Archive for July 2021

Summer/rainy season in Fort Lauderdale 2021   1 comment

We are having a HOT day here–‘feel like’ over 100 degrees–but that is expected in Fort Lauderdale in the summertime—only problem is the older I get the less I can handle the heat!! And you can’t jump in the ocean because the water is warmer than the air temperatures and the sand burns your feet but I LOVE living here!!This afternoon:  


2:25 PM90°F RealFeel® 102°Real Feel Shade™ 98°

The ‘rainy’ season is from May to September while the ‘hurricane’ season is from June to November so we have a double whammy from June to September. You’ll often hear ‘Well the rain will cool it off,” but that’s not true as it raises the humidity.

Mother Nature keeps in mind that we have many tourists here so it usually ONLY rains in the morning OR evening so they can go out and spend money!

I, usually, get up at 10 AM and by that time if it has rained everything is dry except for the water around the trees and in the driveway outside our building door! Another good sign that it has rained are the birds out on the fence looking for their meal whether it be fish from the canal or worms from the land.

By the way rain or not, morning or night you can always spot a few canoes in the water.

We have been pretty lucky in Fort Lauderdale as we have only had 2 hurricanes that have caused damage in the past 16 years and we can do without another one for the next 16 years!!  It seems Miami and north Florida get more hits than we do.

Time for a walk down to The Point.

Posted July 31, 2021 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

“Stillwater”–Movie Theatre Review   Leave a comment

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In 2007 an American girl, Amanda Knox, was sentenced to prison for killing her roommate when they were on a trip to Italy. Five years later the conviction was overturned and Ms. Knox returned to the USA. Screenwriters of “Stillwater” seem to have based the movie on the true story adding their own twists and turns and that is where the movie has gone wrong as it seems each of the 4 writers, Tom McCarthy, Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain and Noe Debre all had their own stories to tell so the movie is not only bloated and way too long but distracts from whatever ‘mystery’ there could have been. The climax of whatever happened comes across anti-climatic and after 2 hours an 10 minutes very disappointing.

I have seen most of the near 100 movies Matt Damon has been connected with either as an actor or producer or writer and he doesn’t disappoint here as the strong man who beat his alcohol and drug problems, believes in his daughter Allison’s innocence and gets to Marseilles as often as he can, eventually moving there. He has no understanding of the French language or how French law works. It is dropped in the conversation that his wife had committed suicide and never delved into, instead giving him a French woman who is into causes and has an 8 year old daughter who he can get close to as he wasn’t to Allison when she was young. Abigail Breslin is okay as Allison but her part,  as written, doesn’t make you feel any sympathy for her, which certainly would help. Lilou Siauvaud is as ‘cute as a button’ as the 8 year old while Camille Cotton as her mother, to me, was very hard to understand because of her French accent.

I have no idea what purpose Deanna Dunagan serves the film playing Allison’s maternal grandmother though the actress certainly gets across that she is too old and sick to travel. Various other actors such as Anne Le Ny as Allison’s lawyer are hard to understand as far as their accent or the soundtrack goes.

The direction by Tom McCarthy is too scattered though the director of photography Masanobu Takayanagi offers some beautiful shots of Marseilles in spite of the two time consuming, unnecessary scenes of Damon and/or Breslin swimming just add to the length of the movie.

Streaming has spoiled me with its fast forward and subtitles a definite plus but it was good to see that Matt Damon can still draw the people into a theatre.

Posted July 30, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MUSIC

Streaming reviews last week July 2021   Leave a comment

1) “Red Joan”–Prime Amazon–movie–1 hour & 41 minutes–Okay, I’m a crybaby when it comes to movies and Judi Dench never fails to make me cry even when she is in a comedy but “Red Joan” is not a comedy and though she is one of two playing the title role she is not in the movie that much nor does the screenplay let her get into the ‘why’ of her character based on a true story–SHE STILL MADE ME CRY IN A MOVIE NOT WORTHY OF HER

2) “The Cocina (cook) of Castamar”–Netflix–Spanish series–season 1–12 episodes–9 hours & 8 minutes–the servants are downstairs, the royalty is upstairs–scandals–royal scandals—Dukes, Queens, housekeepers and cooks–they are all here 

3) “DOM”–Amazon Prime–Brazilian series–Copacabana 1970s–I was there in 1972 and both ‘parts’ looked like that–4 leads–father & son–both when young and both older–IT HELPS TO REMEMBER THE SON IS A BLONDE, THE FATHER A BRUNETTE–THE FORMER A DRUGGIE AND THE LATTER A POLICEMAN AT ONE TIME

4) “Young Charlie Chaplin”–Prime Amazon–British series–6 episodes–2 hours & 48 minute–I am a big Chaplin fan BUT AFTER 2 EPISODES I COULDN’T GO ANY FURTHER–THIS ISN’T CHARLIE CHAPLIN

5) “Never Too Late”–Prime Amazon–Australian comedy–1 hour & 35 minutes–silly, stereotypical old folks jokes–YES ALL THAT BUT A SOLID CAST MAKES THE TIME FLY BY

6) “Panic”–Prime Amazon–series–season 1–10 episodes–7 hours & 33 minutes–I didn’t think I would like this but surprisingly I had to watch all 10 episodes–a little too many violent scenes–some crazy ‘game’ twists and some of the pairings are a little too much BUT I CAN’T WAIT FOR SEASON 2

Posted July 27, 2021 by greatmartin in REVIEWS, Streaming

Streaming Reviews for week of July 25, 2021   Leave a comment

1) “Cloudburst”–Prime–Movie–1 hour and 33 minutes–Olympia Dukakis died on May 1, 2021, and she will leave you laughing watching this movie–you have never seen her like this–she and Brenda Fricker are lesbian lovers Stella and Dot with the former a curser to put sailors to shame to while the latter is blind and can put a vibrator to good use–oh get your mind out of the gutter, not THAT way–FUNNY! WILD! TOUCHING!

2) “I Think You Should Leave”–Netflix–series–2 seasons–6 episodes each–3 hours & 15 minutes total–sketch comedy you would see on variety shows are gems compared to this garbage–THOUGH EPISODES ARE SHORT THEY ARE NOT SHORT ENOUGH!
3) “Young Royals”–Netflix–series–season 1–6 episodes–total 2 hours & 48 minutes–Really hated the villain–rooted for the lovers–had a ball watching it–overwrought love affair and villain and all–HOPE THERE IS A SECOND SEASON!

4) “Madame Claude”–Netflix–French film–1 hours & 52 minutes–True story of a famous madame with upper class clients and smart women, including one who is also upper class–far too many sex scenes leading to repetition leading to boredom and makes the ending anti-climatic–TRUE STORY OR NOT, WHO CARES?

5) “The Dreamseller”–Netflix–Brazilian movie–1 hour & 36 minutes–a sappy feel good movie THAT YOU WILL EITHER LIKE OR NOT–I DIDN’T!

6) “Charlie Says”–Netflix–movie like documentary–1 hour & 50 minutes–another movie about Charles Manson but this time seen through the eyes of ‘his’ women followers who will spend the rest of their lives in prison–NOTHING NEW ABOUT MANSON–A BORE!

Posted July 24, 2021 by greatmartin in REVIEWS, Streaming

“Joe Bell”–Movie Theatre Review   Leave a comment

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“Joe Bell”, currently showing in theatres, tackles a few subjects seldom touched upon by film from a father with a gay son, the bullying of gay teenagers in school, how families and strangers react to gay people, among the subjects.

Joe Bell, played with heart by Mark Wahlberg, is the true story of a small town, working class father who embarks on a solo walk across the U.S. from La Grande, Oregon to New York city to crusade against bullying after his son is tormented in high school for being gay. Reid Miller, as the gay son, gives a ‘right on’ performance.

Joe has a temper which doesn’t help making the lives of his wife and 2 sons very easy, even having his gay son question what his father is doing and if his father really accepts him.

I really don’t want to get too much into the film as I wasn’t aware of Joe Bell until I saw it and I would like those who don’t know him to discover the man I discovered watching the film. I’m a sucker with father and son stories and, unashamedly, I admit to crying during the latter half.

Some (famous) critic said this film ‘feels like a huge step backwards’ and yet the problems are as prevalent today as they were 40 years ago which makes it even more shocking to see a film that shows what is happening today.

The only negative criticism I have is that should have been  filmed in a linear  fashion to be more powerful and moving.

Please stay to see the ending credits.

To educate yourself and understand what happened with Jadin Bell please become familiar with

I, also, highly recommend the book “Gay Like Me: A Father Writes To His Son” by Richie Jackson (which I wish I had written!)

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Posted July 23, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, FILM REVIEWS

Streaming reviews week of July 18, 2021   Leave a comment

1) “Dirt Music”–Hulu–Australian movie–1 hour & 44 minutes–beautiful scenery–Timour Island–Dampier Peninsula–SADLY A BORING STORY & A LOT LEFT UNEXPLAINED

2) “Mr InBetween”–Hulu–Australian series–3 seasons–season 1–6 episodes–2 hours & 30 minutes–Ray is basically everyone’s caretaker even if he is a hit-man–AS FUNNY AS IT IS VIOLENT & IT IS VIOLENT

3) “Murder by the Coast”–Netflix–Spanish documentary–1 hour & 28 minutes–a wrong person found guilty, because of media coverage, until the truth comes out–VERY INTERESTING, INVOLVING FILM

4) “Fatherhood”–Netflix–American film–1 hour & 50 minutes–based on a true story–by the numbers with a good performance by Kevin Hart as a widowed father raises his daughter by himself–VERY EFFECTIVE, MOVING FILM

5) “Macho”–Netflix–Mexican film–1 hour & 41 minutes–straight male designer pretends to be gay–OFFENSIVE TO EVERYONE–GAY AND NONGAY

6) “The Best of Enemies”–American film based on a true story–2 hours & 13 minutes–do you know what a ‘charrette’ is? (I didn’t!) It is defined as ‘majority vote rules’–though you know where/how it will end even if you don’t know a thing about this 50 year old event YOU WILL BE TOUCHED AND BE SURE TO STAY FOR THE END CREDITS TO MEET THE REAL PEOPLE

Posted July 21, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“Summer of 85”–movie theatre review   Leave a comment

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(In French with subtitles)Just being a teenager is complex enough but to be the  new boy, Alex, in town, 16 and from a working class family, to fall in love with 18 year old David, a Jewish boy whose father recently died and left a thriving business to his wife and son, could drive him crazy.As Alex states he is in love with death and it is not a spoiler to say we find out why the picture opens with him handcuffed and being taken by a police officer through the hall of a police station.

“Summer of 85” touches on a lot of subjects and the two actors, Alex played by Felix LeFeb with Benjamin Voisin as David, deliver with both being completely different characters, from the point of their meeting ‘cute’ and their relationship from that point.

Most gay teenage movies bore me as I can’t/don’t identify with the leads because as a teenager coming out my life is completely different from theirs as shown in film. (I believe being raised in New York city and Miami Beach had a lot to do with that!) I identified with Alex as a boy who falls in love with everyone and anyone he meets/goes to bed with and David who enjoys flings but loses interest very quickly.)

The one hour and forty minute film held my interest but at the end I felt it should have been more moving  but then I didn’t write and/or direct the movie.

Posted July 20, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Kraft Deli & Bistro review   Leave a comment

First and foremost, most important to me, Woody, our server, was excellent.

The decor seems uncompleted but is bright and inviting.

Parking can be a problem as the meters in front are not working correctly and the parking on the south side, without meters, is usually full. There is a free parking lot in the back of the restaurant but when we arrived it was flooded.

We were there at lunchtime and I don’t know if they offer the dinner menu during the afternoon though the to-go menu does state ‘deli hours and bistro hours’. The menu we did see is varied from deli sandwiches to a Cuban sandwich to soups and assorted platters.

We both had the Kraft Bomber sandwich (Pastrami, Corned Beef, Swiss Cheese, Russian dressing, coleslaw, $15.75 each) with a choice of sides being coleslaw, potato salad or macaroni salad and a pickle and, which is rare, we both ordered the same side. Allen had a diet soda ($2.75) while I stuck to water.

The macaroni was dry but, even more important, served in a small cup, which resulted in it winding up all over the under-platter it was served on. It should either be served in a bigger monkey dish and/or, even better, with a spoon.The filling of the sandwich was excellent but disappointing was the very hard crust on the rye bread.

With tax and tip lunch ran a little more than $20 each.

Posted July 15, 2021 by greatmartin in RESTAURANT REVIEWS FORT LAUDERDALE

And the drama continues! :O)   1 comment

Called a cab at 1:30 PM to go to my 2:10 PM appointment at the ‘walk in’clinic. Cab didn’t show but a neighbor did and I asked Larry to drive me to CVS which he did. He was willing to wait but I told him I had no idea how long it would be and that I would call a cab or uber or lyfte!

The easy part was the nurse practitioner gave me an exam and came to the conclusion I had ‘allergic conjunctivitis’ which was not contagious. She said she would write a prescription that I could pick up here at the CVS pharmacy. (Yeah! Like life is easy!) I was surprised at the diagnosis as I have never been allergic to anything but I was glad it wasn’t ‘pink eye’. She said I should go see my eye doctor and/or primary doctor if the eye didn’t look better in 24-48 hours.

I walked over to the pharmacy and it being Sunday there wasn’t anyone I knew behind the counter. I gave the lady behind the counter the prescription and she said it would be ready in 10 minutes! Are you ready???? 30 minutes later when I asked how it was doing she said I would have to come back tomorrow as the register was down and they couldn’t bring up my records, charge for the medicine, etc., etc. I, very politely—yes, calm, quiet, nicely–called the pharmacist over and explained that I had to take cabs yesterday, a cab today, and unless he was willing to pay for a roundtrip cab ride tomorrow,I would need the eye drops today! I further explained that they had my medical record, the meds I had filled there over the past 10 years plus they had my address, phone number and credit card on file. I told him, very politely—yes, calm, quiet, nicely–STILL–that he could charge me when the register was working again and text or email me a copy of the bill. To my surprise he did!

I left CVS and called for a cab and was told that if it didn’t arrive within 10 minutes I should call back as they were having trouble with the dispatchers.

Long story short–I left home at 1:30 PM, the CVS is 5 minutes away from where I live and I got home at 4:30 PM.Just put an eye drop in the eye, having coffee, relaxing and proud of myself for how great I had acted in the pharmacy!!!Hopefully, this drama will NOT be continued!

Posted July 11, 2021 by greatmartin in GAY

One of THOSE days!!   1 comment

Hope you didn’t jump too far out of your seat when the pictures came up!Yesterday when I woke up I had a little red in the corner of my left eye but wasn’t too concerned. Last night it was all red but I thought that might be due to my rubbing the eye even though I tried not to. Just before I went to sleep I looked at the eye and it was as if there was a ‘label’ over it and all I had to do was peel the label off but I wasn’t about to chance it.

Today I was concerned and instead of going to the ER or asking Allen to take me or Mac if I could borrow his car I decided I would go into the walk-in clinic at CVS which is covered by my insurance.

I did the estimated cost of uber versus lyfte versus yellow cab and, as always, the latter was the cheapest. With the CVS I decided I would take the cab, called it, picked me up in 10 minutes and I was there for $4.55 + tip. I was going to ask him to wait but didn’t know how long it would take and rides seem to be readily available for a Saturday I went in. I thought maybe I would have a 5-10 minute wait and started filling in the information until I reached “There are no more appointments available for July 10, please pick one for tomorrow while they are available.” An appointment for a walk-in clinic?!?!? WHAT?????

I went over to the pharmacist and he couldn’t (?) wouldn’t (?) do anything so I went back to the ‘walk-in’ clinic and made an appointment for tomorrow. No way was I going to go to the ER! I called for a cab, got the same driver and came home!

Long story short—or at least shorter–when I got home I called my insurance and immediately apologized to the representative who answered the phone, telling her I knew it wasn’t her fault and continued to tell my story. After I asked who could I talk to who might be able to get something done she said the best she could do is send in a grievance for me and, possibly, get my cab fares refunded!

My poor Aetna insurance rep is going to come into work on Monday to hear my ranting and raving even if the ‘walk-in’ clinic does something about the eye at tomorrow’s appointment!! Besides the red-eye there is still the pacemaker problem pending–and now I will drown my sorrows in carrot cake!!! Carrots being good for the eyes might be the medicine I need!

Posted July 10, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH

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