The Tree Frog Band

August 15, 2014 at 10:21 am | Posted in Humor, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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You’ve met two of my three new buddies, Gofo the tortoise and Tina the rabbit, in previous posts. They’re gentle, laid-back folks that match the area we live in.

Then, there is the Tree Frog Band. I count them as one friend … they function that way. They are natives. However, they’d fit in better on one of the “B” streets, Bourbon or Beale. I can see them strolling Rodeo Drive or 42nd Street.

Frog band with 2nd set of instruments. Courtesy of Matlacha Menagerie on Pine Island

Frog bank with 2nd set of instruments. Courtesy of Matlacha Menagerie on Pine Island

The Tree Frog Band is a quartet. There’s Gooey Feet who plays guitar, clarinet, and sings tenor, The Mad Hopper pounds the keyboard, blows the trumpet, and sings “Dew-up,” Green Jeans strums base and sucks the sax, and Croaker is the lead singer … and … well … croaks. They were the first folks I met after we moved in. What a group! They can do endless sets, never taking a break. They’re a gregarious group, always ready to hop on the stage and do their thing. Unfortunately, that thing is one song … A Rainy Night in Florida.

I’ll never forget meeting them for the first time. I was walking down the stairs intent on finding the right patch of grass when a voice crooned, “She has natural rhythm.” It was Croaker.

“Yeh, man, a maxed-out, cool bitch,” Green Jeans offered.

“Look at that tail swing. Dig that for a drum beat.” Gooey Feet was right in there,

The Mad Hopper added “Dew-up.”

Croaker asked, “Have you considered the stage, Golden lady. New York? Maybe Vegas? Picture you in a bikini with feathers in your fur.”

I said, “I ha—

“Hows about Hollywood and the flicks? You’d wow them in Caan.” Green jeans said.

I said, “Well—”

“She’s a natural for Nashville,” Gooey Feet opined. “Let me hear you yodel.”

“I can’t—”

The Mad Hopper added “Dew-up.”

“What a beauty,” Croaker said – “What a body,” Green Jeans said – “What a voice,” Gooey Feet said – “Dew-up” The Mad Hopper emphasized. In unison they declared, “She’ll make billions!” “Dew-up,” The Mad Hopper finalized.

About that time the rain started. “OUR QUE!!” Croaker screamed. “One, two, three … It’s a rainy night in Florida” – and so it continued. I was forgotten in an instant.

It’s the same routine every time I go downstairs after or during a rain. The lines and lies are identical. I know it’s all just frog poop … they’re spreading their bologna … except for the Mad Hopper … he’s a square up guy … but I enjoy it. A girl just can’t get enough flattery.

 

Sandy

The Proper Way to Greet – Sniff, Sniff

April 29, 2014 at 9:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Ahhhhh, our Southwest Florida mornings are back. It was 68 degrees with a zephyr rattling through the palm fronds as we made our morning Bokeelia Beach walk. The Geezer waved to a man walking on the other side of the road and we crossed the street to talk. Of course, the first thing they did was shake hands.

What gives with this ritual? Two humans approach, square off in front of each other in a challenge position, then extend their right hands, grasp the invader’s palms, and grind up and down like they’re operating an antique water pump. Are they trying to see if water comes out of their fellow humans’ mouth or ears?

The males seem obligated to perform this action. Many females do engage in this ceremony, but are less obsessed. My guess it’s just another example of the females superior intelligence. That’s a universal trait we gals of all zoological types share. Of course, I don’t discuss this with the Geezer. Naturally, he has a different take.

Curiosity about this fetish had me burning. I wanted to ask the old boy why this slavish devotion to a convention that makes no sense to me. However, I’m too much of a lady to rudely interrupt a conversation. I decided to wait to pose my question. The other gentleman yakked on incessantly. Eventually, I rolled my eyes and paced back and forth trying to get the Geezer moving. He was too busy talking about some stupid political thing. In desperation, I tugged at my leash to break up the gab-fest. The old boy broke off the babbling immediately. Who says you can’t teach old men new tricks!

After we’d gotten out of human hearing range, another deficiency of the species, I asked, “Geezer, why do humans shake hands when they meet each other?”

“It’s a universal greeting. It’s like saying, ‘nice to see you,’ without using the words.” The Geezer dismissed the subject by pointing out what was obvious. “Isn’t it great weather? It sure beats the hot mornings we’ve had the last few days.”

I hate it when the Geezer does that! It pissed me and my sarcastic side popped up. I growled, “Oh, nicer weather? Gee, I’d have never noticed. I guess my paw pads have lost their sensitivity and my skin doesn’t recognize temperature differences.” Before the old boy could retort, I added, “That stuff about shaking hands because you’re glad to see someone is Toro Caca. You shake hands with that Irving guy from down the street and you despise the sniveling little bastard. I know you’re not glad to see him.”

The Geezer’s anger flashed for a split second before he saw the wisdom in my comment. After the time it took to get his ancient brain in operate mode, he said, “Well, Sandy, that wasn’t a complete answer. It’s a custom that’s origin is from long ago. It’s more a “I’ll do you no harm,” than “glad to see you.” If I remember right,” I thought he probably didn’t, “Shaking hands goes back to when men carried weapons and you weren’t sure of a person’s intent when they approached. By showing an empty hand and accepting the other man’s empty palm you mutually agreed not to try cutting off the other fellow’s head.”

“I guess you’re going to tell me that’s why you always shake right hands?” I couldn’t help smirking.

“Very good, Sandy. That’s exactly right!”

The smirk continued. Either Geezer was blowing smoke up my food vent or I had another bit of proof the human race was playing the game short a few cards. “Come on, Geezer. What about lefties?”

“Since most people were trained to do everything with their right hand, I guess it didn’t occur to them.” The Geezer surprises me at times. “Anyway, Sandy, it’s just the best way to get acquainted.” Best way, I thought? I hate to admit MY human can be so simplistic.

I wanted to point out all the obvious superior points that the butt sniff has over the hand shake when greeting, but I’ve learned in my young life that discussing such issues with intellectually inferior species wastes my time. However, let me explain the differences to you.

What do you learn from a handshake? Well, you see the other person has a right hand, he can move it, and not much else. Oh, you find out the person you’re meeting is willing to smear his germs all over you. That way you can’t say he’s never given you anything. Geezer says you can tell how assertive an individual is by his shake. I won’t dispute that, though I have my doubts, and for sure, that’s a one time thing.

Now, let’s consider the butt sniff. To paraphrase old Shakey, “How do I see thee better, let me count the ways.” Right from the first, a butt sniff says, ‘I’m willing to follow behind you,’ not ‘I’m right in your face and space to challenge you.’ What’s the friendlier greeting? Walking around your new acquaintance gives you a better chance to check them out. A 360 degree view so to speak. From a ladies point of view, it lets you size up your competition and, more importantly, the male contingent. If humans adopted butt sniffing, just think how many women wouldn’t waste time on men with, shall we say, deficient virtue! I’m assuming the clothes will go, that’s the natural thing that follows. Mind you, that’s just the visual.
The sniff! Talk about information! Let’s take sexual promiscuity. It jumps out and beats your nose like a baseball bat. Not that that’s my first interest. Lets’ get right to the social aspects. A whiff gives you a great clue to a dog’s socio-economic status. I can tell an Iams, Nutro, or Science Diet canine from a Kennel-ration mutt after sampling two parts per million. Coupled with their grooming, you can see who the social climbers are, the snobs, the down-on-their luck types, etc. I could expound on the superiority of the butt sniff for hours, but I’d sound preachy and I detest that.

I do see hope for the human race. Orientals bow to greet each other. Their’s is a much longer established culture, and I see this as proof of Darwin’s theory. I’m sure the bow is the first vestige of the human species evolution to the butt sniff as a universal greeting. It’s comforting that they’ll soon be thinking like I do, which means they’ll finally be getting it right.

PS – Geezer tells me over 20,000 of you have visited my humble jottings over the last few years. He thinks that’s great. So do I. Thank you for your visits and the hundred plus plus universally kind comments. It sure makes a dog want to do more.

http://www.dlhavlin.com

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Signs of the time.

November 7, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Recently, I’ve observed signs when on my walks with the Geezer or traveling around with him in the truck. Some were funny, some not so funny, some head nodding true, and some needed explaining. I’ll categorize.

Signs for businesses—

“The Olde Cock Inn.”
“Harry’s Hairy Waiter Lounge.”
“Greenwald’s Pet Shop & Taxidermy Service”
“The Oar House.”
“Futures Red – Madame Frig”

Signs in yards—

“Horse for sale, with harness, hay, and shovels”
“House for sale, lease, rent, or whatever”
“Stay off the **ass.”
“Go around to my back and knock”
“Bad dog! Bites everyone but cute women”

Political signs and bumper stickers—

“Vote integrity, vote Obama”
“Vote for proposition 7 – (added) girls
“Romney = Health Care Chaos”
“Court Spacie for County Clerk”
“Larry, Curly, Moe for President in 2016″

Signs in windows and miscellaneous places—

“Hiring, must be able to….”
“Special, all deserts, friendly waitresses on sale”
“Park in my rear. Honk for service.”
“No fishing for bridge.”
“Alterations made, men’s or women’s”
“Male, neutered, take anything in trade”
“Corn, eggs, milk, fertilizer”

The one I barked at most was, “Wanted, Big Dog, Little Appetite”

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New names for old (smelly) items -

September 30, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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My human confounded me the other day.  In the middle of a conversation he said, “Sorry Sandy, I have to go to the White House.” That excited me. My human … going to the White House … WOW. After thinking about the Geezer’s penchant for selecting horrible wardrobe for crucial events, I decided to hunt him down and share some of my impeccable taste in clothes with him. I expected to find the old boy in his bedroom, packing. However, as I passed the bathroom, a malodorous breeze invaded my nostrils. The Geezer was perched on the pot, a bored look on his face.

I asked, “Is this what you’re calling the White House now?”

“Yes, Sandy. Isn’t it a creative and fresh referral? And so appropriate.”

“Geezer, shame on you. Your being partisan!” I exclaimed.

“Oh contraire, my friend. Every alternative time I take a dump, I call this place the Capitol.”

Visit the Geezer at his web page http://www.dlhavlin.com  and his blog at  http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com

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Do you see me now???

September 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments
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The mama and papa kingfishers successfully hatched their young ones.  It took several days to discover them. Nature does provide great camo for the young.

I call the following series of photos “Do you see me now?”

Hey, over there, do see me?

Hey, over there, do you see me?

How about now?

How about now?

Now?

Now?

Surely now!

Surely now!

Surely you can see me now!!

Surely you can see me now!!

I know you humans don’t have eyes like we canines, however if you can’t see young “prince” kingfisher in the last two shots, you might consider buying a white cane. No offense intended for the truly seeing impaired. Soon the young birds will adopt the unique coloring of their parents and join mom and dad in their daily fishing adventures.

VIsit my humans site at   http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com to learn about Matlacha Authors Days and what the old Geezer is doing.   Or visit  http://www.dlhavlin.com

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A task too far… Sounds like a book title.

July 27, 2013 at 10:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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The poor old Geezer! Sometimes his best intentions turn to …. well you know … a disaster!  What happened a couple of mornings ago is a good example.

The Geezer has been over-committed for the past few weeks. He’d made more promises than a judge at a beauty contest. After a couple days sequestered in his office … pounding away on his computer, he emerged to see what items he needed to do that weren’t connected to shortening his fingers on the keyboard.

The to do list was daunting. He had to get the boat and tackle ready to take his “Grands” fishing, take me for my morning walk, do laundry, cut the grass, visit the local TV station in prep for a book event, grocery shop, repair the fish cleaning table, trim the Bougainville, and haul dirt to fill a hole where a shrub had been removed. This had to be done in less than two days. That’s a full list of things to do for a young person … more than that for a codger on the shady side of seventy. The Geezer, believing he’s thirty-two, not seventy-two, decided, “No problem.”

He carefully planned his time to squeeze every last second from his busy schedule. The Geezer even took in account his “meds,” the pills he takes to remain his very healthy active self. He planned for the side effect —- the old boy’s tethered to the throne, the pot, the porcelain bus for a portion of each day. Fortunately, the impact is normally predictable. Confident operation “Overload” would be successful, the Geezer commenced early morning maneuvers.

Laundry, walking me and repairing the table took quite a bit less time than he’d allowed.  After a mental check, he was sure he could get part of the grass cut before cleaning up to go to his appointment. The Geezer extracted the mower from the garage and began shoving it around the yard. I watched him follow the noisy machine around palm trees, rock-lined shrubbery, and over his lawn (one with more weeds than grass).

When he’d cut half the yard, the Geezer checked his watch. The old boy looked my way and said, “What do you say, Sandy? If I pick up the pace, you think I can get it done? That’ll be one task completed farther down the list.” I looked at him then the yard and shook my head, “I don’t know … can’t you finish later?”

“Naw, I can do it. I won’t have to take a second shower.” He pushed the mower with considerably more vigor. Ten minutes into his rush I noted his face was flushed and he made a couple of unscheduled stops standing stiff and straight behind the roaring lawn mower.  Finally, he stopped altogether, becoming as rigid as a statue. I rushed over to him. His red face was a picture of distress. Fearing for his health I asked, “Hey Geezer, what’s wrong?”

“Shit!” he said.

“That doesn’t help me. Tell me what’s happening to you.”

He repeated, “Shit!” with great agitation.

It was then I discovered he was accurately describing his problem. You didn’t need my sharp olfactory sense or even my keen eyes to get a whiff and see the spreading stain in his tan shorts. He mumbled, “Shit,” again explaining both his situation and his frustration. “It’s been seventy years since I did that.”

The Geezer disappeared into the garage for fifteen minutes. He reemerged, wrapped in a blanket with soiled shorts and underwear dangling from one hand. He wandered around, turning on the water, finding the end of the hose while struggling to keep the blanket covering his naked bottom half.  The old boy squirted a stream of water on his clothes to remove the well-used food from his garments. But……………….What happened next made his day complete.

Sparkle, the neighborhood Irish setter, wandered up to me. She said, “Hi Sandy, what’s happening?” as if she didn’t know. When Sparkle is around, you know her human, Irene, will be there too. From a few feet away, the lady’s soprano asked, “Oh, gee … Can I help?”

The poor old Geezer shook his head, got a better grip on the blanket, and started climbing the stairs of our stilt home. He summed up the situation in two well chosen words, “Awwwwwwwwww, shit!”

Visit our web page   http://www.dlhavlin.com  and our other blog  http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com

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Tarpon and toilet bowls…sometimes they’re easy to confuse.

June 29, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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The Geezer has been busy at the computer, but he took enough time out to catch the baby tarpon he’s holding.  He caught it on a light fly rod he uses to catch bluegills.  You can see the fly if you look close.  It was on a six pound tippet which he tells me will mean something to fishing dogs … I mean folks.  It was the largest of three he caught in our back yard canal today.  (Thirty-one inches)

Tarpon Time - from the back yard on a light fly rod

Tarpon Time – from the back yard on a light fly rod

The old boy is working hard on his new novel, To Hear the Sound of Wings.  When he gets a head of steam up writing, it’s hard to pry him from the chair.  Mrs G gets frustrated!  Here’s why. The following is some of the conversation from this morning.

Mrs G – “Dear, did you take the garbage out?

Geezer – “Uh-huh.”

Mrs G after discovering the garbage wasn’t out – “The garbage isn’t out. Will you please do that?.”

Geezer – “Uh-huh.”

Mrs G after discovering the garbage wasn’t out and the truck had past – “You missed the garbage truck and it will smell terrible by next week.”

Geezer – “Uh-huh.”

Mrs G after some thought – “Will you empty the sawdust out of your head and into the fireplace?”

Geezer – “Uh-huh.”

Mrs G – “The toilet needs cleaning. How about wiping it out with your tongue?”

Geezer – “Uh-huh.”

Mrs G – “Are raw fish and two week old left-over liver okay for lunch?

Geezer – “Uh-no. How about a couple burgers, medium rare, tomato, mayo, onion, and five slices of dill pickle.”

 

visit DL’s other sites at http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com and his web page at http://www.dlhavlin.com

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Raising families on Barrancas Canal….What a Wild Life!

June 24, 2013 at 11:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Here’s updated pictures.  Family life on the Barrancas Canal is progressing!  The Night Heron young are growing nicely and quickly.  They’re almost as big as mom and pop in eight weeks!

Mom and babies - how quickly they grow!

Mom and babies – how quickly they grow!

On the nest that's so difficult to see people pass within feet of it and don't know its there.

On the nest that’s so difficult to see people pass within feet of it and don’t know its there.

If you look closely at the second picture you’ll see two of the babies that are so well disguised by their surroundings you have to strain to see them. Below are some pictures of a relatively new-born manatee a few feet from our dock. Some were taken from our porch, but Matilda and baby did a quick disappearing act when Mrs. G tried to get close.

Matilda and new baby.

Matilda and new baby.

Scratching on the pilings feels SO good!

Scratching on the pilings feels SO good!

Trying for a close up created a crash dive.

Trying for a close up created a crash dive.

If you haven’t looked at my previous post, check out the video clips on it — particularly the “Gator Call” video!  I also have some pictures on my humans blog.  Visit   http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com  for some pics of the herons when they were a few weeks younger.   And don’t forget to visit  http://www.dlhavlin.com  to keep up with the Geezer.

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Spring has sprung! Love is in the air…and water…and living room!

June 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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Ain’t spring grand?

It’s THAT time of year!  Ahhhhhhhhhh. romance!  I’ve put together some pics and clips to illustrate what spring brings to southwest Florida.  Above you’ll find Matilda and Matt the manatees dining out.  Yep, dating.  Below is a pic of them swimming off in the sunset?  Well, swimming off anyway.

And they lived happily ever-after?

And they lived happily ever-after?

Then there are those who are looking for a mate.  At the slightest hint of the opposite sex, those horny rascals are on the hunt.  Take Arturo the alligator.  Even imitating the warbling of a winsome gator lass will bring him right to your feet.  Watch him be a sucker for a gator call.

Feel sorry for poor Arturo, he’s having trouble finding just that right piece of tail.  He’s asked me to help him by putting his best photo forward. It’s below.

Ain't I boootiful --- chomp, chomp?

Ain’t I boootiful — chomp, chomp?

Then there’s our bird friends.  They get right with the program!  They’re in love, they’re on the nest, then — WHAM, BAM, CRACK — and look what’s in the nest.  Examine the second pic carefully to see all three night heron babies.

Natalia night heron egg sitting

Natalia night heron egg sitting

How quickly they grow - if you can see them

How quickly they grow – if you can see them

Even my friend Trooper is in an amorous way.  How do you say NO without hurting a guy’s feelings?  I’m silent and just stay sitting.

Sorry Trooper

Sorry Trooper

Ain’t Spring Grand?

To learn about my human visit his blog    http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com

Or his web site   http://www.dlhavlin.com

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Delivering Bad News? Some Suggestions!

May 10, 2013 at 10:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Have you ever been faced with the dilema of feeling obligated to deliver “bad” news?   To a friend?  To an associate at work or at another organization?  A relative?  It’s not a fun experience.

I’ve recently been faced with delivering some not so nice facts in common situations.  After a lot of ear scratching, I’ve come up with a few suggestions you might want to try if “forced” to be the harbinger of doom.

Upon having to tell someone they’ve gained a little too much weight–

“Gosh, you need to take pictures with your old camera.  The pictures taken with your new cell phone (I-pad, etc.) make your clothes look tight.”

Upon having to tell someone they didn’t make the team–

“You’re lucky.  You’ll be able hang-out every afternoon, drinking soda (beer, or whatever) and watch TV while I’m sweating my boobs (balls) off with the team.

Upon having to tell someone their cooking leaves room for improvement–

“Aaaaaa, Aaaaaa, Aaaaaa…Next time we eat, let’s not have you work so hard.  Let’s go to MacDonalds.”

Upon having to tell someone a trip to the shower is in order–

“Wow!  All that stuff about danger to our environment is true.  Did you notice that a skunk and three buzzards died as you passed by?”

The Geezer at a Book Club.

The Geezer at a Book Club.

Waterfall

Any suggestions for what I should wear on my NC trip?

Any suggestions for what I should wear on my NC trip?

More news!  I’m going on the Geezer’s and Mrs. G’s trip!  They’ll be at the Blue Ridge Bookfest in Hendersonville, NC on Friday, May 17th and Saturday May 18th.  It’s held on the Blue Ridge Community College campus.  He’ll be introducing his new book Blue Water, Red Blood that was just released May 1st.  We’ll also be stopping at some book clubs (like the Lake Sinclair Book Club) and book stores (Malaprops, B&N, etc.) on the way up and back.  I could use a suggestion as to what a flat lands, semi-tropical canine should wear in the mountains this time of year.  A waterfall close to where I’m going, is shown at the left.  You folks who live in or are visiting the area be sure to come see us “a spell.”

Visit  http://www.dlhavlin.com  and http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com  for additional info about the Geezer.

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