When spring hits the Florida Panhandle, we often get invaded by college students looking for some warm days on the beach and hot nights in the clubs, like La Vela, Spinnaker,and Sharky’s. Another group that invades the area are the Scots and their kin that love to show off their island culture at many of the Highland games that start their national tours in Florida. This past week, Cleave and I were able to go to two events celebrating Celtic heritage, one, in Panama City Beach, was the Celtic Heritage Alliance’s 25th Annual Panama City Scottish Festival and Highland Games.
This was a fun time not only featuring really big dudes in kilts throwing hammers, stones, and cabers, but lots of Clan information centers, vendors setting all kinds of bonnets, kilt pins, and Scottish fashions, and some caterers featuring foods like Scotch Eggs and Rumbledethumps. There was even rugby! Read more...(459 words, 1 image, estimated 1:50 mins reading time)
PIYAN (pi’ an) – n. (acronym: “Plus If You Act Now”) Any miscellaneous item thrown in on a late night television ad.
They seem to be pitching all kinds of $19.99 inventions at us these days, everything from mineral make-up to wine glasses that hold a 750 ml bottle of wine to special baking pans to make individual chewy brownies or jeans that feel like pajamas. Every one of these items tends to come with a PIYAN, that is somehow related to the item they are pitching in these infomercials. They could be anything for a double-up on the original item or something completely different, like a ginsu ninja-to blade or a complete set of make-up sponges and brushes. Tru TV even has a show devoted to these items, aptly named, “World’s Smartest Inventions”. Now I don’t know if I want a mobile stripper pole mounted on the back of any pick-up truck I may have or might own, but I suppose it might be a big hit down on Panama City Beach during. Not exactly sure what the PIYAN for that item is, but as I have to go do some real work now, I will never know. Read more...(214 words, 1 image, estimated 51 secs reading time)
I really did not know what to expect when I first started playing Fairway. There were sport commentators, and I was running a Tri-Peaks solitaire-style game, but playing a golf simulation at the same time. The background music and commentators gave a nice feel to the game, reminding me of Happy Gilmore and Caddyshack. It even kept score at each hole, and told you how far under or over par you were. There is prize money to spend at the “pro shop” and even trophies. The only golf I have ever really played is at Pirates Island mini-golf, and variations of such, since I live not too far from Panama City Beach, but combining Tri-Peaks with golf was really a great idea, and the game became very addictive and fun. There was even a timed “fever” level as a challenge. I haven’t picked a driver since 1980, and considering that I live in Florida, that is far too long of a time. I’m not sure if I’m really to hit the real fairways down at Hombre Golf Club, but if the real game is as addictive as Fairway, I just might have to give it a try.
Oenophileophobe: The fear of being stuck at dinner with someone who likes to flaunt his knowledge of wine.
Everyone likes the chance of getting to go to a fancy restaurant. The food is usually better than what you usually make at home or get at the local quick-service eateries or delis. If you do get the chance to feast on something worth more than standard paycheck, be careful that you don’t let your dining partner know that you might be an oenophileophobe. These snooty people just live and breath their universal knowledge of the vino, and even though they might know which year is best for what region, and which grapes might have gotten hit by a blight in 1964, his or her incessant lecture about your choice of beverage makes you really wish you had ordered a beer. These are the guys and girls who know exactly what wine should go with each course, from soup to dessert, and will never let you forget it. If you are lucky enough to have ever have been to the Panama City Beach Winery, then you know that these snobs really don’t know everything, but enjoy the dinner anyway, especially if they are paying. This tirade will only last about as long as a horror movie, and in the end, you will still end up safe and sound in your own home. Read more...(254 words, 1 image, estimated 1:01 mins reading time)
Glamp (glamp) – n. The telescopic device used to retrieve golf balls from ponds.
I’m not one to hang about golf courses. In fact, the closest I get to a golf course is Pirate Island Adventure Golf in Panama City Beach. It seems there must be more golf courses in Florida than any other state, and most likely more than there ever was in Scotland, where the game was invented. So, if you do live near a golf course, you most likely have seen maintenance crews using a glamp from time to time. Those golf course water hazards really are not that deep, and it seems their true purpose is not to make golfers lose a few strokes on their score, but as a refuge for fresh water creatures like frogs and small waterfowl. Using the glamp might slightly disturb this little habitat, but only until the maintenance guy leaves. One might wonder how long it took the creators of the game to come up with the glamp, if they ever did at all. Glamp usage is not something we get to see on ESPN, Golf Channel, or ABC Sports, but if we do somehow get to see this unglamorous behind the scenes bit of clean up on TV, just remember the guy who is using the glamp is more likely going to get more air time than we ever will.