Photo of the Week – Volkswagen Spider

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Did you think this photo of the week entry would be about a small sporty Volkswagen convertible?  Ha!

This is a picture I took in a junkyard in North Palm Springs, California. There were some other crazy metal sculptures there but this one has always amused me the most.  I guess the people there at Hole in the Wall Welding just like to have a bit of fun.

As you can see the spider body is most of an old VW bug and the legs are some kind of huge tubes. Menacing spikes jut out from the leg joints.  It watches over the junkyard as though waiting for innocent people to get caught up in its terrible web! read more

The Big Day is Here!

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Yes – Sunday February 7th – at last the big day is here!  Grocery stores have been selling stacks of party trays, tons of chips and salsa, all manner of custom cakes, and cases and cases of beer.   Millions of excited people are eager with anticipation for the events of today.

Yes, here it is finally, dear hundred million fans – the big event is here at last – the new weekly blog post from The Working Stiff!! (Taking deep bow.)

What – you were thinking of something else? How could you be! read more

The Big Easy Doggie

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I have only been to New Orleans once, and it was for about 22 hours. My parents had earned a free round-trip flight from one of their credit cards and had given it to me.  For one reason or other I was unable to use it for most of that year and it was early December that I realized I needed to use it within a few weeks or it would “go away”.

I was traveling regularly for work at that time and had lots of Starwood hotel points, which meant that I was able to get a free room at most any Sheraton or Westin hotel. I was out of vacation time though, or close to being out, so I needed a quick trip.  I got out the map and started thinking about where I could fly to where there would be a decent hotel and where there were interesting things to see and do.  Flying Continental from Philadelphia was somewhat limiting as Continental is not big there and I didn’t want to spend hours sitting in some connecting hub. read more

Coney Island

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Mrs. Working Stiff is from the Detroit area, having grown up in the “down river” suburbs south of The Motor City. Back in the day when she was out late dancing or at a club with friends and it was time to find a place for some late junk food, the gang would drop in to a local “coney island”.  Not a coney island as in Coney Island, but a coney island as in a coney island.   Put down the cheese fries and raise your hand if you’re not confused yet.

I’m from the great state of New Jersey, which is considered by many to be the world headquarters of the type of restaurant that I’ve always call The Diner. Big on breakfast all day, burgers, meatloaf, and other short-order cooking and simple comfort foods.  Diners are frequently built to look like a train car – a “dining car” – and are frequently clad in stainless steel and chrome, but that isn’t strictly required. read more

Photo of the Week – Cocodimama Resort

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Some of us need another photographic warm-up after all that snow shoveling over the weekend! Today’s picture is of the Cocodimama Resort on Eleuthera, in the Bahamas.   (The actual full name is Cocodimama Charming Resort.)  I must say that is a strange name but it certainly is a charming place!   About 10 minutes north of Governor’s Harbor, the resort sits on beautiful Alabaster Bay, on the sheltered west coast of the island.

In 2013 it closed down for a major renovation and re-configuration and now specializes in renting out as one property to large parties of 20 – 30 people. With a nightly rate in the neighborhood of $1900 per night, it is probably not somewhere that Mr. and Mrs. Working Stiff will be seeing again anytime in the near future!  Realistically though, it could make good sense in a variety of situations.  Hosting a destination wedding for example.  Four nights would come to a base rate of $7,600 which is not all that much in wedding terms.  (Though almost twice the total cost of our wedding.)  Or for a company executive retreat – what the heck – it’s all a write-off!  Another way to look at it might be if you had a bunch of friends that wanted to pitch in for a fantastic week at the beach.  Seven nights for example, for six couples, would only be about $2200 sand dollars per couple – starts to not seem quite so crazy.  Coordinating that many people to commit to the travel and who would actually cough up the money in advance – hmmm.   If you can pull that off we are probably not moving in the same social circles. read more

Milk, Bread, and Toilet Paper

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Well, another storm has come and gone and with it the usual stampede of millions of people rushing to any possible store to by milk, bread, and toilet paper. Yes, milk, bread, and toilet paper are apparently the big three items sought in these manic pre-storm shopping trips.  I’ve been doing some googling on this broad topic and while I find many people talking about it and joking about it, I am also finding it hard to get to any real explanation.  The reasons for these items being at the top of most people’s emergency list seem to be some sort of government secret.  People joke that a storm is coming so we must prepare to sit on the toilet and eat French toast.  My best guess about the milk and bread is that parents are concerned about having kids stuck at home and are preparing to be able to dole out glasses of milk and peanut butter sandwiches.  As for the toilet paper, I don’t know. Seems to me that you should always be careful not to run too low on that. read more

Photo of the Week – Vanishing Point

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Today’s Photo of the Week entry comes to you by virtue of the fact that I brush my teeth frequently.

Over the past few weeks I have spent some hours browsing through tons of jpeg files on my hard disk as well as digging through hundreds of actual paper photographs. (Yes, I still have piles and piles of those!)

I’ve been keeping an eye out for weird or simply interesting pictures for which there is an obvious story or that I can construct a story around.

Which brings me to the brushing of the teeth. I was standing in our master bathroom the other day doing just that and my gaze settled on my custom-painted bathroom door. read more

Scared Stiff

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The young boy was frozen with fear, the sheet mostly covering his face as he lay still in the twin bed, afraid to make even the slightest movement that might reveal the fact that he was only pretending to be asleep. Just coming out of an early morning deep sleep cycle as the bright Block Island sun streamed through the bedroom window, he had come fully awake at the creak of the bedroom door as the mutilated killer had pushed it partially open to peer into the room.  He knew the intruder must be looking at him and his older brother, still asleep in the other bed across the room, watching for any signs of movement and deciding who to attack first.   The boy didn’t understand how the killer, one of his legs no more than a mangled bloody stump, had managed to steal so silently into the house. read more

Photo of the Week – Two friends on St. John

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While working on my recent blog entry regarding a comparison between the town of Cruz Bay and the “settlement” of Coral Bay, I had occasion to click through hundreds of St. John photos. This picture of these 2 resident donkeys caught my eye and I just think it’s a really fun picture.

All around the Virgin Islands there are many very wild areas where it is common to see a few of these guys or frequently larger groups of a half-dozen or more. On a side trip some years ago to the British Island of Virgin Gorda, I remember seeing someone’s car stopped in the road by a group of them, with one actually standing on the hood of their car!  Perhaps they were in cahoots with the local officials and this was some sort of toll-collection scheme – I don’t know. read more

Cruz Bay vs. Coral Bay

Harbor view in sleepy Coral Bay
Harbor view in sleepy Coral Bay

I’ll stay out of the global warming discussion on this blog, but it certainly is the case that we have been having some strange weather lately! Today it is drizzly, grey, and in the high sixties, while my in-laws have reported that they are experiencing blizzard-like conditions in the Detroit area.  Of course, for them, that lake-effect snow is always lurking out there over those vast lakes, ready to pounce.  Mrs. Working Stiff has lamented the possibility that we may not see snow this year, but it’s really too early in winter to consider that possibility.  In any case, as the chief operator of both the snow thrower and the snow shovel, the thought of no snow is not all that terrible to The Working Stiff! read more