Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – Kissimmee, FL

In the thirteen years of being in the greater Orlando area, I had yet to visit this entertainment event. I had little interest in until hearing about a great discount. With a friend receiving coupon for 50% off (i.e. buy one, get the second ticket free.), I had figured worth the meal alone. The Medieval Times website had other another Labor Day special but, not as good as this proposition. With e-ticket ready to go, I had headed off to an evening to explore this blend of theater, live action and dinner.

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Upon checking in at the facility, each guest had had been segregated into different factions, representating their House (i.e. Yellow, Green, Red, etc..). Each house had their respective champion, like mine, the Yellow Knight. Post the introductions for each group and some back story, each champion had competed in various games of skill. Then these Knights had challenged each other for the right to  fight  the “bad guy.” The highlight of the action had been the splintering joust sticks on the opposing Knight’s shield. The best summary for the experience from a guy’s point of view, had been akin to the joy of watching professional wrestling.

With respect to the accompanying meal, it had been a lot better than my expectations. For the evening, everyone had received the following:

  1. Tomato bisque
  2. A piece of bread
  3. Half an oven roasted chicken
  4. A BBQ rib
  5. Half a potatoe
  6. Apple turnover

Just a heads up, the food had been served by design without utensils. The only thing I hadn’t finished, the weird tasting potatoe. Alcohol and any gratuity had been extra. There had been a lot of fathers and sons soaking up this family affair. If you had a little girl or boy, this had seemed like a perfect distraction to Friday or Saturday night.

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Address: 4510 W Vine St, Kissimmee, FL 34746

Phone: (888) 935-6878

Ticket: Prices vary, check their site for specials!

More information: medievaltimes.com

Changes @ gFX

With the summer about to wrap up, I had spent a few minutes test driving Adobe Creative Suite with Photoshop. The simple pleasures of creative musings never had seemed to stop to make me smile. The trial run for CS version of Photoshop had 30 days to go, but at $20 bucks a month, small fry stuff for a quality image editing tool. On top of the new banner, I had made a few other changes to this corner of electronic space.

a.  On the right, the recent postings’ links had now increased to 10 days with a time stamp.

b. Nature to Blog images had linked back to the original stories.

c. I had posted quick flashback to springs from this summer at Ocala National Forest. The video’s music had been from Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy Reconfigured.

d. Second mention on three of my favorite blogs I had put on Al Gore’s Internet!

1. OPINION: Mice, the Brain and the NSA

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2. Scrub Brush Bird Trail, Titusville FL

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3. Who is Nile Rodgers? Why you already know him!

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Who is Nile Rodgers? Why you already know him!

One artist had his fingerprints all over my lifetime of listening music experiences, Nile Rodgers. Ranging from my first musical purchase at age 13, with vinyl single 45 of Duran Duran’s the Reflex, through age 41, with an iTunes digital download, of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, Rodgers had applied his signature touch of colorful tones, driving rhythms and celebratory style. In retrospect, he had shaped months upon months of audio to my brain. At over age 60, this writer, producer, musician, cancer survivor, had transcended 1970s’ disco, 1980s’ arena rock, and some of the biggest acts in contemporary music. Nile Rodgers had pushed some of the 1980s’ biggest acts into superstardom from Duran Duran, Madonna, and the B-52s. With established acts like David Bowie, Robert Plant, and Stevie Ray Vaughn, he had helped channel another aspect of their personas’ but, with a familiar feel. All of these creative efforts had seemed small in comparison to this summer’s mammoth hit “Get Lucky.” With a release back in May, still lingering in the Itunes Top 25 this week, it had only taken him two hours to write that track. This single had made Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, their best selling album to date. Even more amazing, his humility, he had not even called “Get Lucky” his own music. Meanwhile, he had been a fixture in Daft Punk’s promotional art like the video still below, as well as countless other cameos for other artists. I can’t tell you there had been some higher level of aesthetic in my appreciation for his works, except for a undeniable feeling of pure fun. Perhaps that had been the secret to his longevity, a higher love. As I had run down some of this man’s creative credits, hopefully you had been reminded of some of that floor thumping fun too.

We Are Family“, Sister Sledge (1978) producer

Good Times“, Le Chic (1979) band member

Upside Down“& “I’m Coming Out“, Diana Ross (1980) producer

Modern Love” & “Let’s Dance“,  David Bowie (1983) producer

The Reflex” & “The Wild Boys,”, Duran Duran (1984) producer

“A View To A Kill”, Duran Duran (1985) producer

Material Girl” & “Like a Virgin“,  Madonna (1984) producer

Here’s to Future Days“, Thompson Twins, (1985) producer

Notorious” (1986), Duran Duran producer

“Higher Love” (1986), Steve Winwood – session musician

“Moonlighting Theme”, Al Jarreau (1987), producer

Cosmic Thing“, The B-52’s (1989), producer

“Family Style”,  Vaughan Brothers aka Stevie Ray Vaughan  (1990), producer

“Reach Up for the Sunrise”, Duran Duran (2001), producer

“Get Lucky”,  Daft Punk (2013) writer, session musician

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More Information

About Nile Rodgers from www.nilerodgers.com

Nile Rodger’s blog about his experience through Cancer

Nile Rodgers Gets Lucky With Daft Punk, Finds Lost Chic Tracks (Huffington Post)

Nile Rodgers (Wikipedia)

Green Tea Extract – A Caffeine Substitute?

Late one night, I had been too tired to go to sleep watching cable television. My remote had stopped on a Dr. Oz segment focusing on products to reduce aging. One product had quite of bit of marketing hype on the internet, Green Tea Extract. Whether in pill or tea form, Green Tea Extract had been positioned as powerful antioxidant with a host of applications.

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What had gotten my attention, Green Tea Extract’s thermogenic effects on the body. The mild burst of energy from oral consumption had been an intriguing property. For my application, I had been looking to supplement caffeine in the morning or before a workout. Caffeinated gum, sodas, and assorted energy drinks, had been too much to stomach with their over the top percentage of caffeine and/or sugar. Green Tea Extract, while providing 2% to 4% caffeine by volume, had offered a slow and short rise in energy. This supplement had provided no ill effects like jitters or uneven temperament. Any claims of weight loss or hungry suppression by using Green Tea Extract, I had not been able to verify. Whether at work or home, I had never felt unable to focus, sleep or eat as with other products like 5-Hour Energy, Stacker or RockStar.

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For reference, my consumption had been limited to one pill (400 – 600 mg), accompanying a protein shake during my mornings. I had tried a formulation from the Vitamin Shoppe and the Spring Valley brand above. There had been no big difference in the brands, less pill count, concentration and price. The manufacturers’ maximum recommended dosage, had been two pills with meals three times a day; However, the daily recommended dosage had seemed more like a marketing ploy to sell product (i.e. lather, rinse, and repeat). If you workout or want to replace coffee, I had suggested a review of Green Tea Extract.

For more information

Green Tea Extract (Wikipedia)

Dr. Oz’s Green Tea Project on weight loss.

WebMd’s uses for Green Tea Extract

WebMD’s side effects from Green Tea Extract

Weight loss effects of Hoodia from Mayo Clinic

Hoodia (Wikipedia)

As always, consult with a medical profession before making changes to your diet and/or review any possible adverse drug interactions.

Review: Breaking Bad Final Season, Episode “Confessions”

Rating:  Watch it now!

Summary:  Sal had sprung Jessie Pinkman from the Albuquerque Police Department; However, not before Hank Schrader had made a few minutes to angle Pinkman to roll on Walt.  After Jessie’s release, Walt had scheduled a desert rendezvous with Pinkman to discuss a fatherly “vacation.”  After dealing with Pinkman, Walter had revealed to Walt Jr. his cancer  but, only as means of manipulation.  Next at the White residence, Walt had reached a supposed moment of contrition by recording  a confession. Pivoting to a scene in Mexican restaurant, Hank and Walt had a face off about “how to be a man”. After a heated exchange between the two couples, Walt and Skylar had left the recorded confession on the table.  The reveal of the confession to Hank had been worth every minute of this episode, absolutely phenomenal.  The episode shifting gears to Pinkman leaving town, he made a realization turning his recent apathy into rage. The entire episode had been about confessions of sorts, but more about revelations. Hank Schrader had wanted to go to DEA but, do so would be at a significant price. Pinkman had been left in place, where conflict with Walter, seemingly inevitable.

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For folks missing the broadcast or a DVR, you can pick up new episodes on iTunes:

“Confessions” (posted 8/25/2013)
Inside Breaking Bad: Episode 603, “Confessions” (posted 8/26/2013)

AMC had scheduled a rebroadcast of “Confessions” on Sunday, September 1st 7:57 PM (Eastern)

Next episode, “Rabid Dog” Sunday, September 1st, 9 PM (Eastern)

AMC’s Breaking Bad airing schedule: http://www.amctv.com/schedule#series/Breaking-Bad

AMC’s website for more information: Breaking Bad

If you haven’t seen the rest of the series, checkout 1-5 on Netflix.

Sakari Sushi – Winter Park, FL

The reason for the shout out, I can’t think of any other restaurant that had been consistent over any length of time (1 year  or more) in the Central Florida area. Sakari Sushi, formerly Seito’s, had continued the quality food and service over the past decade. Despite the name change, I have been able to select the same options from Spicy Tuna Roll, California Roll A, and to Sex In the City Roll. As always, the staff had consistently been attentive and polite. The facility had been cool, clean and fresh smelling (i.e. lacking any flies).  There had been the option to sit outside, but I have sat inside with the AC, sans flies. On a Sunday afternoon, they now have hung televisions for sporting events (i.e. NBA, NFL, college football). If you had been looking for consistent location for sushi, check them out in Winter Park Village off 1792 and Lee Road.

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More Information: Sakari Sushi

Review: Jobs

Rating: Worth matinee of $8.75

Summary:  The appeal of the picture had stemmed from Ashton Kutcher’s spot on performance and the inspirational message of “thinking different.” After skipping this title on the first week of release, I had grown more curious about the Jobsian mythology, after watching the documentaries Steve Jobs: One Last Thing (2011) and Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview (2012) .  Capturing the mercurial powder keg of this visionary, Kutcher had believably pivoted from calmness to madness and back. For Ashton Kutcher, his role had been transformational from comedian to actor. Outside of the film’s cheap production values from style, set and film stock, his ability to sell through Steve Jobs made the movie worthwhile. Highlighting his genius, Job’s ethos had been marketing a great idea to finished product. His ability to direct talent has been transcendent among many of his contemporaries. Jobs’s relentless ability to see past the present and non-believers, had set him apart but, at a personal price. At one point, Steve Wozniak had eloquently stated “The product is about you… It must be very lonely in there.” Those small moments had taken a backseat to pop culture history of the Apple I, Macintosh and iMac. With every opportunity, Jobs had always seemed ready to apply his business pragmatism. Those visions had been rooted in ability to stay hungry and stay foolish. Fitting Kutcher had ended the film with the following, “Those crazy enough to want to change the world, are the ones that do.” When you finish watching this dramatization, you might had thought you can too.

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More information:

Steve Jobs: One Last Thing (2011) available on Netflix
Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview (2012) available on Netflix
Jobs (IMDB)

Review: Breaking Bad – Final Season, Episode “Buried”

Rating:  Watch it now!

Summary:  This episode had immediately focused on Hank and Walt racing to contact Skylar.  Hank had gotten the upper hand confronting Skylar at a local restaurant. With Skylar’s unstable emotional state, the White facade had seemed on the verge of unraveling in one moment.  Gaining her composure after Hank’s questioning,  Skylar had interrupted Hank, “Am I under arrest ?” With that statement, Skylar had left the restaurant with Hank empty handed. Without being able to reach Skylar, Walt had sought Sal’s legal consultation. Walt had initiated a “CYA” plan for moving their hoard of cash from storage. Sal immediately had suggested sending Hank on a vacation to Belize like Mike. Responding with restraint, Walt had espoused the virtue of family. With the cash hidden away, Hank had suggested to Skylar turning himself in an effort to preserve his family legacy (i.e. money). Skylar had responded with revelation of knowing his relapse of cancer and keeping quiet for now. The whole theme of this episode had been Hank Schrader searching for the evidence to put Walt away, despite being “family.”  The irony aside, Hank had been provided access to Pinkman by coincidence, fresh off the streets of Albuquerque. If you had waited all week to watch this episode, like me, power on your DVR or download it from the Internet already!

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For folks missing the broadcast or a DVR, you can pick up new episodes on iTunes:
Inside Breaking Bad: Episode 602, “Buried” (posted 8/19/2013)

“Buried” (posted 8/18/2013)

AMC had scheduled a rebroadcast of “Buried” on Sunday, August 25th  7:57 PM (Eastern)

Next episode, “Confessions”had been slotted for Sunday, August 25th, 9 PM (Eastern)

AMC’s Breaking Bad airing schedule: http://www.amctv.com/schedule#series/Breaking-Bad

AMC’s website for more information: Breaking Bad

If you haven’t seen the rest of the series, checkout 1-5 on Netflix.

Opinion: Ben Affleck as Batman! Was Kermit the Frog unavailable?

Ben Affleck as Batman, I don’t think that had any ability to invoke intimidation for any audience, Bane, the Joker, let alone Missy Piggy. There had been a reason Warner Brothers had offered Christian Bale $50 million dollars to reprise his role. Christian Bale had been a psychotic killer in American Psycho. Now that had brought some gravitas to the role. As matter of fact, look at some of Christian Bale’s cinematic pedigree that he had brought to the Batman franchise.

The Fighter 2010

Terminator Salvation 2009

3:10 to Yuma 2007

The Prestige 2006

The Machinist 2004

Reign of Fire 2002

American Psycho 2000

If you had wanted a cardboard puppet performance perhaps, Ben Affleck.

Daredevil 2003

The Sum of All Fears 2002

Reindeer Games 2000

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Perhaps, I had lost my mind like Kermit the Frog, but just your average American film viewer.  If you think I had been on the money, sign the online petition with Warner Brothers. Otherwise, fire away.

Online Petition from Change.Org

More comments from around the web:

How Shatner and 18 more celebs reacted to Affleck’s Batman casting (BLASTR)

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From God (FaceBook)

Honey Dates? They look awful!

Purchased a pound of these off the Internet (i.e. Nuts.com) after being a bit curious. Usually I have kept to familiar choices when ordering food online. The marketing photograph below had looked more appealing than the real ones. The actual ones had looked rotten in appearance, perhaps mistaken for a cockroach from afar. Despite the less than appetizing look, this dried fruit selection had been semi-addictive. The texture of dates had been soft with mild sweetness. Shared some pieces with a few co-workers, whom had seemed equally impressed by the taste. The bag had about 80 pieces inside, lasting all of about two days at my work desk. The only thing I had preferred missing the pits in their center.

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 24g (~0.8 oz.) (Approx. 18.9 Servings/Pound)

Amount Per Serving
Calories 66
Calories From Fat 0
%DV
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Sugars 16g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A 1% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 1%

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Review: Mile … Mile and A Half

Review:  For any naturist, worth $10 and drive to Deland, FL

The Florida Trail Association had sponsored a screening of  the The Muir Project’s new film, “Mile … Mile & A Half” at Athens Theater.  This film had followed a group of hikers’ 30 day experience through California’s John Muir Trail.  The great thing about this production, nature had been the star backdrop from Yosemite to Mount Whitney. The documentary explored the physical challenges of the terrain, supplying, endurance and recording on the participants. Despite the hardships on the team,  the bond of survival had brought them a greater reverence for life and the environment.  During the question and answer session, the producers had mentioned their previous longest trek being 4 days.  Another aspect of the movie had been the impromptu moments of humor and music.  The story put forth had been nothing less than inspirational when thinking about your next summer vacation. The documentary had a limited run, so your best bet will be the DVD release.

More Information:

The Muir Project

Mile…Mile & a Half Trailer 1

Mile…Mile & a Half Trailer 2

Athens Theatre

Florida Trail Association

Scrub Brush Bird Trail @ Titusville Florida

Traveling to different parts of Florida for the 2013 season, insects had been sparse due to an unseasonably cool spring or just by chance. A chance decision had brought me to Scrub Brush Bird Trail in Titusville.  Already on an afternoon excursion, I had concluded “Why not?” After reading the trail map, I had noticed the importance of brush fires for this habitat’s life cycle. Hopefully brush fires had reduced this area of some bugs.  Exiting the information post, I had rotated directly into view of a Banana Spider.  Another step, my head would had been caught in the center of the web. This monstrosity’s body had a length of  two inches.  Toss in the legs for another estimated two inches, it had a total of four inches of killing power. Circumventing the spider’s golden net, I had quickly moved onto the trail. Considering the proximity to all the open and stagnating water, I had been surprised no swarming vermin yet. The only activity I had seen so far, a small turtle crossing the path.  About 10 minutes up the way, I had picked up a beetle. After toying  around with the beetle for juvenile photo ops, I had released it unharmed. Right after, as if on cue by mother nature, horseflies had started attacking from multiple directions. After quickly crushing one attack, another pack of 3-4 flies had closed in. This had continued with couple more rounds forcing  a walk into a jog.  At the first major turn, half-way through trail, all I had seen going forward, overgrown scrubs.  With brisk winds blowing now, I had decided to double back. The problem had been the  pursuit of horseflies plus mosquitoes. Picking up the pace to a jog had been ineffective in alluding the horseflies.  The jog had now turned into full out running. I had kept that speed until clearing the surrounding greenery.  Once off the trail, I had hopped into my car, flipped the ignition and sped away. This adventure had affirmed the reputation of the voracious insects around Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. The irony for such a short trek, it had seemed like forever. One final note on the birding trail, never saw Scrub Brush Bird. Maybe something had not approved of those beetle photo ops.

Directions: Take I-95 South until exit 215. At exit 215 go East on Highway 50 until US1. Go left northbound on US1. At US1 and Max Brewer Memorial Parkway go right.   At Max Brewer Memorial Parkway and  Kennedy Parkway North go left. Go about 1 mile on your right, Scrub Brush Bird Trail.

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Kennedy Space Center with Atlantis Shuttle Exhibit – Titusville, FL

Few years ago I had visited Kennedy Space Center in Titusville. The general reaction to the park had been a fun, positive outing at K.S.C. Though like an automated manufacturing process, the exhibits had completed their tasks of presenting historical media and other facts with an unemotional dated precision. For any Floridian, we had already seen visual spectacle with Universal Studios, Islands of Adventures and Disney. On the other hand, Seaworld and Busch Gardens, had tapped into raw emotional connection between animals and people.  With Atlantis Shuttle Exhibit, K.S.C. had changed their game with inspiring visuals, grandeur and even a slight of hand trick.

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The first presentation of the Atlantis Shuttle Exhibit had been a dramatization following the twelve year creative process to bring the shuttle program to flight. How many of us had worked on anything outside of kids and marriage that long? Once this film ended, people had moved to another auditorium. Projected on the unique multi portion screen had been the lush greenery around K.S.C. with the first orbiter in the backdrop. The thundering launch kicks off a montage of various Nasa history and animated rendering that had been blended through the various screens. Periodically, I had to twist my body left-right, back and forth to keep up with all the moving space born objects. By the end of the movie, I had deeper appreciation for the size of these vehicles and monumental tasks of moving them to a live launch. Don’t get emotional much, but definitely it had plucked my heart string on the nationalistic tip.  This movie had complimented the size of shuttle with its supped up exhibit hall. This side of KSC had been worth seeing again. To that end, it had been time well spent on a Saturday noon.

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More information:

Kennedy Space Center

Atlantis Shuttle Exhibit

Titusville, FL (wikipedia)

Cape Canaveral Seashore – Titusville, FL

As a native Floridian, Cape Canaveral Seashore had stood out as the best beach from Central East to North East portion of the state. Avoiding the sediment of the St. John’s River Delta, the waters had been relatively clear, in spite of the turbulent surf. The beach sand had been a mix of fine and semi coarse deposits complimenting the aquamarine colored seas. The high salienty of the water had provided extra buoyancy to ease swimming or trending water. Despite the allure of the ocean, I had taken notice of the multiple riptide warnings. Canavarel Shores reputation’s for rip currents had been well deserved. This observation I had spoken from experience being a novice open water swimmer.

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Another great aspect of this park had been the abundance of wildlife. Just off Site 1, I had seen jellyfish, dead baby shark,  turtle nests, turkey buzzards, crows, a turtle shell and pelicans. With the end of the summer approaching, I had suggested this beach above Daytona, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Emily Island beaches. In closing, I would had been remiss to avoid mentioning areas including Site 13.  With multiple public postings to the contrary, just around this area and north had been an area for nude sun bathers. With respect to Site 1 and Site 2, I had seen nothing  remotely approaching inappropriate for family outing. Before driving out, be sure to check Kennedy Space Center (Nasa) Launch Schedule. In advance of scheduled launches, Cape Canaveral Seashore had been closed at a minimum a week. For those in the greater Orlando area, the commute had been 1.5 hours to park. Parking had been limited across all the various sites. If you had planned to visit, go early.

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Parks hours: Monday – Sunday, 6AM-6PM less any closings for NASA’s launches.

Standard vehicle entrance fee $5

For more information regarding this park:

Cape Canaveral Seashore – Titusville, FL

Kennedy Space Center (Nasa) Launch Schedule

Review: Kick-Ass 2

Rating: Worth $5 on PPV or a matinee, but no more.

Summary:  Lacking the sharp sarcasm and focus of the first installment, Kick-Ass 2 had been derivative with empty violence, gratuitous cursing and sexual overtones. Superhero films have been hard to follow-up with successful and engaging sequels. Ensemble pieces in any genre had been equally challenging, less the Avengers, Big Chill, X-Men 2 and some classic Star Trek and Star Wars. With teams of superheroes and villains, too many character introductions had scuttled the pace of exploring the conflict of reality vs. fantasy.  Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Colonel Stars and Stripes had some fun moments with his vicious dog Eisenhower; however, this rigid performance had fallen short of Nicholas Cage’s previous insanity and vulnerability as Big Daddy. The best scenes of the film had been Hit Girl and Mother Russia expressing their raw violent abilities.  Kick-Ass 2’s theme “that reality has consequences” had reinforced that sequels usually just suck “Motherfucker!”

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For more information:

Kick-Ass 2 (IMDB)

Kick-Ass 2 Featurette, Hit Girl vs. Mother Russia

Perseids 2013: Meteor shower at Mullet Park Sanford, FL – Tuesday, August 13th, 2013, 4:30AM Eastern

At 4:30 AM Tuesday, August 13th, 2013, 4:30 AM Eastern, I had parked my red Ford explorer under the lights of Mullet Park. After missing out two previous nights to travel to Deltona, FL and New Symnra, FL, I had arrived to witness the peak of this astronomical event. A few nights before, I had been inspired by Derek Deter , Director of the Planetarium at Seminole State College to get out to view my first meteor shower. Walking away from the two park lights, the uncoordinated chorus of frogs had filled the humid still air. Open 24/7, the location had seemed peaceful and away from civilized “light pollution.”

As I gazed unto the clear open sky, one after another had shot on during my hour there. A dozen or so streaks of various brightness had filled my field of vision. Nature had been subtle in delivery as I struggled to search turn to the night above.
Perhaps, people had wondered, why I had not taken more pictures of the park or the sky above. One technical limitations of my glorious iPhone3GS. Secondly, if I had been wasting my time toying with my phone. I would had not been able to focus on adjusting for the different courses of the lights above. Remarkable, sometimes, one doesn’t need to record events, just live them.

To that end, when the next meteor shower had rolled around. Stop, take stock of were you are in your life and the galaxy, look up.

There had been the exception a shooting murder about a year ago. The only thing, I had heard or seen, were the meteors

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Some people wake to the mundane nature of a day. But how much time do you have. Are you the hungry insects that had swarmed to consume my blood at the edge of dawn. A mosquito has limited shelf life..much like the passing meteors.

Silence marked by the unsychronized sounds of frogs. Time is an illusion that no way can hold. Only the reflection of emotion fills the humid air.

There an hour in, I had filled my quota for blood to the vernom and nature filled my eyes with the wake of streaks across the sky. God I cant wait until colder weather washs down upon FLA

Glad I didn’t know that to start with, maybe I would have skipped on the trek to Geneva, FL

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More Information: Mullet Park, Sanford, FL
Hours and Contact Information
Open daily 24 hours
LEISURE SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Greenways and Natural Lands Division
845 Lake Markham Rd, Sanford, Fl 32771
Phone: 407-665-2001

 

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Review: Breaking Bad Season Premiere “Blood Money”

Rating: Worth the 47 minute run time.

Summary:  The season premiere, “Blood Money” had been picked up with some of the darkest, most conflicted scenes for characters, Jesse Pinkman and Hank Schrader; however, Walter White had seemed right at home, almost. The contrast of conscious versus criminal had never been further apart.  Picking up from the season cliff hanger for Season 5, we have found Hank attempting to gracefully exit Walter White’s house. Hiding out at home, Hank had moved forward with trying to reconcile the truth of his own epiphany.

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Despite his recent wealth, Pinkman had started a precarious decline into depression.  Jesse’s selfless actions had soon brought him face to face with Walt.  Two key elements of this episode had been the flash forward scene revealing “Eisenberg” on the walls of the White house. The other, a moment had been best left to Walter White’s own words, “If you don’t know who I am. Then maybe your best course, would be to tread lightly.” That dialogue had been a great kick off to the final episodes.

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For folks missing the broadcast or a DVR, you can pick up new episodes on iTunes:
Inside Breaking Bad: Episode 601, “Blood Money” (posted 8/12/2013)

“Blood Money” (posted 8/11/2013)

AMC had scheduled a rebroadcast of “Blood Money” on Sunday, August 18th 3:56AM, 7:57PM (Eastern)

Next episode, “Buried”had been slotted for Sunday, August 18th, 9PM (Eastern)

AMC’s Breaking Bad airing schedule: http://www.amctv.com/schedule#series/Breaking-Bad

AMC’s website for more information: Breaking Bad

If you haven’t seen the rest of the series, checkout 1-5 on Netflix.

PowerShell – Search against large .csv file(s) for a string

Previously, I had exported log files of considerable size parsing for certain columns of data to multiple .csv files.  Now I had wanted a response file with corresponding variable(s) and each entry (i.e. time stamp etc.) searching against one or multiple files. Below had been the process for this search and export. In this example, I had been using Windows 2012.

1. Right-click on the PowerShell icon and select RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR and OPEN.

psrc

 

2. Determine PowerShell version with the following command: $host.version

IMPORTANT: PowerShell 2.0 and above must be used to support the forthcoming commands.

ps1

3. Change directory to .csv file(s) location  (i.e. c:\logs)

Example:

CD C:\logs

4. Create a directory to place your exported results (i.e. c:\garzafx)

5. Run the following command to export search to .csv file

Get-ChildItem | Get-Content | Select-String -pattern “ellen ripley” | export-csv c:\garzafx\ellen.ripley.csv

a. Get-ChildItem will reference the file or files within the current directory. For my purposes here and the size of the data files, I had referenced few at a time.

b. Get-Content, simply had taken what Get-ChildItem pulled from the aforementioned directory (i.e. C:\logs)

C. Select-string -pattern, This had provided the variable (i.e. ellen ripley)

6. Here had been the export results with time stamp and pattern match for Ellen Ripley.

psresults

More examples and information on these PowerShell commands:

Get-ChildItem (Microsoft Technet)

Get-Content (Microsoft Technet)

Select-String (Microsoft Technet)

To Get PowerShell 3.0

Download Powershell 3.0

Planetarium at Seminole State College in Sanford, FL

This past weekend, the Planetarium at Seminole State College, had put on two shows, “Stories of the Night Sky” Episode 4: “Summer Skies” and ” Luna.” Both interactive, live presentations had been led by Derek Demeter, Planetarium Director. Demeter’s enthusiastic, engaging narration had provided an appropriate compliment to the visual spectacle. Like any good speaker, Mr. Demeter had probed the audience for answers relating to mythology and astronomy. He had recommended several locations around the I-4 area to view the night sky without light pollution (i.e. Geneva, Mullet Park, New Smyrna). The modest venue had provided a humble intimacy, unlike any other evening science event in Central Florida. The cozy environment had  furnished ambiance, cool ac and plush rows of chairs.

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1. “Stories of the Night Sky” Episode 4: “Summer Skies”

During this presentation, Derek had explored Greek mythology and their relation to various constellations. He specifically detailed the stories of Artemis killing Orion and Orpheus’s descent into the underworld. He also provided guidance to finding Lyra, Cygnus, Sagittarius, and Scorpius in the evening sky.

2. ” Luna”

In exploring the history of the moon, he had covered three possible origin theories. Mr. Demeter had continued outlining the different areas across the moon’s aged surface. He also covered the Russian and American explorations of this “lonely” satellite. Much to my chagrin, he had also dispelled the dark side of the moon myth (i.e. Pink Floyd). He had detailed other interesting facts like indigenous temperatures, mineral resources, and gravitational effects on tides.

In summary, the value of ticket had been worth the commute and accessible to the curiosity of any age!

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Shows have normally been performed Friday and Saturday nights. Doors had opened at 8:00 PM, showtime 8:30 PM and hour long run time. Couple of important details I had recalled, limited seating, no reservations, no retry policy and cash admission only.

Here are the Planetarium Ticket Prices:

Adults: $6
Seniors (55 and up): $4
Students (grades K-12): $4
Non-Seminole State College Students (with ID): $4
Preschoolers and Seminole State students, faculty and staff: Free!

For more information:
Planetarium at Seminole State College in Sanford, FL

Planetarium Biography: Derek Demeter

Planetarium Calendar of Events

Review: National Geographics’s America’s Wild Spaces: Appalachian Trail (2009)

Rating: Worth 57 minutes for any nature buff (Available on Netflix)

Summary: National Geographic’s Wild Spaces: Appalachian Trail had provided different perspectives of the 2,000 mile trail in the United States. The documentary had opened with a network administrator moving through first leg of the A.T.  The film had underscored the challenges at the onset for many travelers. Many hikers had packed too much food or gear (i.e. bear spray, books, etc.) , weighing down their daily 12 hour haul. Another revelation, many hikers that had attempted a hike through of the trail, gave up after four days. Then the focus had shifted describing  ecological pollution on bird and fish wildlife with Acid Rain. The documentary had continued with history of the Appalachian Trail, the organic experience of 4-6 month pilgrimage and climaxing with the end of the A.T. in Maine.

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If lacking a Netflix subscription, I had found individual excerpts of this inspiring look  off the Nat Geo website. This had definitely peaked my sense of adventure away from technology, hoping it can do the same for you!

1.  The Not So Lonesome Trail

2.  Acid Rain: Invisible Menace

3.  This Trail’s for the Bird

4. An American Pilgrimage

5. The Final Summit

More information:

National Geographics’s America’s Wild Spaces: Appalachian Trail

Tandem Hang-Gliding Flight, Groveland, FL at Quest Air Soaring Center

Looking out the porthole of plane windows throughout my life, I had daydreamed of a better view of the waters and land below. This year, I had finally realized that experience with Tandem Hang-Gliding Flight in Groveland, FL at Quest Air. The air field had been an hour’s drive from Orlando, FL on highway 50 west, just past Clermont. The flights had lasted approximately 20 minutes. Rather than towing behind a plane throughout, the glider had been decoupled at 3000 feet. The yellow Dragonfly had multiple break points in case of emergency on ascent. At Air Florida Helicopter Charters, “Plan B” had been death. Pulling the glider into the air, the Dragonfly had towed us just above “idle out” speed.

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On the glider itself, the pilot had a parachute in case of some sort of unforeseen event. Despite the spotty weather, rain and wind, the ride had been extremely fluid. The only fear that had crossed my mind, wind shear and inability to steer smoothly. The Quest Air pilot, Spencer, had been very giving. If I had wanted off, the landing would commence immediately. The entire staff had been extremely patient, waiting for breaks in the weather. Without question, this had been one of the best adventures for 2013. Even if without the $105 Groupon discount, at full price, this would had been a great value.

1. The Dragonfly plane

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2. The Gilder

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For more information:
Mark Fruitger, Manager and Pilot
Quest Air, 6548 Airport Road, Groveland, FL 34736
Phone: 352-429-0213
Email: info@questionairhanggliding.com