Review: Breaking Bad Final Season, Final Episode – Felina

Review: Worth waking up at 3:30 AM to watch this satisfying closure!

Summary: There have been three shows that I had caught every episode over the past two decades. Stargate SG1, Syfy’s Battlestar Galatica and AMC’s Breaking Bad. All three of them, as far as genres, had different universes. Two constants had been the great chemistry of casting and stories contrasting the human condition. Breaking Bad had continued a tradition of sorts, by focusing on the sublime of living to the cusp of death. All three had drawn across their own personal mythologies at a drop of a dime. Of  these series, Breaking  Bad had been the most complete in closing out plots with an unyielding clarity. In lieu of alien worlds, it had explored the internal universe of human emotions. The alien worlds here had been circumstances and characters like, Walter Jr., Mike, Saul, Gus and more. Bryan Cranstan had completed the journey of Walter White, but few performances can compare regardless of medium (i.e. cable, film, etc..).  In this final episode, he had delivered lines like, “You are going to need a bigger knife” and “I did for it for me” with such consistent precision. This collection of acting had demonstrated the conflicted man, torn between living for himself  versus living in the shadow of cancer. The series had ended resolving the necessary bad blood between Lydia, Jack, Pinkman and Todd. More importantly, it had closed the noose of evil turning upon itself. It had been a while before I found something worth watching regularly. I had been sure it will be some time before I do again. Goodbye “Baby Blue” and good night!

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

“Felina” (posted 9/30/2013),  Inside Breaking Bad: Episode 608, “Felina” (posted 9/30/2013)

AMC had scheduled a rebroadcast of “Felina” on Monday, September 30 th 10 PM (Eastern)

and Thursday,October 3rd, 3 AM Eastern)

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

Vogel State Park – Blairsville, Georgia: Part 2 – Vogel Overlook and Bear Hair Gap Trail

Before leaving the park office, I had received a detailed trail map for the extended area. Returning from Falls Bottom on the one mile Trahlyta trail loopback, I had recalled the other options in the area. What I had noticed that the Appalachian Trail being under 10 miles away. This had been one of the goals for my Labor Day weekend. Walking past the on premises cabins, another sign had pointed up toward Bear Hair Gap Trail. This 4 mile plus trail had seemed like a great place to start toward that journey. The varied physical features of the woods had been quite remarkable. The tree covered mountain side had its share of surprises. Park services had made a posting for no hang-gliding. After recent outing in Groveland, Florida, the trees, even without leaves, had been too dense to make flight of five feet. Across the ascent, we had crossed over creeks, streams and huge boulders. Florida had sand, Georgia boulders! Now on the trail, the terrain had composed of rocks and roots requiring attention care in passing over. The steep inclines up the mountain side had been challenging for my friend and me; however after about 2 hours we had arrived at Vogel Overlook. This view had peered down on Trahlyta Lake and most of Vogel State Park. At the summit, there had been a campsite of sorts with a log in the middle. With foliage still hearty, it had obstructed part of the sight. I had only imagined the grand scope of this view in fall or winter time. Then again the average temperature around those times had averaged around 30 F.

After coming down from Vogel Overlook, we had moved further up Blood Mountain toward the A.T. Though, the weather had started to change to thunder and an overcast sky with a potential of a downpour. We had been unprepared for this weather or an overnight trek. After some disappointment, we had decided to make the right choice, the smart choice and turn back. That choice had left open another chapter for an adventure solely pursuing the beginnings of the Appalachian Trail. During 2013, Vogel State Park and all its various options had provided one of the memorable interactions with nature. As managed lands, it had provided first hand testimony to natural beauty and majesty right around the corner in the southern United States.

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Read More:

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Vogel Trail Map (gastateparks.org)
Vogel State Park Hiking Trail (gastateparks.org)
Blood Mountain  (Wikipedia)

Appalachian Trail(Wikipedia)
Vogel State Park – Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites (gastateparks.org)
Vogel State Park (Wikipedia)

Vogel State Park – Blairsville, Georgia: Part 1, Falls Bottom Trail

Going up the north Georgia countryside, I had written down the name Vogel State Park from a passing sign. I had been inventorying possible places to investigate later in the day. After returning down from Brasstown Bald, I had been fairly indecisive about stopping here during a holiday weekend. Coming down a curving road just before the park entrance, I had seen the fading view and the crashing sounds of waterfalls. Indecision had turned into infatuation. Punch drunk had been a more appropriate characterization of my desire to see more. The road leading from the entrance had run parallel to a big lake Trahlyta and a surrounding hiking trail. Passing over a small creek bridge, I had parked in front of the body of water at the base of a couple of mountains. For a Floridian, this had been simply intoxicating variation in topography.

After parking, I had started walking the red clay of the nearby lake hiking trail. Moving down the path, each gaze upon the waters and mountains had provided shots too numerous to keep still for a camera. At the far end of the lake, a wooden sign had pointed downward and left to Falls Bottom Trail. This paved trail had led deeper down a hill under the cover of trees. At the end, the roaring waters I had previously seen from my passenger window. After seeing the best of Florida’s waterfalls at Rainbow Springs, this had bested that sight by a hundred fold. At the base of falls, I had realized my enchantment by one of the two oldest state parks in Georgia; however, the park had another round of secrets to enhance the visceral appeal. To that end, I had decided to save that posting for another day.

Posted park hours had been 8 AM until 10 PM. Like another Georgia park, this ranger had also mentioned no printable receipts and cash only at the gate. Canoe and cabin rentals had been available but, call ahead (706) 745-2628. For those interested in mapping out a drive, the address was 405 Vogel State Park Rd, Blairsville, GA.

Read More:
Vogel State Park – Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites (gastateparks.org)
Vogel State Park (en.wikipedia.org)View shared post

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Comedian – Tony Roberts @ the Improv Orlando – Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Last night, I had the opportunity to drive out to the Improv Orlando for comedian Tony T. Roberts. After a long work day, I had commuted across town off I-4 West. For those familiar with the previous location, Improv Orlando had now relocated to 9101 International Drive, Suite 2310 at Pointe Orlando. Arriving early, I had sat in the second row of tables with a vacationing couple. After receiving a menu, I had asked for a recommendation from the waiter. He had suggested ordering blueberry habanero hot wings. The wings had provided a distinct mix of sweet and spicy. I had made short work of them before ordering another entree with the show beginning.

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After two warm up acts, music had kicked into gear. Hitting the stage enthusiastically, Tony had started through the lyrics of “Bitch, Where You Been?!!” With his infectious smile and childish demeanor, it had been great way to pull in the audience. Working through the rest of his act and some audience members, he had been garish but, never mean spirited. His topics had ranged from stories deriving from personal relationships, sex, Michael Jackson, and his mother. By way of Detroit, his off color, working class humor had been a remedy for day starting at 4 am. For the money, he had put on a way better show than recent outings by headliners like Margaret Cho and Rosanne Barr.

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As far as cost, the tab for two entrees had been $25 with gratuity automatically built-in. Tickets had sold at $20/person. Tony T. Roberts had scheduled shows tonight, Friday September 27, 2013 through Sunday, September 29, 2013.  Shows had been ages 21+. The remaining showtimes had followed below.

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More Information:
Bitch, Where You Been?!! (Official HD) (YouTube)
Tony Roberts — You Need Yo Ass Beat (Official Video) (YouTube)
Hell NAW to the NO! (YouTube)
Tony T. Roberts (IMDB.com)
Tony T. Roberts website (tonytr.com)
Improv Orlando (theimprovorlando.com)
Improv Orlando Calendar of Events.

Rainbow Springs State Park -Dunnellon, Florida

“Butterflies, a bubble bee and love bugs…oh my, George Takei!”

Traveling through the hills of Dunnellon, I had been wondering what to expect upon my visit to Rainbow Springs State Park. My first turn onto the premises, time and rain had dampened a foray into a two hour tubing adventure at $10 per person. With instructions from a park ranger with piercing green eyes and three left turns, I had arrived at the main recreation area. For reference, there had been three different entrances for this park. Each had been for one of the following; camping, tubing, and general recreation. Right before going through park gate, I had been distracted by two physical features of the area, one a small waterfall on the left and the other, a sloping hill on the right. Passing through the gate with the handy Florida State park pass, I had thought this might be worthy of the time and gas. Coming around the gift shop, I had seen the river at 3 o’clock and slopping picnic grounds at 7 o-clock. What had drawn my attention to the left though, a sign regarding waterfalls. Waterfalls and Florida had seemed an oxymoron; however, this had been the motivation for the drive. Seeing snapshots for Top 10 Springs throughout Central Florida from the Orlando Sentinel, I had been curious what I might be missing. Visiting 8 out of the top 10 springs, what had made this one #4? Walking towards my intended target, the hilly topography had been refreshing sight. Within a matter of minutes, I had come to see three different waterfalls. While not extravagant or huge, it had been a welcome visual treat.

After soaking up these views, another sign for Butterfly Gardens had drawn me into an area with variety of plants and flowers. Yes, there had been a few butterflies, tons of love bugs, and a solemn bubble bee. After that, remnants of an old zoo had drawn me around a loop. After working up a sweat, it had seemed natural progression to coalesce to the river and springs. In those waters had been a few underwater cropping of rocks to stand on. During that dip, a train had rumbled by on the nearby tracks. That had generated an unexpected bit of excitement. The rumbling sound had resonated through the concrete pier into the spring waters.

Rainbow Springs had been quite a journey into “Undiscovered Country.” Despite the overcast day, this park had been one of the best experiences in Florida. If you had been seeking contrasting experiences within one park, take a ride out to Dunnellon.

Read more:
Top 10 Springs in Central Florida (Orlando Sentinel)
Rainbow Springs State Park (Florida State Parks)
Rainbow Springs State Park (Wikipedia)
George Takei (Wikipedia)

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Advil, Aspirin or Osteo Bi-Flex (GSM) with Loxin

One of my co-workers, had exclaimed, “Are you a fraking doctor now?”
My response, “Of course not (expletive)! …Human after all.”

Recently, I had increased the scope of my workouts including running on a trend mill and jogging outside. Thankfully, I had avoided shin splints versus an experience in my 20s. Though, I had noticed some extra throbbing in certain areas like an ankle, right knee and left foot. Without sounding like a “pill”, I had wanted to limit the wear and tear on my body starting into my 40s. In my arsenal, I had enlisted a few pairs of Sketchers’ Go-Runs, rest and supplements. One of those supplements had been Osteo Bi-Flex with Loxin. During my 20s and 30s, I had worked Glucosamine Sulfate into my diet after straining an acl, elbow and shoulder. Since then I had used this concoction in addressing any joint inflammation with  1,000-3,000 mgs (1-3 pills).

In marketing copy for Glucosamine Sulfate, it had purportedly assisted in retaining moisture in joints and assisting in building cartilage. To that point, there had been medical studies to the contrary. With that said, I had wanted to offer personal testimony without a kickback from big pharmaceutical company or the makers of Osteo Bi-Flex. So why had I avoided Advil and Aspirin? For one, I had noticed everyone in my immediate family ingesting these products periodically for various ailments. All of them had ironically continued receiving a lifetime worth of headaches. Maybe they had just all gotten sick of my yammering? On the other hand, I had avoided these products, receiving only headaches from hangovers, sunburns and high sodium foods (1ooo mg per serving). Of course that had just been my own interesting observation, nothing scientific; however, over the past couple of years, I had an issue with anemia from a stomach ulcer. Both, Advil and aspirin had compounded this condition with blood thinning. Additionally, prolonged usage had never stopped the pain from my strained ACL. Nor had these pills assisted in my rehab on a broken wrist. On the opposite end, Glucosamine Sulfate had been manufactured with shellfish for filler ingredients. Due to shellfish usage, a few of my friends had avoided Glucosamine Sulfate due to allergies.

So what had Osteo Bi-Flex with Loxin done for me? It had been faster in addressing joint pain and providing more fluid movement in difference to generic Glucosamine Sulfate. The contrast had been from going from “good” to “great.” For a quality of life issue, that had been worth paying a few extra dollars. To that end, I hoped to provide some consideration in exploring more about Glucosamine Sulfate, specifically, Osteo Bi-Flex (GSM) with Loxin.

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

Read More:

What Are the Pros & Cons of Taking Osteo Bi Flex? (Livestrong.com)
Glucosamine (MayoClinic)
Glucosamine (Wikipedia)

Alexander Springs – Ocala National Forest – Florida

Driving back through Ocala National Forest a few times this year, my eyes had fallen onto a sign for Alexander Springs. After a hitting few other springs this past weekend, I had decided to try following this sign onto a dirt road. After redirecting myself back onto a highway, I had found the entrance to Alexander Springs Recreation Area traveling down on  County Road 445. After arriving, I had scoped out the park taking a brief swim in the springs waters. What had intrigued me, the hiking options. Going onto the Timucuan Trail, the loop had gone into woods behind the main creek area. Some portions of the trail had been saturated with rain water coverting the dirt into thick mud. Mud aside, the only excitement had come from a few mosquitoes and seeing the tail end of a fleeing rattlesnake. Towards the end of this loop, the ground had been replaced by a wooden boardwalk. The boardwalk had provided riverside access with two overlooks for the creek. Another reason for the pit stop had been to get a feel for the location for possible scuba lessons. One item that had caught my eye, the proximity to the Florida trail. The Florida Trail had pretty much run into Alexander Springs recreation area. The park had seemed like a good detour, if hiking thru.

Though carrying Florida State Park’s annual pass holder, this federally run park had still wanted their cut of my money! Be sure that you had stored an extra $10 somewhere for admission. Additionally, you had an option to buy a Ocala National Park annual pass for $60 at the gate. For reference that pass had covered Juniper Springs, Salt Springs, Silver Glen Springs, and Salt Springs to start. If you had been considering hiking in central Florida, might be worth a stop to swim.

Read More:
Alexander Springs (www.floridasprings.org)
Ocala National Forest – Alexander Springs – USDA Forest Service (www.fs.usda.gov)
Florida Trail (Wikipedia)
Timucuan Trail (www.fs.usda.gov)

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Review: Breaking Bad Final Season – Episode Granite State

Rating: Darkness and desperation reign!

Summary: With the episode opening in a winter cabin, Walter had embodied the cold decay all around him. With 11 million dollars, he had been reduced to paying out $10,000 for one hour’s worth of card playing time. Unable to help his family without tipping off the DEA, Walter had capitulated to making a phone call to his son. In his desperate voice, he had struggled to explain the misfortunes of his actions to Walter Jr. In this final attempt to connect emotionally, he had found only rejection. Transitioning to Todd and Jack, they had been watching Pinkman’s DEA confession. Immediately, both had headed to Pinkman’s holding area; however, Todd had again saved Pinkman from certain death. After hearing the aforementioned discussion, Pinkman had worked a plan to escape. This failed escape had paid in a dividend of death by association. In the interim, Todd and his posse had visited Skylar to ensure silence over any knowledge regarding Lydia. Lydia in response had been unsatisfied with keeping Skylar alive. The real pivot point had come from Todd mentioning to Lydia the increase in purity with Pinkman’s assistance. The last episode, the audience had found Walter emotionally demoralized. This go around, his descent had finally bottomed out. Reaching into his belongings, Walter had removed a familiar possession. Putting on his black hat, Heisenberg had been set for a final return.

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

“Granite State” (posted 9/23/2013),  Inside Breaking Bad: Episode 607, “Granite State” (posted 9/23/2013)

AMC had scheduled a rebroadcast of “Granite State” on Sunday, September 29th 7:45 PM (Eastern)

The next and final episode, “Felina” Sunday, September 29th, 9 PM (Eastern)

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

Georgia’s Highest Elevation Point – Brasstown Bald, Georgia

Brasstown Bald, Georgia had been one of the most unique experiences of this Labor Day 2013. It had been composed of three phases. The ascent, descent and the 4,783 foot summit. All three had unique characteristics. En route to northern edge of Georgia, I had seen the rolling valleys and mountains on the side of the highway. After spending a considerable portion of the year traveling Florida, the varied topology had been a welcome break. Getting to the last few miles of road, little had I known the importance of having a newly replaced fuel pump. For most of the drive, the climb had been a series of sharp winding roads with a strong incline. There had been portion of the final stretch almost requiring second gear on my vehicle. In contrast, I had seen a vehicle in my rear view mirror struggling to make the drive. With the thick mist and slick road, I had wondered how truly awful a mechanical breakdown could be. Whipping around every turn had been vehicles speedily heading to the base exit. I had thought, ”Someone hand out crazy in Georgia today?”

Once near the top, there had been a gate for paying admission and a place to park before going up the last portion of the summit. From this location, the park shuttle had been available for those wanting or needing assistance to the top. However, this had seemed a bit cheap for a hiking endeavor. Walking up the mountain through the winding paved trail, I had exited at summit facility. Much to my disappointment, heavy clouds had obstructed the multi-state view in every direction. Crestfallen, I had opted to watch a 30 minute film on Brasstown below the observatory. The film had been informative regarding the history, weather, and views of the mountain. One of the facts regarding the summit had been the climate’s similarity to that of New England. With the show over, I had been ready to leave the summit without any good pictures or video. During the 30 minute film, enough of the clouds had been whisked away revealing the surrounding Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountain ranges. The sight had been simply astounding. To describe the breath and scope of this view had almost been a disservice. What had made it more rewarding, the last minute sleight of hand by mother nature, God, good luck, or whatever you chose to believe in.

After taking some departing shots, I had a friend switch driving duties. The roads being narrow with steep incline had posted speed of 30 MPH. So I had chided my friend for driving too fast. In the passenger seat, I had wanted to be back in control.To his credit, he had been riding the breaks all the way down. Having some foresight I had replaced all the brakes on this vehicle right before the trip. However, I hadn’t been too confident swerving around the edge of disaster like Mr. Toad’s wild ride. All I had recalled seeing two roadside crosses on the way up, denoting two accident fatalities. The smell of the breaks overheating had started to drive me fracking nuts. Now I had discovered why the descending cars move dangerously down the mountain. The answer, there had been little choice.

So the summary, if you had been living at sea level all your life, what a great first experience to be on a real mountain. If you had wanted to see a stellar view, a great value for a few dollars. If you had needed a good thrill, well you get that too. Just make sure you had good set of brakes and a good fuel pump to feed gas to your engine.

Read More:

Brasstown Bald – Wikipedia

Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s Highest Mountain – USDA Forest Service

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De Leon Springs State Park – De Leon Springs, Florida

Since Labor Day 2013, something had been drawing me back to De Leon State Park. I had been there three different times over as many weeks. Part of that appeal had been proximity to Orlando, Florida. Another part had been the diverse options on premises. The layout had offered open views of the surrounding bodies of water. The springs themselves had provided generally cool waters but, not chilly like the similar namesake of west Florida’s Ponce De Leon Springs. Another visual aesthetic had been the run off spring water pouring into the nearby river basin. For activities outside of swimming, one had the opportunity to go on a riverboat ride, paddle boat or simple pier fishing. Of the immediate hiking trails, all  had been paved with varying lengths. One specific trail had led to “Old Methuselah, a Cypress Tree over 500 years. Don’t worry Central Floridians, the park had installed a monitoring system in case of any pyromaniac. Probably my favorite part of the park had been the “Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House.” The menu, while short, had made up it with a self-service style pancake making griddle. On the table top, patrons had the option to cook their own regular or gluten free pancakes. Additionally, there had been options for a la carte additions like peanut butter and chocolate chips. If you hadn’t overdosed on sugar yet, on each table a set of bottles. Each bottle had contained either molasses, honey and  maple syrups for finishing off an insulin rush. As for the mill wheel, it had stopped working around 7 years ago; However, the spring overflow had provided enough calming sounds of water for any naturist. If you hadn’t taken a visit out this summer, get out there before colder weather.

Read More:

De Leon State Park, Florida (Wikipedia)

De Leon State Park, De Leon Springs, Florida (Florida State Parks)

Ponce De Leon Springs State Park – Ponce De Leon Springs, Florida (GarzaFX)

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A long goodbye for my iPhone 3GS

“Good night! Parting is such a sweet sorrow, that I’ll say good night til it be morrow.” – Shakespeare from “Romeo and Juliet”

Time had moved on my Iphone3GS like persistent waves upon a shore. Slowly, it had been losing responsiveness and luster, both visually and literally. For people, injuries maybe like a torn acl, bum shoulder, bad back or broken wrist, had served as a reminder,”Nothing is forever.” Today, marking a new phase of tech for myself, I had placed an order for a new mobile phone. Having this phone for over five years, had seemed like forever. As Prince had stated eloquently,“..forever and that’s mighty long time.”

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The reason for holding onto iPhone 3GS so long, symbolism. It had  meant emotionally quite a few things. At my last job, it had been a reward for job well done. In a world full of Blackberries, it had morphed into “being different” when everyone thinking it a toy. Lately, it had been an expression of patience and utility. The last rational had been the promise of something new on the horizon. Through the past few weeks, those reasons had waned with basic functionality.

This desire for functionality had driven my choice back to IOS and ATT.  After trying T-Mobile, I had migrated back to ATT’s grandfathered unlimited data and decent national coverage. T-Mobile had been quite inexpensive but, lacking signal consistently on road trips. The reasoning for the IOS, it had simply worked after numerous upgrades across five years. Over time, I had spent plenty of money on different gadgets like TVs, DVD players, digital cameras, PCs, iMacs, and accessories. Some had delivered on their promise like this iPhone 3GS. Others, like my old Nike MP3 player, had fallen apart in months. My current phone had seen lots of action, ranging from drop in a pool to  flung across parking lot to overheating on my hip from sweat. Still, the phone had a earned a certain rugged charm and respect. Any expectation of functionality on a new device had one thing left to execute on, potential.

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Placing an order this morning at 3 am, I had wondered on that promise. On deciding what device you had wanted to purchase next, keep this in mind,”Does this address my needs today?” Forget Apple marketing and high school trolling commentary, this kind of decision had been about your daily productivity. After that, I had thought,”Don’t spend a dollar more!” In the Queen song, “Who Wants to Live Forever,” there had been a line that epitomized technology, “What is forever anyway.” For time to the next big thing had never been that far around the corner.

As for the iPhone 3GS’s ultimate fate, it had been designated for MP3 player detail until death.

Here had been the other phones, I had used this century.

Nokia 1100 Series (4 years)
Blackberry 7230 (4 years)

Nokia

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See More:
Let’s Go Crazy – Prince (Wikipedia)
Who Wants to Live Forever – Queen (YouTube)

Manatees & Tarpon of Crystal River, Florida

During my visit to Blue Spring State Park, I had seen a few manatees on land but, from a far. After that, I had been curious about seeing more about manatees. Making plans over the summer, I had purchased a groupon for “Swim with Manatees on Crystal River.” Converting this groupon had probably been one of the coolest things this year. Our captain, Casey, had taken our tour group on a three hour troll of Crystal River basin. Once in the water, he had taken us within inches of manatees. What I had not known manatees’ sleeping habits. As mammals, while unconscious, they had surfaced every few minutes to breath. This had enabled our group to get within feet for viewing. At first, this had been disconcerting with the river current pushing me directly over the large tail. Fortunately, this peaceful river dweller had hardly noticed our presence. Additionally, I had been under the false impression manatee travelling speed being only slow. Upon entering the water on our second encounter, one of the manatees had jetted across the river to another boat. Another fact that our captain had told us, the non-monogamous nature (i.e free love) of these animals. In total, our tour had seen five manatees. Of those, I had the opportunity to touch one of the larger ones. Mimicking wet leather, the texture of the skin had been soft but, dense. During the colder winter months, these creatures had a migration pattern moving back to spring water’s constant temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This had been the reason for a high density of manatees in Crystal River and Blue Springs.

Along the way, the tour had experienced another unexpected sight, tarpon. Behind two different piers, fisherman had been throwing scrapes into the waters. With the tarpon so active in feeding, I had decided to put my hand into the water as bait. One of the fish had jumped at it. Thankfully, I had all my fingers despite the hunger from this toothless monstrosity. One of the fisherman had offered me a piece of scrap for teasing the surface. Breaking about 4 inches into the water, the tarpon had  violently pulled the fish carcass away. With about 20 total, each tarpon had at least been 4.5 feet in length.

For just three hours driving around in the boat on Crystal River, this had been a great value. Tossing in the tarpon and manatees for $20, it had been priceless. Currently, you had still been able to get a discounted rate through groupon. If you had known anyone with a love for nature, strongly suggest checking it out.

Crystal River Manatees

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Read more:

Manatees (Wikipedia)
Tarpon (Wikipedia)
Crystal River Preserve, Florida (Florida State Parks)
Blue Springs State Park, Florida (GarzaFX)
Manatee Tour and Dive Ocala (Groupon)
Crystal River Manatee Tour and Dive (Manatee Tour Usa)

Healing Water: Part 2, Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide

Earlier this year, I had discussed the merits of soaking in water with Epsom Salts. Continuing on that theme, I had wanted to include Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide. In this discussion, it had been extremely important in distinguishing between the typical medicinal version versus “food grade.” The over-the-counter version had been processed with stabilizing ingredients, like the metals tin. A few years ago, I had accidentally swallowed a small sip of the “brown bottle” version, while rinsing my mouth. The end result had been an awful fever and swelling of the feet. The other difference between solutions had been the concentration of H2O2, ranging  from 3% to 35%. The only other mix I had seen with a greater concentration, 90% for rocket fuel. For reference the standard dilution for the drug store version had been 3% by volume. With respect to purchasing, I had tried local health stores but, with varying quality, quantity and cost. In the end, I had settled on purchasing direct from PureHealthDiscounts.com.

With respect to usage, there had been a lot of different testimonials online. There had been options for foot soaking and taking a bath. One of the most popular applications had been oral consumption. This had been done by diluting food grade hydrogen peroxide with distilled water. Though trying this personally, l had felt uncomfortable endorsing this to the general public. If you had wanted  to increase your body’s natural supply of hydrogen peroxide, stick to normal vitamin C or refer to my posting, Supercharged Liposomal Vitamin C.  

Outside of cleaning my toothbrushes and mouth rinsing, I had focused on using food grade hydrogen peroxide for cleaning. Since a kid, I had cleaned surfaces with standard commercial brands, like Clorox and Windex. Today, having two cats, I had recalled a childhood mishap. This mishap had included a parakeet landing into a mop bucket mixed with Pinesol. After that, this parakeet had hung onto his bar with one claw, flying in circles all day long. From that moment on, his new name had been “Crazy Horse.” It had been one thing to poison yourself, another to inadvertently hurt a pet. Despite vendors, like Lysol, attempting to advertise “Hydrogen Peroxide” with their cleaning products, I had felt uneasy about using them around my home.

Before proceeding further, I thought it had been important in stating,”Respect 35% food grade peroxide!” In handling, use gloves and avoid breathing fumes, treat 35% H2O2 like you had any other corrosive chemical. To make a mop, the solution had been a cup of 35% H2O2 to gallon of distilled water. For a water spray bottle, 4 parts distilled water to one part 35% H2O2. The reason for incorporating distilled water had been to control any unexpected chemical reactions from tap water (i.e. fracking water). Though, I had seen no difference in using tap water when making a bucket for mopping. After applying with spray or mop to my tile floor, tile counters, or frig, I had always smelled a unique freshness in the air. The non-toxic smell had come from the breaking down of pure H202, resulting in dispersion of simple oxygen and water. I had also used peroxide to finally remove horrible smells from my dishwasher (a cup) and hand blender (few sprays from water bottle).  If you had gotten any non-diluted or diluted on yourself, just rinse with water. The worse I had experienced with peroxide’s corrosive nature, skin discoloration. After a few minutes, the temporary whiteness had given way to my normal skin hue. With using food grade hydrogen peroxide for cleaning, I had not been forced into renaming pets because of cross contamination with their environment. Hopefully, with further vetting, you had considered food grade H2O2 for this purpose.

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Read more:

What Are the Dangers of Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide? (Livestrong)

28 Amazing Benefits and Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide (wakeup-world.com)

Can you make a rocket engine using hydrogen peroxide and silver? (HowStuffWorks)

Hydrogen Peroxide (Wikipedia)

Healing Water: Part 1 (GarzaFX)

Light Your Water On Fire from Gas Drilling, Fracking (YouTube)

Hydrogen Peroxide Usage (Pure Health Discounts)

Review: Breaking Bad Final Season, Episode “Ozymandias”

Rating: Emotional riptide!

Summary: This episode had started with a flashback showing the simpler times between Pinkman and Walter, albiet their first “cookout.” In the present, those naïve moments had been replaced with decisions of life and death. First, John’s uncle had discovered the true identities of Hank and Gomez.  With that inflammatory response, Walter had started furiously negotiating for Hank’s life with his $80 million dollar stash. Switching over to Pinkman, John had suggested taking him back to their hideout for an intergation. Upon making to John’s lab, Pinkman had been secured to chain and a rail system. At the end of this walkway, Jesse had been provided with a picture for ensuring loyalty to John’s operation. At the White residence, Walter and Skylar had another falling out, after Marie Schrader’s visit to the car wash. During this fight, Walter Jr. had realized the reality of his father’s dealings. In the conclusion, Walter had called Skylar explaining his motivations and to be weary of crossing him. Despite wanting to be the drug king pin, Walter’s humanity had still existed up to this point; However, Walter’s destiny had seemed set on finally becoming a hardened criminal with zero remorse.

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

“Ozymandias” (posted 9/15/2013)  Inside Breaking Bad: Episode 606, To’Ozymandias” (posted 9/16/2013)

AMC had scheduled a rebroadcast of “Ozymandias” on Sunday, September 22nd 7:57 PM (Eastern)

Next episode, “Granite State” Sunday, September 22nd, 9 PM (Eastern)

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

Joe Satriani with Steve Morse @ Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida – Friday, September 13th, 2013

If you had cleared your mind of want, things return to you.

About a decade ago, I had purchased a pair of $70 tickets to see Joe Satriani at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida. The bill for that night had been King’s X, Dream Theater and “Satch.” Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to leave 10 minutes into Satriani’s set. On Friday, September 13, 2013, a lifelong friend had righted that wrong, by providing tickets to Satriani at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida.

For this show, one of the key differences had been the opening act, Steve Morse. Like King’s X, Steve Morse had employed a three piece band. His sound had more in common with the musical style of Satriani, than the over indulgent Dream Theater. At age 59, Morse had been impressive with fluid guitar movements up and down his fret board. The bass player and drummer had completed their sound with deep driving grooves. With impromptu bass solos, great drum fills, and syncopation, Steve Morse had been an unexpected surprise for an opening act.

Not to be out done, at age 57, Satriani had promptly started at 9 PM with his two hour set. To Satriani’s credit, he had knocked out, almost uninterruptedly, his high energy performances. For a novelty act, amazingly the audience had a broad range of people. The faces had run from tween to the seasoned rock fans, plus a fair share of women. For a while, I had listened to few numbers on the first floor. Despite consuming two sodas worth of caffeine and sugar, waking up at 3 am had started to catch up with my night. What I had luckily discovered, the building’s unique acoustics. Moving to the John Lennon room, I had been able to clearly hear all the action below, while comfortably sitting on a huge white curved couch. Hanging out with some friends, I had alternated locations, with full on concert on level 1 and relaxing chill on level 2. Toward the end of the evening, I had wandered out on the second floor balcony. With my eyes drifting to the sky’s half moon and Satriani in the background, I had thought,”Not bad at all!”

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Videos had been courtesy of my iPhone 3GS, iMovie, Macbook and my fingers.

Read more:

Joe Satriani – Flying In A Blue Dream (Satriani LIVE!) (YouTube)

Joe Satriani (Facebook)

Joe Satriani (Wikipedia)

Steve Morse (Wikipedia)

Hard Rock Live, Orlando, Florida

More changes @ gFX

1. Added hidden menu tiles for each subject catergory (i.e. Music, Film, Travel, etc…) at top of site. Reviewed filed posts into more obvious groupings, removing as necessary.

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2. Updated blog on Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – Kissimmee, FL with the following compiled footage, music from Prokofiev’s Battle on the Ice, editing courtesy iMovie.

3. Increasing size of images up one level for newer posts.

4. Taking a minute to push last Sunday’s posting, OPINION: Vladmir Putin, Predator. This had been before the past week’s foreign policy events.

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Ponce De Leon Springs State Park – Ponce De Leon Springs, Florida

Last week, I had traveled to five different fresh water springs over five days in the State of Florida. The first had been at a Ponce De Leon Springs State Park in west Florida. Somewhere between Tallahassee and Pensacola, I had decided to take a detour off my preordained trajectory from Interstate 10. Within a short amount of time, I had walked into the park’s main area. With the springs in view, I had walked past the adjacent picnic areas.  Walking down a paved slope into the area around the spring area, I had seen a hiking trail. To take full advantage of the stop, I hoped to go for walk and then a jump into the springs. Upon going into the shade of the forest, I had experienced the second worst insect encounter of this year. Despite the heavily populated area of visitors in the springs, the mosquitoes had waited for me under the shadow of the trail.

Conceding a bit of fatigue and a tad of defeat to mother nature, I had buckled down with a change into swimming attire and a coating of bug spray. Still a bit overheated, I had looked eagerly at entering the pristine clear blue waters of Ponce De Leon Springs. After locating a far off corner of the springs, I had started descending down some concrete steps. Upon breaking the water’s surface, I had known this would be an exhilarating dip. Thinking out loud, I had pouted how frigging cold the water. Being a natural Floridian, perhaps some men had thought lesser of me or perhaps thought over-exaggeration; However, in tow, I had brought a friend familiar with colder northern weather. His reaction had temporarily stopped him just below waist deep. Finally pushing forward, we had both submerged ourselves into fresh waters of the spring. Without question, this had been the biggest temperature differential experience in quite a few years. After  cooling off my core body temperature, I had decided to pull up anchor, heading out to the next destination.

If you had found your way out to west Florida, perhaps to see the fighting Seminoles or Crimsom Tide, take a pit stop. This had been worth the effort for the refreshing dip! 😛

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Read more:

Ponce de Leon Springs (Florida State Parks)

Juan Ponce de León (Wikipedia)

Trolling for donuts off 46 – Sanford, FL

Every now and then, something had come along that emotionally connects to you, just like ring on your finger or a pair of sunglasses. Sometimes those items had been edible, like corn dogs, bacon, and french fries. Though, most of best tasting eats hadn’t been all that good for you anyway. For that reason, I had been trying to steer clear of sugary goodies. After all, sugar had been the devil. For energy for exercise, I had been front loading the bulk of calories in the morning with various healthy selections.  After a while, I had started to feel more like a robot. In an effort break that fatigue, to feel like a human being, it had been important in hitting the road in pursuit of an indulgent treat. This past week, a friend had mentioned just such a treat, in this place down in Sanford, FL, off 46.

Early Tuesday morning, I had coerced a fellow coworker to hit the road in search of donuts. Now these donuts had been talked up as some kinda of amazing. How many unique awesome things had I experienced out of Sanford, Florida. There had been that meteor shower and  those planetarium shows, but you can’t eat those. So traveling up in the passenger seat, scanning for sugary goodness, my eyes had fallen on this tiny plaza sign for Donuts to Go 2. Hmm, maybe they had good coffee, maybe not. Walking into the store, my view had  immediately been drawn to the display case of confectioneries. Krispy Kreme and Donut Donut had their place, whether on a morning trip or a cold winter night; However, this had a different seductive appeal. The difference had been the eclectic blend of  flavors lining each level and row.

Looking at the woman behind the counter, I had said “Orange Creme, Maple Bacon and Peanut Butter filled Chocolate glazed, to go please.” Unable to wait, I had devoured the Orange Creme almost whole. Then I had known, at $1  a pop, time for vacating the premises before a sugar overload. I had needed to leave while consuming one, and only one donut. I had figured time for enforcing a calorie dispersion strategy. This had meant  sharing with other coworkers. My giddiness from visiting this shop, sugar aside, had been finding food, so flavorful and rich, for so cheap.  If these beauties hadn’t enticed you too, maybe time to check your pulse. Sure, sugar had been the devil, but “Ever dance with devil in the pale moon light?”

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Read more:

Donuts To Go 2 (Google+)

Adding secure connectivity for remote administration of CentOS with NX Server

Having been part of IT, there had always been adventure around the next key stroke, call or email. This go around, I had wanted to take a few minutes to document some steps in getting remote connectivity to work on a flavor of Unix, CentOS. Now let me contrast this by saying, Unix’s strong suit had always been the level of customization. The question had been knowing which pieces to squeeze together for certain administrative task. On that note, here had been the steps for getting remote connectivity setup up for an install of NXServer on CentOS below.

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Before proceeding, a target system had required an install of  CentOS (6.x) with all the default settings. I had performed the following steps on server and Windows 7 desktop.

  1. Logged on to CentOS server locally.
  2. Elevated permissions in terminal by typing, su
  3. Entered password  (i.e. root password, etc..)
  4. Entered, yum install nx freenx
  5. Allowed the installation to complete.
  6. Switched directories with the following command, cd /etc/nxserver
  7. Modified configuration file with VI by entering in the following command, Vi node.conf
  8. Started data insert with vi by typing, I
  9. Located the following variable and set to 1, ENABLE_PASSDB_AUTHENTICATION=”1″
  10. Pressed the ESC key.
  11. Saved the file the follow key combination, :q 
  12. Added user enter to nx server with, nxserver –adduser packetfence
  13. Generated a client key type, cat /var/lib/nxserver/home/.ssh/client.id_dsa.key
  14. Copied the results into notepad for use on your desktop, Windows 7
  15. Launched Windows NX client on Windows.
  16. nx2
  17. Modified NX client from dialog box, clicking CONFIGURE.
  18. Clicked the GENERAL tab.
  19. Selected KEY.
  20. Pasted the key from #12 into the field.
  21. Selected KDE for session for desktop
  22. kde
  23. Saved changes and attempted to logon. It failed.
  24. Went to CentOS server, entered,  service sshd restart
  25. Then followed-up with the next command, chkconfig sshd on
  26. Important, chkconfig sshd on command ensuresd that the SSH service started on boot.
  27. Relaunched the NX client and attempt to connect.This time it connected successfully.
  28. Rebooted server and verified remote login again.

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Read more:

http://danielgibbs.co.uk/2012/03/ssh-to-run-on-start-up-centos-6

http://codingrecipes.com/the-nx-service-is-not-available-or-the-nx-access-was-disabled-centos

http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/FreeNX

Does Apple just suck? Or does Android suck less?

On the day of Apple’s announcement of new iPhones, I had wondered why the partisanship? Android had been a more open platform, but maybe too free and unrestricted? If all the Android trolling correct, why had Samsung been setting up Tizen OS? Clearly Samsung had learned “know how” from being a provider of iPhone components. As the leader of market share on Android, Samsung had perhaps deduced,”Why not control the whole food chain?”, similar to Apple. On the other hand, Apple had lately seemed rather stale and derivative. I had thought,” Do I really need a fingerprint reader for security?” Had Apple totally forgotten about making valued added software features like a cross platform and hosted versions of an app like iTunes. Somehow, the 1990’s lesson of fitting in a Windows world had become a distant memory for Apple.

Here had been some advantages I had thought for Android platform?

  1. Many form factors and price points for mobile phones.
  2. Larger screens.
  3. Expandable storage.
  4. More free apps.
  5. Support for industry standard micro usb cable (i.e. Blackberry – RIP) to support 3rd party add-ons (i.e. portable solar panels).
  6. Not chained to any hardware platform for media (i.e. iTunes vs. Amazon).
  7. Highly customizable interface.
  8. Flash support.
  9. Faster revisions of hardware.

For Apple, here had been a few interesting points in their favor.

  1. Just works! Otherwise great support.
  2. No filler apps from third parties.
  3. Better than average battery life.
  4. Built in support for midi devices.
  5. Built in support for Cisco VPN support.
  6. Built in support for Active Sync with app encryption.
  7. Can remove device encryption by turning off the passcode.
  8. Enterprise Single sign-on and VPN per App.
  9. Interface continuity by keeping it simple.

The interface argument had been a very salient point for some of my IT peers and non-tech folks. I had seen some people struggle with transitioning to Android; however, the bigger lesson had been from Microsoft’s unfinished Windows 8 interface. I had hoped Apple would allow Next style tear away menus in iOS or OS X. Though this rational had been shelved for consistency in user experience.

So here had been some things I don’t like on both platforms.

1.  Lack of real built-in anti-virus and firewall protection.

2. Security on the Droid and Mac, well there had been a lot of room for improvement. The scales had seemed to go back and forth. Apple had better learn to be better at full disclosure with vulnerabilities.

3. More tablet apps optimized for larger screens on Droid.

4. Better life cycle for Droid phones! For all that openess and freedom, somehow my old beat up iPhone 3GS had been able to outlast quite a few Gingerbread devices. Outside of HTC, Samsung, Google, many Android OEMs had never pushed through to Jellybean, let alone an OS level upgrade. Why should someone had cared? For example, Fiberlink’s Maas360 MDM had been written to only support Droid OS 4.0 and above. Still somehow, this app had run on the antiquated iPhone 3GS.

Regardless of the platform discussion above, what I had known what sucks more, continuing on with my old iPhone3GS.With announcements from Apple , I had supposed to take a look and listen. Though that Windows Phone interface had looked pretty clean, simple and cool. How many megapixels had that Nokia Lumnia? Whoops, Nokia had just sold their mobile business to Microsoft, hmm.

Shopping for a newer phone this month, the key questions I still had of this writing this blog:

“Will I be productive?”

“How about battery life?”

“How about panorama shots?”

“How about slow and fast motion video?”

“What of my $175 Apple gift card?”

“Those Samsung phones had awfully big screens!”

“How will the phone make me feel?”

“How will the phone make you feel?”

What had you thought and why?

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Read more:

Update: Apple makes iWork apps free for new iOS devices (News.com)

10 ways the Android is better than iPhone 5 (Christian Science Monitor)

Give Me Back My iPhone! (Slate)

Report: Intel in Talks With Apple to Manufacturer iPhone, iPad Processors
(Daily Tech)

Samsung co-CEO: We want Tizen to be on everything (Cnet)

Samsung Galaxy S4 Running on Tizen 3.0 OS Spotted (The Droid Guy)

Cnet’s News on Apple (News.com)

iPhone is less secure than Android, security company SourceFire reveals (www.thefullsignal.com)

Review: Breaking Bad Final Season, Episode “To’hajiilee”

Rating: Wow!

Summary: The episode had opened with Todd and Lydia reviewing the purity of his work; however, the main hook had been Todd referring a hit to his uncle. The amazing thing about this episode had been all the loose ends coming to a close. Hank Schrader had bought into Pinkman’s plan into baiting Walter. Hank, to his credit, had  provided enough slight of hand to pull it off. With handcuffs out, Hank had finally gotten Walt behind the proverbially “8 ball”. The irony had been Todd’s uncle negotiating a bargain for Walt’s services. After Jesse realizing the localation for Walter’s money, the sound of artillery shredding metal had begun. The last few episodes had been about style of delivery. Now the audience had been treated to heated action amongst conflicting interests. Walt’s precedent of protecting his family had finally been shattered, albiet unexpectedly. Our final sight of Walt had been trapped in a car with no control over the events surrounding him. The questions arising from this story arc had been “What happens next?” and “How many more hours before the next episode?”

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

“To’hajiilee” (posted 9/8/2013)  Inside Breaking Bad: Episode 605, To’hajiilee” (posted 9/9/2013)

AMC had scheduled a rebroadcast of “To’hajiilee” on Sunday, September 15th 7:57 PM (Eastern)

Next episode, “Ozymandias” Sunday, September 15th, 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.