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We Have a Winner; Second Sally; Say What? Fat Tire Festival; Giant Lust?

Our Photo Quiz (identify the object at right) created a mini-tsunami of entries from all over the US, Canada and even Scotland. Here are some of the answers/guesses we received, grouped by category:
A. Food
– Bacon (Mary Ann, Lynette, Hans, Donna, Michael, Jerry, Lois and Elaine)
– Bacon, or your arteries after ingesting same (Rosemary)
– Bacon, applewood smoked, sizzling, not to be confused with bacon flavored begging strips (Suzanne)
– Bacon, frying (Trish)
– Fried bacon or red licorice (Connie)
– Sauce or garnish on a food (Barbara)
– Frozen salmon covered with plastic wrap (Nancy)
– Filet of fish with some scales (Jeanine)
– Croissant (Stephanie)
– Chicken enchilada (Bob B.)
– Apple- or apricot-filled pastry from Panera or Starbucks (Steve)
– Frozen meat covered in plastic (Terri) 
B. Animals
– Back of a bullfrog (Christi)
– Some portion of a poisonous toad spotted while I was biking (Jan S.)
C. Minerals, chemicals or vegetable materials
– Tree sap (Karen)
– A salt lamp (Cara)
– Pine pitch (Tom)
– Molten lava (Bob)
– Part of an iron meteorite on Mars in an image taken by NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover “Opportunity” in 2005 (Elsa)
-Yellow slime mold from my yard (Catherine)
– Someone stripping varnish off a piece of furniture (Jan) 
D. Medical Conditions
– A bad case of shingles (Carole)
– A scrape on my knee from mountain biking (Lynn)
– The over-tanned, leather-like skin of a “mature” Floridian covered in plastic or Vaseline (Terri of the Frozen North, who is just jealous that we have warm sunshine in Florida while her home state of Minnesnowta is still covered with ice and snow)
E. Abstractions or other categories
– Looking up to the blue sky through the branches of a tree, perhaps a bonsai tree (Mary and Jeanine)

Good answers all, but mostly incorrect… except for Stephanie, from Bella Vista, Arkansas, who correctly identified the object as a croissant. The image was taken with a macro lens on a Nikon D-7000 DSLR camera, and the croissant in question was shortly thereafter happily consumed by the photographer. Congratulations to Stephanie, who will receive lunch for two with Corvette Chick and Your Faithful Correspondent when (a) we can get The Coach to Arkansas, (b) get Stephanie to The Villages, or (c) get Stephanie to one of Suzanne’s workshops or speaking venues. Thanks to everyone who participated, and we will have another Photo Quiz next week… “Watch this space!”

We were graced today with visitors from our past. Greg and Marie, of the Sailing Vessel Second Sally, arrived for their first visit to The Villages. We had first met these very experienced cruising sailors in Porto di Roma Marina, about 20 miles outside Rome, Italy, where Second Sally, a Peterson 44, and our sailboat Liberty were spending the winter of 2005-2006. We had both just crossed the Atlantic for the first time, but Greg and Marie have since found that ocean crossings are too much fun to only do once, and have now crossed “The Pond” four times.

We had hoped to enjoy lunch on our lanai, but a cold front has come through and the weather was too brisk to sit outside, so we set up a wine, cheese, bread and foo-foo olive oil feast inside. We ate, swapped sea stories and caught up on news of other sailing buddies, especially our mutual friends Anthony and Annette (A2) aboard Magnolia, a Morgan 44 now enjoying the Bahamian Out Islands. Greg and Marie are considering their next voyage, possibly to the South Pacific, Australia and maybe even Japan. We wish them Fair Winds and Following Seas!

My Lovely Bride loves new electronics, particularly things associated with her iPad and iPhone. In the Navy, she might be called a gearhead or twidget, but those appellations are not totally accurate, because they imply that the person likes to fix things as well as use them. Suzanne’s mechanical and electronics abilities are pretty good (for example, she installed a new electric water pump on our sailboat while I was away on travel, and on a second occasion even repaired the electric head, AKA a marine toilet), but now she prefers using complex electronics rather than repairing electrical and mechanical boat gear. She recently ordered a set of wireless Bluetooth headphones, and when they arrived, of course she immediately looked at the instruction manual. (She’s obviously not a guy, because as most wives are aware, “Guys don’t need no stinkin’ instructions!”) After reading the manual twice, she had this perplexed look on her face when she said, “Ty, listen to this. ‘Can also be un-experienced operator on the designated button to switch operation sound, but need to mobile phone support…’ Did you understand that?” The correct answer is, of course, “No, Dear, that is very confusing.” (One learns to say “Yes, Dear” and “No, Dear” often when you are an Honor Graduate at Husband Prep School. But in this case, she was absolutely right, the instructions were probably written by someone in a small town far from Beijing without access to a Starbucks barrista for translation assistance.)

To assuage My Lovely Bride’s minor frustration with her headphone instruction manual, I suggested we go for a ride on our favorite mountain biking trail. Coincidentally, there was a Fat Tire Festival going on at Santos Trailhead in Ocala, and I thought it would be neat to look at the latest bike technology. This turned out to be one of my Poorer Decisions. Our bikes are several years old, and since we ride them almost daily during our 6 month summer tours, they are getting quite well-worn. Additionally, being low-end models, they are quite heavy. But I did not expect that we would be trying out potential replacements at the bike expo. Here is Suzanne suiting up to test ride a bike designed by and for 20- and 30-something women….it’s called the Giant Lust. Really.

I should have realized what was happening when we stopped in at one bike tent and told the young guy what I was riding, and he started laughing. Okay, they were muffled laughs, sort of like “Geez, Dude, only Grandpas ride Diamondback Overdrives, and 29ers are so, like, slow and clunky and retro….” What he actually said aloud was, “Sir, you might be interested in trying our new, 2014 all-carbon 27.5 Anthem Advanced Team model with 1-11 drivetrain, carbon wheels and RockShox full suspension… it’s a radical XC rocketship that will blow your socks off.” Anyway, after leaving credit cards and being fingerprinted, photographed and retina scanned to ensure they could identify us 20 years from now, off we rode on bikes that cost as much as used cars. We rode an intermediate level trail, much more twisty and faster than we are used to, and we were amazed by the handling, speed and agility of these bikes. It was like going from a 1968 pickup truck to a 2014 Ferrari. But all good things must come to an end, and Suzanne rejected my suggestion that we tell the bike shop guy we had encountered a band of aliens who beamed the bikes up into a saucer and left us tied to a tree…So, no decisions to buy were made, but we are awaiting quotes to see if a second mortgage is required before we can get new wheels…


  • Unknown
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Ty, you make me laugh! Keep amusing us all because we all need to laugh. Life gets too serious and we forget to look at the positive. Again, keep it coming Ty.

  • Debbie Svitavsky
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    OMG you guys make me laugh!!! What a fun blog 🙂 I would love to see you both when you make it out to Colorado. Please give me a call! Debbie Svitavsky

  • Unknown
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Ty you make me laugh out loud always. It's great to read your blog and know what a blessing you are to Suzanne and to all us that follow you. Keep the laughs coming Ty!


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