Month: June 2005


Light My Fire — no, put it out. Please.

It’s been a while since I decided to read any non-ficiton. Usually it’s biographical works on icons of the Entertainment industry (ie: Beatles or the Doors). Keeping with that trend, I decided to pick up Ray Manzarek’s Light My Fire, it’s a Doors autobiography I’ve been meanign to read for some time.

And yet, as I’m still in the early areas of the book, I’m trying to understand why I thought it was a must read? Probably because of all the positive reviews of the book when it originally was released. Can’t be bad at all then, can it?

From a writing standpoint, it can be all that bad. And worse. Though Manzarek has a unique perspective on his tail…. He’s not a writer.

The book comes off much like a personal journal would, I guess… Reporting the mundane as well as the gripping, life-altering events of Ray’s life… But Manzarek loses focus and direction on any given topic quite easily. At one moment he’s about to discuss finding a live performance of the Blues in the south side o fChicago, and the next moment he’s rambling about attire he wore to graduation from the 8th grade…. One moment he’s about to get into his first exposure to Beat poetry, the next he’s laying the smackdown on facism and intimidation of the California Highway Patrol. He goes off on the broadest tangents and does not focus on the event that inspires the tangent thought.

Another instance of Ray veering wildly is a recounting of Jim Morrison’s UCLA film school student film… While trying to detail Jim’s non-linear movie that Rya found “poetic”, he begins recounting Oliver Stone’s version of the student film that he made as part of his feature film on the Doors. Ray goes off on Oliver for makign an innocent film into something with anti-semitism and Nazi inneundo. He attacks Stone (as he has since the film came out in the early 1990’s) and lets the UCLA film school experience vanish from the story.

It almost comes off like a conversation — one that varies wildly as those who partake in the conversation ramble on into the night. Yet, having to read this conversation is painful… Especially with gramatical errors of repeated run-on sentences, short sentences that woudl be better combined, repetition of adjectives, etc….

Ray’s book, while from the heart, has nothing on John Densemore’s Riders on the Storm autobiography.,

Double Doggie D'OH!

The Dog is supposed to be six weeks old today. I haven’t seen a picture yet. I haven’t heard much of anything at all. I’m eager to hear and at the same time – I’m hearing nothing.

There was a dog I was told about by Jenna before I met Kerrie Kuper, this dog was in Orlando – another Whippet – and the his family was considering moving into a place where no dogs would be allowed. They loved Rip, but they would have to give him up… Or not. Jenna kept me informed about Rip’s status and as it turned out – Rip wasn’t going anywhere…. Supposedly.

Yesterday I found out that he was given away to someone in St. Petersburg, some time ago. I got to see his picture and I got to get angry because I missed out on my opportunity to already have a dog instead of waiting… Waiting in ignorance…. Waiting anxiously. Waiting…

Oh that silly media!

Anyone else a little sick of the media hype of Tom Cruise (and others) romance? Yeah, I figured the other 290+ Million Americans (and how many around the world?) just might be.

Matt Baldwin over at Defective Yeti flashes some humor over the latest People Magazine cover.

Ill Domain

It’s been a while since I was concerned about my health. It’s also been quite a while since I’ve overcome the last obstacle on my path of life. That being said, next week before I interview for a job, I’m supposed to talk to a doctor again and what the focus is on, is something that is affecting me and my day-to-day feelings.

Something’s got to be done in the near future and at the same time – the consequences if something goes wrong are immense.

Get a Job

Well, Johnny’s got a job interview on Tuesday and unless he breaks his hands between now and then, it should be a shoe-in position. I’m way overqualified for it but it’s a couple of bucks for a couple of hours of work. Better than sitting at home all day and waiting.

Win a Segway HT

Segway of Cleveland is holding a raffle for a Segway HT i180…. Those who know what the ehll that name means will be interested 😉

Raffle tickets are Five Dollars and all procceds go towards Sparx in the City downtown culture.

Yeah, regulars to the site or those who know me are aware I’m in Florida. Regulars will also note I have a jones for the Segway…. Suffice it to say, I bought three raffle tickets. 🙂

Skypoint and Tecocam

Being developement minded (and by developement, I don’t mean paving over wetlands to build Wal-Marts — Ugh) I like seeing all the projects that are finally going on in Downtown Tampa to further strengthen the urban core.

And though I can’t get downtown that often to keep tabs of things, I tend to hang out on Skyscrapercity just to (hopefully) see pictures of developements as they progress. Unfortunately that isn’t often the case (meaning no one posts photos as-so-much talks about things and expects everyone to know what the deal is because they’ve seen it first hand).

So I’m actually a little giddy that I am going to be able to follow developement of the Skypoint Apartments by using the Tampa Electric Company’s webcam

Will wonders never cease?

Well, Johnny wrote letters to the Clearwater City Councel along with Pam Iorio and Rick Baker (in seperate letters) discussing the possibility of a ferry link between cities….

Well? Gues what? Someone else thought that Tampa and St. Pete could be a great ferry route and are funding a study on it.

They are at least looking into it – not because of what I wrote but just because. I’m happy about that though.

Pinellas Rail's Backwards Tale

Well, well, well, the Pinellas County MPO gave their blessing to a slightly-poor-but-better-than-nothing Monorail system in Pinellas County. The seeds of Mass transit are either sown or they are buried before their funeral has commenced.

I’m not a big fan of the separate-but-equal mass transit planning of the Bay area, that’s part of the reason why I call the plan slightly poor. I’m also not a fan of the idea that the current scheme basically ignores commuters in North Pinellas who have the farthest to travel.

But my opinions on Pinellas County Mass Transit and the proposal are better than my opinion on some of the comments coming from Pinellas County Commissioners who are against the concept. Let’s take Susan Latvala for example:

“I just think we’re too developed to integrate something into our system,” County Commissioner Susan Latvala said. “We’re way too far down the road for this.”

When things get built out – that’s when Mass Transit comes into play. Why doesn’t that logic register with Latvala? Has she ever been out of Pinellas County? What IS the solution if not a rail system? Wider roads? More roads?

I guess Susan is resigned to the idea that every commissioner from this point on should be convincing Pinellas County residents they can’t do shit about traffic…

This plan is part of a coordinated mass-transit effort that Karen Seel can’t quite grasp:

“In 95-degree weather, will someone really take the rail and walk the rest of the way?” said Seel, the MPO chairwoman.

I guess she doesn’t have much confidence in how well coordinated this will be with buses and trolleys as was stated in the MPO endorsement. Buses running in coordination with rail stations cut down on wait times. As it stands right now, Pinellas County buses are running in a non-coordinated effort and in poor run times. Seel’s statement gives blessing for this – not seeing mass transit improvements tied to the monorail system.

Either it’s a step forward or a step deeper into the back-water politics of Tampa Bay. Only time will tell if Pinellas will make the right call on mass transit instead of allowing further traffic fatalities and headaches because of commission indolence and fears of the unknown.

Give'em Hell, Howard!

The Deanmeister Rides again!

For all of the willy-nilly Democrats who see Dean being vocal as a bad thing – just how many times have you thought along the same lines as what Dean is saying? He’s saying NOTHING that the base of the Democratic party hasn’t thought or believed – and if you think that politicians distancing themselves from Dean is because what he is saying is bad, it’s more along the lines that Dean is saying things that are Liberal beliefs that aren’t embraced at all by Democrats elected to congress or elsewhere.

The challenges of exposing corruption

Published in the St. Pete Times on June 11th — written by moi.

Listening to the right-leaning talking heads who were part of the Watergate scandal, speaking about how W. Mark Felt is a “traitor” and a “toady” and a villain and not a hero for what he did reminds me of the story of Frank Serpico.

Serpico was a New York plain clothes officer who outed vast corruption in the New York City Police Department through the press, after having previous attempts to out corruption swept under the rug by the powers that be. The reaction by the force was death threats and then ultimately a gunshot wound to the face.

Why do I compare W. Mark Felt with Frank Serpico? Because they both aired dirty laundry of certain institutions and both were vilified unjustly for their actions. Would someone claim that Serpico was a traitor to the police department for spilling the beans on wrongdoing on the police force?

Corruption is corruption, and those who out it aren’t the villains.

Finally some GOOD news

It seems like forever since something got my spriits up – yesterday being the Anniversary of the Lightning’s Stanley Cup win helped things along a bit… But today seems even more of an uplifting thing…

They actually agreed upon a salary cap, there is indeed hope that a new CBA will be in place for the NHL and the 2005-06 season will happen.

Now only if things in my day to day life were better… 🙁

Movie Trivia – Round 8

What inspired George Lucas to use the name R2-D2 in Star Wars?

"Where have all the good men gone and where are all the Gods?"

So Deep Throat has been revealed. An enigma of Americana politics has been answered.

The reason I am writing about this at all is some anger I have from the likes of the media and their interview candidates after Mark Felt admitted to being Deep Throat. Unethical twits G. Gordon Liddy and Robert Novak, along with serial-asshole Pat Buchanan, were the guys interviewed on air with regards to what they thought of Felt being Deep Throat.

Liddy has no credibility to state what he thinks of Felt – and by his answers on CNN and on MSNBC, you can see he would have prefered everything kept “in house.” Liddy complains that the evidence should have been taken to a federal grand jury – and in the age of conspiracies and cover ups, everything would have discretely been swept under the rug and Liddy never would have served time for his lawbreaking.

Novak has no credibility to make claims that Felt was a traitor or unethical for what he did. Novak himself is a criminal that has not been arrested as of yet for revealing the identity of a CIA agent. If you compared Felt to Novak specifically – these two operated on opposite ends of the political spectrum in what they did. While Novak was used as a tool of the political powers-that-be to get back at their enemies (Joseph Wilson), Felt was protecting the government from itself (and the powers-that-be) by revealing any information at all to Bob Woodward and letting it become public. One man is the epitome of public corruption and the other is the epitome of public service. That’s not trying to make a saint out of Mark Felt and everything he has ever done for the FBI or the government, I don’t know the man enough to make that assessment, but that is heralding him for blowing a whistle on dirty shenanigans that were ongoing in the government and letting the public know.

And Buchanan? Ok, well — Pat is Pat and Pat has always been an asshole of grandoise proportions in one way or another.

Hoyt Hamilton, come on down!

I got a response from Councilmember Hoyt Hamilton of the Clearwater City Council over the Ferry idea that I floated with them.

He brought up the fact that they had offered a free ferry in 2000 and it saw a little bit of ridership and before it, a private ferry was in service that charged 3 bucks round trip and did poorly.

I got encouraged that someone replied at all… And now I’ve gotten my head on straight and typed up another letter, thanking him for it and then talking about some issues that I have with what he brought up.

The Free Ferry operated on weekends alone. I have no clue what the hours were. It operated for 3 months total and saw some 2650 riders. Losses were 500 smackers a day. Ok, good. Now how come you were only operating it on weekends when tourists are on Clearwater Beach or trying to get to the beach all week? Were you specifically tryign to cater to the locals who would be beach hopping on the weekend?

How much advertising was part of this free ferry service? I wasn’t a beach visitor in 2000 and don’t recall any press about the ferry being in existence – let alone publicity about using it to get to and from Clearwater Beach.

If you’re goign to do something, you can’t just do it half assed. That’s what Clearwater seems to have done with the ferry while it was in operation. I’ve been out on the beach during tourist season this year and I’ve seen how the spring break crowd is confined to the strip…. That or traffic dodging while trying to walk the Clearwater Memorial Causeway.

My reply letter is already typed up and ready to send. I’m glad I got a response. Now let’s see if Pam Iorio (or one of her staff) or Rick Baker (or one of his staff) reply.

Got Marketing? Segway of Clearwater doesn't

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m big on the Segway HT. The media laughs at it, people in general ridicule it and everyone I have seen ride it smiles instantly and loses their negative tone at least for a while when onboard.

It’s a thing of freedom to the disabled – though not medically approved by the FDA. It’s a vehicle of fun for those who are tired of the automobile.

And it’s the most poorly marketed item possible at Segway of Tampa Bay – Clearwater.

While Tampa Bay lacks mass transit – a vital part of the Segway’s appeal to get where you’re going faster while not quite going bike speed and going much faster than foot speed – it has traffic issues that have been brought up time and again by moi and others aroudn the blogosphere. People are looking for alternatives for short commutes and such and Seg of Clearwater is no where in sight.

Downtown Tampa is currently undergoing a developement boom and those who are going to be living downtown are going to need a means to get around that shouldn’t include the car – something that will travel where the TECO Streetcar won’t. St. Petersburg already has a large urban populous. Segway of TB – Clearwater? They’re on the beach showing off the device but not actually catering to potential customers. To show up on Clearwater Beach with the device sells the item like a novelty to the masses and not as a legit means of transportation.

Going to their web site, they laude sight seeing over mobility. They avoid the transit question because they happen to be exotic car dealers – why shut out one means of business with your other means of business?

It frustrates me when something that can be used is mis-advertised or just plain swept under the rug. Such is the Segway in this suburban hell.

Terrable and the Mason Monster

Another Labor induction is forthcoming for one of my friends. My local friend Michelle had labor induced a day before finally delieverying her daughter Lily Annabelle.

Now? My friend Terra up in Tallahasee is having labor induced (for medical reasons – high BP on her part and swelling) today. … I’ve only just heard from her about what is going on.

Hope she has an easier time than Michelle…