Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fear of Florida Fortified

English: A Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Win...

English: A Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Winter Springs, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Florida is a lovely state boasting a laid back lifestyle, year round guarantee of no snow, no heavy coat, no heat costs.  If you like warm weather and a longer growing season its the place to be.

That being said, I am not a fan of Florida or any other state that is not New York.  If you give me ten good reasons why Florida is great I will counter with twenty why New York has it beat.

As the years have advanced many friends and neighbors made their way to that southern oasis.  Some like it very much, quite a few wish they were still up North.  I have never had a desire to pull up stakes for any permanent move to the sunshine state.  A visit perhaps, but never anything more than two weeks.  It is almost a fear, a relinquishing of who and what I am, to change my lifestyle so drastically.

Recently, I read an editorial in the NYPD Retired Transit Police Magazine which justified my fears.  Following is a reprint.  Read it, enjoy it, and take heed.

Retired in Florida

Fifteen years ago my wife and I moved into a retirement development on Florida’s southeast coast.  We are living in the Delray/Boca/Boynton Golf, Spa, Bath and Tennis Club on Lake Fake-a-Ache.  There are 3000 Lakes in Florida, only three are real.  Our biggest retirement concern was time management.  What were we going  to do all day?  Let me assure you, passing the time is not a problem.  Your days will be eaten up by simple daily activities.  Just getting out of your car takes 15 minutes.  Trying to find where you parked takes 20 minutes.  It takes 1/2 hour on the checkout line in Wal-Mart and 1 hour to return the item the next day.

Let me take you through a typical day.  We get up at 5:00 AM, have a quick breakfast and join the early morning Walk and Talk club.  There are about 30 of us, and rain or shine we walk around the streets, all talking at once.  Every development has some late risers who stay in bed until 6 AM.  After a nimble walk avoiding irate drivers out to make us road kill, we go back home, shower and change for the next activity.  My wife goes directly to the pool for her under water Pilate’s class, followed by gasping for breath and CPR.  I put on my “Ask me about my Grandchildren” T-shirt, my plaid mid-calf shorts, my black socks and sandals and go to the club house lobby for a nice nap.

Before you know it, its time for lunch.  We go to Costco to partake of the many tasty samples dispensed by ladies in white hair nets.  All free!  After a filling lunch, if we don’t have any doctor appointments,, we might go to the flea market to see if any new white belts have come in or buy a Rolex watch for $2.00.  We’re usually back home by 2 PM to get ready for dinner.  People start lining up for the early bird about 3 PM, but we get there by 3:45 because we’re late eaters.  The dinners are very popular because of the large portions they serve.  You can take home enough food for the next day’s lunch and dinner, including extra bread, crackers, packets of mustard, relish, ketchup and Sweet and Low along with mints.

At 5:30 we’re home ready to watch the 6 o’clock news.  By 6:30 we’re fast asleep.  Then we get up and make 5 or 6 trips to the bathroom during the night and it’s time to get up and start a new day all over again.

Doctor related activities eat up most of your retirement time.  I enjoy reading old magazines in sub-zero temperatures in the waiting room, so I don’t mind.  Calling for test results also helps the days fly by.  It takes at least half an hour just getting through the doctor’s phone menu.  Then there’s the hold time until you’re connected to the right party.  Sometimes they forget you’re holding, and the whole office goes off to lunch.

Should you find you still have time on your hands, volunteering provides a rewarding opportunity to the less fortunate.  Florida has the largest concentration of seniors under five feet and they need our help.  I myself am a volunteer for the “Vertically Challenged over 80”.  I coach their basketball team, “The Arthritic Avengers”.  The hoop is only 4 1/2 feet from the floor.  You should see the look of confidence on their faces when they make a slam dunk.

Food shopping is a problem for short seniors or “bottom feeders” as we call them because they can’t reach the items on the upper shelves.  There are many foods they’ve never tasted.  After shopping, most seniors can’t remember where they parked their cars and wander the parking lot for hours while their food defrost.

Lastly, its important to choose a development with an impressive name.  Italian names are very popular in Florida.  They convey world traveler, uppity sophistication and wealth.  Where would you rather live?  Murray’s Condos or the Lakes of Venice?  There is no difference.  They’re both owned by Murray who happens to be a cheap bastard.

I hope this material has been of help to you future retirees.  If I can be of any further assistance, please look me up when you’re in Florida.  I live in The Leaning Condos of Pisa in Boynton Beach.

Author Unknown


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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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The Sun On My Face


September (Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi)

We have just embarked on a NorthEast Autumn sailing quickly away from the waves of Summer.

I do love Summer in New York, but for some unaccustomed reason I found a few of the really hot days too much to bear.  True that every year, by March 31, I am looking forward to the days when we can meander outside in lightweight clothing, or bathing suit, and slip into the pool with care free abandon.   However,  it seems, before the bottle of sun tan lotion is completely used up September has arrived and I’m eager for  a change of pace and different activities.

Sitting in the sun is something I rarely do when the heat of Summer is upon us.  Too quickly beads of sweat form and it’s not comfortable to lie there and bake.  I can’t read in the blazing, white, light, nor see the screen on my iPad in order to write.  When outdoors time is spent pacing myself to work on flowers, and keeping cool.  Too quickly I am retiring to the shade of the screen room, and seeking out a chair beneath the fan.  Admittedly, I grow bored with the idyllic life.

Now the warmth has retreated giving way to a cool breeze blowing in through open windows.  Cool enough that I dressed in full length pants, and a long sleeve shirt.  About  two o’clock this afternoon I wandered outside to sit on a bench in the yard. The invigorating air had spurned a dormant ambition and having sated it, now it was time to rest. There was not a cloud in a the blue azure sky.  I turned up my face to catch the rays of a warm sun mixed with the gentle air.  It was really heaven on earth.  Deep breath and every care drifted away to be replaced by a smile inside and out.  Life is good.

If you haven’t done it yet this year, get out there and experience the wonderful sun on your face.  Even for a moment.  I promise you the day will be so much better.

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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Scary Movies

English: A screenshot from The Mummy Italiano:...

English: A screenshot from The Mummy Italiano: Uno screensht da La mummia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At one time in my life I loved to be frightened.  Books and movies with ghosts, evil spirits, poltergeist, devils, werewolves, witches, and of course Vampires, thrilled me. My heart raced and I loved when something jumped out of a closet causing me to scream my bloody head off. Boris Karloff as the mummy, wrapped in yards of what looked like toilet paper, dragging his foot with arms extended toward his long-lost queen, was a heart thumping moment.  It never gave me cause to wonder how any creature who moved so slowly was capable of traveling miles, such great distances, and was still able to capture and abscond with his lady-love.

Fear was the ultimate thrill. Different than the thrill of roller coasters and rides that dropped you from great heights, only to catch you just a few feet above where your body was destined to meet the bone crushing floor. The fear of bodily harm is quite understandable and very real.  But this fear can be easily controlled.  Just don’t go on those adrenalin pumping rides.  If it’s not your thing, don’t do it.  You have to pay to go on the tilt a whirl, don’t pay.

One might say, it’s the same for scary movies.  Don’t watch them and that is the end of that.  Oooh but I love some of them.

Now I am older and no longer watch any thing that depicts home invasions, kidnappings, anything where one’s safety and well-being is wrested from them by cold-blooded, insane, individuals, who commit horrible acts, just because the opportunity presents itself.  Movies where a happy family goes on vacation and stumbles into a pack of unconscionable madmen and women.  (The Hills Have Eyes).  These are not an exciting, happy, few moments, but ones that fill me with cold dread that such things can happen.  Mass shootings are another dramatization I don’t want to see.  If my heart needs a kick-start with true horror I’ll just watch the news.

Give me my hair-raising entertainment in the form of Ghosts, Goblins, Witches, and of course Vampires (I love Vampires,  Not for their taste for blood, but the thought of long life and not aging.  Who needs Oil of Olay?)  Give me fantasy is the form of Dinosaurs, Dragons and Cyclops, I can close my eyes when Godzilla is chomping on my fellow humans.

But keep man’s inhumanity to man off my screen.  It’s just too scary.


Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


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