Tag Archives: Culture

417 Resolutions in One

klaxonstrongIt’s important to remember that virtually every image on TV is put there to bring eyes/ears to ads. The same is true of the Internet and the “services” it enables. This is nothing new; it was and is still true of newspapers. And I bet, if we could go back and listen, we would find several millenia of town-criers who finished up with a shout-out for a pub or a farrier…

What’s the point? Whether the images are acoustic or graphic or textual or a mash, they are chosen and they are written and they are edited to get us to look at/hear embedded or peripheral ads for something. Therefore, the news, the editorials (hard to distinguish these days), live or die on the basis of their popularity not their utility to the hearer/looker/reader.

Stories are killed when they don’t bring eyes/ears. Stories are dragged far, far down the road past boredom as long as they do. And in some cases, non-stories are created to fill the gaps on slow eye/ear segments. Facts are the first casualties, and retractions and apologies, if  forthcoming, are usually found by journalistic archeologists, not the rest of us. And even if factually correct, much of what is offered as news is carnival freak show stuff.

Some media appear to pander to whatever appetite will bring those eyes/ears to the ads. This is nothing new, but is is greatly more visible as technology prevents us from escaping the deluge of drivel. Sadly, bad news sells better than good, and if we are left with nothing but headlines to inform us, then angst is the only emotion we need. (OK, add disgust.)

“Follow the trend lines, not the headlines,” Bill Clinton* is said to have said.

The trends are hard to dig out. They seldom have the neat clean edges of a skillfully crafted eye/ear-grabber. But there is something interesting about trends these days, the majority of them are good. Is there room for them to be better? Always. There is something interesting about that too. There are lots of qualified, committed and seemingly tireless people working on those improvements. But their stories don’t sell ads.

dollarFor New Year 2015, add one more resolution — click on one less lurid eye-grabber each day, and dig into one more trend each week. By year’s end, you will have wasted your emotional energy 365 times less (times the number of ads per look!) and you will have educated yourself 52 times. You will have benefited 417 times. If you pay yourself $1 for each, that’s a pretty positive trend too. Remember:

Look up and not down; Look out and not in. Look forward and not back; Lend a hand! ― Edward Everett Hale

*Also attributed to Bill Gates

Symphonic Music in Vero Beach

trebleclefFrom childhood we have both loved good music. From arriving in the Washington DC area in 1980, we always had good access to symphonic music. Janet was even a member of the NSO Women’s Committee. We rarely missed an Air Force performance. And so on. When we selected Vero Beach as our land base of operations, we wondered how far we would have to drive north or south to find a good symphony. We feared it might be Jacksonville or much, much worse, Miami/Fort Lauderdale.

The answer is we don’t have to drive, and if we choose to, we don’t have to drive far. Yesterday, we attended the Holiday Performance of the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra’s Wind Ensemble at Vero Beach High School just 2.1 miles from us, 6.1 from Loggerhead Marina and 4.4 from the City Marina.


From VBHS PAC Site

First, the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center. This is not a trivial facility. It seats 1000, and with eyes closed, the acoustics are indistinguishable from the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. It also was clean and fresh, not always the case in venues such as this.

Next, The Space Coast Symphony Orchestra. (Aaron Collins, Artistic Director*) Wow! Big Sound, Crisp Sound, Clear Sound, Large enough instrument sections for real nuance in the orchestration and presentation. Sometimes to say people played with enthusiasm is to say they were not so good. In this case, the enthusiasm empowered world class musicianship and musicality. These musicians are there because they want to be, and you can hear the result. We are critical listeners, and from where we sat, there wasn’t a note off, a beat missed, a chair scraped.

The Symphony’s commitment to making music of this composition and performance quality financially accessible to all, especially young people, is great! We can still remember how much we learned from Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts.

And how nice they began with the National Anthem and a recognition of Veterans. It was Pearl Harbor Day after all.

If you are cruising anywhere between Cocoa and Vero Beach, it is worth the time and very modest expense to take in a concert. They perform, among other locations, at:

Please consider making a donation so that the next generation can develop an appreciation for music of this content and caliber.


*30- year old Aaron T. Collins is garnering recognition for his achievements.  In February 2012,  LEAD Brevard named the ambitious Collins one of their “4 under 40” Young Professionals, the youngest-ever recipient of the honor.  Space Coast Business magazine listed him as one of Brevard’s “100 Most Admired Businesspeople” in their April 2012 issue.  Through his personal involvement with more than a dozen performing arts groups, pioneering reciprocal ad program and social media cross promotions, Collins has gained a reputation for generosity; championing other arts organizations throughout Central Florida for the cultural enrichment of the community. (From SCSO website)

Lt. Sturrup Receives Coveted Honour Graduate Award at U.S. Coast Guard Training College

Good Stuff, Click Pic:


From: thebahamasweekly.com

Keeping The Light On For 150 Years

ElbowCay“One of Abaco’s beloved jewels, the Elbow Reef Lighthouse, is 150 years old this week. The lighthouse, on Elbow Cay, is the last manually-operated light fueled by kerosene in the world…” Read More at http://www.tribune242.com/news/2014/jun/26/keeping-light-150-years/

We met the light keeper and between his story and the one  in Dave Gale’s book, “Below Another Sky,”  the Elbow Reef Lighthouse might be just another aid to navigation and not an technological icon.

Racing Again

Ala Lilliput. Easter we walked over to watch the weekly radio controlled sailboat race for the first time since we have been here. There were three to start with (there have been as many as 21). After an hour or so the man in charge hollered across the water, “Do you want to come give it a try?”

I got up from my sling chair and was off and run… walking. When I got there I admitted I was an out of practice ringer as I have an RC sailboat Janet gave me for my 50th birthday.

I wish I could say it came back quickly. Well, maybe upwind did, but reaches and runs REALLY need some work. I could blame the puffy 10-20 kt NWly, but it was more a case of dys-helm-sia when the boat was distant or coming toward me.

Janet coached me from the sidelines which was fine until it included, “You missed that mark.” Sometimes she’s better at judge than coach.

Met a half a dozen new folks and liked them all.

Easter Puppy Parade

Loggerhead EASTER Puppy PARADE 005Well, if someone decides to have an Easter Puppy Parade, you go watch it. This one was for marina members — complete with judges (left). We had a favorite puppy, but we hang out here so it’s best not to name names.

The parade was followed by the monthly Pot Luck, this one with pork roasted overnight over a low, low fire. It was a nostalgia trigger. I was the pig roaster for my USAF outfit from 1977-1980. The marina Harbormaster did the cooking, and I bow to him! The dishes brought to sweeten the “Pot” were also excelicious. The Gallery is not as festive as the occasion, but “you had to be there,” is so trite.