Archive for February 2016




Forever young: Leap year babies celebrate birthdays with a bang

By Gavin Godfrey, CNN

Updated 8:34 AM ET, Fri February 26, 2016

What’s the deal with leap years? 01:14

Story highlights

  • Leap day is an extra day added to the end of February every four years
  • There are about almost 5 million leap day babies in the world
  • The chances of being born on leap day are one in 1,461

(CNN)Martin Goodkin likes to say American presidents can’t be chosen without his blessing.

This year, the retired gay-rights activist and author will celebrate his birthday, something he does only every four years. Goodkin is one of almost 5 million leap year babiesin the world, and like any quadrennial event, his birthday isn’t just another day — it’s a production.

“It’s an election year and unless I have a party, they can’t have the election — that’s the way it goes,” Goodkin jokes. “Those are the rules. I do it every four years and I do it with a bang.”

Goodkin was born on February 29, 1936. Since his first leap year birthday, which was documented in full detail by the local newspaper, Goodkin and his family have made it a point to go hard on the party planning. The significance of the rare birth date isn’t lost on the man who decided that this year’s event (which he’s been planning since September) will feature everything from a fancy dinner for dozens of his closest friends to M&Ms bearing his likeness and the big date. “I’m going to have 40 people eating me,” he says.

If Goodkin’s excitement seems overstated then you’re not a leap year baby.

Every four years, an extra day is added to the Gregorian calendar to synchronize it with the solar year. In a leap year, the extra day is added at the end of February, giving it 29 days instead of 28. The extra day is called a leap day, or an intercalary day. The chances of being born on this day areone in 1,461.

Party of the century

One of the guests Goodkin would like to see at his party is Sunrise, Florida, resident Daisy Belle Ward, known by her family as “Big Daisy.” The matriarch was born on February 29, 1916, and is believed to be the oldest-living Leaper in the state and possibly the nation, according to her children.

Daisy Ward

Ward’s family is marking her 25th leap year birthday with a weekend-long celebration in which she’ll be honored by city officials, see a gospel performance led by recording artist Dottie Peoples and attend an all-white gala, where she’ll be presented with the Centennial Certificate issued by President Barack Obama.

“Let the celebration begin! 99 and a half won’t do. I’ve got to make the 100,” Big Daisy told her family. She hasn’t been shy about making a big deal out of her milestone. Speaking to CNN through her son Clinton Ward, Daisy, who resides in an assisted living facility, “was excited about it and every time we’d come to [visit her] she’d think it was the day,” he said.

“The idea about it is this — we’re happy that she reached it. I’m 81 years old, and I would like to reach 100, but I would like to be in the state of mind just like she is.”

Ward’s family says they’ve submitted paperwork to have Daisy entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. A representative from Guinness told CNN, “We currently do not have a title holder for the oldest living leap year baby.”

Millennial leapers

St. Thomas native Chloé Rosey was never a big fan of her leap year birthday or the quirks that came with it. “I kind of hated it as a kid just because I didn’t have an actual day, and all of my peers were so confused,” she said.

Rosey was born in the very last hour of February 29, 1988. She says she’s grown to love being a leap year baby, bragging that, “we’re forever young.”

For her last leap year celebration, Rosey and eight of her best girlfriends flew to Atlanta for a weekend on the town. This year, she’s pushing her plans back to late March/early April in time forCarnival in the Virgin Islands. During the in-between years, Rosey celebrates for a week leading up to the big day or simply settles for the weekend. “When do you celebrate your birthday when it doesn’t land on a perfect day?”

Nick Lemmond

For Nick Lemmond, also born on February 29, 1988, the perfect day won’t involve, say, a big band and 300-person guest list like Goodkin’s infamous shebang of 1976. Lemmond says his last leap year birthday was an event, carefully orchestrated by his friends. There were no photos allowed therefore there’s no documentation, but it was a good time, he says.

“My friends respect the fact that I only get a birthday every four years. So, it’s usually my friends who make a bigger deal about it than I do,” he said.

This year, though his friends wanted another banger, Lemmond’s taking the reins, opting for something on the sportier side. “I’ve already let my work know Tuesday I won’t be there,” he said. “We’re going to Top Golf.”


Posted February 27, 2016 by greatmartin in LEAP YEAR 2016, LEAP YEAR BIRTHDAY, Uncategorized

Do you know any Leap Year Babies?   Leave a comment

People born on February 29 only have birthdays every 4 years! They are called “Leapers”, “Leaplings” and/or “Leap Year Babies”. Some celebrate it on February 28 or March 1 during the off years and some only when February 29 comes around. Do you know any Leap Year Babies? If you do when do they celebrate their birthday? If you don’t know any well now you do!! I am a Leap Year baby who will be celebrating his 20th birthday on Monday with a big dinner party. Yes I am one of those who celebrate only every 4th year–a USA presidential election year–an Olympic year. Looking over the video you will see a picture of a kid celebrating his first Leap Year birthday–yes, that’s me.
On Monday I will be 20 years old and I can’t wait to be 21 in 2020 when I will be able to drink!! But sadly I only have 3 more days of being a teenager!
I won’t be around too much in the next 4-5 days as I will be celebrating going to see “Phantom of the Opera”, “Kinky Boots”, entertaining people from out of town–in other words having a ball but I promise to answer all comments I get notifications about. Would you like to be ‘special’? To be a Leaper, Leapling and/or a Leap Year baby? Why? Why not? 20 Leap Year Birthdays

I created this video with the YouTube Slideshow Creator (

Posted February 26, 2016 by greatmartin in LEAP YEAR 2016, LEAP YEAR BIRTHDAY, Uncategorized

How you you not LOVE these guys????   1 comment

There are friends–and then there are friends who know you!! Let the celebration begin!!

February 29  20 years old!!

Posted February 25, 2016 by greatmartin in LEAP YEAR 2016, LEAP YEAR BIRTHDAY, Uncategorized



The Flash Fire Pizza restaurant is fairly new in Fort Lauderdale and all the kinks aren’t straightened out yet. The layout as far as where to order and/or what to order is confusing and none of the order takers were helpful.

It is very apparent where the ‘flash’ comes in as they have the thinnest pizza crust I have ever had so it is no mystery as to why the pizzas are made so fast.

I had the ‘cyo’–craft your own–($7.95)–picking house red sauce, shredded Mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and pepperoni. Allen had the Chopped Italian salad ($10.95) consisting of mixed greens, Capicola, Soppressata, fresh Mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, olives, Rosemary potatoes with a Balsamic dressing. We both had ‘fountain’ colas ($1.95 ea.)

We shared the pizza and salad. The pizza crust was way too thin for me though it was tasty as was the salad.

There was a problem with the soda machine that was eventually fixed.

The Flash Fire Pizza is the new fad of restaurants being half fast food and a full service restaurant. It is no secret that I much prefer the latter though I am willing to give the former a chance. Here you place your order and pay for it. You are given a numbered placard to place on your table and the food was delivered.

The check came to $22.40 but having a groupon which for $18.90 the total, with tax, came to $4.14 (plus what we paid for the groupon.) There was a mistake in the wording on the bottom of the check regarding “tipping is not expected, for exceptional service feel free to leave a 954-765-6036”

The bottom line is that the place is nice in its newness, the employees had smiles but with that thin crust and the difficulty getting in and out of the parking area, in addition not being full service, I don’t see us going back there with or without a groupon!

Mother Nature pays a visit!   Leave a comment

I received the following from my friend Jacqui yesterday and she said I should share it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did and when you come down here meet them in person!                                      “As you may know I live where there is mooring for boats, along a river which borders the property. We often see manatees especially during the winter when they travel south for the warmer waters. So my friend Natalie and her husband live on their boat year round. The manatees love to visit them and get a drink of fresh water from their hose. The manatees are so friendly and gentle and HUGE. Enjoy.”


“have a look at this little video we did Saturday, with manatee right at our boat
take care and have a wonderful day”

manatee bar 2016

Posted February 23, 2016 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE, Uncategorized



I have the craziest Christmas/Easter/ Leap Year cactus!! I don’t remember when I first bought the Christmas cactus plant but probably 7-8 years ago. It was already in bloom when I bought it that Christmas but stopped blooming after the buds dropped. It didn’t bloom the following Christmas and then all of a sudden there were blooms around Easter. Once again it didn’t bloom at Christmas time but all of a sudden 2012 it started to bloom around my Leap Year birthday!

The last 3 years it seems to bloom around Christmas, the end of February and the week before Easter, whatever date it might be.

At first the blooms were all pink and then all a sudden they were a mixture of pink and white. I did cut off a few branches and before I knew it I had 5 pots of cacti plus the big mother plant, which is in the first picture.

For the first time this year the mother plant started to bloom 2 weeks before Christmas, both white and pink blooms, and one by one each of the other 5 potted plants started to bloom, some white and some pink. Since then all the plants have remained in bloom and now a week before my 20th Leap Year birthday February 29 there are buds on all the plants!

The blooms are very pretty but I don’t detect any aroma.

This slideshow was taken over the past 2 months.

This slideshow was taken over the past 5 years.

Posted February 22, 2016 by greatmartin in LEAP YEAR BIRTHDAY, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized


It was a pleasant surprise that in spite of expected “Hollywoodzation’ and already knowing the outcome “Race” is a good movie that holds your interest from beginning to end. With the powerful story, excellent acting, some touching scenes between the coach and runner, loving scenes between the man and woman plus understated but hard hitting race relation scenes here in the USA and how ‘Negros’ and Jews were treated in Germany in the 1930s.

There might be many younger people who don’t know the saga of Jesse Owens but even those who have a fleeting memory will be impressed with what this young financially poor Black man from Cleveland, who was a remarkable runner, who paid his way through Ohio State University, achieved in one Olympics. Also there are many behind the scenes that took place at the Olympics from suggesting the boycotting the games to deals made with industrialists, stopping Jewish athletes from participating and a female German director who would make memorable documentaries of the 1936 Olympics celebrating Aryan supremacy.

Stephan James gives a strong performance as Jesse Owens, evenly matched by Jason Sudeikis as the coach Larry Snyder who, from their first meeting when he tells the athlete to look at a man in the eyes when he talks to him, shows the runner how to use his power in more than one way. They both handle, tackle and face what had become accepted discrimination from other athletes, people in high places whether it be an amateur sports group or the leader of countries.

There is chemistry between James and Shanice Banton as his wife while William Hurt as a judge and  , as industrialist Avery Brundage, give strong support. Carice von Houten as the German director, Barnaby Metschurat as Josef Goebbels, with Jeremy Ferdman and Sam Stroller as the only Jewishruunjers at the Olympics show two different sides of the same coin. David Cross has a potent turn as Europe’s best runner while Michele Lonsdale Smith and Andrew Moodie as Owens’ parents give a solid background story to what made him the man he was to become. There is a 15 minute segment revolving around Chantel Riley, showing a possible flaw that the world would come to see as a hero, that really could have been cut without changing the story and making the 2 hour and 15 minute story move at a faster pace.

The screenplay by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse follows the standard Hollywood outline of an award winning athlete but Jesse Owens story makes them detour from the template for strong effect. I do wish they had spent a little more time with the father/son aspect of the athlete’s younger life. Director Stephen Hopkins does a journeyman’s job while the movie’s score by Rachel Portman adds to the impact of many scenes .

“Race” shows an important time in American and world history involving bothdefintions of the word with a good story. Hopefully it is not being shown too early in the year to be forgotten comes Oscar 2017 time, especially for the performances of Stephan James and Jason Sudeikis.

Be sure to stay for the ‘what happened after’ information during the end credits.


Posted February 19, 2016 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

Little By Little It Is All Coming Together   1 comment


Had lunch this afternoon at the Cafe Vico to finalize the dinner plans now that I have a guest count. Instead of the party room I asked Marco if we could have the room off the main dining-room and he said that it wouldn’t be a problem. The pictures above are how the tables look today. I told him to arrange the tables anyway he wanted to and that I would come in at 5:30 PM that Monday to put the centerpieces on the tables, put the special M&Ms in the monkey dishes at each table and put up the Happy Birthday banners. Also I have printed up the menu, a note–no speeches–from me, poems written to and about me along with special pens that I ordered.

The day before I went to the Sweeter Days bake shop where Steve and I talked about the cake design I wanted and what I wanted it made out of–give you two guesses! He said he would deliver it to the Cafe Vico that day at 5:30 PM and Marco said he would have a separate table to show it off.

On the 29th I will ‘ship’ the out of town guests off to see Fort Lauderdale from the Inter-costal while I get the balloons and do a last few minutes things.

It is all coming together and soon I will be able to start thinking of 2020 when I will become 21!!

Posted February 18, 2016 by greatmartin in LEAP YEAR 2016, LEAP YEAR BIRTHDAY, Uncategorized


The Sea Watch opened in 1974 and since has become a landmark in South Florida. I have been eating here for over 30 years and the restaurant has recently gone through a major overhaul and while the chairs are not the most comfortable the surroundings are still a part of dining here. It is one of the very few free standing restaurants built on the beach overlooking the ocean and it is a great place to take out-of-towners for the scenery alone, especially during the day, and then taking a walk on the beach.

It is almost a jigsaw of a place seemingly put together without rhyme or reason and as far as I can tell there are 3 different levels all offering views of the beach and ocean.

Being on their mailing list for years I received a $30 gift certificate so Allen and I went there for lunch yesterday. I had Rigatoni made in a San Marzano sauce with mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and Parmigian cheese plus I added shrimp. Allen had the Seared Scallops with roasted red peppers, thyme, coriander and corn relish plus fries. They serve both dark and rye seeded bread and though good I wish it had been warmed up. Our server Patrick was very efficient but as I told him instead of the 22% tip (on what it would have cost) added to the bill I would have made it 25% if he smiled! :O)

Aside from being a place to take guests from out of town for the seafood the landscape adds that extra touch.

Sea Watch slideshow



People laugh because I started getting ready for this party last September but it has taken this long just to get some of the necessities ready like sending out invitations (and getting people to respond!), getting various items for the event and I am still not finished. As soon as I get a head count I have to talk to Marco about which room I want the dinner to be, have to get to the baker and choose from 3 different cake ideas, get balloons, happy birthday banners, not to forget I do want to spend time with out of town guests and take them around Fort Lauderdale—getting closer but I am breathing easier!

On top is a ‘celebration’ picture that will be in our paper the last Sunday of the month compliments of the Sun-Sentinel (because I am old!!!)

  1. This is just the front page of the menu
  2. Cameras—there will be a camera at each table and each will be able to tale 27 photographs—at the end of the dinner I will collect them and have them developed, make a collage or send individual pictures to people who want them
  3. Free birthday meal at the Courtyard Café in Wilton Manors.
  4. A $30 dinner certificate from the Sea Watch—one of my favorite restaurants
  5. A center piece to be put on each table
  6. If you look you can see Happy Birthday on it

7 to 10 poems written for and about me to be part of a package

  1. What I think will be the hit of the party—except for the cake—are the special M&Ms I had made with the date and a picture of me.
  2. The Café Vico in the evening where the dinner will take place.


And a pen engraved with the date of the party will also been given to everyone and still more to come!

Posted February 15, 2016 by greatmartin in LEAP YEAR 2016, LEAP YEAR BIRTHDAY, LIFE, Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: