Archive for July 2015


From the opening bars of the memorable theme along with Tom Cruise hanging from a plane door taking off “Mission Impossible–Rogue Nation” is a winner. Checking your logic at the theatre door as you must in any action thriller–come on, 6 guys shoot at Cruise and he walks (well runs) away while he gets 4 rounds off and kills 4 guys!–the chases whether by cars, trucks, motorcycles and the numerous fights including fists, thighs, knives along with double crosses and who’s on whose side will hold your interest.

The story, also the director, by Christopher McQuarrie is sharp, basically straight forward making it easy to follow, and includes all the standard action scenes but done with a bit more than most. 

Tom Cruise delivers with a strong performance physically and emotionally while Rebecca Ferguson as either his friend or his enemy equals Cruise in all the scenes and I don’t think there is a guy reading this who would want to get in a fight with her. Simon Pegg as part of Cruise’s team gets in quite a few funny bits and lines while Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames as the other members of the team don’t have much to do but impress whenever on screen. 

Alec Baldwin as the head of the CIA, Simon McBurney as a member of the British intelligence group, along with Sean Harris as an impressive villain, along with a more impressive enforcer called The Bone Doctor played by Jens Hulten and various other supporting players add to the texture of the film.

Yes you might expect Hitchcock to show up, or hear Doris  Day sing “Que Sera, Que Sara”,  in the Vienna State opera House or bump into Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca but there is a good feeling along with the familiarity! 

“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” is about 10 minutes too long and the underwater scene one of many illogical ones but the fact remains this is a fun adventure film that you will readily enjoy sitting back and get lost in what Hollywood does best–entertain!



Posted July 31, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

BILL’S GARDEN AT GATEWAY   Leave a comment

There are many different gardens around Gateway and it really wouldn’t be fair to say one is the best but a resident, Bill, has spent a lot of time and years growing his garden in the courtyard of building T. I thought I had a picture of when it only had the fan palm tree against the back of the elevator but I don’t so you will have to imagine how it looked before he started to work on it. 

Among the plants, bushes and trees there is a bird bath and his neighbor John added a bird house along with some beautiful wood carvings. At any time of the day you will see butterflies, birds, resident cats (who leave the birds alone in the garden), lizards, squirrels among other of Mother Nature’s creatures.

Whether looking at the garden from the street, from either side or the back it is just a peaceful part of your day. And rest assured there will be additions and changes continuously!


Posted July 29, 2015 by greatmartin in GARDENS, MOTHER NATURE


I have many reasons for loving and living at The Gateway Terrace apartments and one is just walking around and being surprised. It could be a sunset (photo #s 1-4)–nothing spectacular but beautiful anyway with reds, pinks, grays, blacks all changing as the minutes go by.

Just walking along you can all of a sudden come across the bright eyes of one of the owned cats who stroll around as if they own the place and, in a sense, they do! I don’t know the name of this black and white cat (photo 5) but I do know he is from one of the boats docked along the walk way in Karen Bay which is part of the New Middle River. We have an orange tabby, a few brown and white cats, all who roam around from apartment to apartment knowing who leaves food and/or water out for them and then go back to their owners mewing as if they hadn’t had a bite to eat for weeks!

I couldn’t name all the various flowers we have on the acres of land that make up the Gateway Terrace apartments but one is more beautiful than the next. From the rose (photo 6) to many colored hibiscus to bushes and orchids that neighbors plant in front and back of the buildings along with Birds of Paradise, Cuban Butterfly plants, Queen Crepe Myrtle trees and Crepe Myrtle bushes, lime trees, various colored Jacaranda trees along with red Royal Poinciana trees. There are mango and avocado trees, along with many palm and various cactus plantings.
I live in a world of color and surprises constantly supplied by Mother Nature!


Posted July 26, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE, MOTHER NATURE


I first became aware of Ian McKellen as a gay activist when he publicly came out against a law in England in 1988. I was aware of his being an admired stage British actor who occasionally made films and then, after he came out, I saw him in “And The Band Played On” and “6 Degrees of Separation” but it was 17 years ago in a movie called “Gods and Monsters”, for which he won an Oscar nomination, that I was really impressed with him. The general movie going public came to know him as Gandalf in “Lord of the Rings” for which he received a second Oscar nomination. He is now regarded as one of the world’s best actors and is widely known as a role model for the gay community all over.

Now, 17 years after “Gods and Monsters”, he is reunited with director Bill Condon to make “Mr. Holmes”, a story about the real Sherlock Holmes at the age of 93, retired, looking at his last case which took place 27 years earlier. McKellan, in his 70s, plays Holmes at 93, 66 and 58 believable at all stages with a lot of help from make-up artist Dave Elsey, and his crew, along with the actor‘s movements at the different ages.

\This Sherlock Holmes is not the Sherlock Holmes you know, telling an admirer that it was Watson who fictionalized his character, giving him a deerstalker hat which he never wore and a pipe when he preferred a cigar, giving the readers a wrong address as to where he lived though the detective did and still has that precision and deductions that solved his mysteries and solves a present day situation. He is now a beekeeper in his old age along with following the search for ‘prickly ash’ to help him with his memory which is failing.

Based on a screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher from a book by Mitch Cullin (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who?) it revolves around Holmes, his housekeeper Mrs. Munro, played by Laura Linney, in a role she could have done in her sleep but doesn’t, and her son Roger, (Milo Parker), who lost his father at a very young age, a clever somewhat precocious 10 year old who becomes devoted to Holmes and who Holmes comes to see as a remarkable child. There is a side trip story regarding Japan and a Japanese mother and her son whose husband/father abandoned them to serve England in the war, which really doesn’t bring much to the movie. Another part of the screenplay is Holmes’s last mystery with Patrick Kennedy as Thomas Kelmot who thinks his wife Ann, played by Hattie Morahan, is cheating on him.  There is also Nicholas Rowe, who plays the fictional Sherlock Holmes in a film being watched by the ‘real’ Sherlock Holmes and in a wasted role Frances de la Tour as a eccentric music teacher.

Ian McKellen is a delight to watch, Laura Linney, in a dark wig, is powerful in a brief scene near the end with him and Milo Parker has chemistry with McKellen but I found myself walking up the aisle, after the credits, giving it a one word review in my mind, ‘disappointment’, which may be my fault expecting too much from another pairing of Condon and McKellen.


Posted July 24, 2015 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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A LUMP OF COAL!   Leave a comment

For the past decade I have been trying to dispose of ‘things’ that I don’t NEED! I have gotten rid of many things I want but aren’t necessary to my daily living. Yes I love to read and I use to collect books as I really couldn’t/wouldn’t throw them out. For many years I would pack up my books and lug them with me to wherever I moved. It was the same with tapes, DVDs and everything “A Chorus Line”. I, at one time, had a collection of over 500 hippos–no, not real ones! They ranged from a ceramic one to a glass one I bought at Steuben’s, a couple of gold ones from Tiffany’s and whenever or wherever I traveled! When Johnny and I broke up I told him to take all of them.

Right now if I have any collection it would be the framed photographs of friends, show Playbills, me and some remaining “A Chorus Line” memorabilia. Every once in awhile I will come across something that I completely forgot I have which means it is time to get rid of it. Also there are some things that a few people have given me since I have moved here that I just enjoy looking at or use.

Which brings me to the bottle of “Lump of Coal” Dark Holiday Stout ‘much more than you deserve for Xmas this year’ written on the label. It is a 1 pint 9 fluid ounces of English ale imported by Shelton Brothers of  Belchertown, MA. (I had to check if such a town exists and it does as does the business. I have no idea who sent it to me or why but, more important, why do I still have it?

I do have a beautiful wrapped bottle of Seagram’s Crown Royal. In both cases I have no idea who gave them to me or when or why I still have them. I haven’t had a drink in over 34 years and don’t plan to have one again!

Usually around the end of the year holidays I think of giving the Crown Royal to one of the maintenance guys but who the heck would I give the Lump Of Coal?!? And so back in the cupboard both go–unless someone wants to buy them from me or would like to drink them during the February 29, 2016 celebration?


Posted July 23, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

I still am not doing IT after 7 years!   1 comment

It is really hard to believe that 7 years ago this week I had my last cigarette. I had been smoking since I was 12–to appear older and sophisticated!!–59 years. Though I started out slowly after the age of 17 until 2008 I smoked 2-3 packs a day!!

I never even thought of quitting. In fact over the New Year’s weekend of 1999-2000 I had congestive heart failure and as soon as I recovered, still in the hospital, I snuck out for a cigarette.

On July 21. 2008, I was going from my hospital room to the operation room to have an aorta valve replacement procedure and before I was wheeled away I had a cigarette, put it out and it was the last cigarette I would ever have up to the moment I am writing this.

I didn’t have any problem quitting nor do I remember even making the decision to quit. There were no withdrawal systems, being around people who smoke didn’t/doesn’t bother me.

Ironically last year, Gateway, where I live, started a no smoking rule anywhere on the property including your own apartment which I know I wouldn’t have been able to follow and would have been found out and probably kicked out! And now with all the laws regarding no smoking I picked a good time to stop!

I do miss smoking every now and then, like when I am at the computer, but in a second that desire passes (now if that would only happen in my sex life!!)

I consider myself very lucky as though I have COPD and PAD from all those years of smoking I am not walking around attached to an oxygen tank as many here do.

Here it is 7 years later and I am still waiting for my taste buds to come back as they say happens when you quit smoking or, maybe, I never lost them.

Though there is that ‘nothing worse than a reformed sinner’ I don’t make comments and/or say anything to other smokers so have no fear if you are a smoker when you are around me–I just might inhale some of your smoke!

Gave up drinking in 1981, gave up smoking in 2008, watching what I eat so I can eat on my 20th Leap Year birthday, what else is there for me to do?!?!? LOL

Posted July 21, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

I LIKE IT IN THE DARK!   Leave a comment


I have slept through earthquakes in California and Japan. Through tornadoes in Tennessee, hurricanes in Florida and, not to forget, loud next door neighbor’s parties in New York City BUT I don’t/can’t/won’t fall asleep if there is any light in the room!!

I moved into this apartment in February 2004 and the first thing I did was pull up or take off the blinds in the kitchen, bathroom, living room south and east windows and they haven’t been down since! (Pictures 1-4)

By the way living on the top (third floor), and the way my apartment is situated, I can walk around nude and the only things people can see is my nude chest, nude top back and my face/head. (TMI?)

The second thing I did was buy black plastic shower liners and, using duct tape and clear tape, taped them up. Yes for 11 years I lived with tacky taped on ‘curtains’! For 11years I never saw the blinds and windows behind them–still haven‘t! (Pictures 5 and 6!)

For some reason I decided it was time to get blackout curtains though I had them on my gift wish list for my 20th Leap Year birthday party and I ordered them from Target. I spoke to John about the rods and he said he was going to Home Depot the next day and he would pick them up–also VOLUNTEERED to hang them up. (Hey I milked wearing the leg brace and my 0 mechanical ability for all I could!)

In any case after 11 years being a kid at heart I wanted them put up yesterday but he put them up the next day!! (Pictures 7 and 8)

Because of the way the rods would hang, slightly away from the wall, I decided to keep the original plastic ‘curtains’ up figuring the new curtains would hide them anyway and would keep the room dark.

Pictures 9 and 10 were taken at midnight–it is dark folks!!–while 11 and 12 were taken at Noon.

I love my DARK ROOM!  Thanks John!

(Some people have been having problems with seeing the slideshow though I do have it marked public so all I can suggest is copying and pasting the URL address.)


Posted July 19, 2015 by greatmartin in HOME


It’s a whole new world when you have a car! For those who don’t know I had a red Chevy 1971 convertible with a 454 engine which I got in 1981 and had until 2004 when I couldn’t afford the repairs and insurance. I have been without a car since and getting around Fort Lauderdale isn’t easy without a car. Luckily Allen has been good enough to take me shopping on Thursdays and we go to the movies on Friday plus now and then to the theatre and when I really need it he will take me to a doctor’s appointment. Also I get a vacation when he goes on vacation and leaves the car behind for me to use.

Aside from that I am more or less a ‘prisoner’ at Gateway–which really isn’t a bad place to be captive! For the last few years I have had P.A.D, (peripheral artery disease) which makes it hard to walk more than a few blocks and each year a block or two less.

Allen drove up to Orlando for 5 days and me being a creature of habit–which I have become since I have gotten old–I decided to treat myself and get a rental car for 48 hours so I could do my shopping and go to the movies, eat out and do other things that I haven’t been able to do for awhile when I wanted.

Well folks aside from the rental fees and gas I relearned a lesson from the last time I had the use of a car–it is expensive!! And I am talking about going to Target and buying 4 new bed pillows, to Home Depot and buying some plants and Office Depot to look at new desk set PCs and here, there and everywhere to buy ‘things’! As usual–and this was a lesson I thought I had learned but obviously didn’t–I used credit cards. It looks like August is going to be a VERY lean spending month because I want to get those cards paid off in full before interest kicks in.

All in all it really was fun having the availability to ‘get away’ when I wanted but it will be awhile before I do that again.


Posted July 18, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

GARDENS AT GATEWAY PART 1   Leave a comment

Most of the buildings here at the Gateway Terrace have a small plot of land in front and back of the ground floor apartments. Many residents will spend time planting their own little gardens to be shared by all while some just have the hedges that Gateway planted and the lawn maintenance crew takes care of.

My neighbor downstairs, Irene, takes care of both the front and back gardens and has planted some things around the trunk of the big tree in the back. Aside from all the Queen Crepe Myrtle trees and many varied colored Hibiscus plants it is always pleasant to walk around Gateway and see just what the neighbors have done to make their little part of the world relaxing.

In the photos 1 and 2 in the slideshow  are the rear garden that Irene has worked on to make our building a little bit different from the others. In the third picture is the front of our building that she has also added plants.

In the 4th to 9th pictures we see Mary Lou’s handiwork.  For each holiday she fixes up her garden with mementos of the holidays and is constantly adding different plants depending upon the season–yes, folks, Florida does have seasons!

In the remaining photos are what other neighbors have done some making patios of their area

Though I haven’t posted any of the pictures at Christmas time many neighbors spruce up their areas with seasonal decorations which I post every December and which Gateway holds a ‘best decorating’ contest.

Okay, I have to go pick some weeds!


Posted July 16, 2015 by greatmartin in GARDENS

“LOVE LETTERS” IS COMING!   Leave a comment

Next Tuesday the touring company of “Love Letters” starring Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal will stop for a week at the Broward Center For The Performing Arts. For you youngsters who may not know who they are, 45 years ago they were in one of the biggest hits of the year in the film “Love Story” which had the tag line “Love means never having to say you are sorry”. Both starred in a couple of more hits and then they were sort of low keyed and except for a scandal here and there, on Ryan’s part, were out of the public’s eye.

I can hear the sighs now and the whispers, “They are so old,” as if they haven’t gotten older in the past 45 years and then they will get lost in the play by A.R. Gurney about enduring romance, first loves and second chances through the letters they wrote each other starting at the age of 7. The audience will watch as Andrew (O’Neal) and Melissa (McGraw) talk to each other through their love letters over fifty years and forget the actors as they were but as they are today, which is a good thing.

In any case I am sure the audience is in for a surprise and I will be telling you all about it next week.


Posted July 14, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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