Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Law Enforcement

American Universities all have their own police forces. Hopefully, they are not needed, but they are always available to deal with any disturbances.

Police Cruiser

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trouble in Paradise

That is the title of an old movie, but that is what I have here in Miami. The verdict today is: "Your core is leaking and your AC unit froze!" I am glad this is November and not June. Life has its ups and downs, and this is down right down and out! Does this worry me? Nah!

Core Leaking

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hyophorbe Lagenicaulis

These bottle palms are outside the Rathskeller in the main campus of the University of Miami. Their trunks are rounded bulges in young specimens and gradually elongate and flatten somewhat as they mature to a height of only 10 - 12 ft. These palms are very rare in the wild, and are very expensive in nurseries. They are not as cute now as when they were younger with their trunks in form of bottles. Old age does that to you.

Bottle Palms

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Strike X

Went to the bowling alley today. The thing looks pretty easy, but in reality, it's not so! The ball is heavy, you strain your back to throw it to the gutters and you pay to slip on shoes you have no idea whose feet were inside them before your turn. I need to look up some information about communicable foot diseases! This looks like a sure strike to me! Just the right spin and a perfect body posture! That's not me, I have no such skills.

Sure Strike

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Outdoor Concert

"Break the Formula" Benefit Concert at the outdoor Student Union of the University of Miami. This is one of the events for this week culminating in the yearly Home Coming week at UM starting next week. Very festive time of the year. It's hot today so what I thought was a cold front yesterday turned out to be just some wishful thinking.

Hot Jam Session

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cold Front

A miserable morning/day in Miami at the passing of a cold front. The consolation is that the weather will be gorgeous after it's through. I look forward to this time in Miami, every year. Top down driving time!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tea For Two

This doesn't have to be Miami, but this brand new tea pot is in Miami, in my house. The tea is a gift. Kasora flower tea that comes in the form of small balls that unfurl in the hot water. What will they invent next?

Flower Tea

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

UN Day

A student of Miami Dade College is putting a finishing touch on her presentation in today's United Nation Day at the Kendall campus. Many countries are featured each on a colorful poster such as the one in this photo.

UN Aware

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Live Trio

A live trio performing in Coconut Grove. A real piano probably will sound better than the Yamaha, don't you think?

Miami Sound

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sub-Tropical Jungle

It's a jungle out there! This shot shows you how wild vegetation can get in Miami. Left untouched (meaning untrimmed) growth can be substantial over time. Along this fence are sugar apples, longans, mango and avocado trees, all competing for growth. The fruit trees dwarf the 5 foot heliconia bush at the lower left, and these trees were trimmed just two years ago.

Mini Jungle

Sunday, October 21, 2007

No Vampires

Outside the room where I hole up in my house is a prolific vine that was started a long time ago. It's Mansoa Alliacea, or commonly known as the Garlic Vine. This vine blooms spectacularly in the Springs and Falls like during this week. Its flowers have deep lavender color with white throat fading to a paler lavender and then white. Do not grow this vine if you are Count Dracula because it smells garlic when the leaves are crushed. The entire plant, roots, vine and leaves can be used as garlic; and as a herbal to reduce fever, treat colds, throat and respiratory ailments. It is also rumored that it helps you getting rid of bad luck. That may be true because Dracula is plenty of bad luck! You don't want to mess with him! I'll go out tonight and crush some leaves, just to be on the safe side!

Count Dracula

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Special Needs

College students in the US may have extra help for their education when they need it. Here is one student using an oversized monitor for special vision needs.

Big Screen

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sixteen Tons

An early morning delivery of drinking water at a college campus. I asked the man handling the delivery about the weight of his cart when he was straining to push it up a driveway. His answer was "14 times 60." The cart was loaded 5, 4, 3 and 2 bottles so each delivery load is 14 x 60 = 840 lbs. I am sure his day job is to empty at least 1 truck if not more, including lifting each bottle to about 4 ft heights at the water cooler stations. A back breaking job!

Back Breaking

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fire Water

So many choices, all bad!

All Bad

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Miami Drizzling

Drizzling rain on the East-West Dolphin Expressway (836) with backdrop of the Miami downtown area showing new high rises marching Northward. It is typical in Miami to see clear blue skies only a few miles away from a local miserable downpour. Shot from the Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital complex, close to the dreaded Miami's Golden Glades Interchange!

I've been tagged by tog of Coral Gables.

These are the rules.

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
3. Tag eight people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs

I must list eight things about myself that not too many persons on earth know, and in turn tag eight other CDPBloggers to do the same. Everything I say here is true! No reasons to lie. So, scroll past the photo below...

Local Rain

1. I learned Judo (3 years, Brown belt) because I was awestruck by a girl named Helene, a blond French teen beauty in the Judo class. Only could date her twice! Had plenty of wrestling matches with her. Wish could relive these days and pin her down for long minutes on the tatami!
2. Dated another beautiful girl with a beautiful name of "Autumn" after giving her only two lessons of mathematics. Was boyfriend/girlfriend but not for too long because left for college! Dumb thing to do! Still regret it!
3. Dated a beautiful short haired brunette French girl with a boy name Mauricette, never went to school seriously because of her.
4. There are more girl stories, but changing tune so not to get too boring... I did get a first ever job in Paris boxing sausages. Worked only 1 morning and immediately quit!
5. Owned a Velo Solex in high school and raced it nightly and illegally on completely unlit highways even on moonless nights. Forgot how I stayed on highways. Must have been very lucky!
6. Arrested once and thrown in jail for 1 night before bailed out at the first morning light by cousin. Completely innocent of all police drummed up charges of illegally motorbike racing in the street.
7. Can't save any money.
8. Eternally happy soul. Have infinite patience. Nothing worries me!

I'm tagging the following eight people or blogs:

Ann of mobaydp.
Eliane of nyc.
Chris of Nashville.
lv2scpbk of Bellefonte.
Sally of Sydney.
Mike of Quick Snap 365.
Blogger of Weston.
Lynette of Portland.

I will notify the "taggees" by comments on their blog...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Neglected Beauty

Some orchids are master of survival. This beautiful Cattleya with seductive aroma, despite being totally neglected, keeps giving year after year. It always blooms in October - November. Never fails. Being in Miami does help.


Monday, October 15, 2007

New Clothing

Do you know that a healthy iguana may shed every 4-6 weeks. Iguanas aged 2-3 years may shed more often. Here is one I almost step on today while walking in the street. He was blending with the asphalt, and almost invisible, a true chameleon. Perhaps due to the shedding, he was very slow and has no business walking the street in this condition. I tried to get him off the drive way toward the bush but he refused to budge. I didn't insist seeing that he was clearly in a bad and fighting mood.

Shedding Skin

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pricey Arachnis

Here it is, at the Target's parking garage, the 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder Convertible AWD. It's sale price here is $242,500. If you asked me, I find this is rather an ugly car! This car looks brand new and it has the new temporary tag from "The Garage" of Miami.

Real Lamborghini

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Miami Cajun

Fancy stained glass ceiling and lighting fixture found on the third flooor of the elegant Christabelle's Quarter French restaurant in Coconut Grove during a wedding reception dinner. Very nice surrounding and good New Orleans style food too.

French Elegance

Friday, October 12, 2007

Miami Centaur

Centaurs, according to Greek mythology, were said to be the offspring of Ixion, son of Ares, and a cloud (fancy that, how do you "make it" with a cloud?) In modern times, the centaur has reappeared in art and literature, especially in the genre of fantasy. Here, the artist, obviously a believer of astrology, named his work Sagitario. I don't know if the missing "T" in the name (as in Sagittarius) is by design, or it is a mis-spell. This object is in the Miami Dade College Kendall campus.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Early Birds

These Florida ibis do understand what "early bird" means. They come out in force early in the morning, perhaps to get the worms. After about 10am, they are no where to be found.

Free Worms

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Too early for class!

Let Me Sleep

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Dare I? Dare I not?

Mortal Sin

Monday, October 8, 2007

Baby Formula 1

On a slow Monday at Gameworks, there is no one to race the video games. These simulated cars do all the shaking and heaving to give the kids their money's worth when they come to this Sunset Place's gaming arcade on the weekends.

Baby Formula 1

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Organic R Us

Founded in 1980 as one small store in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market is now the world's leading retailer of natural and organic foods, with 189 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. Well, that's what they say on their web. Today, I was inside this brand new store in South Miami (Red Road and Madruga) that opened last week. The store is packed with people including me as an unconspicuous spy. Of course, I was politely asked to stop taking photos. What's wrong with these stores? Their paranoia is boundless. This is the salad section, and my last shot inside the store. They are supposed to be all organic. The prices are also very organic, starting at $10/lbs! For organic macaroni and cheese? They have a nice section of BBQ and I saw some yummy looking london broil. How can that be organic? At $13.99/lbs, I won't get to know.

Organic Salad

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Life in South Florida cannot be complete without talking about the Gators. I have a hard time growing lotus because they turn out to be a favorite snack for some night visitors in my yard. So this is my pet gator, who, I think is deep asleep at this moment. He's here to play the role of ScareCoons. Yes, I think the Coons ate all my lotus plants. Or it could be the Possums. Not quite sure!

Gator Guard

Friday, October 5, 2007

Devil's Seed

I am pretty sure if I don't tell you what this is, you probably can't guess it. This is a seed pod of my Double Purple Devil's Trumpet (Datura Inoxia or Metel, or Fastuosa.) Knowing the name, you can find photos of this flower on the net. It is called Devil for good reasons:

Devil’s trumpet is grown in all but the coldest climates as a flowering ornamental. Beautiful white, purple, and yellow varieties with large, single and double blossoms can be cultivated. Mine have double purple trumpet shapes. From ancient times continuing to the present, the taking of Datura's tissues, particularly the seeds, was used in shamanistic rituals as a path to enlightenment! Today, people frequently experiment with it for the hallucinogenic effect, but the results are so unpleasant (dark visions, disorientation, amnesia, blurred vision, dry mouth, and incontinence) that they seldom recommend the experience. Overdoses can result in death. The plant has been used to treat impotence, asthma, diarrhea, as an analgesic, to control fever, kill parasites, and as a drug for criminal purposes. At one time, I was told that this is known as the Voodoo plant. Can this be used as a love potion, I wonder?

Voodoo Plant

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cockroach Barometer

Sort of! This is a photo of the Pigeon Orchid in my backyard. Its scientific name is Dendrobium Crumenatum. This orchid species grows easily in the tropics, and here in Miami too. Looking at these upside down "pigeons"(I have never seen these buds in the right side up pigeon pose,) I can say for certain that about 7 - 9 days ago, there was a drop in temperature of about 10 degrees Fahrenheit in my backyard, probably due to a thunderstorm. Like clockwork, this orchid blooms without fail after such events, and it is growing for over 30 years right here. If you look this species up on the internet, people say that it is fragrant. Personally, I would contest that characterization. It does smell, but not very pleasantly. These flowers smell just like cockroaches. If I were a gambling man, which I am definitely not, I would bet that cockroaches pollinate this species. If you want to know what a cockroach does smell like, come to Miami tomorrow, in the morning when these open. You have to hurry, because they only open for a day.

Pigeon Orchid

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fast Food, Again

A return trip to the food court. Perhaps less fat and cholesterol, but may still be bad because it tastes oh so good. It says "No MSG." Can this be trusted?


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Eat Me NOT

Nothing better than a few slides of bread to bring these ducks to your feet. Someone told me that it is now legal to eat these friendly ducks living in these canals! Eat them? How rude!

Feeding Frenzies

Monday, October 1, 2007


Gone, but not forgotten!

Feeding Frenzies