In response to inaction, an open comment toward Rep. Gus Bilirakis

In light of recent events from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Day took on a weight even if the (alleged) remarks of Donald Trump were geared at people of color outside the United States.

There’s been mixed response and inaction by members of the Legislative Branch toward the slurs or attitude of the President. In fact, cover-ups or ignoring a precarious feat by Current Occupant seems to be the modus operandi from members of congress. In other words, the Legislative Branch holds to the status-quo. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Politics

The idea of hockey players from Tampa Bay

Some of the history of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey was touched on with my endorsement and love shown in the Vincent Lecavalier piece last week. The seed that Phil Esposito planted has taken firm root in Tampa Bay as the true forefather of hockey in non-traditional markets. Yeah, the Atlanta Flames preceded the Bolts, but the franchise did not take root and relocated to Calgary, Alberta.

Tampa Bay really was at the forefront of a southern surge through expansion and relocation – the Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, and Atlanta Thrashers (who ended up relocating to Winnipeg) and the neophyte Vegas Golden Knight.

This didn’t all come by way of Tampa Bay’s success – pro sports is a business; true expansion is to go to an untapped market – but the Lightning were at the start of it all. Starting play in a new markets, new exposure to the game to the youth of the region.

Now here’s question that coincides this: What is Tampa Bay’s best produced hockey player? Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under hockey, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

Tomas Fornstedt — Be My Friend

Just a tune by an indie artist on his debut album, Thoughts, that I discovered on Lonely Oak Radio last year. While his SoundCloud post of the song has been widely discovered, I was the first to cross it on YouTube this evening.  Enjoy.

Leave a Comment

by | January 16, 2018 · 8:40 PM

`The Land of Opportunity’ stands against itself and the world

I don’t know what’s more disgusting: The Dotard in Covfefe, Donald J. Trump’s “shithole country” triad in the Oval Office of the White House in front of and with a multitude of others (…or we wouldn’t know about this), or those defending the statement in an ignorant response:

“If it wasn’t a shithole nation, then why are people leaving it?”

Someone didn’t pay attention in History class through their schooling. They also likely haven’t put weight on what has been repeated time and time again in film and other pop-culture sources; and by way of it they bless a racist wretch.

America is supposed to be the land of opportunity. It’s been that way for centuries. This nation is founded by immigrants and society is built upon the immigrant population from around the world (some of which was forced immigration in the years of slavery which can’t be denied or looked past). They came here for a chance in so many ways and America itself clung to the notion:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Emma Lazarus, New Colossus

That does not translate into “their source country was a shithole.” If you’re an American and read that statement and think it does support sullying other countries around the world because they are shitholes – congratulations, you are living in a shithole right now governed by a tyrant who would rather bestow wealth upon himself and the upper-class than those looking for survival or a chance to accomplish a life.

And that tyrant has lived so much of his life only miles from the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, the monument that welcomes immigrants to these shores as accepted brothers and sisters. He’s lived close to it, he’s been exposed to it, and his words and actions as president show he doesn’t know it, doesn’t grasp it, and doesn’t care.

For the people of the world – those outside America – as a citizen of these United States, I apologize for what has been uttered by the president. The nations and people of the world have their own unique flavor and identities. For a person of such stature as the sitting president of a nation to utter slurs against them is ignorant, closed minded and disgusting. For those to defend actions like that is unfathomable and an acceptance of a social world war declared by the small minded.

We’re all unique in this world, we’re all different, and we should not be attacked and bullied because of these differences. We should be more willing to accept each other than denounce because of differences in race, creed and color.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Politics

The grand and heighest; the feats achieved for Tampa Bay by Vincent Lecavalier

Grand Marshal“, why does that seem such a fitting title for Vincent Lecavalier who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning 1st overall in the 1998 NHL Draft, ventured through the hell of a lost franchise, the warfare of conflict with John Tortorella (and calm bestowed upon the pair by Jay Feaster), and has his name immortalized on the Chalice of Lord Stanley with his colleagues and companions from the 2003-04 Tampa Bay Lightning roster?

Vinny rules. He was…no, no, wait, wait; he is. He is Tampa Bay Lightning hockey. While Roman Hamrlik was draft pick Numero Uno for the hockey franchise bestowed upon Phil Esposito and the Tampa/St. Petersburg Metroplex, while Chris Gratton and Jason Weimer were early standard-bearers along with Hammer. They didn’t last in Tampa. They didn’t develop fully and top out with the Bolts (or, arguably at all). Everyone that came to the Lightning between 1992 and 1997 just came and went. They served, they left a mark.

The ones who went deepest in the psyche of the fledgling market did not come by way of the draft or having developed with or through Tampa Bay. That is not trying to write off long-time alumni and early stars of this club like Brian Bradley or Darren Puppa, Rob Zamuner or Alex Selivanov. They gave us a taste of what was to come. They let us feel it and revel in it – Tampa Bay Lightning hockey and being a competitive force in the NHL and drawing us to the game. The 1996 NHL playoffs was a glimpse of what was to come.

Lecavalier helped show us what is an what can be. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under hockey, Tampa Bay Lightning

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 list of 2017: Top 25

This is where the proverbial countdown of 100 acts from the Music Tampa Bay 2017 list comes to its pinnacle with the top-voted songs from their web site. These are the folks who’s songs represented here were most often voted to remain in the weekly Top 40 voting chart displaying on the site each week.

Fan support bolstered these numbers; Gypsy star is known for being among the high-rankings annually with thanks to their fans. Yet for popularity of all the songs, some can’t be found on the common media-embed sites like YouTube, SoundCloud, ReverbNation, BandCamp, MySpace,  or others. In fact, the entire reason for this series has been to grant direct exposure to the songs for the general public (well… you the person who clicked to see this. Yeah, you. Hi.).

I encourage you to sample the songs if not here then on Part 1, Part 2 and/or Part 3. For the performing artists, it’s got to be nice to have a song that airs on the radio or an audio stream, but it’s even better when someone chooses to listen to it optionally and see what the artists or group sounds like.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 list of 2017: #50-26

We’re now in the top 50 of Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 from 2017 with today’s post. You can find 100 through 76 and 76 through 51 by clicking on those links.

Let me stress here that the Top 100 list was compiled by way of voting on the Music Tampa Bay web site. With that said, the order of the songs does not truly show rank or popularity of the songs as-so-much support that the artists gained on the Music Tampa Bay Top 40 vote each week. This also isn’t a listing of top current acts as-so-much recordings by local (Tampa Bay area)  performers that may have been made at any time. While putting together this post I found two songs were from the 1990s. Others I could not find online coverage for and that seems to suggest they could come from any time (though I would not suggest the music is older than 20 years).

In the end, take this as a music and artist discovery opportunity as well as direct exposure for the performing artists and the songs that cracked the list.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 list of 2017: #75-51

As the annum that was 2017 drifts off into the history books, its stories and stats are reflected upon in one way or another in a multitude of categories through the world. The facts of the year-that-was will be referenced and reviewed because… Well, it’s history and things that happen are relevant.

Like music.

It’s an annual thing from St. Pete, Florida-based community radio station Music Tampa Bay to present a Top 100 song list from each year of broadcast. I did a reflection post on 2016 last spring to give people a taste (and the music optional exposure) of some of the local music created from Bay area artists. With a new (old) year comes a new list of songs that were successes on the Music Tampa Bay voting poll through 2017. Each week, users are able to vote on the Top 40 on the site and those votes are tallied up into what becomes this grander list.

Unlike the Top 100 listing on Music Tampa Bay, the list version here includes (when available) links to the artist personal web site or a social site (Reverb Nation, Facebook) linked to them. The song is listed of course as well as embedded on the post (when possible). 25 songs are listed on 4 seperate blog posts (100-76, 75-51, 50-26, 25-1.

So, if you have time, interest and a musical curiosity, may I present to you the second group of songs from the Top 100 Songs from Music Tampa Bay from 2017. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 song list of 2017: #100-76

As the annum that was 2017 drifts off into the history books, its stories and stats are reflected upon in one way or another in a multitude of categories through the world. The facts of the year-that-was will be referenced and reviewed because… Well, it’s history and things that happen are relevant.

Like music.

It’s an annual thing from St. Pete, Florida-based community radio station Music Tampa Bay to present a Top 100 song list from each year of broadcast. I did a reflection post on 2016 last spring to give people a taste (and the music optional exposure) of some of the local music created from Bay area artists. With a new (old) year comes a new list of songs that were successes on the Music Tampa Bay voting poll through 2017. Each week, users are able to vote on the Top 40 on the site and those votes are tallied up into what becomes this grander list.

Unlike the Top 100 listing on Music Tampa Bay, the list version here includes (when available) links to the artist personal web site or a social site (Reverb Nation, Facebook) linked to them. The song is listed of course as well as embedded on the post (when possible). 25 songs are listed on 4 seperate blog posts (100-76, 75-51, 50-26, 25-1.

So, if you have time and interest and a musical curiosity, may I present to you the first 25 songs from the Top 100 Songs from Music Tampa Bay from 2017. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

An annual Tampa Bay festival to coincide the NHL All-Star invasion

Happy New Year to one and all. May 2018 be an annum of achievement and positive happenings for you and yours.

A little note to precede the National Hockey League’s 2018 NHL All-Star weekend for those attending as out-of-town fans and those exposed to the event through national media covering things in Tampa:

There’s an annual event that goes down in Tampa each year, it’s not an official marking of the start of tourist season in town but it tends to coincide it and can be tied to marquee events happening in town like the NFL’s Super Bowl when it’s played at Raymond James Stadium or, say, the NHL holding its All-Star game.

In this event, a flotilla of ships, led by a pirate ship known as the José Gaspar, will cruise around the waters of the Port of Tampa before “invading” downtown Tampa to mark the official start of the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. It’s usually high level execs and political people playing the role of pirate aboard the José Gaspar (or aboard their own ships hanging out with those on the pirate boat) before they land in downtown Tampa and are given control of the city by the mayor of Tampa.

Gasparilla is many events strewn out for a few weeks of time, but it’s the flotilla and pirate invasion that is the visible event that can catch the attention. There’s also a parade event through the Tampa city streets in the early afternoon.

So, what gives with a blog post on New Years Day about it, and why aim the attention at NHL fans?

Everything with the invasion event scheduled for Saturday, January 27th. That’ll be the day of coverage of the NHL Skills Competition, alumni game and all the other  lead-in events preceding Sunday, January 28th‘s NHL All-Star game. I wouldn’t be surprised if some pirate shenanigans are caught on film by visiting media – especially TSN or RDS. Hell, it wouldn’t shock me if NHL All-Stars and alumni find their way into the event as members of the invasion and parade (paging Alex Ovechkin, Mr. Alex Ovechkin…). If you’re scheduled to be in the Tampa Bay area for the weekend, you may want to look into events tied to the Saturday morning invasion antics in and around downtown Tampa…well, unless they conflict with events at Amalie Arena or directly tied to the All-Star weekend you’d rather attend.

For information on Gasparilla check the official site. For history on the festival and other info, I point you to Wikipedia.

Update (January 2nd at 2PM): Well, the NHL taste of the Gasparilla Festival event has taken on a taste. The Grand Marshall of the shindig was announced this afternoon by Ye Mystic Krewe, the organizers, governing crew and swabs, mates, and brooding Pirates of the José Gaspar: Former NHL center and Tampa Bay Lightning alumnus Vincent Lecavalier.

From the press release, quotes from the Krewe and Vinny:

“Vinny Lecavalier was the perfect choice as our Grand Marshal this year as we host the NHL All-Star Weekend in Tampa” said Christopher Lykes, Captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. “Vinny was a force with the Lightning and a force as an NHL All-Star. He has continued his leadership by being an active and positive role model in our Community” added Lykes.

“I am honored and grateful to Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla for selecting me to be the Grand Marshal of the 2018 Pirate Fest and Parade, especially at a time when the Lightning will be hosting the All-Star Game in our community,” said Lecavalier. “Tampa Bay is a special place with great traditions and the Lightning and Gasparilla are two of them. I look forward to representing both with pride in the parade.”

Leave a Comment

Filed under hockey, Tampa Bay

“Summer Dreams” to “Sgt. Pepper” and Brian Wilson’s Ask Me Anything on Reddit

AS a fan of the Beatles, I’ve read many different pieces of writing about those four Liverpudians, be that magazine or news articles in print and online or books… Many things that almost always touched on an album by another group and one specific musical composer from that group: The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds and Brian Wilson.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics

Change and lack-there-of behind the bench in the NHL so far in 2017-18

It’s mid-December in 2017, just shy of the true middle of the 2017-18 season and there’s a noteworthy lacking going on. Oh, it is an on-ice failing but it’s not a singular player statistic or performance. It’s team unction and wins and losses. And inaction by the management and ownership of any NHL franchise.

There’s a lingering story around the league about poor play and it’s coming from a variety of clubs:

  • The abyss that is the Buffalo Sabres keeps treading in the murk of the NHL standings as it has for too long now. They have only 23 points in 33 games played as of this writing.
  • Discontent from fans and mediocrity from the teams stymies the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers.
  • Rick Tocchet may get a pass by way of it being his first season as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes but the team is truly in the cellar with only 7 wins and 19 points total.

The Metro Division is a neck-and-neck race (with six points being the difference between first place (New Jersey Devils) and last (Carolina Hurricanes).

Suffice it to say, I’m shocked we haven’t seen the axe fall somewhere and a coach get dismissed for mediocrity or an abominable performance by his club. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under hockey

An unseen sight from The Truman Show

I kvetched recently about one little line of dialog hitting me in a painful way from the 1993 hi, The Fugitive. It was one sign of the on-the-go work that changed the script to the film we know… But one line irked me.

What’s inspired this write up doesn’t irk me in the filmmaking sense as-so-much the curious viewer who is into the movie and the lead character. This isn’t a flaw, but it’s a gargantuan scene that never is seen by the viewers during the build-up to the climax and finale of 1998’s The Truman Show. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Movies

End times for the open Internet?

{Intended as cross-posted at Raw Charge]

In the early 1990’s, there was an entity available to computer-owning consumers called Prodigy. That (and others that weren’t as prominent on the market) wasn’t exactly an Internet access portal, but it was. Through limited means and a controlled gateway, people were connected online at 2400 and 4800 bits per second – such blazing speed through regular phone lines. Prodigy’s controlled locations were where people congregated and see what news headlines and stories they were exposed to. The World Wide Web wasn’t a known aspect and… well, as far as I know there wasn’t much (if anything) on it that is commonly available in the modern online world as you know it today. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under interweb, Politics

Project Fi and it’s (lacking) trade-in department

A few months ago I wrote a(n admittedly weak) review of the Project FI phone service from Google. There’s an aspect I didn’t touch on which could and should be seen as a factor with people adopting the service — or a lack there of. It’s their trade-in service.

Yeah, theyIt’s not uncommon that someone can’t cover the entire cost of a new phone and a trade-in is vital for getting a new phone (and to join the ProjectFi network,a new phone is vital). Limited market for trade-in’s kill that option too easily. For others, like myself, they’ve held onto and utilized phones that were major names and brands but were old-old-old by smartphone standards. The option to trade in with ProjectFi isn’t there.

Take a look for yourselves at the Project Fi trade-in page. While there are plenty of major bands (Apple, Google, Huawei, LG, Motorola and Samsung) and models covered by major companies, there are too many not covered, such as the older model phone I was out to replace when I joined Project Fi.

Even without credit being scored to a trade-in smartphone, it’d be nice to have the option. Why? Tech recycling. You shouldn’t just htrow out technology like this! Making it more difficult to do the deed (recycling) is encouraging a negative environmental impact.

Being a very major business (Google) and having a company in the telecommunications market automatically puts you in competition with other majors in the industry. For Project Fi to only take in a percentage of phones (or be willing to) handcuffs them and limits the company’s availability to the asses. Damn shame…. There are more people out there who don’t go wild on phones unless they have WiFi coverage. The Project Fi WiFi-first for data/streaming has saved me (and many others) a lot of cash. It’d draw changes at other majors via competition.

Leave a Comment

Filed under testimonial