Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wounded Warriors go Diving with American Diving

American Diving sponsored a fund-raiser for Air Warrior Courage Foundation hosting LCpl Tanner Ivie and Cpl Franklin Powell on a multi-day adventure off South Padre Island exploring the sunken Texas Clipper. Our two star divers, LCpl Ivie and Cpl Powell lost legs in Afghanistan. But, that didn’t slow them down. They set personal best depth records during their underwater expedition.

The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project, founded in 2002, is to “honor and empower wounded warriors” upon their return from the battlefield.

WWP’s purpose is threefold:

  • To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members.
  • To help injured service members aid and assist each other.
  • To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members

Please visit the Wounded Warrior Project website for additional information and ways you can assist our men and women coming home.

Fab Placez wishes to thank Tim and Diane O’Leary for their continued support of the Wounded Warrior Project and for inviting Fab Placez to join Dive Week.


Leave a comment

Filed under General Travel, Uncategorized

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2010. That’s about 12 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 20 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 41 posts. There were 257 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 5gb. That’s about 5 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 29th with 45 views. The most popular post that day was Interesting Places Around London.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for olympic stadium london, london 2012 olympic stadium, 2012 olympics, london olympic stadium, and london 2012.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Interesting Places Around London June 2010


London 2012 Olympics Goes Green: Sustainability at the Right Time August 2009


Yippie-Yi-Yay, Joe Gish’s Old West Museum November 2009


New York City’s PRIDEfest: Birth of Modern Gay Rights Movement June 2009


A Well Kept NYC Restaurant Secret: Sanur Restaurant – Indonesia and Malaysia Food June 2009

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Chelsea’s Physic Garden

Why is everyone flocking to Chelsea’s Physic Garden? Might be to get up close and personal with Bella Donna, the poisonous berry that “ladies of the evening” would put a little of the juice in their eyes to dilate their pupils and make them more attractive. Or, maybe to sit al fresco at the Tangerine Dream Cafe to enjoy a delightful range of fresh, homemade food and the best afternoon tea in London.

Whatever the reason, the Physic Garden is the second oldest botanical garden in England. Oxford’s plantings slightly predate Chelsea.

Philanthropist Hans Sloane bought four acres of land near the River Thames from Charles Cheyne. In 1673, he leased this land to the Society of Apothecaries for £5 a year in perpetuity. The garden was established for the study and cultivation of medicinal plants.

Under Philip Miller’s direction, the Chelsea Physic Garden became world famous and, besides preserving plants from around the world, initiated the seed exchange program to other nations and organizations. For example, cottonseed, sent to the colonies, was the beginning of the American cotton industry.

School children enjoy field trips to discover pond life while adults enjoy finding a favorite plant variety.

Open from April – October, Wednesdays-Sundays from 12-6 p.m. Admission is £8 for adults.


Filed under Uncategorized, Walk London

Where Did You Get That Hat

Yesterday the Suzy Guides Team (Ian P. Hardy, Annie Coburn and David Ingham) headed over to the Mall (near Buckingham Palace) to launch their musical careers.

Annie’s singing career is doomed, I’m afraid! The team hopes you enjoy our fun.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

More London

This 13 acre complex, known as More London, houses City Hall, The Scoop (an amphitheater), office buildings, restaurants and an open air pedestrian area with fountains.

More London - City Hall, Tower Bridge in the background and the open pedestrian area

More London is located in Southwark, adjacent to Tower Bridge and on the South Bank of the River Thames.

City Hall is an odd egg-shaped glass building constructed to capitalize on energy efficiency.  However, its shape has generated nicknames, such as The Onion.  Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, daubed it The Glass Gonad.  It is most fortunate that The Gerkin, a private office complex just across the Thames, is not juxtaposed to the Glass Gonad, otherwise, all the male reproductive organs would be nicely coupled!What makes City Hall most fascinating is the interior helix staircase. Truly a photographer’s dream.  At a cost of 65 million pounds, City Hall is not owned by the GLA, but has a 25 year lease.

Helix staircase at City Hall in London

The Scoop offers free summer programs from live theater to music to films to community events. It seats 800 and is located in the shadow of City Hall.

On your next visit to London, drop in at More London to relax, have lunch or just people watch.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized, Walk London

Summertime – an indie film by Max Weissberg

Max Weissberg’s soon to be released film, Summertime, is a special treat for the Gad About Gals blog.

Here’s the synopsis of the film:

Eight people unknowingly form a circle – either through a friendship, attempted love, or brief sexual encounter. The tighter their circle gets, the more the spokes begin to twist and to bend. One of the persons in the circle is Julia, an actress, who thinks she’s gotten her big break when she lands the role of Anya, the daughter of a Russian arms dealer. The director of the film has some radical theories on directing and believes that Julia, instead of relying on lines and a script, must become Anya. She must learn how to negotiate with hit men, handle a gun and enter into the mind of a criminal. When Julia finds out she is not the only “Anya,” however, the circle begins to break.

Words are all well and good, but the most fun is to see the trailer:  

Max needs our contributions (small, medium or large) to complete the audio mix for the film.  Please visit his kickstarter website to contribute to Max’s project.

The Summertime website has equally as beautiful images as the film. Don’t pass up this opportunity to browse, especially the still photos.

Thank you for helping to keep independent film making alive and well.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Yippie-Yi-Yay, Joe Gish’s Old West Museum

The door opened to reveal a tall, slim man looking all the world like the lead in an old Tom Nix western. He grinned and tipped his perfectly creased, Stetson grey beaver cowboy hat. His deep voice resonated, “Welcome, ma’am. Come on in.”

Joe Gish, seated at desk reminiscing about events in his life.

I walked into cowboy history.

Every inch of this 600 square foot small town museum tells a story of the old Wild West. Joe Gish has dedicated half of his 83 years collecting the accouterments of real people who shaped the romance, hardships and wickedness of Texas’ past.

Just moments into our meeting, Joe proudly holds a Marshal’s badge from Cisco, Texas, a shoot ‘em up outpost community a few miles east of Abilene.  His eyes sparkle as he runs an old finger across the face of the badge. It was lust at first sight. Joe has many mistresses in his museum; even more love affairs. He gently nestles the badge into a piece of velvet and motions me over to a petite pair of handmade boots.

Marion Davies' boot

“These were Marion Davies’ boots,” as he strokes the soft leather and caresses the inlays. He picks up a paperback book, “This is about her life with William Randolph Hearst”. Pointing to a photograph of this diminutive woman, “Look at that. She was a beauty.”  And, indeed Joe knows a good-looking woman when he sees one.

Davies' book, The Times We Had

For the next thirty minutes Joe and I did the Texas Two-Step around the room admiring Old West memorabilia. He led; I followed. His voice hummed an explanation of each precious piece. Step  1…2. Step 1…2. “This is one of my favorites.” Slide together now. “See how this part of the holster is shaved down?” Step 1… 2. “That’s so the Sheriff could get a faster draw.” Twirl and touch the smooth leather of a coal black saddle.  We stopped to catch our breath.

Illano, Texas Sheriff's holster with cut away for a faster draw

The poor health of Joe’s dad prompted the Gish family to move from Missouri to   their Granddad’s farm in Abilene, Kansas. Farm life was good for Joe. He grew watermelons and picked fruit in the family orchards.  In his youth, Joe fell in love with the tales of the cowboy. He checked in and out every Will James book (his hero) from the school library and “almost wore them out.”  James’ books, like Uncle Bill, A Tale of Two Kids and a Cowboy, inspired Joe to doodle pictures of cowboys, horses and scenes from the Old West on his schoolbook covers. Before long, his drawings were gaining in size and expertise.

Gish's drawings of the Old West

When he graduated from high school in 1943, some friends invited him to join them on a trip to the Texas Rio Grande Valley.  “The Texas Valley was the most beautiful country I had ever seen. Palm trees lined every road.” When his friends were ready to return home, he decided this was where he would put down roots. With $5.00 in his pocket and not knowing a single soul, Joe began to carve out a place for himself in the Texas-Mexico border community of McAllen. Initially, he got a job at the best men’s wear store on Main Street. A cute, young Betty Jo, who worked across the street at the drug store, caught his eye. A short time later, they married and started a family.

Joe found a career at Sears where he worked for thirty years. The manikin that now watches over Gish’s Old Wild West Museum once wore suits in his men’s department. When he retired, the manikin followed.  It didn’t take long for Joe to transform this city dude into a gun toten’ Stetson wearin’ cowboy to greet visitors to the museum.

Joe's gun toten' Stetson wearin' manikin greets visitors at the door.

After thirty years of marriage, Joe and Betty Jo divorced. But, the handsome Joe Gish soon met the good-looking Charlene, his wife and companion for the last thirty years.  Thirty seems to be a nice round number for Joe!

Joe and Charlene spent five years searching for the perfect home for their dream museum.  Texas and Fredericksburg had all the right ingredients: friendly people, nice sized community and a perfect location near town on the road to Enchanted Rock.  In the late 1980’s Joe inaugurated his log timbered museum.   Other cowboy enthusiasts drop in to swap stories or share a newfound treasure.

As I prepared to leave Joe and his memorabilia, he gave me a big Texas hug, “Nice to meetcha, ma’am. Come back anytime. There’s always something new to see.”  And indeed I plan to pay Joe and Charlene another visit next time I’m in the Texas Hill Country…just to say “howdy” to my new friends!


Information on Gish’s Old West Museum:

502 North Milam

Fredericksburg, Texas 78624


No regular hours, museum is open when here. Come by or call for an appointment.

Front of Joe Gish's brochure

Continue reading


Filed under Uncategorized