Category Archives: FL

Concealed Thoughts

  • Thick as Thieves is a horrible movie.  Don’t waste your money, and even more so don’t waste your time.  I thought with Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman, I thought for sure it would be a winner.  Stinker.
  • I reapplied for my concealed weapons permit in mid November.  The wait time is supposed to be at most 90 days.  It’s still not here.
  • The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services runs the Division of Licensing here in Florida.  Apparently there is a backlog in licensing for security, firearms, concealed weapons, and others.
  • When I called a couple weeks ago, they explained that my license application has not even made it through data entry and is currently sitting in a pile of other applications on someone’s desk.
  • That’s funny, they cashed my check (over $100) before they even entered my application in the computer.
  • My pal OB just received his license in the mail and he applied in November as well.  Maybe mine will be here soon.
  • I am rapidly becoming a big fan of the Kel Tec product line.  They produce very unique and affordable firearms.  The two I have my eye set on are the PLR16 and the PF-9.
  • The PF-9 is a super compact ultra thin single stacked 9 mm, 7+1 capacity.  The retail price is $333 for the blue or as much as $390 for the parkerized.  I haven’t shot one, but I have a co worker who owns one and I saw him fire it.  I held one yesterday which I found for $250 used.  I think I may be able to find one just a little more than that new.
  • The PLR16 is a 223 handgun.  It’s the same caliber as the AR-15 that I carry at work, however it has no stock and a very short barrel.  This one starts just under $500, but if you own one you can easily get $1000 for it.  They are next to impossible to find new right now and there is at minimum a 2 month waiting list for them.
  • My Glock 19 is going to be a little uncomfortable to conceal because it’s so thick.  The advantage is the 15 rounds plus one in the chamber that it carries.  And it’s extremely durable, good for the range, and fun to shoot.
  • Dinner last night was pretty good.  I enjoyed a beef and potato stew with flour tortillas and cilantro.  It cost about $2.50 a plate, and that included peach iced tea.
  • It’s amazing how easy making beef and potato stew is.  Brown 3 pounds of cubed beef and a couple of small onions.  Add water and cubed potatoes and two packs of taco seasoning packs.  Turn down to medium low, cover, and stew for an hour stirring occasionally, add more water if you need.  When it thickens, the stew is so good.  Serve with warm tortillas and peach iced tea! 🙂  Sort of a mix between store bought and homemade.
  • I have twice as much left over as Marcela and I had to eat, and we shared some with mom and dad.
  • I’m still waiting for information on the operations job for FPL.  I have some information, but I don’t know if I will or will not get the offer.  As far as I know, I have done what I can do (other than follow up which I am on top of) and now I have to wait.
  • Tomorrow, I will get my paws on The Saturn Project album, Anthems for a Broken World.  The music is great and I want to play it straight through.

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Filed under FL, food, movies, music, thoughts, time, work

The Monday Metro Zoo Madness!

Well, no more Armchair QB’s for a while.  This is your Monday blog.  I decided to take my nieces to the zoo today, and Kelly was OK with Kourtney skipping a half day of school to go with me.  McKenna and Kourtney were anticipating it for more than a week, so I hope their expectations were filled.  I doubt that it all lived up to the hype.  We didn’t get to see the chimps going nuts, which to me is the best part of the zoo.  The dog’gone monorail now costs $3 per person.  Now, nobody at all rides it (except me and the girls).  Also, the zoo added a section called the Amazon and Beyond, which was great.  The jaguar was in hiding, unfortunately.  I was really looking forward to seeing the jag.  We did get to see the tigers fed (11:00 AM they get a snack) and that was cool.  But the best part of the day for the girls was playing in the play areas.  Forget the animals, they love to slide, swing, climb, and run. Kourtney played in the water park area and loved getting soaked.  That’s so much better than some dumb gorillas or lions.  🙂

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Filed under animals, children, family, FL, Miami

Fair Thoughts

  • As of last Friday, it is Christmas season.  I always consider the Christmas season starting as soon as Thanksgiving day is over.
  • Marcela has already packaged and wrapped presents and put up a couple Christmas trees.  Max even had a Santa hat on last night.  He didn’t like it very much.
  • I finished the last of the leftover Thanksgiving turkey today.  I made turkey salad and in the words of cousin Eddy, “it was gooo-ooood.”
  • We watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer clay-mation show two nights ago.  We plan on watching Santa Claus is Coming to Town this weekend.  Those are two of my favorite Christmas specials.
  • My all time favorite Christmas movies are:
  1. It’s a Wonderful Life
  2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  3. A Christmas Story (what kid wouldn’t want a Red Rider BB Gun?)
  4. Home Alone
  • Sean Avery of the NHL’s Dallas Stars was suspended indefinitely for calling his ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert of 24 his “sloppy seconds” because she is now dating another NHL player.  Many people are crying “FREE SPEECH VIOLATION!”  For those who are constitutionally challenged, this is no 1st Amendment violation.
  • While I do not agree with a harsh suspension due to the lack of even-handedness across the NHL to players who have said much worse, it is the discretion of the NHL to determine what language reflects poorly on them concerning his player conduct clause in his $15.5 million 4-year contract.  The Standard Player Contract he signed specifically states that his conduct reflects on the NHL on and off the rink and “must be held to the highest standard of honesty, morality, fair play, and sportsmanship, and to refrain from conduct detrimental to the best interest of the Club, the League or professional hockey.”
  • My disagreement is not that the NHL does not have the right to do such, but that they are coming down hard on this idiot for insulting his Ex while they have done little more than a slap on the wrist for some players who have made racist comments, physically attacked players on the ice unprovoked, and have committed felonies off the rink.  The NHL got this one wrong, but so did Avery.  Maybe he will learn to keep his mouth shut.
  • I got my Curve in the mail yesterday.  It is set up and running smoothly.  My old BlackBerry has been spotty, signal was degrading, camera stopped working, and battery was fading.  I had about 5 days left on my Warranty when I called to see about a new phone.  That saved me hundreds of dollars.
  • Originally, I had the charcoal colored Curve, and they sent me the red Curve in the mail.  I like the red one better!
  • Our fantasy football league is winding down with one more regular season game followed by the two game playoffs.  Right now, Mark Similey and I are the only two who have wrapped up our playoff spot.  Ritz, after starting 6-1 has lost 4 of his last 5 and really needs to win his last game to make the playoffs.  Jesse who also started 6-1 has lost 4 of his last 5 and needs to win this week to ensure that he makes the playoffs.
  • This has been a super competitive league.  3 teams are stilly vying for 2 playoff spots in the final week.  No teams had clinched until the second to last week of the season.  I have never seen a league with so much parity.  I have also only been in a league one other time with Trav when he did not make the playoffs.  That was the year that the commish cheated and we both set the earth on fire before being kicked out of the league.
  • Marcela and I purchased bicycles on Black Friday.  I got a cool little mountain bike for all the mountains here in FL, and Marcela got a multi-speed hybrid.
  • I have to go, Max just did something bad!

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Filed under Blogging, communications, fantasy football, FL, food, football, games, Max, movies, NFL, Pets, sports, technology, thoughts

The Thought Bite

  • I have been dreaming about fishing constantly lately. I actually got to go out again today into the gulf stream and slam some dolphin with a few friends from work and one of their son’s.
  • We were on the water by 6:30 AM (an hour later than planned) and filled the live well with baby jack and pinfish. Allen (the kid) had fun just catching bait. That’s one of the cool things about catching your own bait with kids, they get to participate.
  • We ran from Bayfront south to Pumpkin Key, then out through the cut into the ocean side, past the reefs and into open water. Immediately, we were in blue water and found weeds. They didn’t hold any fish though.
  • We decided to go deeper so we headed about 10 more miles east to roughly 700 feet of water. We scanned the seas for weeds and found them finally. Trolling north, the weed patches were full of dolphin (mahi-mahi), triple tail, bait fish, and shark.
  • I put out the planer and Tony put out two rigged ballyhoo and we were on fish immediately. It was like total chaos, fish flopping all over the boat, blood everywhere. We lost two nice dolphin trying to keep the school close, but overall it was successful for a bunch of rookies.
  • One crazy thing happened. In the middle of the school of dolphin was what appeared to be a cobia. I threw a jig at it and boom it was on. I fought it pretty hard and it wasn’t until it got pretty close that I realized it was a reef shark. I got it close enough and Tony gaffed it. That sucker was trying to bite everyone! It was great.
  • We ran north to the Pacific Light and found more weeds. By this time it was around noon so it was HOT. That is usually not a great thing for dolphin.
  • Regardless, we got a hit after trolling a large patch of weed and it had two followers. We got on the other one too, and we ended up with two more decent gaffer mahi in the boat.
  • After this, it was getting hot and the bite was off so we headed in to Caesar’s Creek for some snapper. We got about 12 mangrove snapper and I caught one more shark that we released.
  • Overall, for a bunch of rookies (with the exception of Tony) we did pretty good. With some preparation, I know we can really mop it up next time.
  • BTW, even though I am sunburned and exhausted, the shark steaks are in my fridge right now. Grilled shark will be on the menu tomorrow night. Now we will see who bites who!
Shark!  The shark was cruising with the school of dolphin.

Shark! The shark was cruising with the school of dolphin.

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Filed under fishing, FL, food

Saturday Top 5: Lobster for Dinner

These three lobster can be found in Florida waters, along with slipper lobster.

These three lobster can be found in Florida waters, along with slipper lobster.

Lobster is a favorite food of mine. Its sweet seafood flavor and its texture makes it the perfect food. It’s also the most fun to eat the lobster you have harvested yourself. Let’s get to the list!

#5 Lobster Bisque – This is a great way to clog your arteries. It is basically the remaining bits from a Maine Lobster other than the tail and claws, combined with various seasonings, onions, oil, butter, heavy cream, and cognac and strained with a fine filter. The texture is supposed to be velvety smooth and the flavor should be rich, creamy, with all the taste of lobster. It is excellent!

#4 Fried Lobster Tail – As a disclaimer, I must say that I have never had it prepared this way, but a friend of mine from work who is a true fisherman talks it up so much that I have to give this one mention. It seems to be a pretty simple operation. You remove the full tail from the shell, halve it, batter dip it or coat it in flour/corn meal with seasoning, and drop it in the deep fryer until the breading begins to brown. Sounds good to me! Why is it #4? Because I can tell you I don’t like Lobster Newburg as much as I would a whole tail, and the soup is good, but I would still rather have a hunk of lobster meat fried up.

#3 Lobster Ravioli – This is a delicious way to stretch your lobster meat out in order to serve more people with less meat. Though it is excellent, I have always felt like restaurants go skimpy on the meat in each ravioli, and that is my biggest complaint. Since I don’t know how to prepare it properly myself, I guess I don’t have much to complain about. I have also had it prepared with chunks in the ravioli, and I have had it more finely minced. I prefer the chunks.

#2 Steamed Main Lobster – I get a little sad when I see a lobster that has been boiled. Why? Because there is a better way. Boiling a lobster, in my opinion, actually leaches some of the flavor from the meat. This can be proved because if you taste the water after boiling, it has the flavor of lobster in it. In any case, just steam it until it is red, serve with clarified butter, and you will have a quality lobster dinner.

#1 Grilled Rock Lobster Tail – I would imagine that Maine lobster would do just as a well as rock lobster, but that isn’t the point. The point is that this is the best way to feature the best food on planet earth. Simply split the tail in half down the length of the tail, spray your hot grill with a little no stick, then throw the tail on the Q. Turn it after a minute or two, and when the meat turns opaque, it’s done. The length it takes will depend on the temperature of the grill and the size of the tail. Make sure you have some fresh lemon and clarified butter handy! You may want to brush the tails with a little lemon/butter or olive oil during the grilling process.

A couple of helpful tips for lobster preparation:

Rock Lobster can be deveined after the tail is separated from the carapace by breaking about a 5 inch section of antennae from the lobster, then break the tip off it. Insert the small end of the antennae into the vent and work it in an inch or two. Twirl the antennae and continue twisting as you pull it out. The result should be that the entire vein should come out in one long nasty black string leaving a perfectly clean lobster tail.

Clarified Butter (ghee): This will make a great difference if you like dipping your lobster in butter. Simply place a stick or two of butter in a small sauce pan on medium-high heat. The butter will begin to bubble and foam. Turn the temperature down and let the milk solids settle. Turn the temp up a little and continue simmering the butter until the milk solids begin to brown and maybe even burn. When your butter reaches perfect clarity, remove it from hear and strain it through a fine strainer lined with wet cheesecloth. This clarified butter should last in the fridge for a long time if you want to keep it on hand.

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Filed under fishing, FL, food, top 5

Shark Fishing from a Canoe in the Middle of the Night

Last night, I went out to Card Sound to tool around, try to catch some snapper, and maybe even a couple sharks.  I gotta say, Dave V is a maniac!  It’s almost midnight, and we are in a canoe buzzing around through the mangroves with a couple of lights, life jackets, a cooler, tackle boxes and fishing poles.  We stayed in the canoe for about 20 minutes.  LOL I am brave, SOMETIMES, but when we almost tipped and I started thinking about losing my cell, wallet, tackle, etc, and then I would have had to swim to a shallow enough area to flip the boat back over and all the hassle that would take, I just told Dave, lets head back in and hit a couple of bridges.  The fish were there, though.  We had a large snook, tarpon, or cuda feeding right beside the canoe at one point.  It was pretty big too.   Anyway, we ended up catching a schoolmaster and mangrove snapper, waded around scoping an area out for some more lobster (I did grab a big one, but it took off) for regular season that opens in a couple days, and we had a great time.  Oh yea, a large shrimp jumped in the boat, too.  I will not be heading out in the middle of the night any time soon in a canoe for shark, but maybe I will give it a try during the day.

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Filed under animals, fishing, FL, sports

Thought bearing lobster

  • I woke up this morning at 5:50 AM on my day off: the phone was ringing. My work was calling to find out if I wanted to come in to work. Not today!
  • I was expecting the call to be from Dave to make sure I was up and ready to go for a day of lobstering. Dave called at 6:30 AM to let me know he was heading out of the plant.
  • I was glad that Dave would take the time to go out there with me, since Trav ditched me to visit the family in Louisiana. 🙂
  • We loaded up the car, grabbed a couple of Jolt Ultra’s and a cooler of ice, and headed to Card Sound road.
  • We had a great time, but after about 2 1/2 hours in the water, we caught only 1 lobster (short) and found about 5 large lobster carcasses. We did see one stone crab, quite a few large snook, some mangrove and schoolmaster snapper, a couple shark, and even some drum. No keeper lobster though.
  • A couple of guys in a nice Angler 204 with fishing rods came over to see how we were doing, and they ID’d themselves as FWC. I guess they were undercover. They couldn’t believe we were not from a boat, considering that we were quite a way from the bridge. After they saw that we had our flag, our gages, and we were in the legal side, they wished us good luck and went on their way.
  • Dave is a maniac, the guy was climbing up in the mangrove roots. I kept getting tangled in the dive flag line and my legs got a little itchy from what I think were jellyfish. I will go back in a few days to do some snapper fishing and try again for some lobster (August 6 is the regular season opener).
  • Due to my wheeling and dealing at work, I now have to work 4 straight to make up for my miniseason time off.
  • Tonight, Dave and his family are coming over for some chicken and burgers on the Q. I think we will play the Wii too.
  • I spent some good times this week watching movies and going to the mall with Marcela. I still didn’t get to see Hancock yet. Maybe Tuesday.
  • The blogroll/links section of the blog have been updated. Also, I have created a “Top 5” page to make it easier to find all of my Top 5 lists.
  • Tomorrow, I will unveil a new weekly feature.  It will be a fun one.
  • On a different note, the economy grew at 1.9% in the last quarter, oil prices are dropping faster than ever in history, and faster than they grew. But if you watch the news, you would swear we are in a recession.
  • The violence against our troops is at an all time low in Iraq, but you hear absolutely nothing positive in the news. Apparently the mainstream news outlets do not report good things, especially if they reflect positively on Bush administration or the Republican party.

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Filed under fishing, FL, movies, politics, snorkeling, top 5, Wii, work, world events