Friday, October 29, 2010

Inmates In Motion

Today, there is a large movement of Miami's inmates from the jail facility in mid town using four huge reinforced, hermetically sealed truck-buses and generating a traffic mess, blazing their horns with flashing large red and blue headlights to stay together in a tight convoy. This is the last vehicle and I wonder who are inside them.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Supine Painter

This old building needs a new coat of paint, everywhere inside. Now you can see that is hard work to paint the baseboards of the walls. Would you like to tackle this job for an entire large multistory building with endless hallways like this man is trying to do? Well, it's a hard job, and someone got to do it.

Supine Painter

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vote For Me

It's open season again in the US, and Miami is seeing its share of political madness. In the US, two years after the general election of a President is the time for mid-term election of legislators and other die hard politicians such as governors, representatives/congress persons and senators. If you listen to the avalanches of political infighting, you'd conclude they are all really, really, really bad, even if only about half of what everyone says is true. But that does not matter... all the strange names that the majority of voters have never heard of come out from nowhere and all clamor for "vote for me... he/she's really, really, really bad." Here are some names for you to see... Me? I like better the poster promoting the seasonal Halloween season Oct 7 - Oct 31. I take solace in that this will mercifully end after November 02, the day of judgment.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


In Miami, the public bathrooms are being modernized and many are equipped with touchless operation of various dispensers of water, soap and dryer or paper towels. You either position your hands or wave them to start using the devices that are operated by infrared sensors. I bet that they did not think about the people who have poor vision. If you can't see, how can you use these gadgets?


Monday, October 25, 2010


In my neighborhood of South Miami, we buy electricity from Florida Power and Light company (FPL.)Every house has a meter outside and FPL's personnel come by to read the meter monthly before they can bill for their service. Recently, they have installed brand new and formidable looking meters. I often wonder if they can be trusted to read the numbers correctly. How does this work? May be I'll start a new pet project about this, just to be on the safe side.

Hi-Tech Meter

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ghouls and Company

While pumpkins are sold outdoor, other assortments for the celebration on Halloween night of October 31st are sold inside stores. This is one of many Halloween decorations inside a local K-Mart store. I like this cute witch. If she really can fly, I would like to ask for a free ride on her broom.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Season

In the US, Halloween comes in October and that is the time to sell and buy pumpkins. They come in all sizes, some can be huge and can weigh upwards to a few hundred pounds. Tents are erected early in October and pumpkin sales are brisk until the last days of the month. The pumpkins are hollowed and carved into Jack-O-Lanterns placed in front of houses as tradition dictates. That's one good way to use a pumpkin and I hope all the seeds do not go to waste because they are a good source for Zinc.


Friday, October 22, 2010


These are small cubicles where patients are given various treatments that are required for their well being. Nursing is a noble but very demanding profession and this kind of work usually is very stressful. The three nurses seen here in their white uniforms are busy taking care of their patients.

Nurse Station

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Non e- Cards

The custom of sending greeting cards can be traced back to the ancient Chinese, who exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year, and to the early Egyptians, who conveyed their greetings on papyrus scrolls.

The first known published Christmas card appeared in London in 1843, when Sir Henry Cole hired artist John Calcott Horsley to design a holiday card that he could send to his friends and acquaintances.

In the United States, the exchange of greeting cards is one of the most widely accepted and popular customs. Cards for virtually any occasion or relationship can be found in more than 100,000 retail outlets around the country. Approximately 7 billion greeting cards are purchased annually by U.S. consumers, generating an estimated $7.5 billion in retail sales. And here they are getting ready for Halloween, a US holiday celebrated on October 31st.

Me? I make my own cards to send via email, never buy any real cards any more, and I once in a blue moon receive real cards from "internet hater" friends, or the now very popular e-cards on my lucky days.

Real Cards

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Top Secret

In the US, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by the Congress in 1996. It was originally sponsored by past Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.) For the many of you who are not of the US, the D- and R- stand for Democratic and Republican political parties in the US. And please do not get me started on that tangent.

According to the Centers for Medicare (the elderly) and Medicaid (the destitute) Services (CMS) website, Title I of HIPAA protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs. Title II of HIPAA, known as the Administrative Simplification (AS) provisions, requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers. Of course, that is all great and dandy in theory, but reality is quite different...

The Administration Simplification provisions also address the security and privacy of health data. The standards are meant to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation's health care system by encouraging the widespread use of electronic data interchange in the U.S. health care system. Again, you never can tell which standards these are meant to be.

In any case, this is a typical, and in tune with HIPAA, nameless medical office somewhere in Miami. A well-versed person, yours truly, can tell that this electronic data system is quite old. The screen is supposed to be protected in such a manner that it can be viewed only by the user sitting in front of it. This is not the case here. But... you can't read anything from here, so we are quite safe.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The Datran Center includes two large buildings in South Miami.

One Datran Center is a 260,233 sf, 21-story office tower and Two Datran Center is a 216,179 sf, 22-story office tower. These two buildings have two garages, One Datran Center has an Eight-level and Two Datran Center has a Ten-level garage both of which provide over 1,600 covered spaces for self parking.

In this view, the Datran center is on the left and the garages are accessed from this Datran Drive that leads to US-1 seen beyond the garages overhead.

Datran One and Two

Monday, October 18, 2010


I bet most of you didn't know this:

Arteriosclerosis is a general term describing any hardening (and loss of elasticity) of medium or large arteries (from the Greek Arterio, meaning artery, and sclerosis, meaning hardening.) It should not be confused with "arteriolosclerosis" or "atherosclerosis" which is any hardening (and loss of elasticity) of small arteries and arterioles (small arteries). This is often associated with hypertension.

This gentle fellow is getting a free hypertension scanning here today. The good news is that his readings are excellent: 120/70. Excellent!

Arte What?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bikes and Bikes

Today, I am at this hamburger joint in Miami, Betty's Best, that is quite friendly with bikers and race car enthusiasts. Weekly, there are bike and classic car nights on Thursdays. Today is a special day when the local bikers (they come as far as Ft. Lauderdale and the Florida keys) who gather here to support a biker fellow in needs. They are all inside for lunch and I understand everyone chips in and contribute US $5 to help out. Now, this very nice gesture goes to show that underneath tough outward appearances can be found hearts of gold.

Macho Bikes

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mark My Expression

Body Tattoos are a part of almost every culture on this planet, and have been used since the dawn of time to identify, to beautify and to scare. They cause emotions that range for hatred and disgust to envy and admiration. The word 'Tattoo' come from the Polynesian word 'tatau' which translates roughly as 'to mark something'.

In the US, tattoos are quite popular, especially in the population of sport athletes. They are also very popular with younger females. If you look at some tattoos, you can't help to wonder how they do that. Here is one example of two ways to express oneself: on a T-shirt and on one's body. The tattoo on the arm is exquisitely high resolution and the points must be quite tiny. Take a closer look and you'll see what I mean. It must have hurt a lot. These two persons are bikers like many other bikers roaming the streets of Miami, and you can see these bikers almost every day because of the nice weather we have here.

Tattoo and T-Shirt

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't Even Think About It

This is a look inside a small part of The University of Miami (UM) Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, an academic medical center founded in 1952. Beginning March of this year, this entire medical campus is off limit to any smoking whatsoever. This is a great thing that is beginning to take hold in the US.

As of October of this year, at least 2,473 local and/or state/territory/commonwealth hospitals, healthcare systems, and clinics of the US have adopted 100% smoke-free campus grounds policies that protect all employees, visitors, and patients from secondhand smoke exposure within their campuses. Eventually, soon, all of the US' health care facilities will comply with this inexorable trend, I am sure.

Here, the smoke-free guidelines apply to everyone on the UM and Jackson Health System (JHS) medical campus – including employees, faculty, students, patients, family members, visitors, volunteers, contractors, subcontractors, vendors, etc... In other words: You do not light up here. This includes people in the UM and JHS buildings, parking lots and vehicles on the campus.

What you see in this view is the parking area reserved for valet service, which costs $8 after which you can walk to see your doctors. The building on the left houses the Department of Neurological surgery, the division of Hepatology (belonging to the Department of Medicine,) and many other departments.

Across the street is the UHealth hospital that houses more departments and more doctor offices. I told you, this is huge and no matter what your illness is, you will have the best hope for the best care there is at this place.

Smoke Free

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I See Big Branches in Your Future

I can't help but to make a prediction here... looking into my crystal balls. This is inside the new Dadeland Village and to the right is the big furniture store Rooms To Go that occupies a big chunk on the ground floor of the North Toscano condo/office building, at the corner of Kendall Drive and SW 73rd Place. I am puzzled and curious to learn about the infinite wisdom of the developer/owner of this property to have planted about 10 trees alongside this building. These look like oak trees or some large trees in that family. They are planted so close to the building that I would love to see how they fare in a couple of years from now. Already, you can tell that these trees are resenting the building and trying to lean away from its wall. I predict that they will all lean westward and it will cost some serious money to keep them trimmed where they will touch the building. Perhaps the developer has a cousin owning a tree trimming service?

Unplanned Growth

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grill for Lunch

Flanigan's Seafood Bar & Grill has been around for over 50 years and is famous for their Baby Back Ribs, which is tooted as selling over a million pounds a year. There are 22 locations in South Florida and this one is at 12790 SW 88th St in Kendall/Pinecrest which is where I stopped by for a quick lunch today. The place is quite popular and business is brisk. No, I did not get their famous Baby Back Ribs... Now I regret that poor decision, but it's too late to have it back. What was I thinking?


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Masked Men

You can't be too careful these days so it is advisable that you protect yourself when you must be at crowded places with many people who have health problems such as patient waiting rooms. This is acceptable here, but please do not try to enter a bank like this with the excuse that the bank tellers may give you germs that will make you sick.

Waiting Room

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brew Ad

This is US-1 going North close to Le Jeune. The traffic was backed up so I had a chance to get to this huge beer commercial that intrigued me for a few days. What does it say? This turns out to be quite a controversial ad by the giant beer pusher: Miller. They are beginning a new wave of commercial for their Miller Lite beer centered on “Man Up,” the newly invented "catch phrase." The controversy is that these ads imply "men" who do not drink Miller Lite beer are “lesser men!” TV ads of the same kind insinuate that such "men" have tattoos in their lower back in the way that many women find fashionable these days. Hhhmmm... talking about lower back tattoo, did you see this blog of mine?

First, I don't care at all for beer. Second, I care even less for commercials except that some of them tickle my funny bones. Finally, I absolutely cannot comprehend why people would buy what some "famous" guys/gals tell them what to buy. Only in America? May be not... there are ads everywhere around the world so they seem to work. How sad!

Beer Ad

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Halloween is Coming... Ready Or Not

Halloween is an annual holiday observed in the US on October 31, which is almost here. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints' Day, but is today largely a secular celebration.

Common Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, ghost tours, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, committing pranks, telling ghost stories or other frightening tales, and watching horror films. I am afraid of horror movies and I never watch them.

Of course, all stores are Halloween decorated to sell pumpkins. In case you do not know, many buy pumpkins to make jack-o'-lanterns... a kind of cute ghostly laughing orange faces with candles flickering inside. I am afraid of them too. Just look at these balloons impersonating them... Scary stuff!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Can't See Them

This is late afternoon, and the Miami sun is beginning to set. The oak tree branches are very effective here as a filter to give me this shot. You may not know this, but at this time of the year, you only see Jupiter alone in the night sky. Where are all the other planets, you ask? They are all here in this shot. Well, they are, but you can't see them because of the sun blaring. But... to the left of the sun, on the apparent ecliptic, are the Moon, Mars and Venus... and just to the right of the sun , you can find Mercury and Saturn. Trust me, they are all there, clustering around the sun. At nights, you can't see them either because they have already set along with the sun.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Mini Papaya

Some papaya trees are big and carry big fruits... but not mine. This is it! This papaya is about a bit bigger than I would say a pear. Trees do need TLC (tender loving care,) I guess, and clearly this got not much of what it needs to grow.

Mini Papaya

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Again, it's depressing to see this scene repeating ad nauseam in a great city like Miami. This is truly an epidemic.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I thought some of you may want to see Miami's "Toll-by-Plate" technology at work. Here it is hovering high above highway 878. At this junction, there are only two lanes so it does not look too complicated. I can count (only after looking at the photo I took) a total of 5 transponders (to talk to the electronic sticker on your windshield) and what look like 7 cameras. I guess the theory of operation is quite simple. When the cars pass under, BAM, you are zapped and the computer debits the toll charge from your account. If that cannot be done, the cameras will spring into action. So, technically, if there is a power black out, I can go through this for free! May be not... They probably have aternative power supply! Rats!

Please do not mind the slanted photo. It's not easy to do this at 60 mph highway speed.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Colleges Need Fund Too

In the US, for higher learning, you have Universities and Colleges. Traditionally, colleges cost less than universities, and usually are perceived as less prestigious than universities. However, there is a current trend in the US to place more emphasis into colleges and also more funding to help them sustain growth. That is welcome news because money is scarce and universities have the lion share of funding for research. That doesn't prevent these college students to do some serious study here. This computer court yard has really good WiFi connection to the internet. I'd say it's much better than that of the University of Miami's hospital.

MDC South

Monday, October 4, 2010

Help Me Please

Miami's politicians like to believe that the unemployment rate here is about 12 - 14 per cent. I think it's higher as many without jobs simply give up and do not make it into the statistics. There are many new faces in the streets of Miami asking for help. It is a sad situation because without cash, it's impossible to survive in Miami. Some think that these people are just asking for a hand out by mere convenience. I think that they are desperate, and cannot find any employment simply because there isn't any at this time.

Help Me

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Christmas? Already? What happened to Halloween and Thanksgiving? Of course, if you do not live in the US... and many, many of you do not... and many of you may not even care about Christmas... let me explain. It is a die hard tradition in the US that you must spend the money you may not have to provide gifts for your loved ones during the end of the year's time, lest you may not be loved? That is Christmas day, on December 25th. But as soon as September ends, stores race to display their Xmas decorations and merchandises as a reminder for you to open up your wallets. Are you ready, willing and able? Know that you've got to do it, or else!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Empty No More

It took a while but this used to be empty building now has a brand new tenant: BrandsMart. If you want to find all sort of small (and large) home appliances at very reasonable prices, take a look inside the stores of this chain.

New Brandsmart

Friday, October 1, 2010

Only $699

Recently, it has been difficult to find graffiti in South Miami. I am not sure why that is. Perhaps the economy has made it difficult for the graffiti-ers to come up with the cash to buy paint? For that reason, you have to look very hard to find any display of personal ranting such as a graffiti. But take a look at this bus bench. It reflects the deplorable state of economy around here... bankruptcy abounds and attorneys of all sort home in for the kill. The advertised telephone number and name have been blurred out digitally but that is not the graffiti that I was seeking. Look closely at the photo and you will see the very subtle mark of the graffiti artist.