Tuesday, March 23, 2010
One night not long ago prompted by 40 years of conservative mossbackery and 9/11, Bush Jr created a giant new big gov bureaucracy that few cheer-leading ditto-heads complained about, we the others shrugged with disdain at the gal of a creeping authoritarian strain. Thanks W for the bombastic un-surance.
Good moooooooorning America! Yesterday, prompted by 40 years of liberal endurance, Obama began a giant new big gov bureaucracy that few cheer-leading ditto-heads complain about. The others will also benefit from health care reform 2010. Social reform is the butter, a healthier populous is the jam.
Doctors Without Brokers
Now is the time to get ready to take care of sick people, professionally. There are jobs to be had in providing health care to millions of Americans who have fallen through the social safety net. What, we didn't have a safety net? Well we do now. Thanks Obama for making jobs.
Here's to all the wee little people and the ugh old people who will now be better taken care of by the able bodied people. Thanks Obama for saving lives.
Gee, I feel much better now knowing that if I die, my health will be taken care of.
Thanks President Obama.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
As mayor of the SurfMunchkinside City...
...In the County of the Land of Oz,
We welcome you most regally, but we've got to verify you legally,
To see you see, if you are undeniably and reliably,
a year-round resident registered voter.
Voting in Town of Surfside, FL. Two races will be decided; one for mayor the other for the four commission seat that will comprise our roster of elected officials for the next 2 years.
At the center of the discontent is the Community Center debacle that I have written about before. This is the pivotal issue for many single family home residents but for the condo crowd along Collins, not so much.
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The shovels of government dig slowly, but the demolition of the old center and the years of delay on the new construction may cost the incumbents dearly.
Re-elected in 08 Mayor Burkett may be in a ditch for 2010 as his suave laissez-faire approach to leadership has been rather Ron Paulish and not what folks are used to 'round here. Surfsiders want a leader that is kinda regular but not really. Burkett is being challenged by resident Cub Scout leader Daniel Dietch, who wants to finish what the priors started, that is to get the community center built. But all the groundwork has been painstakingly laid already.
My daughter used to babysit the Dietch kids. The two boys had lovely long hair that they ultimately donated to Locks of Love. What a nice reflection.
Gang of Four
The other contest is a real horse race. In past elections prospectives would pick a seat and run for it. Now for the first time in town history all candidates run for any seat on the commission. The winners of the four thrones will be decided in order of number of votes garnered.
Best of Luck to Commissioners Steve Levine for his enduring stick-to-it-ness and Mac Imberman for his level-headed demeanor. Mrs. Calderon also gets my vote as we met back in the 04 while poll watching for Kerry. Conspicuous by his absence is commish Howard who has decided to bow out as there is no cash cow here.
The list of new hopefuls is rather lengthy and frankly no one outside the town borders should care much about the results... unless there is some scandal for the political activist watchdogs to digest and disseminate, this election will be a non-event. Richard Iacobacci has a spotty past making him the hyena in the race and retired teacher Marta Olchyk is... who doesn't like old chicks?
Beach Officials Replentishment
When you consider the options in neighborhoods and townships in South Florida, Surfside may not be your first choice, but it is a lovely place to visit... while it's still above sea level.
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The Lawd giveth, and she taketh away.
Congrats to the winners, regrets to the losers, it's a new day in Surfside, all the old guard is out, all the outsiders are in.
County election results here.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Martin Luther's Crib
This is a place that time has built. This is a story of yearning for far away places and untold riches. Only time will tell where humans will trek to fulfill the quest for cruising. A line has been drawn on the oceans, care to float across it?
Chalet with a View
From my window at the Aquamarin Inn in Papenburg I could just catch a glance of the Joseph Meyer Wharf in the distance over the winter weary trees. This small rural town in northern Germany is the birthplace of the biggest Cruise ships in the world.
Tracking the Beast
Q: Is this the mark of a fuzzy snow bunny or the hoofs of a moose monster? Clue: The deft hunter knows how to track a prey, so i did some googleing before going to P'burg. A: Let's just say you don't need GPS to find this mastodon of maritime trophies, but it helps.
Titan in a Teapot
Royal Caribbean's Newest cruise ship ECLIPSE is like the sleeping condo about to wake up with a splash of Nodic water and some Viking hot prospects. But good things take time and Euros. Built in 10-12 months on a payroll of 3/4 mill per week, the Eclipse is practically a micro-economy. Lawd know you gotta keep the Terry Malloy's of the waterfronts busy.
If you ask me how many men work at the wharf, the answer would be "about half".
It Takes a Mt. Trashmore
Crushing really, the seemingly endless caravan of dumpster-loads of garbage this project has produced is somehow worth it when you walk inside and see where you could live for six days and five nights while island hopping in some of the worlds nicest oceans. Green has always been in.
A Tree Grows in Molecuwetlyn
The FAQ on Miami's Robert Chambers is, how swampy can he go!.
Who Likes Round Things?
The golden arch is a recurring theme though the ships design, it is the thread that stitches together the interiors of the haul, the exterior is a barge welded in a continuous bead of molten steel tempered and painted for the journeys ahead.
... and more round places.
2010 a lounge odyssey
They say the best part of a journey is the middle, maybe so. These spaces are built for people to forget temporarily about the things that tug at our pursuit of happiness.
Den of Denominations
What would a cruise be without the chance to win big at a casino. There where the shake-down is king. Lot's of boatspace is allocated to the one-armed bandits. Like a pachenco parlour pin-ball-wizard our happy travelers will wager their expendable incomes and disembark happy losers.
Live Acts of Poseidon
There is even a theater that is probably bigger that the Adrianne Arsht Center where Fraulien Gaga will play there sometime soon as she is one of the big coffers.
But for now the theater is empty, the kitchens are empty, the gym, the spa, the library, the glass museum, the morgue and the weapons vault all sit empty.
The dining rooms sit empty, no smells of culinary cornucopias, no clanging of plates, no rumbles and grumbles of over-indulgence. Just the sound of tools over the smell of new.
Above Deck, Kinda
Finally there is an indoor pool, and outdoor pool, a jocking track, a hoops court, a putting green and much much more. Sign up now, why wait till you're old!
Gang of Four
Of all the workmen on the ship, Here is my P'burg crew from left to right: Captain Daniel Arsham, First Officer Alex Mustonen, Navigation Specialist Yadin Dickstein and Systems Specialist John Bianchi.
A Tool for Every Job
Here is what a greman tool-box looks like. Far as I can see the only thing missing is an espresso maker.
Miami's Arsham is both the serenity at the eye of a storm and the tempest of the tropics. This install photo shows a wall sculpture of thirty items resembling erosion clustered to suggest loose graphic of a hurricane image.
Worked like a Rauscher Test gem on the UN of workmen, lot's of goober-thumbs-up comments.
World Wall Warp
Sit down, relax, take a load of your feet. Here is another piece from Archam's curtain-cum-bench series; draping frozen in time as if to remind us of those infinite spaces fluttering with undulating light.
X Marks the Spot
At 14 stories above sea level, the smoke stacks of this voluptuous vessel will billow with the steam of sea faring revelers for years to come.
Tight's All Right
Here's the thing, Papenburg is forty kilometers inland up the Ems River. With only inches of clearance, the giant ship is towed out to sea with much fanfare from locals along the narrow passage.
Back inside the giant garage, craft-workers are building the next beast of the blue, this time for Disney.
The Eclipse is now somewhere in the north sea performing Sea Trials; that is looking for troubling water, flooding the ballast tanks to tip the boat over and basically taking her on the Scuppers stress test hot-dog joy-ride.
With a job well done we set sail back to Amsterdam and noticed another sure sight of global warming, a giraffe in Emsland.
Eclipse will be in Ft.Lauderdale sometime this fall.
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like swamp.
Monday, March 8, 2010
The airport in Amsterdam puts MIA in the dust. Schiphol is a big air travel hub with flights arriving and departing to and from all corners of the globe. In stark comparison to our swamport, there is little visible presence of TSA style security folk making your travel experience a paranoids nuisance. Renting a car or getting hotel reservations is a breeze. Mulling through the crowds of weary travelers is like a picnic at the United Nations. Glad to be in the old country where the men are kinda queer and the ladies are svelte. After 12 hours in limbo, it's safe to say maybe there is an airport god.
From windmills to tulip-below-me, the Netherlands are a paradise lost in modernity, a grinding mill for the new grains of time. I love how gray weather makes tripping fantastic for this novice outsider. The breakfast buffet at airport inns is a culinary delight.
Venice of the Nord
Like the city of canals in Italy, Amsterdamster is laced with waterways that make for a most picturesque place to be. Like the swamp that we know, it is practically at sea level. The only thing keeping the ocean at bay is an elaborate system of levies and dams that we should only wish had been duplicated in New Orleans prior to Katrina the tropical storm.
This place is really happening, you'all. It is where you can light up a big fat one at a quiet cafe or visit the red light district for a romp and a gawk at the ladies of the night as prostitution is kinda legal, safe and probably taxable.
As if that wasn't enough, this is the city of cycles. Man, I haven't seen so many bikes since critical mass at key biscayne. Bicycles are everywhere as they are a great way to get around. If locals can ride them in the cold and rain then certainly Miamians should be able to do the same in the heat and sweat.
Park Bike Here Free
They got so many bikes, they even have parking garages for those two-wheeled earth friendly contraptions.
And there is another thing dotting the urban landscape, Modern architecture wow! they have some outrageously cool buildings to compliment that old world charmscape.
Hey look, there's another one!
... and another one!
Critical Flight Anyone?
Ho yeah, and it's apparently OK to post graffiti as is the custom in most great urban centers.
Exported Brew Meister
What would Europe be without great beer? Here is home to the Heiniken Micro-Brewery... for sure there is also a giant factory in the outskirts of town to export the world-class Heiny.
Anyways, I'm here to work so it's off to the Deutschland and the shipyard of big dreams Royal Caribbean.
BTW, crossing the border by rented car from Holland into Germany was a total non-event.
It's easier and cheaper than going from NYC to New Jersey.
As traveling would have it, blogging is a bit backed up, but the next installment will be a sneak preview of the newest billion dollar cruise ship Eclipse - built in the the very small town of Papenburg...