Monday, May 31, 2010

memorial day, 2010 - VIDEO

This video montage was the very first I produced. I've done several since but I've got a real soft-spot for this one. It's three years old today. I noticed as I was just mixing it down for posting that there are no titles or scrolling credits. That might be because, being the first, I hadn't yet learned how to get them from the software, but that wouldn't be entirely true. Three years ago, Mr. Bush's war wasn't going well and about that time, we were beginning to hear daily body counts from Iraq. For me and a lot of other Americans, it was starting to smell like VietNam all over again.

I chose not to include titles and credits because, as much as I learned and loved it while producing the piece, the energy I was investing wasn't about me. This piece was, and is, my quiet tribute to all those who have laid it down in the past and all those who are trying hard not to lay it down today, fighting wars for the lies they've been told by American governments, past and present.

I wondered, during or country's 234 years, how many brave American's "sacrifices" are we remembering. . .
According to the U.S. Military Institute: 1,315,998
Total battle deaths in all of America's wars.
(sounds like an awfully low number)

click arrow to start video. run time, 4:21

Below is a short list of the America's wars, dating back to the beginning of things. At the end of the list, I've included a link to an almost hour long documentary, "ReThink Afghanistan".
You may be interested to find out what's really happening on the ground there, right now.
Revolutionary War
Northwest Indian War
First Barbary War
War of 1812
Second Barbary War
Black Hawk War
Mexican-American War
American Civil War
Spanish-American War
Philippine-American War
World War I
World War II
- European Campaign
- African Campaign
- Pacific Campaign
Cold War
- Korean Conflict
- Vietnam Conflict
- Operation Power Pack
- Operation Urgent Fury
- Operation Just Cause
Gulf War
- Operation Desert Storm
- Operation Desert Shield
Yugoslav Wars
- Kosovo War
- Bosnian War
Global War on Terror
- Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan
- Operation Enduring Freedom, Horn of Africa
- Operation Enduring Freedom, Philippines
- Operation Iraqi Freedom

Please click this link to watch,
It is worth your time.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

old prose

It's just a quiet corner we call our home.
Nothing fancy and she's aged, like anything else around town,
by time, the sun and storms.
But we're on the high ground, the roof don't leak
and it's raised above the flood line.
Year 'round dry.

Besides, it's only some old man and his rusty dog so who really gives a shit.
Like the song goes, "I ain't botherin' no one I don't need to bother and nobody's botherin' me."

Trade out a third of every day to a man for pay.
It's less than making ends meet, but enough keep 'em close and a world away from living on the street.
The man knows it, I know it
and that's what seals the deal.

Halfway between the job and the night are
a handful of friends.
Bellied up to the outdoor bar, we breath the salt air
and talk about times before conch trolleys and trains.
When the shrimping was good and the Navy fed the town.

It blows like the wind, change does.
Sometimes it lifts you up and sometimes it blows you down.
Nothin' anybody can do to about it, just take it like it comes.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


It doesn't happen that often so I'm not complaining but once in a while,like this morning, I'll be getting out of bed and involuntary make one my father's old fart groaning noises.
(I hate when that happens) And it's all because some old war wound decided, during the night, that it wanted to come, spend the day and remember old times.

I don't get it! Why on some days, old sports injuries hurt today when they didn't yesterday probably won't hurt tomorrow? The weather yesterday and today is exactly the same, I work sitting down and I don't do much heavy lifting (at least I didn't yesterday). Does something go on during the night when I'm asleep and not paying attention?
Anyway, I have two old sports injuries and this one was the one I got back in my baseball days. I tell myself "a little pain never hurt anybody", brew a cup of coffee and carry it out
to the porch.

With coffee cup in hand,
I reflected on my old baseball injury. . .
Rounding third and heading for home, I saw the cutoff man's throw coming to the plate faster than I was. The catcher turned and got set for the runner and it was a "decoy slide" to try to get around the tag. I hit the dirt and came out of the slide with a damaged quadricep femoris tendon.

I know I took the long way around to come to the point (sometimes that just the way it rolls) but I've always been fascinated with the idea of reflection.

Look at mirror, see your reflection smiling back at you (by the way, is "look at" or "look in" a mirror?), check your rearview mirror, there's a reflection of a cop coming up from behind to pull you over. Walk through a skyscraper canyon in New York City (my college town) and in the steel and glass of buildings on both sides of Madison Ave. is the reflection of the other. Look into your own mind, reflection occurs in the shine of our minds, see what was, what is and what could be.

Or just watch passing motion of the ocean and the lowering sunset, reflected on the starboard side of a well kept yacht. The reflection of our lifestyle in Paradise is there.
Opulence, extravagance and elegance. Wide open natural beauty. An easy pace and optimism.
Appreciation for the good day just going down and anticipation for a better day tomorrow.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the beatles - let it be

This is a bit out of the norm, I know, but I thought some of you might enjoy it, as I did. . .

It's the Beatles' last movie, "Let It Be" in 9 parts
(damned youtube).
I remember the first time I saw it, my sister Ellie & I went to the old Zigfield Theatre (NYC) and did an all 5 Beatle movies afternoon marathon in the theatre (thank god in those days you could still smoke at the movies).

Until today, I had not seen it in a long while and surprisingly (or maybe not so much) it made me feel sad. Not a bad sad, but the kind of sad one becomes over a lost lover;
More memory on the good stuff that can't be anymore than their actual absence or loss.

Anyway, enjoy. . .

Sunday, May 23, 2010

christmas tree island

Early on in my new life in paradise, we were having cocktails at the Pier House beach bar and I asked my friend Dave about the two islands just a few hundred yards off Mallory Square. He called the one with the elegant homes on it "Sunset Key" and the other, undeveloped spit of land, "Christmas Tree Island".

I learned later that both were man made islands of sediment deposited at each site while the Navy was dredging Key West Harbor (c.1900). Originally, Sunset Key was called Tank Island but at that point Christmas Tree Island had no name at all. Long about 1925, a Public Health Service steamer called Wisteria sank where it was moored just off the island. The wreck was eventually salvaged and hauled off but the name "Wisteria", stuck with the island as sort of a tragic reminder.
Still, for many of us, it'll always be Christmas Tree Island.

I've been out there a time or two and think it's kind of nice. Peaceful and quiet, a great, seemingly exclusive view of sunset and easy enough to imagine as a nature preserve.

All the same, every so often some consortium of developers and/or local politicians get the hot and hornies to build homes out there. What I've noticed during the times when that happens is, those people stop saying "Christmas Tree" and only call it "Wisteria" Island.
I imagine that's intentional, as it sounds easier to sell the over development "Wisteria Island" than it would be, looking like some kind of Scrooge wanting to bring that kind of chaos to "Christmas Tree Island".

I don't pretend to know the ins-and-outs of who wants to do what and when, or the wheeling-and-dealing that goes on, directed at getting it done; but I do have to ask why.

It seems like almost every other house in Key West has a "For Sale" sign on it, people are walking away from their mortgages and/or being foreclosed on and even the last big development project, "Harbor House" down at the bight, is dead in the water.
Our ecology is already horribly strained, realtors aren't selling very much of anything and homes that are already built are vacant. Why would anyone think there was any further benefit in building anything else?

I'll admit, the concept of "greed" has always been a tough one for me to get my mind around but "common sense" I've got a pretty good handle on.
It just seem far more sensible from any number of perspectives (except maybe the developer's) to work within the already existing infrastructure.

JesusGod!! When is enough, enough?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!

Harris School

"I haven't written a word in weeks!"
This I mentioned to a friend over dinner this past weekend.
"That's probably because Mercury turned retrograde in Taurus on April 18th " she told me, "and when that happens all kinds of communications can get snarled up."
"How long does it last?" I asked her.
"This one will be over on Tuesday. . ."
"This coming Tuesday?"
"Yeah the 11th".

Now, I've never been a big one for astrology but I must admit that after a few weeks of nothing much to say, I woke up on the 12th with so much stuff banging around in my head, it took me three days to write it all down.
Makes you wanna say "hmmm. . ."

Sea the horizon at Ft. Zac

Anyway, I want to get my 2¢ in on that oil thing out in the Gulf.

Call it disaster, fiasco, catastrophe, debacle; I've even heard it called an act of God! Call it whatever you want but just don't call it a " leak". I mean have you seen the underwater video of what's going on out there?
Seriously, if you haven't, here's a link. . .

Sea Grapes at Ft. Zac

The notion of offshore oil drilling being anything near the neighborhood of "safe" is as bogus as the concept of "clean" coal.
Alright, but they're gonna do it anyway and we all accept the idea that, in this world, sometimes stuff happens. But, if you or I screw a pooch or make a mess (figuratively or literally), we take it on the chin and clean it up. With none of this not my fault, blame the other guy crap.
Did you catch any of those Senate hearings? (that's where I heard it called "an act of God")
Christ on Friday! It was like three 7 year olds arguing over who spilled the milk and special interest driven politicians (barely adolescents themselves) asking all the wrong questions!
What do they care who screwed up? The real deal is, how are the three stooges gonna make it right?
If the Senate really wanted to know what went wrong and how to right it, don't you think they'd want to be talking to the roustabouts (the guys who really do the work) instead of the corporate white hairs?
. . .Deliberate incompetence all around.

Up close & personal at Ft. Zac

Last week I saw the head guy from the EPA on Meet the Press. He was saying that if TransOcean, BP and Haliburton couldn't get it together, the government would step up to get it done.
(again, I was not reassured)

Then a radio talkshow (probably Hannity or something)
I heard two really stupid comments about all this;
One caller said, and I'm paraphrasing here, the liberals are just trying to use the spill for their own agenda. There's no disaster. Oil comes from the ground so it's as organic and natural as the water and birds and fish.
The other caller said the shrimpers and fishermen had nothing really to worry about because the oil would come up and float on the surface and the fish, after all, live under the water. (gotta love the "average" American)

Thanks to Reef Relief Founders

Do I know if any oil will wash up here?
Not really, I'm not so familiar with the motion of the ocean out there. But whether or not we get actual floating oil or "tar balls" at Ft. Zac, there are sure to be other types of impact. Already the oil is affecting oxygen levels in the water and sealife is suffocating and, the longer the oil is out there, the heavier it'll get; then it'll start to sink.
For our already fragile reef system, that can't be good.

Thanks again to Reef Relief Founders

. . .And as long as I've spent the afternoon ranting anyway,
I want to get one last thing off my chest.

It's a question really, for a guy I heard about a couple of weeks ago who calls himself "Jesse James". . .

Dude, are you out of your flippin' mind?

Sandra Bullock