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2010 October

October 2010

Do The Lincoln Road Stroll:  If you haven’t done the Halloween stroll on Lincoln Road during Halloween weekend, you’re missing one of the most memorable walks in South Florida.  The weekend closest to October 31 is the “go” signal for people to come out from wherever they’ve been hiding in their finest, silliest and craziest finery to see and be seen.  It’s an unadvertised Fantasy Fest minus the drive or hassle.  For the sake of propriety, we can’t get into details, but we can say that among our favorites were the mostly naked guy in thong and string with a UPS box-head plus some extreme “alien” outfits, terrestrial and other.  Restaurant space is at a premium and parking is challenging but even if you can’t find a spot to sit, the eye-candy wandering will leave memories and photos for years to come.

Experience Murder in Delray: For a more conservative but no less entertaining Halloween experience, take a road trip to “Murder On The Beach, A Mystery Book and Entertainment Store” in Delray BeachFlorida.  Year-round Halloween decorations set the mood in this long established bookstore that’s stocked with new and used mysteries, thrillers, horror and true crime books.  An Antiquarian room is filled with signed first editions.  Murder on the Beach, 273 Pineapple Grove WayDelray Beach. (561) 279-7790. murderonthebeach.com.

Visit Our Very Own Stranahan House Ghost:  How many locals know that the Stranahan House is considered a U.S. landmark haunted house? There are two “ghost” tours a night on selected nights during October, including a Victorian funeral in the parlor (complete with weeping widow).  It’s all here – history, suicide, good stories and stuff to buy. Every Sunday night throughout the year there’s a “River Ghost Tour” that includes both house tour and Water Taxi tour. Stranahan House, 35 Southeast 6th AvenueFort Lauderdale(954) 524-4736stranahan1@aol.com



Skip’s Piano Bar at Mile Marker 82.8 in Islamorada is a heckuva  place to kick up your heels and let loose.  Named after well-known offshore captain and radio personality, Skip Bradeen, this happy place is on the third floor of Bentley’s, a popular oceanside restaurant.  It’s music you can’t resist with show tunes, light jazz, big band, rock and Sinatra classics. No rap but plenty of toe tapping.  Attire ranges from flip flops to formal, plus plenty of hugs and small talk.  The talented Sunshine Band exudes energy and sounds no one can sit out.  Don’t even attempt to hug the sidelines because host Skip will be hoisting you onto the fabulous dance floor for a favorite hot number. (305) 664-9094.  keysdining.com/bentley.



Researchers have found a few tricks for brushing off body fatigue.  Try dabbing a few drops of peppermint essential oil on your wrists the next time you run, dance or hop on your bike.  A study at Wheeler Jesuit University found that athletes who sniffed mint ran faster, gripped stronger and pumped more pushups. Bowlers wearing masks emitting jasmine scent had noticeable score improvements (Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, Chicago). Plus, according to Brunel University scientists in London, the sound of music blocks nerves from signaling body fatigue and perception of effort.  Upbeat tunes, particularly songs with 120-140 beats per minute, can boost efforts by up to 10%.  For the less motivated among us, go shopping!  The average woman burns roughly 385 calories per week - the equivalent of a piece of carrot cake or two large glasses of wine - trudging around stores each week. That amounts to about 20,000 calories a year.  This means three hours of shopping could help burn off the 495 calories in a Big Mac. Two hours could work off the 283 calories in a typical latte coffee (dailymail.co.uk).  Doesn’t that sound like a lot more fun than going to the spa?



Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday celebrated on October 31 – but isn’t it more fun to keep it a mystery?  Halloween is the most commercially successful holiday after Christmas. Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters. Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States (theholidayspot.com & Halloween-website.com). And to keep those cravings in check, the sugar in just one can of soda can compromise immune system function by 30% for up to three hours (M. Moyad, MD, Univ. of Michigan Medical Center). The most popular drinks in the U.S.A. in order:  Margarita, martini and rum-and-coke (CBS.com). The world’s largest beaver dam is eight football fields long (earth.google).


Slippery Hands, Tricky Windshield Flyers, Beach Ball Ruse

Thieves get cleverer during hard economic times. Police officers are reminding us to "think outside the box." These instructive true local stories are straight from our police.

1) Two men show up at a house on the water and knock on the door.  "We are so sorry. During some construction work in the area, we damaged your sea wall."  You'll walk out with them to inspect the "damage."  You might even say, "Well, I don't see anything." In that instant, the thieves (with Vaseline on their hands) will strip you of your watch and other hand jewelry with one quick slide.

2)  An unsuspecting shopper returns to her car after a session at the mall and uses the usual precautions; walk directly to the car, walk purposefully, look around, don't get into a car if there is a van parked on the driver's side (a thief can quickly open the door and rob or kidnap you).  Of course she doesn’t notice that a promotional flyer is blocking the window.  She then gets out of the car to remove the flyer (leaving the keys in the ignition); that’s when the thief strikes!  The flyer is a ruse to get her out of the car.

3)   A beach ball goes sailing over your wall, landing in the back yard.  Two people walk around your house to retrieve the ball.  So you’re a nice person and let them onto your property.  What this really turns out to be:  The crooks created a reason to be in your backyard so they could scope out the place.  (Alternative:  They ring the front door first. No answer?  The thieves then go around to the backyard.) 

The key to thinking outside the box several websites remind us (scambusters.orgcreditidentitysafe.com), is reading about the various ploys developed by thieves.  If we familiarize ourselves about these distractions, we'll develop our "Robar" (robber radar).



JK and Steve McCrea are media specialists who compile websites along with creative, marketing and educational projects. Please visit RoadLovers.com and JKmccrea.net. Contact us at NewsCocktail@gmail.com or Twitter.com/RandomNewsTips. Past issues can be found TheNewsCocktail.com