Category Archives: Miami

More Metro Zoo Madness

Saturday, I took Marcela to the zoo where we met up with Dave and Jackie Vargas and their little ones.  Little David Jr has more energy than just about any kid I have ever seen.  The top spots at the zoo are definitely the Chimp exhibit, the tigers, Amazon and Beyond, and the Wings of Asia Aviary.  The Aviary was so peaceful and beautiful.  Marcela got some great pictures.

Leave a comment

Filed under animals, Miami, photography

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.  🙂

1 Comment

Filed under animals, children, family, FL, Miami

Qualifying Thoughts

  • Good morning Homestead (at 2:30 AM).  I had to get up to be at work by 4 AM today for day one of Training and Qualification (T&Q).
  • When I woke up, the temperature on my front porch weather station reported 43.2 degrees F.  I am not sure if that was correct because I heard that it would be in the 30’s today.  Either way, it was cooooooooold!
  • Of all the days to have to be outside shooting my AR 15 and 9mm Beretta, it had to be one of the coldest days in several years.  I actually shot my night fire course with the rifle wearing gloves.  It definitely got in the way and slowed me down, but I still got a perfect score.
  • I wasn’t so good with the pistol.  I took my gloves off for the pistol so I could more easily manipulate it.  My frozen fingers only allowed me to score a 38 out of 40 which was still a qualifying score (32 or higher).
  • Around 7 AM, we had to perform our physical agility test.  I admit I was sweating it a bit since I had not prepared for it at all.  It’s a 40 foot climb and back down from the tower, then a 200 yard run while carrying about 30 pounds of gear.  The whole course must be completed in 2 minutes.
  • One of the guys running in front of me paced me and told me to keep on his bumper.  I turned in my personal best time out of the 3 times I have had to run in over the past 2 years.  I qualified easily.
  • By 8 AM, it had warmed up a little and the sun was coming up.  It turned out to be a beautiful day.
  • First we shot the rifle.  Today was the first time I shot in the tactical vest.  While it made the run easier because of weight distribution, it made the shooting a little more difficult due to the pressure on the shoulders.
  • I qualified with the rifle, but since I rushed several of my shots, I was not able to match my perfect score from the last time.  This time, I scored 295 out of 300.  Not bad, not great.
  • With the pistol, I didn’t have a great day by many people’s standard.  I am not great with the handgun but I am ok.  I scored 225 out of 240 (my previous high was 227 out of 240).
  • So the short of it all is that as for the shooting and physical qualifications, I am good to go for another year.  Tomorrow I return to the classroom for the Training portion of the T&Q.  This is the area that I don’t have much issue with.
  • More good news: my vacation for the week of Spring Break was approved!  I wasn’t really expecting it since I requested it late.  Most people request vacations at the end of December.  It’s seniority at that point.  After then, it becomes first come first serve unless there is a vacation blackout.
  • Even more good news: due to the fact we all completed shooting qualifications, I don’t have to be in until 6 AM tomorrow.  That means I get to attend worship practice tonight.
  • I will see all of you Sunday at Flagship Cinemas for a great Sunday morning at Life Pointe Church!

1 Comment

Filed under Homestead, life pointe, Miami, thoughts, time, vacation, work

Wednesday Quotable

Mark Twain was a cynical yet funny feller.  I dig his way of communicating his satire and sarcasm.  Today, the temperature didn’t break 50 degrees F until about 10:00 AM at my house, according to my weather station.  From all reports I have heard, we won’t even break 60 degrees all day.  So, it  that is actually pretty cold for those of us here in Homestead.  Here’s what Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain for those of you in Rio Linda) has to say about cold weather in an area that is notoriously hot all year.

In India, “cold weather” is merely a conventional phrase and has come into use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather which will melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Homestead, Miami, quotable

Fresh Thoughts

  • What can be said about living in South Florida this time of the year?  The weather is absolutely beautiful, the sun is bright, the air is fresh, and the temperature is perfect.  I love it.
  • With all the talk we have had over the past few years about man made global warming and increased hurricane activity, we have now had two years of extremely low hurricane activity in the northern hemisphere, the lowest in 30 years.  We have also had record low temps for this time of the year all over the globe, and even in our back yard.
  • My washer kicked the bucket.  Brandsmart USA has to send someone out to fix it.  I hardly ever buy the extended warantee on my appliances and electronics, but that was one item I decided it would be a good idea to purchase it for.  It’s covered.
  • There are some great opportunities that may be coming open for me soon.  It would have an effect on my schedule, which should mean that I can be at church every weekend.  I pray that it works out.
  • Tonight I have to be at work and I don’t get back until the weeeeeeeee hours of the morning.
  • Maximus is a funny little guy.  We still have not decided when we are going to have him clipped, but he is a big fluffy ball of soft hair.  He doesn’t really run, but he sort of hops around like a rabbit.  Every now and then, he gets a big burst of energy and just takes off through the house weaving through all the furniture in and out of all the rooms downstairs.
  • I went to Lou’s this past weekend and picked up a new Glock, and I think I am going to get a Mossberg 500 next week.  That should be enough for a while.
  • The Hurricanes are playing some decent football now, and so are the Dolphins.  There is some real talk of the Dolphins making a run at the playoffs which would have seemed impossible last year.  At 4-4, they are favored to win again this week.  So far they have been beating the best teams on the schedule and losing to the worst.  The Canes are looking at the possibility of a decent bowl game, maybe a run at the conference championship.  It did not even look possible after losing two conference games.  But the ACC does not have a dominant team, and they don’t exactly have a doormat either.  Any team could beat another any week, it seems.  That leaves for a competitive race.
  • The Citizen Cane fantasy football squad has a tough game this week.  As of now, I am projected to win by one point.  We shall see.
  • My property taxes in Homestead have gone up considerably.  The state passes a doubling of the homestead exemption, and Homestead passed a tax increase because they know we are paying less.  That’s just lousy.
  • I really enjoyed service down in the Keys on Sunday.  I’m sorry I won’t get to be at the launch, but I will be there in a week from Sunday.  It’s not exactly the theater, but it is a blast.  It was cool hanging out after church and looking at the football scores.  See you in a week and a half!

Leave a comment

Filed under animals, Blogging, church, fantasy football, football, games, Homestead, Hurricanes, life pointe, Miami, Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, NFL, Pets, sports, Uncategorized

Monday Armchair QB

It was a good weekend for South Florida football fans, both college and pro. The Miami Hurricanes broke through and finished a game with the most effective and boring play in the book, the QB kneel. We beat a very tough Wake Forrest on the strength of defense, solid place kicking, field position, clock control, and the running game. We did not exactly pile up tons of rushing yards, and neither Harris nor Marve had fantastic overall games behind the center, but Marve did what it took to win including a big run to set up a TD.

The Fins did it again. That is, they beat a really good team. This is the sign of a maturing and developing bonafide future contender. That is, teams that are coming together but are not mature tend to lose games they should not lose and they win games they should not win. This 25-16 win over Buffalo is huge. Miami fought through the adversity and self-injury of turnovers and key penalties to grind out an honest win. The NE game could be written off as a fluke due to a new QB for the Pats and game changing turnovers, but in this win, Miami faced their toughest opponent head-to-head and won. Also, Buffalo seemed to be playing at the peak of their ability which makes it that much sweeter.

In the LPC fantasy football, this was not a good day for yours truly. You can read more about it tomorrow. While I did better than I did last week, I still failed to get the win over Pastor Trav‘s Big Doggs (who are now the hottest team in the league and making a serious push toward the playoffs).. That should mean I am stuck in 4th place for another week or two.

1 Comment

Filed under fantasy football, football, games, life pointe, Miami, Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, NFL, sports

Reflections from an Armchair Athlete

  • The Miami Hurricanes gave me hope.  Even in a loss, the Canes have shown that even though they are young, not fully physically mature, and inexperienced, they are FAST, they are talented, and they will be very good.  The QB Marve looks like he will be the real deal.  Our D is going to be tough to score on.
  • LPC fantasy football draft yesterday left me loaded but with some major dilemmas.   I have to kicker, but with all the talent I have, I will have to cut a stud or major sleeper just to field a complete roster.  Do I find a way to trade TO for Stephen Jackson?  I am light at the WR position.  With Tony Romo and Phillip Rivers, I am set at QB.  This league with only 8 teams will be all about who manages their team best.  One player will not win it all this year unless everyone is in a coma.  Pastor Trav is a master of working the waivers.  Poor Paul lost his first pick of the draft (Brady) possibly for the whole season.  Mark S. had the best draft for starting players with A Peterson, J Whitten, Edge, Wayne, and Favre.  That is a tough lineup.
  • The Colts lost the opener and they looked unprepared.  What will happen this year?  Looks like they were not focused, Chicago came out ready to play, and just looked like the better team.  Alex got this one right.  I called him crazy for that prediction just as I called him crazy for saying the Giants would win in the NFC finals and then the Super Bowl.
  • Miami Dolphins looked much improved.  Even though they lost, I am excited about Pennington at QB.  He looked very competent.  I expect we will win more than 1 game this year.  Miami became the 1st team in the past 7 who only one a single game the previous year to lose the season opener.  Go figure.

Leave a comment

Filed under church, football, games, Miami, Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, NFL

Hurricanes 2008, Game 1 recap

  • Total domination of an inferior opponent. There is not much more that can be said.
  • There wasn’t much to learn about this game, other than that the Canes can beat a really bad opponent.  52-7 was the final score.
  • I can’t say the offense or defense looked great, because the talent level was so completely divergent. The best thing is that penalties were relatively low throughout the first half. The game was never close. We did what we had to.
  • We will have to wait until next week to see if we can even hang with the elite class this year.
  • Parking was ridiculously expensive. $25 is too much to pay for general parking to see a lousy college football game. If it was a great opponent, it would be a little easier to swallow. I guess I am used to the $5 park and ride at the Orange Bowl.
  • I miss the Orange Bowl. It was very strange watching a regular season game in Joe Robbie, er Dolphin Stadium.
    It's great to hang out with old friends.
  • It was great to hang out with Oral and Lee.

Leave a comment

Filed under football, Hurricanes, Miami, Miami Hurricanes, sports

Conventional Thoughts

  • I am just about in full swing politically now, having followed the true story of the Beijing Olympics, and now watching the Democrats in Denver.  Things will be getting interesting… for me anyway.
  • Last night, I watched old Slick Willy AKA President Clinton light up the crowd in Denver.  His speech stated that he would be supporting Obama, but I missed any details (other than that he is a Democrat) why anyone else should vote FOR Obama.  I heard exactly what I expected to hear.  “When I was president, everything was great, the country was great, the economy was great, the world loved us” etc.  What I didn’t hear was,”Obama is the best man for the job because _____________________.”  You will have to fill in the blank, because I don’t think “community organizer” or law professor is a good enough reason.
  • Biden’s speech was pretty good, but I did feel that it went from a heart warming piece into an attempt to paint John McCain as a poor choice.  Unfortunately, when Biden or any Democrat starts talking foreign affairs in a dangerous world, people start to think long and hard about who they want as commander in chief.  When he mentioned Russia/Georgia, the crowd died.  Fair or unfair, Democrats are not perceived as being strong enough to lead us in the world when there are rough times.
  • Biden’s speech didn’t connect with the crowd, certainly not the way Bill Clinton’s did.  At this point, Obama’s bounce shouldn’t be astronomical, though I assure you he will get a bounce.  John McCain should announce sometime tomorrow around 11 AM who he has selected for VP.  My dad is predicting Romney.
  • On to other stuff.  Tonight is the opening game of the season for the Hurricanes.  You will see me up at Joe Robbie…. er, Dolphin Stadium to watch the Canes get a little practice in against Charleston Southern.  If we make 10 wins this year, it will be extremely successful.  It’s sad how expectations have fallen recently.
  • It’s lobster season and I am still trying to get out.  Monday night looks really good!  Snook season starts that night too, so maybe we can grab a slot and some bugs.
  • I called the park ranger to ask how many bug we get, and when he said 60 each person I was ecstatic.  Then I realized he said “six to each person” and I was back to reality.  🙂  That was for Brian, if he is reading.
  • If you are interested in politics and especially from the point of view of a great American young man who is in living in exile from Cuba, check out Roberto Reports.  He has some good things to say and just recently started blogging.
  • Things are going to be changing up at LPC soon!  As of September 14, we will be going to 3 services on Sunday morning: 8:30 AM, 9:45 AM, and 11:00 AM all in the same Pier 2 at Flagship Cinemas at the Campbell Drive exit of Florida’s Turnpike.  I will be at all three, but I will see you guys at the 8:30, right?  🙂
  • O’course I will be working this week, so I won’t get to be at the theater Sunday morning.  But, I will see you next weekend, I garooooontee!

2 Comments

Filed under church, fishing, football, Homestead, Hurricanes, life pointe, Miami, Miami Hurricanes, Olympics, politics, schedule, sports, TV, work, world events, worship

Sunday Life Pointe Talk Soup

  • Day 15 of bachelorhood was spent at church.
  • I arrived 7:45 at the theater to find set up in full swing.
  • I saw David out on the street setting up signs and flags again, and the early set up folks were kicking it off, and the late night crew already had the core of the pier 2 set up completed.  Those guys are awesome.
  • In practice, we talked about having dueling drums, but there was only one set on the floor when I set up.  Alex came in a little later and let me know that I would need to relocate so he could set up his two-piece trap.  The forced relocation, along with the keyboard played by Rebecca on the other side landed me on stage beside Jesse.  I made it to the spotlight!
  • On drums, Ritz played electric with Alex on his two-piece.  The acoustic sound was great and I already have confirmation that it will be returning.  Rebecca Longtemps was on the keys, Jesse on the acoustic guitar, and I was on the bass.
  • For the worship set, we sang “In the Name of Love” by U2, “Your Love is Amazing” (1030 only), “Better Days”, and “Say So”.  For communion we sang “Mighty to Save“.
  • I loved corporate worship today.  People were participating, and the atmosphere seemed totally energized.  God and his love was totally the focus, and it was so cool to see people excited for Jesus.
  • While people greeted each other, Kyle spit some serious rhymes!  That’s right, Rappers Delight, it was tight!
  • The intro video was the best to date.  I especially liked Joe Porter’s smirk while he was being beaten to a pulp.  It’s funny to see all the recurring characters too.
  • Got Funk? The message was on conflict.  Pastor Trav explained that the Apostle Paul did not run from conflict, that he actually called out Peter in front of the church for requiring unnecessary requirements on new believers. The question is not how to avoid conflict, but how to manage it in a Godly fashion.
  • I enjoyed seeing new faces once again, meeting new people, and seeing old friends for the first time in a while.

6 Comments

Filed under church, family, Homestead, life pointe, Miami, music, worship