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Musings: How the World Turns! Manatee Convention; A Warning Sign; Nature Quiz; Snackie Choices; Romance on Wheels

A few years ago My Lovely Bride gave me a great Christmas present… a globe on a stand. It had been years since I had one, and it remains a treasured possession. Every now and then I will close my eyes, spin the globe and let it stop under my finger, and see if I know of or have been to that country or area. I preformed this task yesterday, and the globe stopped on the northeast coast of Brazil, near the port city of Recife. 

I was only there once, in 1974, on a voyage back from the Persian Gulf aboard USS KOELSCH (FF-1049), shown here in moderate seas taking green water over the bow. She needed fuel, and we made a two day refueling and R&R stop in Recife. Our soccer team was invited to play a Brazilian Navy team, so 14 of us boarded a minibus and proceeded to the game. In most ports, pick-up games like this are normally attended by the wives and children of the opposing team, so we expected about 20-30 spectators for our match. Imagine our surprise when we rolled into a big soccer stadium with 10,000 cheering Brazilians… unbeknownst to us Americans, we were playing the Brazilian Navy’s national team. Fortunately, our center forward, Ltjg Mark Young, had been captain of the US Naval Academy soccer team just a few years earlier. Miraculously, within the first three minutes of the game, Mark had scored the first goal, and the fans roared. The game ended with the score Brazil 3, US Navy 1, but the hospitality and friendship shown us by the Brazilian Navy and the citizens of Recife was fabulous. I had told this story to MLB (several times, in fact, over the past 20 years), and she always smiled and wondered how much of it was factual. Then a few years ago we happened to bump into one of my shipmates who had been at the game, and he said, “Hey, wasn’t that soccer game in Recife something? 10,000 spectators, and we only lost 3-1.” Suzanne looked at me with wonder, and I knew she was thinking, “You mean that story was for real????” (Oh, ye of little faith….)


Recently Terri of the Frozen North visited us here in The Villages, and we joined her for an adventure in Crystal River swimming with the manatees. There were about 20 of these gentle creatures in the water that day. After Terri returned to Coon Rapids, Minnesnowta (current temperature 2 degrees F), she received a note from a friend with news that a manatee convention was being held at Three Sisters Spring where we had been swimming, and the spring had to be closed because several hundred of the marine mammals had congregated there. As you can see from the photo, there is no room for people!

While driving back from a hike in the town of Altoona, Florida, I stopped at a gas station for fuel, coffee and the rest room. This sign in the men’s room made me stop and wonder about the maturity (or lack thereof) of some of our citizens…


The next photo is the subject of this week’s nature quiz. Identify the object in the photo with something more than just “It’s a cactus.” and send your entry to me at The person submitting the most correct and entertaining entry will win breakfast for two with Der Blogmeister and His Lovely Bride. (Please limit entries to 1,000 words or less.)

Food is a common theme on this blog, and I must report that my tastes (occasionally) are revealed to be at some variance to those of My Lovely Bride. Recently we were both ready for a mid-morning snack, and Suzanne asked me if I would like some applesauce. I replied, “Applesauce? Like ground up apples? Are you kidding? I wouldn’t want to deprive you of that pleasure. You take the applesauce; I’ll have that cinnamon roll…”

Finally, I am often chagrined when I hear (some) women (unjustifiably) accusing (some) men of being less than romantic. Being a sensitive, New Age kinda guy who makes a point of getting MLB flowers whenever I think about it, I look for ways to show her my romantic side. I was walking in town recently when I saw this golf cart, whose owner is obviously another very sensitive and romantic man…

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