July & the temperature’s sweltering. Florida’s less fun in the summer.

Florida in July & August. It’s too hot to move.

“Summertime,” the song from Gershwin’s classic, Porgy and Bess, tells us the living is easy this time of year. Well, the fish may be jumping here in Florida, but it’s because the water is so hot they are afraid they might get boiled if they stay in it too long. And the humidity … Yuk! My human just smiles when I complain. He’s lived here most of his long life and is reconciled to be miserable three months of the year. If my grumbles get loud, he laughs and says, “Sandy, just keep counting the days. You only have 75 more until October and relief.” Not funny!

I get even when he takes me for a walk. Even if he’s just left the shower, his clothes are drenched with perspiration by the time he reaches the driveway. Plus, I get a little more revenge. Early in the mornings when we go out, the clouds of sand-flies and mosquitoes are active and hungry. My Golden coat protects me. Not he … he, he, ho, ho, ha, ha.

Even the owls are staying underground!

The wildlife is smart. They stay in the shade and take it easy during the middle of the day. Those that can, conduct their “business” at night; the rest get things done mornings and evenings. Even gators and snakes look for a cool hole to hide in.

I envied Margret the Manatee … until she told me the water is 89!

Everyone in our house stays inside and slows down this time of year. Oreo, my feline brother, slows to stop. He’s shown below after he ate lunch. Oreo is always demanding, but this time of year he insists that his fish fillets be cut into very small pieces so he doesn’t have to expend energy wagging his jaws. He told me he requested his litter box be mounted on an I-Roomba and be programmed to follow him around so he didn’t have far to go … to go, but the Geezer turned him down.

Oreo prostrate from his toughest activity of the day … eating.

The Geezer may give me a hard time about complaining, but I’ve noticed he’s not scheduling any out-door book events right now. An example. This Saturday he will be doing one of his historical presentations, “The Loyal 14th Colony, Florida in the Revolutionary War.” I notice it is going to be held in the spacious, air conditioned environs of the Sandman Book Co. Sandman Book Co. is located at 16480 Burnt Store Rd., in Turtle Crossing Plaza, near Punta Gorda, Florida. He’ll be speaking from 11:00 AM until noon. If you live near by (or not) stop and see him. You’ll be cool!

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Happy 4th! … Bring the Cannoli and leave the Firecrackers!

I’m watching from the car as Mrs. G prepares for her ride in the 4th-of-July parade.

It was fun! I got to watch one of my humans participate in our community’s celebration of the birth of our nation. Mrs. G was in Pine Island’s Parade. With the sky-roof open the windows down and the AC running, I felt like an executive in a luxury box at a big-league stadium.

Mrs. G was a pirate. Aaarrggghhh! The boat-float’s slogan was “Give me freedom – or walk the plank.” It works …

The Geezer snapped these pictures before and during the parade. He tries, but he’d be better off writing about what he saw. He uses a camera as well as our cat Oreo swims … not very good. The only thing I didn’t like was the clown (literally) tossing firecrackers closer to me than I liked. The Geezer saw that ended quickly.

“Standing by the corner watching all the floats go by” The Geezer told me to write that. Mrs.G is in part of the boat he didn’t cut off.

It was fun! Now, I’m looking forward to one of those ribeyes I saw in the grocery bags. Grilling Beans, potato salad, and ice cream, YUM! Bring the Cannoli and leave the firecrackers. Happy 4th to you all!

 

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When a dog brags about something, is it called crowing or barking?

The Geezer deep in thought … or the best he’s capable of

I have to crow about this one! He’s done it again. The Geezer won another award for his writing. His short story, “There are no lights in Naples,” won the Novel Writing Festival’s contest and is their featured reading this month. If you’d like to sample his writing, visit the home page of his website (click the link … DLHavlin … on the left side of this post.) You’ll see the announcement that his short story, There are no lights in Naples, won. Click on the link (underlined and in bright yellow), it will take you to Novel Writing Festival’s home page. It’s featured at the very top … simply click on the image … Elizabeth Rose Morriss does the reading and does a great job of capturing the spirit and essence of the story.

The Geezer at the Copperfish at a previous event.

If you’d like to visit with the Geezer, he’ll be at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida today at 6:00 PM. The street address is 103 Marion Avenue. He’ll be signing his latest novel, The Bait Man. Its a suspense/mystery set in Florida that received a great review from Kirkus. I know he’s been waiting to talk to the Charlotte County folks and others close by about this book. Come see him. The Copperfish phone number is 941-205-2560 if you have questions.

 

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Vindicating vacation value …

“Where do you want to go, Geezer?” I asked.

He thought for at least two minutes, that’s a long time when you’re waiting for an answer. Finally, he spoke, “Remember Seinfeld famously said his show was about nothing? So, I want to do the Seinfeld thing … Nothing. I want to go where I can do that.”

I looked at him wondering if the steam in his boiler had escaped. “Nothing? You can do that at home.”

“No Sandy, I can’t. The phone rings, the Internet calls, my next chapter demands to be worked on if I stay here. So … I’m going where no phone will bother me, where there’s no wifi, and to a place I’m far away from my research notes and computer.”

“Is there such a place beside heaven?”

“Yes, I think I’ve found utopia.” He smiled. “We’re going to Amity.”

The view from Amity Cabin’s front porch – A beautiful 38 acre lake we had to ourselves. Except for fish that lined up to strike our lures.

 

The place DL found was off the beaten path. Let me rephrase: This wonderful piece of seclusion was off a once used game trail. Located in Mississippi near the Alabama line, the farm Amity Cabin is built on isn’t close to anything most Americans recognize as a “destination.” The rolling terrain, the beauty of the unspoiled pines, magnolia blossoms, curious deer, and mirror-like-lake, wrapped  a serenity blanket around us.

Pines in the morning mists

A full house … The Mississippi Martin Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’d been at Amity for three days when the old boy’s wisdom became undeniably evident. He’d found the ultimate location and way to relax. We sat on the porch, watching martins pilot their bodies over the lake, dipping, zigging, zagging, and intercepting insects that would be their babies’ lunch. “I have to tell you, Geezer, I thought you were crazy. You weren’t. This is the closest thing to a battery charger for humans I’ve ever seen.”

He nodded. “The one solace accumulating years brings is the wisdom experience imparts. I spent years going on vacations that were scheduled tighter than my work regimen prescribed. I’d race from attraction to attraction, take advantage of sight-seeing or night-life at any place I happen to stay, and squeeze in some work to salve my misguided conscience. The result … I was exhausted at its conclusion. A vacation from the vacation seemed necessary. Then, I discovered this is what I needed. When I returned from a true rest, I found my productivity and creativity returned to the 150% I strive for.”

Mrs G and I had time to read our favorite magazine, Garden & Gun – Wow – what a luxury.

The Geezer rockin’ the day away on Amity Cabin’s front porch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While our life style was definitely not an episode of “Naked and Afraid,” we were able to commune with nature. Deer visited daily … herons, owls, hawks, martins, robins, cardinals, and a multitude of other birds flitted around us … quail whistled “bob-white” from sun-up to sun-down, and a raccoon peered through the glass front door each evening, daring me to give chase. I didn’t even bark at him … not after his first appearance. It was my chance to relax, too.

 

A magnificent magnolia blossom. – The candle holders in the photo show size – each is 5″ in diameter. These flowers’ fragrance sweeten each day at Amity.

 

Most importantly, it was away from the filth Washington and the New York media dumps on us daily. There are no (vomit) politics on the farm. There are no assassination attempts at Amity. The only ABC we saw was in books we read. The FOX we watched had four legs. The Washington Post found its best purpose … to wrap garbage.

Yep, the value of our vacation was vindicated.

 

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Saaaa-lute!

My salute to all U.S. veterans and our current military. To the living and especially to those who gave their all, God bless you!

 

Thank you!

 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You!

Words aren’t always enough. We owe so much to those who have fought for our freedom, gained it and have protected it ever since. But since this is the best we can do … THANK YOU from my heart … and the Geezer’s.

 

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Do you ever wonder???

I reflect best when I ride. Some of the things I’ve wondered about recently are shared below.

A couple of days ago the Geezer and Mrs. G were running errands and took me along. They know how much I love the car. This is particularly true when we’re going somewhere … you know, like on vacation or a book signing trip. This wasn’t nearly as much fun.

The half-day was a series of short drives from uninspired stop to uninspired stop. The car would get hot after a few minutes parked in the Florida sun. It’s May. It’s 90. It’s boring! I shared this emotion with either the Geezer (most of the time) or Mrs. G as one or the other sat with me while the other performed some mundane task. The expressions on their faces said, “Ennui!” If anything, they were more bored than me!

Don’t get me wrong. I love being petted and having my ears scratched. The Geezer always has treats to reward me for just being his buddy. The windows were down in back so I could exercise my nostrils. But all these enjoyments have limits. I was bored to the point of distraction. That distraction started me wondering if other canines (and humans) wondered the same things I wonder. I’ll share a few of these wonders with you.

Do you ever wonder, if a few generations from now, human babies will be born without hands? If Darwin is correct they’ll be replaced with a cell phone on one side and a game tablet on the other. Will they be called right celled or left celled?

Do you ever wonder what television would be like if every program wasn’t a vehicle for pushing a political view or an ideological agenda? I’ve seen archaeological artifacts like, Ozzie and Harriet, Fantasy Island, and Dragnet that entertained without rubbing manure in your nose every minute.

Do you ever wonder why human ladies spend so much on the “latest style?” It would be smarter to just keep your old clothes for a long enough time so that some high-priced designer re-invented something that was done forty or fifty years ago. Hey, pants suites are now rompers. Remember the “chemise” and the “sack dress?” They’ve come back under a new title. Micro-mini skirts do keep their same title, though the Geezer calls them “water cooler stop lights.” Anybody know why? Anyway, my coat is always in style.

Do you ever wonder if we’ll get the politicians and TV anchors to settle their arguments Roman Style. In the Coliseum. Televised. With appropriate weapons. How about Sean Hannity versus Chris Mathews with battle axes? Or Hilary Clinton versus Sarah Palin with maces? Why not Ted Cruz fighting Chuck Schumer using long swords? Think of the attraction of Jon Stewart matching up with Rush Limbaugh. They can fight each other with shovels and huge piles of manure. The first one that covers and smothers the other, wins! After all, it’s these individuals creating the huge divisions in the country. Really, 75% of the people would just like them to go away.

Do you ever wonder when humans will figure out that reading is the best way to get information? Stuff on TV, in movies, or on the radio, effects people primarily based on presentation … NOT SUBSTANCE! If humans read most speeches or documentaries made on/for TV, etc. they’d learn something completely different than the quick view that’s intended to trick them. Reading actually gives you time to think and question information.

Do you ever wonder why canines are so far superior to humans as a species? No further explanation required.

I love my human. He is an inferior species, but this is even more of a reason for me to look after him.

 

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And the results are … The Geezer will win no Oscars or Emmys

It was unanimous. The Geezer won’t win an Oscar for his acting this year. He wasn’t nominated for his TV presence so that means no Emmy. I could have told you that when I tried to be the spokes-dog for his commercial.

I consider it a lost opportunity for both of us. Just think of the sales power of having his novel represented by the first canine pitch person. I’d have been a sensation. Move over Flo, your ads would no longer be progressive. I would have made the Geico Gecko just another little lizard. Shaq is a good guy, but I’m sure he’d be unemployed by the General when they took one look at my TV charisma. My delivery of “The Bait Man!” would wipe the memory of “Where’s the beef?” from even old-timers’ minds. I fit in with the mod trends. Notice how many Golden Retrievers are featured in TV commercials. I could have raised the ad (and canine gravitas) to new heights even overshadowing Duke, the Bush Beans huckster dog. Take a look at me and then picture that just slightly photogenic canine. I don’t even think his pedigree is legit.

I’d be beautiful as a spokesperson on TV! This is my official photo. Any of you agents interested?

Just so you know that this isn’t just my opinion, I decided to bring up the subject of a comparison of my talent vs the Geezer at the neighborhood convocation of the Canine Chowder and Ham-bone Marching Society. The questions to and answers from some of the attendees are below. Note, I asked the questions like most national poles. They are absolutely, positively, unfailingly stated in a manner that will elicit a unbiased, honest and uninfluenced answer. (I think)

Q. Sandy – Who do you think would be chosen as the the “top dog” TV commercial presenter in a contest? Me or the Geezer.

A. Lucy (Cocker Spaniel) – Paws down it would be you. His delivery lacks your bite and bark.

Q. Sandy – Would I be more appealing to readers with my golden glow or would the Geezer with his mortuary clothes?

A. King (German Shepard) – Ahhhh, Hummmm, Aaaaaa, I guess gold is worth more than coal on the market. Yes it would definitely, kind of would be you. Maybe.

Q. Sandy – Who do you think would impress TV viewers more? Me with my commanding expression or the Geezer with his mannerisms?

A. Manny (Chihuahua) – But of course, it is you. I think. I do not stink, I mean I do not think he could sell as many books as you, particularly to groups like ours. I do stink he might sell some books to huuumans. I mean think, I think.

There you have it. Publish the results on CNN. I’ve included a link to the commercial so you can see for yourself.

https://vimeo.com/broadcastcenter/review/214064309/e880dd40e5

I have to say it was effective for humans who, by the nature of the species, are less discerning than canines. Humans attended his appearance at the Sandman Book Company in droves! It was standing room only! I should have a pic to place here, but I’ll need help untangling it. As soon as it comes in, I’ll edit this post to show it.

At Sandman Book Company. DL Draws good crowds. This was SRO.

A quick ADDITION!  DL will be speaking at the Fort Myers Beach Public Library tomorrow at 1:30 PM. Its on Estero Blvd. His subject is the research on his book “A Place No One Should Go” – Did you know the Gulf of Mexico’s level has been 4′ higher and 2′ lower in the last 2000 years?

 

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