Archive for January 2017


All of these photos were taken where I live at the Gateway apartments in Fort Lauderdale.

The first few were taken at what we call The Point! You see speed boats to yachts going up and down Karen Bay plus you will usually see Bill fishing. In this shot he caught a fish that he said was rare in these waters called lizard fish. It was too small—looked like a lure—so he threw it back.

There are always flowers no matter where you look at any time of the year but just in case I keep a ‘few’ growing in my apartment. These geraniums, on the south window sills, have been blooming for weeks while on the ‘table’ I set up in the east window is the Christmas to my unbirthday cactus blooms ongoing.

Whether it is the sun in daytime or the moon at night there is a certain light that envelopes our city.

While we have many birds here from wild parrots to woodpeckers to bluebirds every once in awhile you will see a dove sitting on a branch tree, all by himself, just observing the world around him.

And if you didn’t know it was winter/January all you have to know that it is time for “All-U-Can Eat pancakes” at IHOP! For those who are cold in 77 degrees temperature or most over air conditioned restaurants there is always Ox-tail stew which I had last week still working my way through the Cabo Blanco menu!




Posted January 30, 2017 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER


OMG!!! We had a high of ‘only’ 60 degrees today–folks this is Fort Lauderdale–and it is raining!!!!!
(No I don’t expect any sympathy/empathy from my ‘friends’–wait until tomorrow)
I just took these 2 pictures–talk about a crazy world!!

Posted January 29, 2017 by greatmartin in LIFE, WEATHER

“THE FOUNDER”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

A moviegoer enters a theatre with expectations whether it is seeing the star(s) or they have heard of the story line and, in some cases, who directed it. I walked in expecting a good performance by Michael Keaton and some of the more familiar names in the cast like Laura Dern and Patrick Wilson and not expecting much else. To my surprise, and delight, “The Founder” was a much better film than I had anticipated.

Based on a true story “The Founder” is about Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) who got control, many say stole, McDonald’s from two brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald, (John Carroll and Nick Offerman). They started the change of American restaurants by introducing ‘fast food’ using fresh items in San Bernadino, California. The brothers had things down to a science, even in some cases inventing equipment, treated their employees like family and took pride in all aspects of the business.

While the story focuses on the interaction between the two brothers and Kroc it is mainly about the latter. Did the brothers have a family life? You won’t find out. We do meet Kroc’s wife who spent most of her life supporting his schemes that never worked out and his secretary June (Kate Kneeland) who seemed to live in the office 24/7, along with some bankers, lawyers and investors.

There is no doubting that Michael Keaton has a load of charm and gives an excellent performance but even he can’t dispel the fact that Kroc didn’t care for people caring only for ‘the art of the deal’. Yes, there are many resemblances between the two men even though this movie was made long before Trump even started running for business. Are all very successful, money making men, as ruthless to threaten business partners that they will sue them until they will lose financially or be buried in paperwork so high that they won’t be able to take care of their business? Do these men not care about people and their families? As good as Keaton is he doesn’t make you overcome the fact that Kroc was not a nice guy, a ‘good guy’.

All the actors mentioned plus Linda Cardellini as Patrick Wilson’s wife, B.J. Novak as a financial adviser and assorted McDonald’s employees all do what they can as the screenwriter, Robert Siegel, doesn’t give them much time on screen. The brothers, as played by Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch, are as interesting as Keaton and more affable than the latter ever seemed to be. Is there room in the world today for people like the McDonald brothers?

Using the new idiom of the day Kroc was known for ‘alternate facts’ regarding his life and as good as Keaton is he doesn’t make you overcome the fact that Kroc was not a nice guy, a good guy.

“The Founder” is more than you expect it to be, not only from the actors, but little things like except for popular song sung in a restaurant I had to look up if there was even music in the movie! Director John Lee Hancock gives us a sunny USA pictorially even in the very down sequences where Kroc is being very much the ‘businessman’ and not like he is dealing with human beings.

While it is a good movie and I would recommend it “The Founder” is not a must see movie.

Movie Trailer


Posted January 25, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized


Despite what some people may think I do most of my eating, & cooking to eat, at home. To some extant I do that to keep my weight in control. (that’s another post—not that I am weight obsessive but I can tell you what I have weighed every Thursday—and Monday– since the last Thursday of March 1967!!! Who says I have a problem?)

I cook very simply for myself unlike when I use to ‘entertain’. I eat a lot of fish and change the taste by using a variety of spices. I will also use sauces but very limited—maybe a tablespoon at the most—as even hot sauce is high in sodium and I have to watch my intake of salt. I have even experimented using cinnamon or vanilla beans on fish! I do use unsalted chicken broth mainly to cook vegetables in.

For 50 years I have kept a food chart—revising it in 1999—keeping a record on calories, fat, fiber, protein, sodium, saturated fat, carbs and cholesterol intake for health and weight reasons. I weigh everything I use. I hear people moan and groan about all the work it involves and, I’m sorry, it takes, maybe, 3-5 minutes to weigh and write down ALL I eat.

Along with fish my basic diet at home is turkey and chicken with a little variety here and there.

For snacks I have unsalted mini pretzels, a couple of apples a day and for a lunch break it is 2 rice cakes with peanut butter. I end every evening with what use to be called a Weight Watchers milkshake and is now just a low cal smoothie!

I usually spend some time Saturday making up the meals for the rest of the week. I have stopped using my oven and stove doing most of my cooking in the microwave, a Crockpot, a George Foreman grill, a toaster and an electric teapot.

My basic evening meal consists of: a salad made with a whole Romaine lettuce, a tomato, 2-3 ounces of onion and a salad dressing I have made up of vinegar (various kinds), garlic, additional spices and 2 tablespoons of oil per 32 ounce jar. My main course consists of 6-8 ounces of protein, a pound of assorted veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, carrots, onions and/or tomatoes. I top it off with the shake consisting of 16 ounces 1% or reconstituted dry milk, 6 Sweet ‘n Low, vanilla extract, a 12 ounce frozen bag of various fruits such as peaches, all kinds of berries, mango, pineapple, etc.

My whole day of food intake for, usually, 5 days of the week, is under the maximum amount of nutrition intake allotted for men. By the way I have years and years of food charts and at the bottom of this post is a picture of the revised food chart I came up with in 1999 if you want to give it a try!

Food pictures




Date/food cal2000  sod2400  cho300 pro63  carb300   fiber30  satfat25 fat65    





Posted January 24, 2017 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

COOKING, AND EATING, AT HOME   Leave a comment

Yes I love eating out and will any chance I get but then again I really can’t afford that more than 2-3 times a week so I have to fall back on cooking foods at home the rest of the time.

At home I do ‘try’ to stay away from too much processed foods so I cook basics using various spices.

The microwave sliced apples are a cinch to make. I core them (with the dollar corer I got at the $ Tree!) first, slice them up put them in a micro safe dish, put some vanilla extract over them and sprinkle a few packets of Sweet ‘N Low over them. I nuke them for 6 minutes.

For the cheeseburgers I use the Foreman grill mixing some cheese in the meat. I like them rare so it doesn’t take very long to cook them and I then cut the thick burger down the middle. I toast the bread, use 2 different condiments, one on each, plus thick slices of tomato and onion, sit down and have a feast.

Fish soup is a quick and easy dish to make and I really do it the easy way by NOT chopping fresh vegetables but get a bag of frozen mixed veggies. I put them on the bottom of the dish and, sometimes, top them with salsa, other times with various spices. I buy a 4-8 ounce package of various frozen fishes which I defrost and layer on top of the veggies. I will add 2 cups of unsalted broth and nuke the whole thing for 6-8 minutes. There are so many variations between fish, veggies, spices, toppings, etc.

I’ve already given the recipe for the crockpot turkey—just check my end of November posts.

I will once in awhile go fancy making Shrimp Scampi or pasta al fredo from my old chef days. I have covered the stove burners and taped the oven switch so between the Foreman grill, toaster, microwave oven and crockpot I’ve done some improvising using food items you wouldn’t even think of and got some great dinners!

Oh yes, always a salad with dinner—a big salad—someday I’ll tell you all the variations I use making salads.


Posted January 23, 2017 by greatmartin in Uncategorized


Where to start? If you like VERY loud noise/music blasting out of the speakers you might like it. If you want to see more television sets (including 5-6 in the men’s room) all on without sound in one restaurant (wonder if they hold a world’s record?) you might like it.

If you like food that tastes as if it was taken out of a frozen box, or sauces taken out of a gallon jar, defrosted, put in a microwave and served to you might like the Tilted Kilt.

We had the Sampler platter ($13) which was made up of typical bar appetizers except for the pretzel served with 3 sauces. Allen had the Chicken Tenders with French fries and cole slaw ($11) and either he was sick or not hungry or they weren’t good as he didn’t eat the  slaw or fries. He had a diet coke ($2.99) and I had water.

For dessert we each had the Tilted Guilt Chocolate cookie ($6 each) plus .50 for chocolate sauce and .50 for caramel sauce which means the 2 cookies with ice cream cost $14. By the way the chocolate chip cookie was very, in fact too, soft.

The check came to $54.99 plus $3.30 tax plus a $10 tip coming to $68.29 but we had a groupon for which I paid $35 and was worth $64 causing a misunderstanding and a discussion with a manager who didn’t care to listen and had the attitude the customer is always wrong!

We were there from about 5:15 to 6:45 and were the only people eating dinner while there were about 6 or 7 customers drinking it was pretty deserted and this is a very huge place, deceptive from the outside.

The only positive thing I can say about the Tilted Kilt is that our server Chantelle did a good job.

Posted January 19, 2017 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, FOOD, Uncategorized



You get off to a bad start when you have ‘by the sea’ in the title of your restaurant and you are lucky if you will even smell the salt air let alone see a sea!!!

Okay we went for lunch around 3 PM and the place was empty. They had a sign wait to be seated and it took some time for someone to acknowledge us. There was a little to do about the menu since we had a groupon that said nothing about ‘only dinner’ which we discovered was changed after we bought ourgroupon. The manager came out and said he would give us the lunch menu like he was doing us a favor.

In any case, red being my favorite color and the predominant color of the decor is red, it made up for the menu ‘fuss’.

Our waitress Ailene G was pleasant and did her best to make the whole meal but sadly she couldn’t make up for the food.

We started with a dumpling appetizer $7.00 which really was very bland. Anthony had iced tea–without ice ($2) and I had a diet coke ($2) He ordered the Pepper Steak ($10.95) and I had the Fried Rice combo ($12.95) Anthony said he liked the Pepper Steak while I found the Fried Rice combo dry and tasteless. The combo consisted of 1 shrimp, 1 piece of meat and 2-3 small chicken strips served with onions, tomatoes and two slices of cucumber.

The check came to $36.99 while minus the groupon it was $5 and change and we left a $10 tip. Having been given the dinner menu first I thought the prices were very high and they were almost double the lunch prices. If the food is made the same way as the lunch meals were it is a losing proposition. It is a new restaurant in the area where there are Italian restaurants, the PomperdaleDeli across the street, steak houses, seafood restaurants, a German restaurant, etc. With the groupon it cost us $31 for lunch

Thai Moon By The Sea needs something special–actually good food at reasonable prices–if they want to make it here.

Meanwhile, right now, Cabo Blanco is the best restaurant deal for lunch!


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