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I get to go, I get to go, I get to go!

I love going with the Geezer to meet his friends and fans!

 

I get to go, I get to go, I get to go! The Geezer is doing a lot speaking, meet and greets, and book signings and he and Mrs. G have decided I’m ready to travel with them. Well, honestly, I’m on trial. I have a tendency to get too excited. People don’t understand the only way I’d harm them is to lick them to death. But I’m getting better at controlling my emotions. Hence, I get the opportunity to prove myself.

The Geezer will be taking me to Ft. Myers Beach tomorrow. We’ll visit a very nice lady named Annette and her bookstore. It’s in the Santini Shopping Center on Estero Blvd. On Thursday I get to go on a long trip, this time to Ocala. The Geezer is teaching three classes at Master the Possibilities in the Top of the World facility. That’s on 80th Street. He’s speaking to the Friends of the Library of Boca Raton on Sunday. I can’t go to that. My barker works too much for a quiet area.

For those who’d like to meet me, I like ear scratches, tummy rubs, and pupperoni.

The geezer is excited. The first of his three book mystery series to be published by TouchPoint is through editing. He expects to see cover art and get a release date in the near future. The book is titled “The Grave with Greener Grass.”

I hope to see you out and about. PS I give kisses.

 

I love people!

 

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No play Days…Uncool!

What the Geezer does that creates “No play days.” Here he’s at King’s Gate CC speaking to 50 members about WWII

Life is usually fun and games in the Geezer’s, Mrs. G’s…and my house. My human’s like me to hang with them. Normally, I can interest them in a game of tug, fetch, or can solicit an ear scratching session. However, on rare occasions I get stone-walled. The usual welcome disappears and is replaced by a total lack of response. Why is that? I’ve made no bathroom accidents inside. It’s been months since I learned removing items off the coffee table is a no-no. I’ve given up sneaking Mrs. G’s undies from the dirty clothes hamper as an unneeded painful experience. The chair legs are no longer a chewing temptation…they all taste like wood. So, why am I treated like I have leprosy from time to time. It has taken a while, but I think I’ve figured it out.

The Geezer and I normally enjoy our time together. He makes a great mattress.

No play days, that’s what I call them, are days before two things happen. The first is the day before the Geezer is scheduled to to do one of his speaking engagements. The second is when Mrs. G pays bills.

The Geezer spends most of the day before an appearance, starring at his computer screen and talking to it.

Mrs. G’s reaction to bills. They don’t put her in a good mood.

I’ve tried a number of things to offset their human fixations on less important things and refocus on the most important thing in their life. ME! Blocking the stairs to the Geezer’s office doesn’t work. He steps over me. Putting my paws on his arms and body as he sits at the computer makes him cranky. Licking his face isn’t welcome like it usually is. Taking my favorite ball and putting it in his lap gets no attention at all. Mrs. G moves me if I block the way to her desk. Barking only makes her bark back at me. I tried chewing up the bills but that only got a momentary smile followed by a scolding. The only thing that works is laying in places I’m not supposed to be. They play chase for a couple minutes and it’s back to being ignored!

Blocking the stairs won’t work……..

If I get on the bed…they get me off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Geezer asked if I was posing for the centerfold. What’s that mean?

 

I hate no play days!

PS — If you’d like to hear the Geezer (DL Havlin) speak on historical events or his books, click on DL Havlin in the right hand column. It’s a link to his webpage. Then go to “calendar” (right under the heading) to find where he’ll be in the future. 

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Learning to be a big dog.

Brandi can climb the circular staircase to the Geezer’s office.

 

Brandi is growing up! How do I know that? Obviously, she’s getting bigger! Brandi was born on May 28. So, at 5.5 months she’s up to 51 pounds. The Geezer and Mrs. G. drove all the way to Pennsylvania to get her the 3rd of August. She weighed in at ten, a real flyweight. That is the same weight as Missy, our resident feline. When Brandi first arrived the two of them played together as equals. Mrs. G had no worries…then! The five to one size ratio has changed that. Brandi has decided that the cat should like to play tumble, a game where the dog plays the ‘tumblor’ and the cat plays the ‘tumblee.’ She rolls the cat around on the floor with her nose. The cat seems unconcerned. Not so Mrs. G.

Brandi on August 4th

Mischievous Missy, Brandi’s playmate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandi is smart and learns very fast. She learned to ring a bell to tell the Geezer to let her out in just 4 days. She’s learned not to chase cars, trailers, and trucks…She caught one standing still and it did not roll over like Missy. She knows the sound of her food dish being touched. Where her food is stored. The sound of the refrigerator opening means eating time. The drawer where her treats are kept. Which person is most likely to drop something from the table while eating. Do you see a recurrent theme? She sits, presents her paw on demand, stays (when watched), and comes always hoping there’s a treat in it for her.

Brandi rings the bell. She’s not driving away witches. She’s ringing her potty bell

 

Brandi sitting, hoping for a treat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What hasn’t she learned? The world is not a chew toy. Putting her paws on people’s chests to do the rumba isn’t winning friends or influencing humans. The toilet is not the fountain of youth. Fifty pound lap dogs are only popular if they lie still, and don’t try to eat buttons, sleeves, arms, and boobs. Jumping over a couch is not parallel to becoming a feminist aviator like Emilia Earhart. Shoes, bras, and underwear don’t fall into any food group. No is a word the cancel-culture hasn’t cancelled.

Brandi made her first trip to one of the Geezer’s book events. She made the four hour journey to Cocoa Beach and Hello Again Books! She got to see him in action talking about his book Blue Water, Red Blood and hear his presentation about how the Florida 1928 hurricane actual caused the birth of the LVT…the Marines primary landing craft in WWII. Most importantly, she didn’t get into trouble.

The Geezer is doing many of his presentations from our home via Zoom. He likes Zoom because it gives him the opportunity to make his presentations to groups all over the nation. Visit his webpage at   www.dlhavlin.com  and use the contact link to find out about him doing one for your group. He’ll be at the Mixon Holiday Festival this Saturday from 9 to 3. It’s located at 2525 27th Street East, Bradenton, FL. At 1 PM will be doing a presentation on Edison’s life in Florida. Look for a sign reading DL Havlin…he’s not the Geezer at book events.

Opps! I’m going to have to leave. Brandi’s chewing on the electric co….

 

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Technology is wonderful when it works!

The computer an aid and a torturer!

The Geezer spends hours behind the keyboard. Authors do that. I guess that it’s inevitable that a love hate relationship formed between him and his computer. Human’s say familiarity breeds contempt. Were it only that mild. What happened over the Labor Day weekend illustrates the game of frustration in which he and Microsoft are engaged.

The old bird is on the excitable side. Over the past few weeks he’s been developing an idea for a new book. That’s wound him tighter than a cheap watch. He shared his idea with his literary agent and…Walla! Her excitement matched his. After a long, upbeat conversation before the holiday weekend, she requested a synopsis and some supporting work ‘as quickly as possible.’ When the Geezer get’s that type of a request, he reacts like Teddy Roosevelt on San Juan Hill.

CHARGE! The Geezer took the preliminary information he’d created and began hanging flesh on the bones. He dove into research immediately. His desk was awash in open books, scribbled notes, downloaded printed sheets, and the all-ways-present empty coffee cups. And…his problems began right with it. His original title for the book didn’t work for several reasons. Okay, just change it. There is that little matter of file names. Awww, the acorn that the mighty oak grew from.

It revolved around those pesky title changes and the cloud. Microsoft, in all its monopolistic wisdom, tries to force its software slaves to use the cloud. The cloud, or the ‘shroud’ as the Geezer calls it, gobbled up some files that he was trying to keep off of it. Some went here…some went there…some went everywhere! Unfortunately, he did not become aware of that until he was almost finished. Fuming, fussing, and cussing he straightened the mess out. The Geezer sent the synopsis, etc. to the fair lady agent for her royal perusal. He thought.

She acknowledged receipt. The time clock was punched and the Geezer’s office chair developed pins and needles. Thursday at five! Book synopsis D-Day. Awaiting feedback on his baby in the womb made Tuesday long, Wednesday unending, and Thursday excruciating.

ZOOM! The moment of truth. The Geezer’s anticipation bubbled. The conversation hadn’t progressed far when the Geezer got that feeling in the pit of his stomach…something was very wrong. One party was speaking about the sky, the other ant hills. After wasting a goodly amount of time the Geezer realized the files he sent weren’t the ones he wanted her to get!

After the call there was much gnarling of teeth. The Geezer had the fervent desire to throw the computer in the canal behind our house. But if the Geezer is anything, he’s practical. He selected a piece of paper, printed in large letters, ‘COMPUTER,’ folded into the form of a paper airplane, and sent it into the murky waters. Sigh! Humans!

Brandi Progress report: She’s growing! Fast!

Brandi is getting large! Hopefully the baby teeth will go soon and everything in the house and me won’t be a chew toy!

If you’re interested in taking in one of the Geezer’s presentation, check out his website at http://www.dlhavlin.com and look under calendar of events. (A link is to the right on this page) Thinks are beginning to reopen and he is also doing many things virtually. Sit at home and see “Here Come The Generals” (one of many) through Master the Possibilities continuing education program.

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News…of this…and that

Mixons Art and Craft show is very popular in the Bradenton Florida area

Hello all…Some tidbits about the Geezer.  He’ll be at Mixon’s for their Arts & Craft show, in Bradenton, Florida this Saturday, from 10 AM until 3 PM. The location is 2525 27th Street East.

The Geezer spoke at the Authors for Authors Writers Conference at the Hilton in Melbourne, Florida last Saturday. This fine event was lightly attended due to the Corona virus. It seems people are rightfully concerned about the disease. Those in the very light attendance used all the tools required to limit covid-19’s spread. 

What is most amazing is the number of people who make no attempt to protect themselves and others by ignoring safety precautions. At needed stops (gas, restaurants) coming and going we were surprised by the number of people, particularly young ones, who didn’t care. When the Geezer was inside a gas station, he asked a young lady(?) who was in a tight cluster of unmasked individuals, if she was concerned about getting the virus. Her answer was illuminating. “No…don’t bother us…it just gets rid of you old f—–s.” Laughter.

It takes all kinds of people to make the world…or so the saying goes…but sometimes don’t you wonder why?

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It started with…I got to get out of here!

Someplace away, serene, peaceful and all alone

It all started with a shared scream, “I got to get out of here!” COVID-19 has turned the world’s human population into the same class of sheltering animals as earthworms and moles. The Chinese Crud, the more accurate, but less politically correct title for the plague afflicting the world, keeps humans playing hide-and-seek. The Geezer and Mrs. G had enough of the same four walls. In unison, they announced their attentions. The question was where to go and be safe. My keen canine intellect knew just the place! Amity cabin. It’s the perfect place to travel to and be more isolated than at home. I’ll explain.

The little cabin in the Mississippi woods. It is located on a 40 acre lake in the middle of 400 acres with only the owners home to share it.

The Geezer loves to fish. He has tarpon and snook in the canal behind our Florida home. But, he loves to catch bluegills, crappies, and bass just as much. We visited this fishing and hunting paradise a couple of years ago when we made a pilgrimage to Mrs. G’s birthplace in Laurel. That’s in Jones County Mississippi, the site of the recent Mathew McConaughey movie, “The Free State of Jones.” The whole family fell in love with Amity, but it was I that remembered its beauty and haunting serenity. Mark one up for canine superiority. We drove straight through, 12 hours, to minimize exposure to the virus. Below are some of the pictures of our weeks stay.

What we came for: A bunch of 8 inch bluegill for a tasty supper. They’re loads of fun when caught on a light flyrod and a rubber spider. Caught tons of these we returned to Lake Fredrick.

 

Follow tracks like these…

Tracks like these…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The unspoiled woods that cover the property are a wildlife lover’s nirvana. We saw many deer, turkeys, pond birds, song birds, etc. Quail? Mrs. G whistled up Bob White and I thought we were in an outtake from Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” The track below was made by a big bruiser!

Big ol’ Buck tracks

Mrs. G loves all the flowers. Her particular favorite are the Magnolia blossoms that adorn the numerous waxy olive leaved trees. The one below was the size of a bucket.

OH, MAGNOLIA!

When all is said and done, that’s 800 miles and three woof’s later, there’s no place like home.

Me, back in Florida…with all my things!

 

The Geezer will be out and about in a safe manner this weekend. He’ll be speaking at the Authors for Authors, Writers Conference in Melbourne, Florida this Saturday. Registration is open at 8 AM, at the Hilton Rialto. Hope to see you there…from behind my mask.

 

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The Geezer is on the move…

The audience at one of the Geezer’s presentations

 

DL at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County

The Geezer’s season has arrived. He’ll be busy giving presentations and signing books from now to the spring. He was a speaker at the Cocoa Village Book Fest last Saturday, sandwiched in a public service day Sunday servicing as “Mr. Fix It,” for a charity children’s fishing tournament, did two historical presentations and a luncheon at Southwest Florida College for LifeLong Learning, and will be at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County all this weekend.

No dogs allowed. That means I get stuck “cat-sitting” for Missy. Oh, well………

Mischievous Missy

Visit the Geezer. (DL Havlin) He’ll be at the Cultural Center Friday & Saturday 9 to 3 – That’s at 2800 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte, Florida.

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“What’s in my head is what I’ve read!”

Reading makes me a better bear.

As you probably know, my human is an author. I call him the Geezer. I usually don’t talk much about his writing, because he does enough of that. However, one of the things the old boy does is really pretty cool. Why? Because he wants kids to develop an interest and love for reading. Even though he’s not a children’s author, he wrote and produces a short book for kids from preschool through 4th grade. The book’s title is, “Why reading makes me a better bear.”

I have to take part of the credit for “Better Bear.” The Geezer would often mutter and complain to me after making one of his many, many historical presentations. His standard complaint was as follows: It drives me crazy! Parents and grandparents bring their young ones up after I speak. I ask the kids what the last book they read is, and they look at me like I’m a Martian! Don’t the parents and kids understand reading is the foundation for all learning? I got tired of listening to it, so I told him, “Stop talking and start doing.”

One of the unique things about this children’s book are the last two pages. They don’t finish this book, they are what the Geezer hopes will be the beginning of adults working with, and encouraging their loved ones to read! Giving a child the gift of love for, and appreciation of, reading, is one of the greatest acts a parent or grandparent can perform to insure the youths success in life. It doesn’t cost the adult a thing! A friend who has a doctorate in education helped him with those two pages. That friend’s specialty is reading retention.

What he does with the the book, is what I consider the best part. He gives them away to libraries and elementary schools. When he makes public appearances, he sells a few…all the funds collected from these sales are used to print more “Better Bears.” He has distributed close to 1500 to schools, libraries, and teachers to date.

One page from the book.

When I told the Geezer I was going to write about “Why reading makes me a better bear,” he said I could offer a free book to individuals who’d like a copy for their personal use. So I can send up to 200 out on a first-come-first-serve basis, after September 30th, 2019. Here’s how to get one:

Go to his web page at     www.dlhavlin.com

Under Inside the World (right side) – click on Contact

Complete the form required information –

Write in the comments section – “Send me a copy of Better Bear.”  Write the address to where you want it shipped.

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Tap those paws! Bluegrass is Florida tradition!

Keith Bass – one fine banjo picker & and a true Florida cowboy

 

Yee – Haw! I sure like to go to hear some down home pickin’ & singin’. So do my human’s! The photo and video clip in this blog are from a trip to one of our neighboring towns, Okeechobee. The Geezer and Mrs. G went to see the “Kieth Bass & Florida Bluegrass Express,” a band that they have enjoyed listening to and visiting for years.

Many who live in the Sunshine State aren’t aware that bluegrass and country music are part of Florida’s frontier heritage. Florida? Frontier heritage? Many will be skeptical when told Florida was part of the frontier well past 1900. It was, and still is, one of the leading cattle producing states in the US. Many of Florida’s early inhabitants were Scotch-Irish from Georgia and the Carolinas. Most of these hardy souls were “cow hunters” or were  associated with them in some way. They brought their instruments and music with them.

I remember my parents going square dancing on Friday nights when I was in elementary school in Fort Myers. Dancing to banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and bass was a deep tradition, not only in Florida, but throughout the  South and the frontier West. There is great artistry in the “pickin” of these instruments that have no electric assists to make the musicians sound better than they are. If you want to hear the sounds of our American roots there are two places to do it. Find black blues, jazz, and soul music in an off-the-main-street  lounge or bar. Find a country, bluegrass, or folk music show in a rural location that is its home.

If you’re worried about the welcome you might receive, don’t be. The folk who attend bluegrass events are among some of the friendliest you’ll find. Don’t go formal…no one else will be. Just brush the straw off your Stetson, be sure there’s no manure on your boots and you’re ready to go!

Kieth Bass & The Florida Bluegrass Express is representative of the bands that play this traditional music. They play it because they love it. Bluegrass (and country/folk) tell the story of the life these people led. Mule Skinner Blues, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Tom Dooley, Fox on the Run, and I’m So Lonely I Could Cry are tidbits torn from the fabric of their every-day living. Below is a clip of the KBFBE band playing at the get-together my humans went to.

 

 

If you’d like more information and get a chance to enjoy some real traditional music visit the face book link below. It has schedules and all you need to know to have a thoroughly fun time!

Keith Bass & the Florida Bluegrass Express Band

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The Geezer (or DL Havlin as you humans call him) starts his fall and winter speaking schedule on September 21st., at The Landings Yacht, Golf, & Tennis Club in Ft Myers. He’ll be speaking to the American Association of University Women about Florida’s “Patriot War.” To find when, where, and what DL is presenting visit http://www.dlhavlin.com and click on his schedule of events.

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I enjoy the country!

Stop to smell the flowers — I love the smell of magnolias in the morning.

One good thing that humans do is taking those occasional breaks to recharge their batteries. The Geezer ground away for ten months as he finished two books and was chairman of a (very successful) writers conference. It kept him at the computer and me away from it. Blame my lack of posting on him.

There is the country…then there is theee countreeee! The Geezer and Mrs. G have found a place in Mississippi that is a little piece of nirvana. Its a cabin on a private 38 acre lake nestled in the middle of a 400 acre farm and forest. The fish are so hungry they stand in line to bite your hook. Deer peeked at us from behind bushes, turkey were on parade and there were so many quail the Geezer ran out of pucker whistling to them. Here are a few pictures —–

The lake – peaceful isn’t it?

Dum – dum making Yum – yum

The Geezer fully engaged in what he does well

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I am watching the most urban event at “Amity cottage” — The Ant Parade.

Amity Cabin, where doing nothing is an art-form!

Ah! I am refreshed. Now let me think of another post before I go to sleep.

PS — Glad to be back!

 

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