Archive for September 2018

My Life September 2018 Part 1   1 comment

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Some things in my life are constant such as the beautiful, day or night, good or bad weather, of The Point overlooking Karen Bay at the east end of our Gateway community. Though we are situated in a busy part of Fort Lauderdale you would never know it because it is always quiet, serene there even with yachts, jet skis, canoes, paddleboard, kayaks, motorboats, etc., in the water and planes of all sizes overhead.
As I do every month I tried new foods, enjoyed eating out and, after a few years, bought a new robe to loaf around the apartment with.
Also, it looks like I was one of the lucky ones who got the U.S. Census form to fill out–anyone else?
One of the negatives living in an ‘old folks’ community is the arrival and sounds of ambulances coming and going at all times of the day and night. You learn, very quickly, if you haven’t seen anyone in a few days not to ask about them! I’ve taken a few trips with the Medics to both Broward General and Holy Cross hospitals and they are a great crew but it sort of makes me think when they recognize me!
I know life is going on and is good every time I look at my Geraniums and, like every month for the past 6-7 years, they are in bloom–this month it was the pink ones and I can already see the red ones getting ready to bloom in October.
Life is good folks!
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Posted September 30, 2018 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

Press & Grind Cafe Review Fort Lauderdale   1 comment

Press and Grind Sept 28 2018

Press & Grind


Only one negative about Press & Grind but we will leave that for last!

The positives:

1) No television   2) Free parking garage with elevators letting you right outside of entrance to restaurant  3) A lot more than just a ‘juicery & coffee bar’ 4) wide selections of sweets, sandwiches, salads, Acai bowls, toast snacks 5) yes a wide variety of smoothies, ‘rx energy shots’, juices, expresso drinks, frapps, etc.  6) a really excellent crew  who work together 7) Joe, the manager/owner who has no problem interacting with customers and whether he believes it or not at least makes the customer feel ‘the customer is always right’. . (I had a 2-4-1 coupon and forgot to give it to the cashier. When I realized later what I had done Joe was at the register and took care of the whole situation, including the fact that we didn’t get the drinks we were suppose to, without and negativity!)

8) We both had the Chicken Club ($9.75 each) which was excellent. Allen had the Iced Tea ($3.45) and I had the house blend coffee ($2.25) Joe was even pleasant and not condescending when we discussed a ‘club’ sandwich having, or not, 3 slices of bread!

9) Though Press & Grind has a maximum capacity of 40 it is a good looking, cozy feeling, good spacing between tables bright restaurant.

Okay, time for the negative and that is just my personal feeling–Press & Grind Cafe isthisclose to being a full service restaurant with the staff delivering the food and beverage plus also cleaning the tables after you get up–no if only they would take the order at the table.

Okay, okay, that’s me, nit picking!

Go to Press & Grind and enjoy!

Posted September 28, 2018 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, FOOD, RESTAURANT REVIEWS, Uncategorized

“The Children Act”–Must see movie   1 comment

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It is not surprising to see a mesmerizing, completely involved performance by Emma Thompson as a British judge who is an expert in family in “The Children Act” law nor is there any question that in any movie Stanley Tucci would do a solid job, here as the judge’s husband of 20 years but does the name Fionn Whitehead ring a bell? Until I just looked up his credits and even after that I didn’t recognize him or the name as the young man who played the protagonist in last year’s “Dunkirk”.

Whitehead, a 21-year-old, plays a 17 year 9-month-old Jehovah Witness with leukemia whose parents will not allow him to get a transfusion that could save his life. Being under the age of 18 he is not considered an adult and therefore has no say in the decision. This is an actor and a face I won’t forget again and the superb performance he gives with and opposite Thompson!

Aside from being about the judge who acts as the protector, agent and guardian who follows the British Children Act of 1989 we also see the price of a person who has to decide life or death constantly in her private life.

The thrust of the story is really the repercussions after the major decision is made. We also see the workings behind the courts and how a clerk, played by Jason Watkins, has many duties to perform so that all runs smoothly being important to the judge, the court and the law. As the parents of Whitehead, Ben Chaplin and Eileen Walsh don’t get as much time as they should but impress with a decision, no matter whom their God is, parents have to make.

The film, written by Ian McEwan, based on his novel, is an adult drama, a courtroom story, about moral responsibility, love, intimacy and, at points, heart rendering. The direction of Richard Eyre is felt in a number of key scenes though both the writer and director, in small ways, don’t ring true.

“The Children Act” is a must-see film not only due to the performances of Emma Thompson and Fionn Whitehead but also being a picture not heard about that should be making a lot of noise.

Movie trailer

Posted September 28, 2018 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

“A Simple Favor”–movie review   1 comment

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Do you like a comedy/mystery or a mystery/comedy? How about a fashion show with Blake Lively wearing more sharp 3 piece suits than any man has ever worn in one movie? Why not a modern home that just yells “MONEY”?  Anything against a cute boy using the F word and getting laughs? How about a ‘better than you will ever be’ fashion designer? How about all these in one movie?

In “A Simple Favor” over volunteering single mother Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) is thrilled to be befriended by successful, busy Emily Nelson (Blake Lively) and is more than willing to pick up her son after school which soon becomes a habit. It doesn’t take long for one day Emily does not show up to pick up her son and, after 4 days, Stephanie not only becomes a mother to Emily’s son and become concerned about Emily’s husband Sean (Henry Golding) but also decides to search for her friend.

“A Simple Favor” is not only about a murder, husbands, wives, friends, kids but also having fun watching a movie, being confused by what is happening, not being sure what happened and leaving the theatre with a smile on your face, not caring that you really didn’t understand all that went on and fifteen minutes later forgetting all about it.

Anna Kendrick, as Stephanie, who does a home vlog every day, has that goofy act down to the point that gets every laugh, even those not written in the script by Jessica Sharzer. Blake Lively as Emily has different looks in the movie aided by costume designer that keeps your eye on her and makes her believable whatever persona she chooses. Henry Golding, in this his second movie, shows he was no fluke in “Crazy Rich Asians” and looks better in jeans than any man has a right to!

Joshua Satine as Stephanie’s son and Ian Ho as Emily’s kid with the potty mouth are fun while Andrew Rannells as one of the parents at school aids and abets Anna Kendrick in the comedy department while Bashir Salahuddin as a detective, Rupert Friend, as that snobby fashion designer and Jean Smart in her second blink and you’ll miss her appearance all make this a comedy/mystery and mystery/comedy movie.

I recommend “A Simple Favor” if you want to have a laugh with Kendrick, watch Golding’s career rise, maybe have a martini served in a frozen glass and a lemon twist added with Lively or just a movie that asks you do nothing more than sit back, laugh and, maybe, figure out the twists and turns of a murder.

Movie trailer

Posted September 25, 2018 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

Need/want a job tomorrow?   1 comment



Unlike most people, I don’t use to do searches as I prefer where I get the same answers faster plus I get ‘rewards’. Each time I make a search, do their daily quiz which doesn’t even take a minute or read the news so I can catch up on what I missed sleeping the night before I get rewards and they add up quickly.

Right now I have 11-$5 egift cards for Target. I need Epsom ink cartridges and I can get one of each color (4) for $50.88 plus I will get a 2% discount since I have a Target red card. If I want I can get it mailed without paying shipping. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

On Saturday I had this mental picture of shoppers ready to kill me because the poor cashier would have to scan 11 egift cards (actually printed out sheets of paper—mmmmm—what the paper and ink cost?  Oh well)–so then I made mistake # 1. I went to the bing page, then the Microsoft page and finally the Target website. After 20 minutes trying to find an answer to how I could solve that cashier’s (and my problem) I was able to ‘chat’ with a rep and after 20 minutes (anyone keeping track of time?) he said he wouldn’t be able to wait until I check out something he suggested as it was against the rules, that I could always come back to the chat page (and start from the beginning explaining what the problem was?)

Looking through the Target website page—and it isn’t readily available—I finally found a phone #. It was Saturday evening—bet you didn’t have an exciting Saturday as I was having!—so I wasn’t sure if I wouldn’t get a ‘call back Monday’ message but I didn’t as someone immediately answered the phone!

After explaining what the problem was he said he would help me but first saying I could only use 4 egifts at a time unless combined the 11 I had. I didn’t say “Duh!” but politely said, “How do we do that?”

Okay, I could go on for a couple of more hours but let me just say I had to give him first the 15 numbers of the gift card and then 8 access numbers which he then had to type into whatever computer he was using. With having to repeat most of them let’s just say it took over 42 minutes!

And here it comes—after it was all done he said I would have to go to the Target store’s service desk and give the person behind the counter all the papers and she/he would have to combine them all IF he/she could!!

Guess what I will be doing tomorrow? Yep, probably spending a few hours on the Target line until after I talk to the person behind the counter who will have to eventually (or I will insist on them) call the manager.

Still I see myself having to go in and out of the Target store 3 times in order to use the 11 egift cards to get the ink cartridges I want/need—4 of them twice and 3 for the last!

Good thing I am retired. :O)


Posted September 24, 2018 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Home delivered meals test!   Leave a comment

Home delivered meals

Posted September 22, 2018 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

“Life Itself”–a movie review   1 comment


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I am a sucker for a love story and “Life Itself” has 3-4 of them intertwined with at first very little connection and requires the audience members having to do some thinking and keep the various times tracks in mind.

I very seldom, if ever, read critic’s reviews before I see a movie and I had already made up my mind to see this movie as I am a fan of “This Is Us” and never miss it on Tuesday evenings. Dan Fogelman, who produces and directs that television show, also produced and directed this movie. Rotten Tomatoes professional critics gave it a 13% rating while the audience gave it a 73% rating and gave it 21 negative reviews, 7 mixed and 1 positive. Folks, that 73% audience rating know what they are talking about!

As the narrator says, “…life is tough, it brings you to your knees, but you get up and keep going because you never know when happiness will rise from the ashes.” The large cast shows just how true that is, all giving sharp performances.

Samuel L. Jackson has the opening scene, which is misleading, in the first of the 5 chapters that the movie is divided into. Jean Smart, throwing off a funny one liner has very little to do while Mandy Patinkin and Annette Bening, in their cameos, add classy scenes. Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde are college sweethearts who start the story as lovers who propel the rest of the story. Sergio Peris-Mencheta is a standout after being introduced in chapter 3 along with Antonia Banderas who shows why he is still a star. Laia Costa as a young bride continues the story giving birth to a son, Alex Monner, who goes to college in New York, meets Oliva Cooke who brings chapter 5 to an end.

The large cast is directed by Dan Forgelman, who also wrote the script, and like the director of photography and production designer Gerald Sullivan, scenes from New York city streets to olive plantations in Spain run smoothly and move from scene to scene smoothly. The only jarring note, for me as I am not a fan, is the music of Bob Dylan.

While “Life Itself” is not a must see movie it is a lot better than most movies in theaters—anyone for “We the Animals”?—now and all those million of “This Is Us” fans will definitely enjoy the approach, script, direction and production values of this different movie.

Movie Trailer

this life

My doctor is going to sue me!   2 comments

Robe new

Posted September 19, 2018 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, Uncategorized

“We the Animals”–movie review   1 comment


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I stopped hating people about 40 years ago just as I stopped hating ‘things’ 30 years ago but I have never stopped hating movies that I walk out of thinking “What the hell was that about?”, going home, reading a dozen critics that raved about the movie and not understanding what they are raving about!

I hate a 90-minute movie that seems like 3 hours and gets nowhere and worse than all I hate talking about the movie and thinking people will point a finger at me saying I am writing spoilers when how can it be a spoiler when it doesn’t add or diminish from a nonstory?

Is “We the Animals” about 3 brothers constantly running here and there, screaming, robbing a store, at one point having nothing to eat, at another being thrown into the water so he will learn to swim or their beating on their father or being shirtless most of the time? Is it summertime or is it they just don’t go to school?

Or is it about kids running around without supervision just so the director can have camerawork showing kids being kids and being like all kids would like to be when they don’t have to answer to adults?

Is it about a kid realizing he is gay? Is it about a supposed pedophile? Is it an excuse to show some porn?

Is it about a man beating his wife who he loves and her staying because she loves him? Is it about the parents loving their children though both working different jobs at night so the kids have to sleep where the father works?

Is it about life for one family in Utica, New York?

The 3 kids play their roles, the dad is masculine looking, a loser but not shown that way with all he has, the mother acts stronger and weaker than the role calls for and the few supporting characters do what is asked of them except the one that might or not be a pedophile.

I don’t know what “We the Animals” is about so please go and tell me what you saw and heard, aside from some beautiful set scenes with kids being kids, brothers being brothers, when they are left alone.

Movie trailer

Posted September 17, 2018 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

The world’s worst cook?   4 comments

I know one shouldn’t talk bad about one’s mother or disrespect a parent or say anything against the dead but there is no getting around the fact that my mother had to be one of the worse cooks anywhere!
Whether it was eggs or steaks she burnt everything or she would boil something until there was no taste left!
I know as soon as I left home I wanted rare steaks, soft boiled eggs and good looking and tasting food so I started to live in the kitchen experimenting with things I never heard of and using spices which was so rare in any thing I had had as a kid.
I must confess my ‘bible’ became the “Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer and I still have my original copy. Over the years I believe I have made every recipe in that book and followed every bit of advice offered when it came to preparing to cook and the actual cooking.
One thing I learned and have never let go was the love of kitchen gadgets. Now I don’t go crazy either buying or using them and I certainly don’t spend a lot of money on them.
The items in the picture are ones I bought at The Dollar Tree store.
I really love the peeler as it fits on your finger and I couldn’t list all the items I have peeled with it from cucumbers to potatoes to carrots among other things.
The onion slicer is easy to use and since I am a big onion user it saves a lot of time, not to mention finger cuts.
Being a believer in ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ (though it really doesn’t work) I have an apple every day and that corer makes things easier plus can, and is, used for other food items.
Lately I have been stacking up on microwave gadgets for cooking and am–just thinking–of getting rid of pots and pans that I have had for years.
Should I ever have to choose between a gadget or a slice of carrot cake I would have to give it a lot of thought! 

Posted September 15, 2018 by greatmartin in BOOKS, FOOD

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