, when a friend e-mailed me that the shuttle launch has been rescheduled to April 29th. So I came back home, driving 600 miles in one day. It was a long day. I was glad to see Brad again, and the four cats. Ninja Kitty is the new boy on the block, approximately three years old, and maybe 15 pounds. Great personality, big time talker, and already friends with AlleyCat. Then he heard my printer start up and cycle through its diagnostics, which takes about two minutes of clunking and clicking. with a couple of cat-surprise pauses.

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Be back April 19th…or thereabouts.

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