Archive for October 2018

I will not move again!   1 comment

For the first 63 years of my life I averaged moving every 5 years. Between my being born until I left ‘home’ I lived in 3 different places and after the Marines  between 1956-1969 I lived in Hollywood, California, for a year, 4 different apartments in Miami Beach, 3, that I can remember, in Manhattan before moving to Memphis where I lived in 2 different places in 10 years of which 7 were at 5921 Park Avenue.

In 1979 I moved to Fort Lauderdale and until 1999 I changed living places 3 times and then 2 things happened. The bad was that I was financially in very bad shape in 1997 and, luckily, I had a few friends who were willing to help me out (and, yes, I paid them all back!) While I was going through that period my friend Perry told me about looking into getting on a HUD home listing. I put applications in 3 different locations and a week before I might be sleeping in my car I was called to come to Gateway, that my application had been approved. I was relieved primarily because of the 3 places I had applied to this was the one I wanted to move to and I did.

I moved into what was called a small one-bedroom apartment but, according to rules then, after I lived there for a year I could apply for a large one bedroom apartment which is what I did. Not expecting it to happen it took 5 years (!) for me to move into the apartment I am in now and have been in for 14 years.

Over the years I have had some bad things happen to me but more good than bad and moving here was more than a lifesaver, it gave me a life and helped me be a happy, more satisfied old man than you will ever meet.

There is no more peaceful place than The Point, especially late at night, sitting there in a big city not hearing any noise except, maybe, a plane passing overhead. The sky is filled with stars and a moon that is reflected on the water of Karen Bay. The Point is at the east end of the Gateway property and one can’t sit there without knowing they are lucky to be where they are.


Posted October 24, 2018 by greatmartin in LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

“First Man”–movie review   1 comment

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Two momentous events happened in July 1969. The first being watched on television, by an estimated 400 million people, was Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon July 20th and the second, after spending the weekend in Memphis I decided to move there, a move that would change my life in many ways. I’ll leave it up to you which was the more important!

“First Man” deals with the landing of the moon where the outcome is already known so for the director Damien Chazelle to a make nail-biting, the edge of the seat last half hour of suspense shows an excellent accomplishment following his work of  “Whiplash” and “La-La Land”.

Neil Armstrong, played by Ryan Gosling, is a man who is disciplined to not show emotions, even in the case of his daughter’s death, to others so the actor gets a lot of credit making this man interesting enough to want to watch and for you to hope he succeeds. It is Jan Armstrong, played by Claire Foy, who provides the personal emotion, especially in a scene where she tells her husband that he is the one who has to tell his kids that he might not return from his mission to land on the moon. She has another dynamite scene where she tells a NASA official that they are all just little boys playing with balsa wood not knowing what they are doing.

The actors surrounding Gosling and Foy, from government figures to fellow astronauts and their wives to politicians are a list of talented actors whose name may not ring bells but their faces are instantly recognizable and they all deliver. To name a few: Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Pablo Schreiber, Olivia Hamilton, Corey Stoll, Lukas Haas, Patrick Fugit, Christopher Abbott, Brian D’Arcy and Cory Michael Smith.

The opening scene and a couple of others are shots that had to be included to show what these men were up against and why Armstrong was picked to lead the crew for the flight to the moon but knowing where the movie is heading sort of makes it drag during the first hour.

Space films like “Gravity”, “The Right Stuff” and, yes, “2001: A Space Odyssey” are meant to be seen on a 30-90 feet wide by 10-30 feet high movie theatre screen and so should “First Man”. 


Movie Trailer

“But you don’t look 14!”   2 comments

With all due respect, you kids (anyone under 60) shouldn’t believe the lies that old people tell you!

Age is NOT just a number.

You are NOT as old as you feel.

60 is NOT the new 40.

Should I go on? Your body will tell you first thing in the morning when you try to get up that, yes, you are old. The medicines in your cabinet tell you that you are old. Doctor visits tell you that you are old. Now I can go on and tell you all the ways you will know you are old but we weren’t told so why should I spoil your fun (and moaning and groaning) as you find out.

But, and this is a big but (not to mention that most of you will get a big butt as you age!) getting old is great in many ways such as you know that worrying is a waste of time!

Let’s not talk about all the ‘specials’ you get such as reduced restaurant bills at Denny’s or the fact that you can rant and rave in restaurants, after you have cleaned your plates, about how bad the food is, how horrible the service was and the manager will pick up your check just to get rid of you. You can got to supermarkets on certain days and get 20% off. (And there are a lot more financial advantages off-set by higher medical bills!)

Complaining is an art for old people as is telling the young know it alls that they don’t know anything until they become old people who do know it all.

Biscuit, Mimi and Dallas, in the picture, are constantly told that ‘you don’t act 14, as they say out loud, ‘how old you really are in dog years?’. (Let’s just say Rian is over 14! LOL)

I constantly hear, “You don’t look/act like you are 82/83 years old!” in a surprised voice. Then when I tell them I am actually 20, being a Leap Year baby, they are silent!

What does a 82-year-old man look like? I live in a community of about 300 seniors and, let’s say, a third are men. I can line up 5 guys in around 80 and one will have a walker, another will be carrying an oxygen tank, the third will have just returned from a jog to the beach and back while the 4th will be in a wheelchair being pushed down to The Point. I am the 5th–the one who drank too much as a youth and had to stop (January 21, 1981, when I was 45) because I was having blackouts. I’m the guy who smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day for 60 years and stopped (July 21, 2008) when I had to have an aorta valve replacement. I am a guy who ate all the wrong foods for years and lost 100+ pounds in March 1967 when I was 31 and for the last 50 years have been fighting between 11 and 25 pounds (depending on the month of the year).

I have PAD, fight high blood pressure and cholesterol, am a pre-diabetic, have AFIB, COPD, take blood thinners among 13 other meds, see a primary doctor a minimum of 4 times a year plus 6 specialists at least once a year and take a home test every two weeks to get my INR count.

“You don’t look 82!” Thanks but you haven’t seen my insides! I look in the mirror and I see the kid that will be 21 on Saturday, February 29, 2020, but when I get up in the morning or walk the steps up to my apartment or go to climb a step-ladder to hang a picture I know what 82/83 looks like!

Hey keep on saying “You don’t look 82!” and I will say “Thank You” because I have learned how to accept a compliment without adding ‘but’.

Oh yes, I promise to never say “When I was your age…..”.

Posted October 22, 2018 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, personal life, Uncategorized

Shake Shack–review   Leave a comment

From the sublime to the ridiculous–from lunch yesterday at the Bistro Mezzaluna  to lunch today at the new Shake Shack that opened this week.

I had a cheeseburger ($5.59), small French fries ($2.99) and on Michael Mayo’s suggestion a chocolate shake ($5.29) so plus tax came to $14.70

Having heard about Shake Shack for years and about people standing in line for hours to get one of their burgers I was looking forward to this opening and I wish I could say something more than the hamburger bun was good. There was nothing wrong with the burger except it wasn’t worth $5.59. I prefer a sharp cheddar cheese on my burgers but that wasn’t offered. The fries were really tasteless and the shake certainly nothing special.

The fast food restaurant, divided into an ordering section and some steps away the pick up section. The restaurant seating area is an l-shape room with televisions available no matter where you sit. In no way is it a ‘shake’.

The bottom line is if I am going to spend $15 for lunch I would rather go to a full service restaurant with a good size burger and my choice of cheese.

Posted October 19, 2018 by greatmartin in RESTAURANT REVIEWS, Uncategorized

A doctor with a sense of humor!   Leave a comment

On July 21, 2008, I had a porcine (yes, they put a pig’s in a Jewish boy! And I keep reminding him about it!LOL) aorta valve put in my heart. I was told that the lifespan of one was 8-10 years and though I am not a worrier I did want to know what the signs of it starting to fail were so I would be aware. That meant a trip to my cardiologist which I knew would lead to a second trip for an echo-cardiogram—I hate being right about such things! and I have another appointment for that on November 1.

The doc told me that some have been known to last 20 years and that the 8-10 figure was ‘average’. He added that even if something goes wrong they won’t have to open my chest again as there are many ways to fix it without that procedure.

Meanwhile, he was quite pleased with what he ‘heard’ when he listened to my heart. He, also, was happy with my blood pressure reading so all in all things look good.

Talking about being right–on October 29 I go to my vascular surgeon and I know he too will want me to come back for a cat scan of my legs. Why they won’t schedule the appointment before I see him so I won’t have to go back for a 3rd time for the results I don’t know except maybe he wants to buy a new Mercedes only he said next year he wants a Rolls Royce!!

I did enjoy the ‘notes’ in the cardiologist’s men’s room–one of the assistants mentioned more pictures are taken of those 2 signs than they take of hearts!

Posted October 17, 2018 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Uncategorized

“Tea With the Ladies”–movie review   Leave a comment

What could be more fun than spending 80 minutes with 4 female senior citizens who have been friends for years? How about 800 minutes or a lifetime?!?

Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Maggie Smith have no problem making fun of the Dame title but they are at the same time proud of it and having it presented to them by either Queen Elizabeth or Prince Phillip.

The 4 ladies have no problem ‘dishing’ themselves, each other, their husbands, their co-stars, sometimes their work but they are very respectful of the theatre, more so than the movies or television they have done.

The 4 women get together every year at Plowright’s Sussex home, where she lived with Laurence Olivier, to hear what each has been up to and some of the past. We see snippets of film from past experiences only making us hungry for more just as we want more of their reminiscing of the various mediums they played in and talk about why some succeeded and others didn’t.

Plowright, now blind, and Atkins may not be as well known as Dench and Smith but all are given equal time to talk about their looks, or lack of them, when they started, though nothing is referred regarding the #METOO so prevalent today while the casting couch was part of the norm when they entered the theatre world, let alone the world of film.

Instead of drinking water or tea and a toast of champagne at the end, it would have been a lot more fun if it had been reversed though all 4 Dames don’t hold back in expressing their feelings nor letting their laughs come through whether laughing at themselves or each other.

Hopefully there is another hour or two that was filmed of “Tea With the Dames” and will be released on the DVD version but don’t miss this just in case!

Movie trailer

Posted October 16, 2018 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES

Making my old apartment new   1 comment

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                                 (New blinds and hurricane windows)

There have been a lot of changes to the Gateway Terrace apartments, where I live, since Hurricane Irma hit and since a new company bought the property.

On the negative side is that fact that hundreds of trees, flowering bushes and fruit trees are gone along with many gardens that residents grew using their own money, spending a lot of time, energy and enjoyable hours maintaining them.

On the positive we finally got a new roof on our building—the only one blown off—after 10 months.

In the apartments we have gotten new cabinets in the kitchen, bathroom along with new hardware, water saving toilets, a ceiling fan, a new air conditioner that doesn’t seem to be working (at least in my apartment!), new hurricane windows, new blinds and, soon, new entrance/exit apartment doors.

The last thing that is supposed to be done are all the outside of the buildings to be repainted in new colors.

Before—I thought I had a video of the whole apartment but this is just the living/dining room area!



Posted October 15, 2018 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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