Archive for August 2016

I LOVE LIVING ALONE: REASON # 4, 582   Leave a comment

cabo blanco 2 aug 30 2016Collage

Reason 4,582 that I love living alone is that I can do what I want when I want. The other day I went to my primary doctor to have my quarterly blood work done. I had to fast the 12 hours before and had other problems (well fasting IS a problem to me!!) such as my insurance company okaying my finger prosthesis, getting some med refills, etc. and Michelle, in the office, got everything straightened out.

I was originally scheduled to meet with my doctor on Wednesday September 7 at 1 PM to go over the blood report so I had to reset my eye doctor appointment which was at the same time. It is less than a mile away so scheduled it for 2:30 PM. Well it turns out my primary had to cancel her appointment so I decided to stop at the eye doctor’s office to give them the referral for the exam plus change the appointment back to 1 PM, which I did. As I came out I looked at the Cabo Blanco which I had reviewed a few days ago giving it an excellent review. I decided I have a car, I have all the time in the world as I don’t have anyone—not a ‘partner’, ‘lover’, ‘roommate’ or (a word I hate—sorry but I’ll get into why some other day) ‘husband’—so in I went to the restaurant.

Once again I had a fantastic meal which consisted of a cup of freshly made soup which came with the lunch menu followed by a HUGE plate of large shrimp—a dozen of them!! At a lunch!!—on linguini mixed in a dark sauce with fresh green peppers, tomatoes, scallions and onions. It was delicious and I cleaned the plate (just to make the dishwasher’s job easier!) And it cost $8.99 I wanted dessert and asked the waiter what he had in ice cream and he said they had an excellent ice cream that is frozen and served on chocolate sauce made out of a popular Peruvian fruit called Lucuma so I ordered it as I love tasting new things. The waiter was right as it was delicious—and being single I didn’t have to share any of it with anybody!!

I took an hour and a half eating as I was reading a book about Madeline Kahn called “Being the Music: A Life” by William V. Madison—now if I wasn’t single I wouldn’t have been able to do that!!

I went to the drugstore to pick up my meds which weren’t ready. It had been raining all day sometimes heavy, sometimes light, and I decided not to wait. Now being single I don’t have to, and I won’t, tell what happened on the way home and for the next 3 hours!!! (Sorry but some things I just don’t talk about!)

Next Wednesday when I go back for my eye exam I will probably once again have lunch at the Cabo Blanco

Posted August 31, 2016 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized


There is no end to what you can do when you have a car including spending money!! Though I manage to do that whether I have a car or not having one just makes it that easier as you can see by this video!

1) THE car

2) Among other things it is easy to get to the drugstore to pick up meds whereas without a car it involves waiting until you can get a ride there.

3 )Now doing other things are even easier such as going to my favorite movie house The Gateway. This week they have 3 movies I want to see and saw the first “Southside With You” which is my type of movie! (Review posted.)

4) If you know anything about me you know I love to eat out so look for my review of La Bamba which opened their 6th restaurant recently. It is not a franchise operation by family owned.

5-7) Calvin and I went to lunch at the Flash Fire Pizza restaurant. I had been there before and wasn’t really impressed with it but his friend Marcus works there—makes the pizza so off we went.

8 & 9) Definitely an advantage to having a car, as mentioned before, is getting to and from doctors easily. As soon as I knew I would have Allen’s car I made appointments with all my specialists which will be ending with an appointment and talking to my primary about all the results. In this case it really was an advantage in having my own ride as when I got to the NET doctor’s office it seems he had moved to a new location and if I didn’t have a car I would have been stranded. Anyone who takes HMO transportation knows what I mean and that is why I got the uber app in case something like that happened! (By the way for those who don’t know NET stands for nose, ear and throat—really!)

10) Mexican food one day, pizza another and on a beautiful afternoon if you want to hop into the car and go for French food at the Sage restaurant you just do.

11 & 12)  With or without a car one thing never changes and that are the many variations of the skies that Mother Nature provides us with !

Posted August 30, 2016 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

ALLEN’S CAR AND MY CAMERA PART 1   Leave a comment

I had/have Allen’s car from August 15-September 12 which gave me a lot of freedom to go and do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. Usually I am home Saturday through Wednesday with Allen taking me shopping and any errands I have on Thursday and on Friday we will go to a movie. When I have to go to a doctor I have to ‘waste’ 2-3 hours for each appointment waiting on transportation to and from the doctor’s office.

Now I had a car and could do all sorts of things, some even crazy and/or expensive but I could do it!! One quick example—Winn-Dixie has “Weekend Only Specials”  and this past Saturday I went and bought the specials: pint of Blue Belle Ice Cream $1, 3 kinds of sausage each $2, Mr. P’s Pizza $1, skinned chicken drumsticks $1 a pound and who was I to say “No” so I didn’t.

I didn’t plan on a gout attack but luckily I had a car and could go out getting meds and cherry juice and concentrate—see my other post about it.

Here are just a few of the things I did—and this was just the first week—without mentioning movies and a few ‘private’ things.

1) Allen’s car

2) Edgar as we entered into Burger21 for lunch

3) Calvin and I at the Fire Fusion Pizza restaurant

4) The fish tank in my eye doctor’s office.

5) Full moon August 18

6-8) Went to The Home Depot to get some soil and Geraniums but they were out of the latter so will go back next week and get them

9-14) Anthony and I went to the Jalisco restaurant

15-17) Holiday Park

18-19) There is a sign on this tree that they will be removing it but not giving any excuse. They do provide a phone number for information which I plan on calling. I know it is an old tree and could be diseased but I would like to know if that is true.

20) My podiatrist’s office—that was the second of 12 doctor appointments!!!

Luckily I had a car and could get to the doctor’s office in 15 minutes and get home in the same amount of time IF (more about that later) I wanted to!

Posted August 29, 2016 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized


When you walk out of a theatre shaking your head and asking yourself, “What was that all about?” a few questions follow such are you so dense you can’t follow the plot of a movie? Or was source material so unreliable? Was the screenwriter just not up to the job or was it the fault of the director? The actors and were interesting to look at and listen to even if you weren’t able to follow the story. Was it the fault of the director? The script? Or?????

Natalie Portman stars in “A Tale of Love and Darkness”. Natalie Portman directed “A Tale of Love and Darkness”, her first attempt as a director. Natalie Portman wrote the screenplay for “A Tale of Love and Darkness”, which is the third she has done. Did she take on too much? I am sure there wouldn’t have been funding for the film if she didn’t star in it and many actors want to direct but I think in this case she should have let the screenplay to someone else. Maybe the author, Amos Oz, of the book it is based on, an autobiography of when he was a child, wasn’t available, just didn’t want to do it or Portman felt so deeply about the story she felt she had to write it.

We don’t know if the story is being told from the mother’s point of view or maybe the son, an old man now looking back at his childhood or even the young boy himself. Is it a story about the mother and son’s relationship? Or the mother, father and son‘s relationship? Is it about the mother’s illness? Or the fantasy land she inhabits? Is it about the birth of Israel in 1947 and/or the relationships between Arabs and Jews? Is it about the cruelty inflected on the mother by her own mother or the disdain her mother-in-law shows her? A couple of her fantasies, stories that she tells her son, are cruel, while others involve a handsome hero who plays all sorts of roles in her life. Is it about all these things or none of them? With all the above there is not enough emotion to involve the audience with one exception involving the mother in a scene unaware that her son is watching.

Portman, the actress, as the mother Fania, Amir Tessler as the 8 year old son Amos, with the exception of a couple of scenes, Gilad Kahana, as the intellectual academic father Arieh, Moni Moshonov, as the old Amos, are all competently directed by Natalie Portman the director as is the ‘handsome hero’ played by Tomer Kapon. She does have a few missteps with Tessler but whether that is her fault as a director or his as a young actor is hard to tell.

“A Tale of Love and Darkness” is a film I can only recommend you see so that you can tell me what it was/is about.

Movie Trailer

Posted August 28, 2016 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized



“Southside With You” is a movie only for romantics and/or a date night movie and I being in the former category loved it for many reasons starting with it has been awhile since Hollywood has made an understated love story that is sweet, touching, at times funny and is about two people we think we know.

How true the events we see taking place are, how real the dialogue is or the imagination of the screenwriter really doesn’t matter as both feel real.

We meet Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama as they get ready for him to pick her up and take her to a meeting that she is interested in. Almost from the beginning of the film to the end she insists it is not a ‘date’ though it seems to be just that as he had picked her up way too early to go to the meeting and instead suggests they go see an art exhibit. Michelle feels it would be wrong to go on a date with a summer intern at the firm where she is his adviser.

We spend the day and evening with them as they walk, talk, have a sandwich in the park, go to that art exhibit, eventually go to the meeting which makes her look at him in a different light and go for a couple of drinks and then to see Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing”. Along the way they find out both little things—she doesn’t like pie but does like chocolate ice cream—and big things—his 2 year affair with a white woman—and watch them fall in love as they question each other, and themselves, as to who they are. They have serious moments as she explains the double whammy of being a lawyer who is Black and a woman in a predominately white male run organization and he judges her wrongly only to find out how strong she is really.

That we know who they are and how the day will end adds an underlying ‘feel good’ layer to the story. The director and screen writer Richard Tanne keeps the movie and talk on the right level of two very smart, educated, goal oriented people falling in love and letting the audience come along for the ride.

I was not familiar with Parker Sawyers who plays Barack but I walked out of the theatre being impressed with him. Tika Sumpter, playing Michelle, is another story!! I have watched, and hated, her in Tyler Perry’s “The Have and Have Nots” as a conniving, blackmailing, assertive bitch and it took me a few minutes to forget that character and accept her in the role that she plays to perfection in “Southside With You”.

Also I love learning things from going to the movies and aside from a few bits about the two leading characters I was overwhelmed by the art work of Eddie Barnes not being familiar with his name and/or work. Be sure to stay for all the end credits to see some of his work, in addition to those paintings they show at the art exhibit. I definitely plan to do research on the artist.

The opening song of the movie sort of threw me as being too jarring for a love story but that soon faded out and the later music was perfect.

For the wrong reason many people won’t be going to see this movie which will only be their missing a smart romantic story of two people falling in love, no matter what their names are!


Posted August 26, 2016 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized


Cabo Blanco Collage

Excellent service by a male and female server who looked like teenagers but in all likelihood weren’t. Restaurant is bright, inviting and comfortable. Food portions are large, taste excellent and fairly priced. The whole atmosphere was completely different, all in a good way, then it was years ago as a Jewish Israel restaurant.

I asked the server for a suggestion and when she immediately answered I told her fine. Now I wish I had asked her what it is and more about the dish and sauce because it was delicious. I usually will take a copy of the bill so I can get the server’s name, prices and dish name but this time all I got was the credit card receipt which didn’t tell me anything of that!

I am guessing that the dish was Picante De Mariscos ($16.99) from the description on the take out menu: Chef choice, shrimp, calamary, octopus in special sauce, served with rice but then it might have been Pescado A Lo Macho which also included a breaded filet of fish. In any case the sauce was delicious and I cleaned my plate not leaving a drop.

Anthony had the Arroz Con Pollo, Peruvian style, ($10.99) which was cooked in dark beer and had a cilantro sauce and raved about it.

I just had water and Anthony had an iced tea (no ice–it was fun seeing the server’s reaction!) so now that I am looking at the receipt I am sort of questioning the total as I had a groupon that was worth $30 so how I had to pay an additional $10 isn’t right as the food came to $27.68 plus 6% tax means the iced tea cost over $10???

The only reason I am pointing this out is that I was a waiter for over 38 years and I know to check a check before paying as mistakes do happen!

I left a $10 tip so altogether it came to $50 whereas it should have been $35 total including a 20% tip.


With all that I will definitely be back as I was impressed with all aspects of the restaurant and I want to try many items on the menu!


The Point 2 April 23 2016 (1)Being positive 24/7 takes a lot of mental work but even then there will be times/days/minutes that a cloud of negativity, depression will hit and all the talking to yourself won’t help. Sometimes it takes more than that whether it be the help of Mother Nature or just looking at the world around you.

For the last 17 years I found a place in the world no matter what is happening in my life, no matter what the weather may be, no matter how I am feeling but, especially if I am ‘down’, I can just walk to The Point, which is at the east end of the Gateway Terrace apartments where I live. It overlooks Karen Bay and sometimes, with weather change, in can be in Karen Bay! To the north is Sunrise Boulevard, a major east-west road in Fort Lauderdale but you don’t see or hear any noise.

At night, when the sky is clear, you see stars twinkling and during the day the sun shines brightly and the clouds are in all forms.

The Point is just a place of peace and wonder and works marvels on your mind to appreciate what you have and what is around you and any negativity disappears and you walk back to your place with a huge weight lifted and a pleasing smile on your face.


Posted August 22, 2016 by greatmartin in Uncategorized


tart cherry concentrate

I have been fighting gout now for about 3 years and all I can say about it is that having a gout attack is extremely painful. When it was first diagnosed I was prescribed allopurinol and until it kicked in to stop that attack I was first given MethyIPREDNISolone which is taken in exact amounts at exact times. As my ankle—yes, gout doesn’t only attack the big toe—was still hurting I was also prescribed Propoxyphen-APAP.

Due to the fact that I have been on Warfarin for 17 years—which is a blood thinner—I have to be careful of which pain killers I take.

Oh by the way don’t believe that old wife’s tale that gout is a ‘rich man’s disease—it isn’t!

I have had 4-5 attacks since first diagnosed and a week ago Friday it hit again. Usually it will take a few days before the pain subsides but this time it hasn’t and along with everything else it has been exceptionally painful. I took another dosage of the MethylPREDNISolone for the 6 days with no results and then started with the Propoxyphen and still the pain continued so then I took Hydrocodon with zero results.

I did check out google when I was first diagnosed and read all about the foods to avoid and what to eat but that’s about it—I read what it said.

I googled more yesterday and came across the ‘fact’ that cherries were known to lessen the pain of, and even in some cases prevent, attacks of gout. Having Allen’s car I decided to go cherry buying but little did I know that they were out of season. I went to Winn-Dixie, Publix, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s without any luck and finally at The Fresh Market I found cherries at $6.91 A POUND!! OUCH!! I was hurting so I bought a package which was 2 pounds. When I came home I did more research and saw that I was to take 20 cherries at a time. I did before going to sleep and still woke up in pain so I did more research. Turns out it had to be a specific tart cherry called Montmorency. Out I went again and all I could find was a 16 fluid ounce bottle of ‘Montmorency tart cherry concentrate’ for $12.99.  Heck that’s why it must be called a rich man’s disease!!

Reading directions I started with 2 tablespoons as a high potency dose and later as a drink using a 1-7 proportion. Well so far I have spent $26.81 on cherries/cherry juice and still have the pain!!!

Moral of this blog? I am not sure yet!



Posted August 21, 2016 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized


“Hell and High Water” is a very ‘odd’ movie!! For the first 75 minutes you wish it ‘would just get on’ to where it is going though it does have 1-2 minutes of hilarity supplied by Margaret Bowman as a sassy waiteress who wouldn’t take any guff from Jack Nicholson giving his order in “Five Easy Pieces” let alone from Texas Ranger Jeff Bridges! There is also a lot of give and take between Jeff, who will soon retire, and his Mexican-Comanche partner Gil Birmingham plus the bank robber brothers Chris Pine and Ben Foster.

The screenwriter Taylor Sheridan offers sharp dialogue between the various ‘couples’, including an exchange between another waitress played by Katy Mixon who is flirtatious with Pine and then haughty with Bridges who wants to take her $200 tip as evidence. Where the screenplay goes astray is when it delves into the why of the bank robberies and leaves the clever based dialogue.

The chemistry between older ‘black sheep’ brother Foster and the ‘baby’ Pine works from their first appearance to the end and Pine does clean up handsomely! The chemistry between Bridges and Birmingham is just as important between as it is between the brothers and all 4 pay off.

There is no ‘love interest’ per se but both Bowman and Mixon women steal the movie from the more ‘important’ roles of the men. After that hour and 15 minutes of the set up the last 27 minutes grabs you and will surprise the most avid movie goer.

“Hell and High Water” is a low keyed Western thriller cowboy movie  but that scene with Bowman is sure to remain in your herad long after the movie does. It is a classic segment that will probably be watched millions of times on Youtube!!

Movie trailer

Posted August 19, 2016 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized


15th Street Fisheries June 4 2016 Collage

I’ve experienced much better–at this same restaurant!! A few years ago I use to be a regular for dinner but it has been awhile. A friend was celebrating a birthday and wanted to take us out for lunch and picked this place.

Obviously having a new owner and being out of season hasn’t hurt the restaurant as it was crowded. Not given a choice I wasn’t aware that upstairs was open as I would have preferred eating there instead of being put at a table where I was almost on top of the party behind us.

From the beginning I was happy to see that the service was excellent and Marie did a good job from beginning to end.

We all started off with a cup of conch chowder of which 3 were served in a cup and the 4th in a bowl with the reason being they ran out of cups!! Two in the party had the coconut fried shrimp and one the calamari  rings while I had the Joe’s sizzler skillet. It was suppose to be fish, shrimp and scallops with hearts of artichokes and tomatoes in a white wine sherry sauce. Where to start? I am still looking for a scallop though I did find 3 shrimp and there was plenty of fish and instead of a sauce it was a paste while there was nothing sizzling about it. I did enjoy the side of slaw. Let’s not even mention the 2 rolls(?) served on the side of the skillet. No one said anything pro or con on what they were eating.

For dessert one had the Key Lime pie and said the one at the Sea Watch was better while two of us had the triple chocolate brownie–I have no idea what the ‘triple’ was suppose to mean but even a scoop of ice cream didn’t help!

Were they serving the dinner menu upstairs? Would we have had a better meal? I have no idea.

Sitting where we were we had no view to speak of so the atmosphere was just that of sitting inside any restaurant.

The only saving grace was the service.

Bottom line? It may be a few years before I go back!

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