Thursday, December 1, 2011

Enjoying Florida

The week after Thanksgiving is traditionally the time for our annual fall meeting of The Transformer Association, an trade organization that specializes in the transformer industries of North America.  This years meeting is at the Marco Island Marriott Resort on Marco Island, Florida.  Sometimes I like to mix business with pleasure and would have tried to schedule a fishing trip however it did not work out this year.  Located on the southwest tip of the Florida peninsula, I have to admit I love the area this time of year.  Although it has been somewhat cold for this time of the year (something that has plagued us the last 3 times we have been to Florida), it certainly beats Minnesota!  Tonight it is about 61 degrees, back home it's headed for 10 above.  The next 5 days here shows a forecast in the 80's while Minnesota should be making ice like crazy with temps not getting above freezing.    As stated earlier,  I think there will be walkable ice by December 10th, not a bad start.   The resort here is beautiful as the white sand beach comes right up to the hotel grounds.  Last night was a perfect time to take a picture of the sun as it sets over the Gulf of Mexico.  I am surprised the number of shells littered along the beach.  I would like to come back here and try my luck at offshore fishing.  The popular fish here is grouper.  I went to a restaurant last night and had their special, broiled grouper as well our banquet tonight also featured almond crusted grouper.  I love saltwater fish as it has a better texture and flavor than freshwater fish, and fresh grouper is no exception.  I fly home tomorrow and have been upgraded to first class so I am looking forward to a relaxing flight.

On Monday before I left for Florida my wife and I joined my good friend Bill Hogle and his wife Cheryl to see Leo Kottke, somebody I had quite honestly never hear of.  A little research indicated that he is probably the best acoustical guitar picker alive today.  Playing at the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis, I felt it would be a good opportunity to see a couple of things I had not experienced before, the Guthrie and Leo.  I was not disappointed.  Watching Leo play the 12 string guitar sounded like there were 2 other guys playing behind him.  I am fascinated by the ability of this man to control this 12 string with the precision of a surgeon.  Now I would have to also admit that I had never hear any of his music prior and only recognized the last encore song, a take on a 60's pop song.  Never the less it was extremely exciting to experience a new artist and I will probably seek out more of his music.  He did kind of remind me of my good friend Jeff King, a noted picker who's work is legendary in both Soldotna, Alaska and Mazatlan, Mexico.  Speaking of Jeff, I did stop at Everglades City and could not resist the need to stop at a local bait shop.  They had something I have been meaning to buy, a 12 inch cimeter knife to replace the knife that I had sold Rich.  It's a great knife as it makes the perfect instrument for cleaning salmon caught in Alaska as well as steaking out a large piece of venision. I can't wait to get it home and try it out.

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