Veteran’s Memorial Park and Seven Mile Bridge @ Little Duck Key, Florida

During a scouting trip through the Florida Keys with a buddy, I had searched for a location for hopping into the azure blue salt water off the coast with little effort and few people. On the second day of driving southbound toward Key West, Veteran’s Memorial Park just past the Seven Mile Bridge @ Little Duck Key had provided that venue. The opportunity also had provided the chance for testing out my new GoPro3.

After clearing the Seven Mile Bridge at Little Duck Key, I had pulled into parking lot on the right accessing the now defunct bridge. Walking down the decommissioned run of the Seven Mile Bridge, I had passed some folks fishing from each side of the bridge. Before reaching the end, I had come across the dried out corpse of a moray eel. Apparently the little guy had missed the memo about hydration and sun screen. After walking down a bit further, about a good half mile, I had reached the end. At this cut off, I had a clear view of other end of the bridge no longer in service. I had thought this would be a perfect location for a photo op at dawn or dusk.

Once returning to the car from the escapade on the bridge, I walked across the road to Veteran’s Memorial Park. Entry was free with park hours dawn to dusk. The beach and shallow waters were easily accessible. On this side of the key there was decent amenities like restrooms and shaded picnic tables. If looking for a pit stop going to Key West, this had seemed an ideal location for a breather. For myself, I had fired up my GoPro3 taking a test round of footage. Despite some shaky camera work, the footage had still recorded enough material communicating the natural beauty and feel of the park.

Though a brief interlude, each location had definitely caught the spirit of the Florida Keys I had yearned for from afar. Moments in the sun that had embodied the American ideal of manifest destiny driving toward tomorrow.

Read More:
Seven Mile Bridge (Wikipedia)

Veteran's Memorial Park @ Little Duck Key, Florida 1.jpg

Veteran's Memorial Park @ Little Duck Key, Florida 2.jpg

Veteran's Memorial Park @ Little Duck Key, Florida 3.jpg

Veteran's Memorial Park @ Little Duck Key, Florida 4.jpg

Veteran's Memorial Park @ Little Duck Key, Florida 5.jpg

Veteran's Memorial Park @ Little Duck Key, Florida 6.jpg

Veteran's Memorial Park @ Little Duck Key, Florida 7.jpg

Veteran's Memorial Park @ Little Duck Key, Florida 7.jpg

Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida

Life had always offered subtle surprises in introspection when least expecting it. Travelling to the keys with a friend, I had scouted the finish line to his marathon for a pickup in Higgs Beach @ Key West, Florida. Walking around in the heat, I had encountered a flood of people supporting participants around the Keys 100 Ultramarathon. One of the first things that had caught my eye, signage for an African cemetery at Higgs Beach with mural map of the surrounding nautical area. Moving further up the sidewalk, I had come across the granite Key West AIDS Memorial and a pier going out to the sea. There I had stood for few moments thinking of a span of 20 years of life.

My thoughts had started out with a memory of participating in an AIDS vigil in 1995. From there, I had reflected on the experience of coming out against the backdrop of dark times in the LGBT community. Since then I had known friends to test HIV positive and die of AIDS. Like the etching on this granite memorial, the echoes of this disease and stigmas of being homosexual were like an unresolved musical phrase by the collective consciousness of this minority today. This was a direct contrast to the environment which I had encountered at age 22 searching for my identity. Back then, love and sex were associated with societal ostracization and death. There was a lack of happy glee in that notion; however, I had marched forward in self-realization peeling back the layers of ego. The path forward was framed through looking-glass of affection for my best friend in college. It was a necessary yet, slow evolution in difference to years of assertions to being straight. Perhaps this was why the quotes from Robert Frost and Alfred Tenyson resonate so well with me in this construct.

Walking out to the nearby pier on this Saturday, I had felt a calm reassurance of knowing exactly who I am. Listening to Peter’s Gabriel’s soundtrack to the “Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ,” gone were the days of fretting over the fear of friends, family and God knowing who I am too. These many leaps of faith intellectually and physically had defined my person on a road less traveled.

Key West AIDS Memorial is located at White Street @ Key West, Florida 33040

Read More:
Key West AIDS Memorial (keywestaids.org)
Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ (Wikipedia)

Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 1.jpg

Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 2.jpg

Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 20140525-132039-48039263.jpg Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 20140525-132039-48039756.jpg Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 20140525-132041-48041599.jpg Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 20140525-132040-48040856.jpg Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 20140525-130854-47334214.jpg Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 20140525-130555-47155515.jpgKey West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 20140525-143238-52358606.jpg Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 20140525-143239-52359455.jpg Key West AIDS Memorial @ Key West, Florida @ garzafx.com 20140525-143239-52359913.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: X-Men Days Of Future Past

Rating: Worth a matinee

Summary: The story had opened in a future with mutant existence sliding toward extinction at the hands of machines named the Sentinels. These machines were the government’s answer to wiping out mutants as a threat. In a final ditch effort to change their fortunes, the older Magneto and Xavier had constructed a plan to stop the creation of the Sentinels by sending Wolverine into the past.

The main attraction for this iteration of X-Men was the relationship between the younger versions of Magneto, Mystique and Charles Xavier with the backdrop of the 1970s. This timeline had picked up about 10 years after the First Class film. The movie’s most engaging minutes were when these characters pivoting against each other emotionally or physically toward defeating the origination of the Sentinels.  In contrast, the best comedic moments of the DOFP had centered around Quicksilver, a hyper fast moving mutant. Another hallmark of the film was the colorful CGI laced action with the demise of several familiar X-Men; however, in the same breadth, some of those character depictions had also started to wear a bit tiresome. On the flip side, one of the great treats of movie were the number of character cameos across the entire franchise. A final surprise was also provided after all the credits. This audience treat was a visual tip-off to the next installment in the X-Men series which includes Apocalypse.

To answer my question from my last post regarding the best summer sci-fi movie of 2014 thus far, that was still Captain America 2: Winter Solider. If keeping a score, X-Men Days of Future Past had come in second. In relation to the X-Men franchise, X-Men 2 was still the most satisfying from my perspective of all the entries then First Class and rounding out with DOFP.

20140523-010027-3627867.jpg

Summer Scifi Movies so far 2014

On the verge of watching X-Men Days of Future Past, I had some thoughts on the first three major scifi releases of 2014; Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, Godzilla, and The Amazing Spider Man 2.

Starting with Godzilla, while a decent effects outing, this most recent release was a more an exercise in emulating the slow tempo and exposition of films of Saturday afternoon reruns of my youth. The grandeur and spectacle of this film had wore off quickly on a second viewing. If looking for an exercise in auditory effects I had suggested checking it out in a good theatre. To see far better updated rendition of mega monster film, I had recommended checking out last summer’s macho charged Pacific Rim.

With The Amazing Spider Man 2, this entry into this superhero franchise had communicated the complexity of human relationships against the backdrop of being a savior to the common man. With excellent choreographed action sequences, it had missed one big note. It had lacked a fully fleshed out performance by Jamie Foxx as Electro. His performance was muted and flat. Considering his comedic ability, thoughts of Jim Carrey’s improvisation as the Riddler had floated through my mind.

That had brought me to Captain America 2: The Winter Solder, which so far after two separate viewings had provided the best story and mix of action. Captain America 2 had continued effectively the theme of the first film of “just a boy from Brooklyn.” Chris Evans as Cap had continued emoting a vulnerable charm worthy of seduction of Black Widow incognito. The bigger surprise here was the pointed contemporary political commentary on public safety, freedom, and fear. If all that wasn’t enough, toss in Robert Redford’s stage presence to seal the deal. On a second pass, this movie had continued to entertain with great dialogue and cast chemistry.

So the question now is,”Can X-Men Days of Future Past out perform Captain America 2?” Guess I am about to find out!

20140522-213321-77601027.jpg

Using PowerShell to get membership of AD Group for audits with ADGroupMember cmdlet

Periodically, someone will had visited my desk to inquiry on the membership of any one or multiple groups within Active Directory. Here is a simple clean way to collect the data you require without losing your mind with format exports.

Pre-Requisites: PowerShell Module for Active Directory.

1. Collect the group names you want to review (i.e. Domain Admins, Account Operators).

2. Create a directory named scripts on your Windows system (i.e. C:\scripts).

3. Place the names of groups on separate lines in file (i.e. c:\scripts\identity.txt).

Example:

Domain Admins
Account Operators

4. Launch PowerShell Module for Active Directory.

5. Copy and paste the following command:

Get-Contents C:\scripts\identity.txt | Get-ADGroupMember -recursive | fl name,SamAccountName | out-file C:\scripts\members.txt

           NOTE: -recursive switch will cover any nested accounts.

6. Example of contents of c:\scripts\members.txt

name           : ellen.ripley

SamAccountName : ellen.ripley

name            : bishop

SamAccountName : bishop

That’s the quick easy way to produce group membership for your finance or general IT audits with PowerShell.

Read More:

How to Install the Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell (mikepfeiffer.net)
Get-ADGroupMember (technet.microsoft.com)
powershell @ garzafx.com

Managing anemia and scuba diving

Over the past year, I had picked up my Padi certification Open Water and Advanced Open Water through a local dive shop, Seminole Scuba in Lake Mary, Florida. One of my immediate concerns getting signed up was medical clearance for a reoccurring stomach ulcer. The reason for the heightened sense of awareness about the ailment was anemia. With periodic changes in my blood’s ability to carry oxygen, I had thought I might be unable to enjoy exploring this endeavor.

After reviewing my results with my family physician, I was provided written clearance for scuba diving; however, a piece of paper was the first hurdle to managing my anemia. For those unaware of your blood’s hemoglobin count, I had encouraged getting this number checked out periodically if engaging in this activity or any other athletic adventures. For myself, my hemoglobin had floated around 9 grams (gm) per deciliter (dL). Here are some posted normal ranges from per Medicinenet.com:

    • Children: 11 to 13 gm/dL
    • Adult males: 14 to 18 gm/dL
    • Adult women: 12 to 16 gm/dL
    • Men after middle age: 12.4 to 14.9 gm/dL
    • Women after middle age: 11.7 to 13.8 gm/dL

Here were few additional thoughts I had learned up to my last outing in the big blue Atlantic.

  1. Eat your iron. Always keep a bottle of iron (OTC) or medically prescribed version available in your gym or scuba bag. For myself, this was paramount to making it through Open Water course.
  2. Get a thicker wetsuit! For myself, this was exceedingly apparent on my outing for the Advanced Open Water class. When underwater getting hypothermia, you had reduced your chance to relax while shaking like a low power vibrator. Think I had lost few pounds on that Saturday but, worse still feeling like a burden to my dive buddy and instructor(s). After trying to get by on the cheap with rentals of 3MM suits, I had conceded the point. I had shelled out about $400 bucks on 5mm Aquaflex medium from Seminole Scuba. The dividend after the fact was a more calm and fun dive time.
  3. Know your limits. Sounds obvious, though, I had understood a man’s ability to hold onto his maverick independent streak. The smarter person, the better diver, had kept themselves self-aware about their limitations including fatigue, alertness, and pain.
  4. Avoid anything that might exacerbate your anemia. In my case, avoiding irritating an ulcer was important before a scheduled dive. Recently, I had marked off the list alcoholic beverages (i.e. margaritas), caffeine and spicy foods few days in advance if in the midst of a flare up.

Again, if you were interested in scuba diving and anemic, talk with your family doctor. Safe travels!

Read More:
Overview of anemia and diving – Diving Medicine Online (scuba-doc.com)
Understanding Anemia — the Basics (WebMD)
How is hemoglobin measured? (Medicinenet)

 

20140512-215558.jpg