Sunday Miguel, his best gal and I went to see The Boss. Unfortunately I only brought the camera phone along so I aint got no pics of it nohow. Good show though. Bruce is the quintessential showman. Aspen's brother stayed at my place and watched her. This was his first time ever babysitting her believe it or not.

Then last night Aspen and I traveled to Margaritaville. This was her second Buffett show. The last time he was here, 2 years ago, it poured and we had lawn seats. So this time I shelled out the extra bucks for seat seats. In fact by the end of the show we had wormed our way up to 5th row. Aspen managed to stay awake for the whole show but zonked out immediately upon getting in the car.

Behold, pics!

ps. in case you missed it: a few weeks ago southpark took the opportunity to make fun of jimmy buffett and his song 'cheeseburger in paradise'. always the humorist, jimmy showed scenes from that episode on the big screen as he played hiss hallmark song. aspen thought that was hysterical. she is not allowed to watch southpark but she knows it is a show that i watch which is too grown up for her. so she got to see a minute of it and there was nothing i could do.



Some months ago I made a subconscious decision to not bother posting anything political.
It's not even really worth going into why. All I have to say on such subjects is so elementary and basic that my opinions shouldn't enlighten anybody. I'm no investigative reporter so it's not as if I report or editorialize on anything that isn't seen in any national paper or show.
But I wanted to bring this up not because it boils my blood (if I posted on everything political that irked me I would have nothing else to do but post).
I was looking up Jimmy Buffett's set lists from this tour to see what might be in store for Aspen and me tomorrow (pictures coming!) when I noticed that Jimmy Buffett had played a private show on February 4th.
No big deal right? Sure wish I was in a position where I could hire him out every time I went to the pool myself. If you're going to have someone play a private party for you, J.B.'s the one to call all right.
Then I noticed where the party was... Nassau, Bahamas.
Then I noticed who the party was for...
The Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Sales Conference
Bear Sterns (another home mortgage bank) recently got a nice Federal Govt bail out for having loaned out billions of dollars in sub prime loans to people who couldn't afford it and shouldn't have been given the loans in the first place.
Wells Fargo is likely not far behind if the foreclosure rates continue to rise as they are.
Yet, their annual conference was just held in The Bahamas with a not-inexpensive musician hired as the entertainment.
The mistakes in judgement coupled by an insatiable greed by corporate big wigs and mortgage brokers has created an unprecedented financial debacle in this country that will take more than a decade to recover from.*
Yet, these people are rewarding themselves with a posh corporate lifestyle whose cost will eventually fall onto the shoulders of you and me.
I wonder who the entertainment was at the Bear Sterns annual home mortgage sales conference?

*gas prices are not rising because OPEC is raising the cost of a barrel of oil. they are rising because the dollar is deflating against the euro every day. this is in large part because our govt is quick to hand out tax breaks and bail outs to every campaign donating corporation on the block. money our govt simply does not have. the more money we print, the less it's worth.
soon, nobody will be able to afford that cheeseburger in paradise... or anywhere else for that matter.



A new chapter has begun in the world of Bricotrout. A chapter of reading and analyzing and inspecting and comparing those funny little (seemingly useless) grid charts that appear on the side of package of edibleness in this great country.

I'm referring to my having to now carefully consider which brands of food I consume in order to keep my counts where they belong.

Or more accurately, to get them to where they belong.

You see, my blood tests came back yesterday and now a grocery store trip that used to take me 10 minutes now takes fifty!

Having not eaten meat (except on a very rare occasion) for 20 years come this December, not having any sweet tooth to speak of, having zero liking for beer and never ever eating at any fast food joint, I always figured I was left to my own devices on what to feed myself without any real consequences healthwise.

But my blood tests (if they are indeed 'mine') beg to differ.

Despite my healthy nutritional leanings it turns out my bad cholesterol level is 25 points to high, my good cholesterol level is 8 points too low and my triglycerides count is through the roof.

Now I ask you, how is one supposed to watch their triglycerides when the nutrition info on food wrappers doesn't even list the daily percentage of triglycerides?!

So now, instead of just grabbing the package of Twinkies (er, I mean... granola) with the prettiest packaging and/or cheapest per unit cost, I am now forced to stop and read the micro print of each can and bag.

And seeing that the total fat count on a jar of peanut butter is only 1gram more than the fat count on a jar of peanut butter that has 'fat free' and 'organic' and 'zero trans fat' all written on the label I am truly at a loss to decipher if that 1gram less of total fat is really worth the extra $3.78 I gotta shell out. Why should one pay more for the grainy textured recycled paper label item rather than the full color high gloss label? At least that one stays fresh until the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, rather than a mere 4 weeks like the 'healthy' stuff.

Basically my technique in the end came down to not the item's cost, how bright and tasty the label or brand name was, what shelf tier it sat on (the one at arm level always got my vote in the past - to be honest it wasn't until last year that I realized there even were other levels for the food to sit on) or even if it comes with a secret toy surprise in the back.

No, instead I realized the best method to picking the healthy food was to look at the item's ingredients. Whichever of the 2 contending brand items made it to the final round (see above for qualifications that got it into the final round in the first place) that had the longest most unpronounceable most unrecognizable and least appetizing ingredient in it's list was placed back on the shelf having revealed itself to be the impostor and not the truly healthy choice.

And did anyone out there ever know that 5 rum and cokes each night has about the same effect on a waist line as does a 6 pack of beer?

This stuff is complicated!



Yea! It's been nearly 6 months since a Ten Things post...
And isn't this just such an appropriate topic for it.
So here's what ran through my mind or were uttered into the ear over my shoulder as this now annual exam becomes a part of my life.

1. Shouldn't I be the one getting paid for this?
2. Wait a minute, why are both his hands on my shoulders?
3. I don't get what Sissy B sees in this... I really don't.
4. Here's a pic for my upcoming HNT post!
5. What does this have to do with my having a sore throat?
6. Woa! You trying to check out my upper colon there too doc?
7. If you find Kalani's vibe in there she needs it back please.
8. Hey doc, On your diploma up there... where exactly is The University of ww.freeproctologydegrees.com?
9. Can I have those gloves when you're done? I wanna play a joke on a coworker.
10. I put on my best cologne for this?




Last night I took Aspen to see a Susan Tedeschi concert. She did fall asleep about 1/2 way through but was eager to meet her after the show.
This being the second time I was able to meet her, I am very impressed with how down to earth and sociable she is with her fan base. She will stay on stage after the show until she has chatted with everyone who wants an autograph or picture no matter how long that may take.

Combine that and her natural beauty with vocal and guitar skills second to none and Susan may very well be the ideal mate. Of course... Kate Hudson is anxious to have another child and what with Owen Wison having blown that gig, Susan may still have a bit of competition.

I'll keep you all posted on which one of those comes to fruition.



Aspen and Daddy (Bricotrout) took off for a week just to try and recall the whole year...
Sorry, still full of Jimmy Buffett lyrics after being in the keys for spring break...
We spent the last week on Sanibel poking around J.N. 'Ding' Darling Nature reserve. We biked, cruised, walked and kayaked our way around all kinds of cool greenery and their accompanying wildlife. We were visited by dolphins just a few feet off the starboard bow of the kayak. Aspen was again greeted by a younger dolphin while in waist high water only some 15-20 ft away. We witnessed mating manatees and stalking gators and just about every kind of bird mother nature thought to create.
Behold: Some of the pics from this last week...
Taking an eco tour through a mangrove forest in the nature reserve.

Posing near a cool tree of which I can not recall the name.

Enjoying the calm gulf waters as a gull and sailboat pass by.

The family resting after a day of shelling.

Detail of a butterfly (10megapixel cameras are the single greatest invention of the 21st century thus far - click on pic for full resolution).



Forget Hillary! Chelsea has officially got my vote!