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Posted on September 30, 2009 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay31 Comments »

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I had to go quite a long way back to find you a ‘K’ for this week’s ABC Wednesday.  All the way back to the years 2001 and 2002, when we took our holidays in Florida two years running and toured the amusements on offer down there.

And what a lucky coincidence – we stayed in Kissimmee!  Here’s the rather lovely house which we rented -

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And here’s the kitchen in the lovely house in Kissimmee which we rented.

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There’s even a kettle!  That’s because the people who own this one are English.

We did the amusement parks, of course, and one of the places we took the boys was this Krazy House -

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Wonderworks was great fun!

But it wasn’t all theme parks.  One of the places we visited was the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral.  I believe it’s changed its name a couple of times, so forgive me if I’m less than accurate on the actual title – but trust me; when we went, the word ‘Kennedy‘ was somewhere in there, so it’ll do nicely for this week.

And the Kennedy Space Centre, unlike the theme parks, was not exactly fun.  It was more than fun. It was awesome and edumakashunul!

Here is the entrance, where you have to pay at the kiosks -

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And once inside, it was dropped jaws all around, starting when we were shown this building.  I don’t know if it’s still true, but we were told it was the biggest single enclosed space in the world, and it’s where they assemble the rockets before trundling them out to the launch site.

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There were a few vehicles on display outside, including this space shuttle – Explorer.

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And this display of random rockets. I have no idea what they all are, but no doubt some of you can contribute a name or two.

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Can you imagine how many tons of fuel it takes to provide the kinetic energy to throw these things into space?  No, me neither. It’s mind-boggling.

This bobbly green object is a Russian capsule whose name completely escapes me but it looks as if it comes straight out of Dan Dare.  Men orbited the Earth in that dinky little thing!

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But it was Saturn V which was the star.

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See the size of that thing?  I mean … look at it!  And that’s the one that made OH cry.   Here’s Son No 2 – who was just a kid of sixteen at the time – giving his father some emotional support.

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Isn’t that sweet?  He looks slightly bemused, as he watches his Dad wipe tears from his glasses, but there you go.  He didn’t live through this part of our history, so it’s understandable it didn’t have quite the same effect on him, whereas OH has long had a love affair with the space program, so the Kennedy Space Centre was the one place he did not want to miss. And Apollo V was high on his agenda.

And I have to say I found it awe-inspiring and fascinating, too.  Did the boys like it?  Well, they were boys.  Of course they did!

Posted on September 28, 2009 in Uncategorized by Jay23 Comments »

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I thought I should make the title quite clear for those who are arachnophobic and might not want to look.  After all, a spider is bad enough if you can’t bear them.  A Macro Monday spider might induce heart attack, and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for that!

This is a Common Cross Garden spider – Araneus diadematus.  As the name suggests, they are very common indeed here in England.  Quite harmless, beneficial insects, and also quite beautiful – at least, to me.  If you see one, leave it be, because this species takes larger insects, including wasps.

OH is arachnophobic, but he’s a lot better than he used to be. Living with me has helped, I think.  Instead of backing out of the garage, locking the door behind him, and vowing not to go back in until next year, he came to tell me I might want a picture of this one – and he was right!

Beautifully framed there against the window, and perfectly backlit, there she was.  And by the look of her, quite a new, young specimen.  She seems so sparkly and pristine!

Her web is a bit untidy, though, isn’t it?  Maybe she’s still learning to spin?

Posted on September 27, 2009 in Hounds by Jay12 Comments »

Taken at a Meet & Greet for Kama’s Cave greyhound rescue yesterday.

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He’s a great ambassador for greyhound adoption!  So was the lovely Poppy.

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Do you remember Rizzo? The Very Lazy Greyhound? I’m sure regular readers will remember him, because he’s such a character, but if not, you can read about him here.

Today I logged onto Greytalk and found out that Rizzo has had a birthday! He is ten years old, and still as cute and lovable as ever. Seems he’s so cute, he gets his own birthday party, and even his own cake!

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That’s his girlfriend Kiwi with him, hoping for a taste of that cake herself, and I’m assured that she did get her share. Well, it’s a bit rude to scoff the whole cake yourself, even if it is your party, and Rizzo is far too gentlemanly for that.

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I doubt they played party games or drank too much lemonade, even though they look like kids in their Sponge Bob hats, but it looks like they had a good time, doesn’t it?

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Yes. I’m inclined to agree. Completely, totally, utterly spoiled. The pair of them!  Just as it should be.

As well as celebrating his birthday, Rizzo is also celebrating another very important milestone. He is now one year cancer-free.  He’s a big, bouncy, mad puppy-dog of a ten-year old, much as my little Pirate Jack was.  And Kiwi is a quiet, gentle, elegant girl who just loves to sleep – very similar to The Princess.

M, their human servant, tells me: ‘Kiwi basically deals with Rizzo’s wild nature and usually rolls over and ignores him, like any older, annoyed sister would do!’

That’s a little different from Princess Renie – she would yip and bark at Jack to keep him in line (from the comfort of her bed, naturally), but for all that, just like these two beautiful dogs, they loved each other and were very good friends.

Rizzo and Kiwi will be going to Dewey Beach this year, so hopefully I’ll meet up with them there and say hi to the lovely Rizzo and his girl in person.

If I see someone in the distance with a Very Lazy Greyhound slung over their shoulder like a sack of potatoes, I’ll know exactly who they are.