Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Visit Of The Thingfishes


Thingfish23 and his lovely wife on the Pure Florida drydock


An email arrived from Thingfish23 not long ago, that detailed a marvelous journey that would carry him and his wife through my area of Florida.

It ended with this question.


"Would I be up for a meeting?"


So finally it had happened, a fellow blogger wanted to meet in person.


This opened up a Pandora's box of "What ifs" .


What if I was really, really boring in real life ... like a movie that's nothing like the book.


What if they were cleverly disguised axe murderers or worse, what if they were weird?

It really was a nondilemma. Thingfish23 was one of the first blogs that I found out there when I started blogging ... I think Hick and Rurality were the earliest, but Pablo showed up quick too.

In that weird blog way, it seemed like Thingfish23 and I already knew each other since we have had many conversations via the comment box on our two blogs.

I've been reading Thingfish23's posts for a long time now and even though he can do a heck of a rant upon occasion, his writing more often shared his love of his family, his state, the great variety of insects in his yard, and nature in general.
Nothing too weird about that.


I felt like I already knew him even though we had not met. So, I called him back and we set up a meeting.

We met in a neutral spot in town where either one of us could bug out if the other were an axe murderer, too boring, or ... weird.

None of that was necessary of course, because we greeted each other like the new/old friends we are. After a quick introduction in town, they followed me back to Pure Florida via the twisty backroads for miles and miles. In the JEEP, I wondered what conversation they might be having... you know how husbands and wives create little signals to get out of a situation.

"Okay, if he pulls out a gun, knife, or slide projector ... I'll tug on my ear ala Carol Burnett. That's your cue to say, 'Gee, honey we'd better get back to the campground."

As it turned out, we had a great visit even though the animatronic deer were having software glitches and failed to materialize on our woodsy walk around PF. Their were lots of banana spiders tho and for these the very tall Thingfish23 came in handy as he went forth and brushed webs aside.

At least this barred owl showed up in one of my snags.



We sat out on my doggy porch and enjoyed a summer evening of good conversation and brain picking. It was delightful and I don't think anybody was in a hurry to see the evening close, but the two of them had put in a hard day canoeing and needed to rest their sunburned knees, but not before Mrs. Thingfish23 taught me how to pronounce "little flea" in Portuguese.

When it was time to go, I sent them off with a baby datil pepper plant and a chunk of lighter knot for their campfire back at their state park campsite.

What a nice couple.

Should these two be in your area and want to meet you, I can vouch that they are not axe murderers, weird, or boring.

Me, on the other hand ...



26 comments:

Doug Taron said...

SOunds like a wonderful visit. I had been blogging for about 9 months before I stumbled on The Taming of the Bandaid. That was my introduction to this circle of naturalist bloggers- you, Wayne, RCW, Bev, Pablo, Robin and Roger, and others. All of these blogs have become daily reads that I wouldn't miss. The funny thing is, even though Thingfish23 was my intro to all of this, I can't for the life of me remember how I first found his blog.

threecollie said...

Wonderful post! The closest we have ever come to actually meeting a 'Net friend is Cathy of Looking up, who toots her car horn when she and her family pass Northview on the Thruway.
Thanks for describing so well the dilemma all of us face about actually meeting in person the wonderful folks we "meet" here on the Internet. Glad your visit was such a success for you and Thingfish!
Speaking of how we came to Pure Florida...I believe I stumbled here via Moon Meadow Farm. Rose Moon was the first brave soul who was kind enough to link to me (and I thank her very much). I have been back to visit your part of the sunshine state many times since that fortuitous first visit.

Deb said...

Cool. I just recently met a blogger face to face (Lynne from Hasty Brook) and we really connected. I can relate to the feeling that you knew each other already. I've always enjoyed Taming of the Band Aid.

robin andrea said...

We've only had one blogger meet up with some local folks in seattle. It, too, was delightful. We felt like we already knew Phil and Isabelita, and they knew us. I'm glad it worked out so well with Mr & Mrs Thingfish.

I don't remember how we found Pure Florida, I only remember finding Wayne at Niches, where I found Rurality and then the whole world of nature-loving bloggers opened up. It's a beautiful world.

roger said...

color me green with envy. two of my favorite bloggers together. i can't remember how i found either of your blogs, but i am glad i did.

we have met phil and isabelita of perils of caffeine who are as wonderful as they seem on the glowing screen.

pissed off patricia said...

Mr Pop and I will, in the distant future, be near what I believe is your neck of the woods. We do own an axe but we've not used it yet. Can't even remember why we bought it.

I have never met a fellow blogger. I'm kind of shy about something like that. I have heard more good than bad stories about such meetings. I'm so happy for you an TF that it worked out well.

SophieMae said...

I've met one sweet online friend and it worked out better than I could have imagined. She and I were like sisters from a different mother. Like we went to different schools together. We were easily the shyest pair in our whole cyber-group, and the least likely to agree to meet anyone.

Love the owl pic, BTW! Cool fishtail snag there. 8-]

Laura said...

I've met several people online and some of them did turn out absolutely weird. Others, however, became life long friends. Sometimes when you read their blogs for any length of time, you pick up a sixth sense of whether or not they qualify for ax-murderer status. And other times, when you read about their bold orange kitchens, you think...
well...

(just kidding!!! I was messing with ya there.) ;)

I just found Thingfish's other blog earlier this week and he has some excellent writing in that one as well.
Great to hear the meeting went well!

Sharon said...

Sounds great, glad to hear an online meeting went well. It reassures me that there ARE normal people out there... ;)

Wren said...

There are no normal people, only people you don't know well enough to tell how weird they are.

Floridacracker said...

Doug,
I know what you mean. I read as many as I can each day, but dialup prevents hitting them all ... so slow.

ThreeCollie,
I can't remember how I found you, but if you found me, I guess that was it :)
I know more about life on a family dairy than I ever did before thanks to you.

Deb,
Think of the paths that cross due to this webby silliness. Pretty darn cool if you ask me.

Robin,
Rurality's blogroll was like a treasure trove 2 years ago when I found her. I can't keep up with adding to my blogroll, thinking of a change soon.

roger,
i was going to color you orange ...

POP,
I understand about the net meeting shyness, I think anonymity on the net is a smart thing. Do be careful with that axe.

Sophie,
Fishtail snag? I had to go back and look, but there it is. Neat!
Caudal fin snag :)
Glad your net meeting worked out so well.

Laura,
You had me laughing out loud. I think it's best to be cautious around people who paint with loud colors :) I agree, you do get a feel for how other bloggers are and whether you'd get along in person.

Sharon,
It did go well and it's encouraging to meet some blogger and find that they are the person you pictured in their writing.

Wren,
Hmmm, ya got a point there.
I'm laughing, but it's true.

thingfish23 said...

Hey y'all. Look - we're both in camo shorts. I just realized that! And you can STILL see us! That camo stuff does NOT work and I want my money back.

Thanks to Fc and everyone else for the kind words. Fc you really really beat me to the punch on actually posting about the visit. God only knows when I'll get to it since I am writing about our vacation in more-or-less chronolgical order.

We have some pics, too, of course.

And you left out a few details of the visit (especially the gustational delights) that I will happily elucidate later.

For now - it's back to the Band-Aid to post up a few more vacation pictures. It's storming outside here, so no yardwork today! Hooray for inclement weather! Plus, I already put my yard time in AT THE OFFICE. I'm back at the landscaping thing there, again...

I'll be quiet now.

It was GREAT meeting you, Fc. I sure wish there were more like you - but then you wouldn't be so unique and special. It's a catch-22, you know.

Floridacracker said...

Thingfish23,
I've always had my doubts about camo...
I could tell you were going chronologically, but Rurality was fussing at me :)
She wanted pics and details and you know about a smart woman's wrath and all that.

I left the gustation part out because that part was mostly "because of Winn Dixie" with my painting disrupted kitchen out of service.
Hooray for storms! We had a tornado warning yesterday. A water spout at Cedar Key moved ashore.
Ditto on the great to meet you. I'm glad neither of us was disappointed.

ImagineMel said...

HEY! How come I don't have a baby datil pepper plant??

Corn was delicioso! Master FC especially enjoyed the German chocolate cake.

Sharon said...

Yes Wren, you have an excellent point! LOL, oh well, as long as they're no stranger than me, I'm good. ;)

Cathy S. said...

I will confess that last year when we spent our week on the Rainbow River, I wanted to invite you and your family to spend a day on the river with us. Even went so far as to compose a letter since I did not know your e-mail, but my super sleuthing ability had uncovered your name and home address. However, my non blogging husband forbid me (and I might add, he rarely forbids me as he knows it will backfire) to contact you as he was sure you were an axe murderer. For once, I obeyed and have regretted it ever since. No week at the river this year, but since Thingfish has gone in and come out alive, next time we are in your area, I will look you up as well.

Floridacracker said...

Mel,
Jr. better be behaving himself!

Sharon,
I tried to post at your site tonight but couldn't. Cute raccoon pics tho!


Cathy S,
I understand his caution. I think it's pretty smart to be extra careful these days. You are one heck of a sleuth tho and I owe you for the neat historical info you found.
I think I have something historical you'd love to read. I'll email you about it.

pablo said...

I'm glad your meet-up was successful. I can't say the same about the one time I met a fellow blogger.

Rurality said...

OK that's better. How cute are they in their matching camo shorts! :)

So far my blogger meet-ups have turned out better than the penpal meetups I had as a young'un.

Ava said...

How nice to meet a fellow blogger. And you know what? I totally would have been wondering and thinking all of those things!!!!

Glad it worked out.

Hope you have a great weekend!

scott said...

Don't ever try to get on a golf course dressed like that.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I have met 10 b**ggers face to face and all of them turned out as represented: fun-loving, fair, and interesting. Just like, I imagine, your Kingfish is.

Mrs. thingfish23 said...

I'm still laughing....!

FC I always had the same thoughts as you about meeting people from the Internet (axe murderers!) Well, usually I trust my sixth sense; it was my first time to meet somebody from the Internet world (tf23&I wish we had met your wife - maybe one day).

So u know we had a great time, thanks for the kind words about us.

By the way I loved your baby chickens.

Mrs. thingfish23 (The Wife)

Floridacracker said...

To All,
Sorry for no post today. I was away down south and just got home. I'm way too tired to be clever tonight. Tomorrow is another day...


Pablo,
Axe murderer?

Rurality,
Assignment completed!

Ava,
Yes, it was a nice get together. You have a great weekend too!

Scott,
If you read Taming Of The Bandaide or this blog, you should know that neither Thingfish nor I would ever try to get on to a golf course, unless it was to sneak on to the grounds at night and plant native trees all over the greens and wire grass in the sandtraps... in which case, camo would be just the thing to wear.

Hoss,
And they were all cute women you rascal! I read the posts.

Mrs. Thingfish23,
Welcome back to Pure Florida! It was delightful to meet you and your tall husband.Sorry about not meeting Mrs. FC, she works so much that I would like to meet her too.

Danielle B. said...

It's always wonderful meeting fellow bloggers. I remember my first meeting with a couple..my husband was unable to join us (he had that tedious work thing going on..anyhoo, as soon as I arrived my cell phone rang and my blogging friends nailed it on the head when they asked 'Is that your husband making sure we are not ax murderers?" ;)...congratulations on your daughter starting college...always exciting...I won't scare you and tell you that my roommate and I hitchhiked from U of M to USF in my freshman year just to see a football game...

Floridacracker said...

Danielle,
Good husband.
Hitchhiking ....shudder. I'm glad you survived.