On a Slice about Americana

florabamabeach

There it is … sitting along a beautiful beach sandwiched between a high-rise condominium to its right and a parking garage of another high-rise condo to its left. A place where friends meet. A place where others become friends. A place for good times and good music.

It’s a local legend, yet a place well-known throughout the South. A place that northerners in the condos as vacationers or snowbirds came to know. The place actually straddling the Florida-Alabama state line – although it is mainly in Florida. A place that was a very short walk from where we stayed in January.

There it is – A place displaying a weathered look while sitting along the beach since 1964. A weathered look of normal wear and tear that beach side brings, plus the occasional hammering by storms and hurricanes.

The Flora-Bama -a colorful place with a colorful past that includes a long list of colorful characters.

The Flora-Bama – a place featuring music seven days a week by local and regional musicians songwriters. Some who made it to the national stage of hits and awards while others maintain their local craft.

The Flora-Bama – with its more than eclectic collection of artifacts adorning its walls and ceilings – plus walls with names of patrons written in permanent markers – let alone the framed signed pictures of visitors and performers – and yes, even there is even more to see.

The Flora-Bama – an institution to many, no wonder country music star Kenny Chesney wrote a song about it. No wonder he performed his only concert of 2014 along its beach to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Before I tell you more in another post, I’ll let his lyrics and his music video introduce you to this slice of Americana – the place its documentary called The Last Great American Roadhouse. Welcome to the Flora-Bama Lounge Oyster Bar and Package Store.

Exploring Help through Ales

The craft beer craze is big in the USA. Cities have embraced different levels of enthusiasm about craft beers, although Portland (OR) and Minneapolis (MN) are commonly listed. I know my Cincinnati (OH) is all goo-goo about crafty brews.

But nonprofit beer? A pub operating for the purpose for donating its profits to designated charities? Sounds odd, but this is unique, so worth the 6 minutes. After watching the video below, you can also read more about the Oregon Public House by clicking here.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 326

It’s been an interesting week for me as I’ve been in bachelorhood as my wife is one her annual cruise with her lady friends. The answer is simple when people ask me what I will do – “I will do whatever I want, whenever I want.”

I spent a lot of time our on the ballroom circuit. It’s been a good time dancing with friends … and it is a good chance to work on leading. For those getting the wrong impression, I’ve been in a crowd where at least a third of the people know me … and would be the worst place to do something stupid.

One afternoon I went to downtown Cincinnati searching for murals that I haven’t posted here.

Here’s an entertaining musical interlude. Very creative, but does this guy have too much time on his hands?

A big wow to the recent news about NASA discovering a new set of earth-sized planets with the potential of having liquid water. Here’s the news release from NASA, and the first video is worth the two minutes.

It seems salted black licorice is common in northern Europe. I found it in a store here. Interesting combination of flavors. Have you ever had salted black licorice?

My wife returns soon … and the house will be clean … including the bathrooms.

Our handbell choir is playing an interesting piece soon at our Ash Wednesday service. To me, it’s a fitting sound for the start of Lent. For those who want to listen, look for the Listen button near the sheet music image. Click here.

There will be a light post ready for your Saturday morning.

President Donald Trump continual attacks on the press continues to be a sign that he is afraid of the truth.

Question: Why does President Trump spend so much time watching Fake News?

I hate to inform people, but like him or not, Donald Trump was dutifully elected and is our president.

A local congressman had an editorial for proposing dismantling the U.S. Dept. of Education. I say why stop there – re-organize the whole damn government structure!

Former President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week
Fake news
Certain media outlets being the enemy of the people
Hostile town hall meetings
Fig tree issues in Italy
My wife going on a cruise causing me to celebrate my birthday on my own

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers tips for personal cybersecurity.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Humiliated Man Discovers Embroidery On His Jean Pockets
Open-Minded Man Tries To Get News From Variety Of Facebook Friends
Man Thinking About Just Packing Up And Making Exact Same Mistakes Someplace Far Away
Goose finally realizes it doesn’t have to honk like an idiot entire time it’s flapping its wings
30-million-year-old species worried it doesn’t have another evolution in it

Interesting Reads
Women and governance in India
Why sleeping bats don’t fall
Thoughts about laundry chutes
Evolution of technology
(Photo Gallery) Australian farmland

Many seemed to enjoy the Traveling Wilburys last week, so here’s another one from them to send you into the weekend. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Beach Walk: No. 1

I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Never a run – very seldom a stroll – but a walk – a good exercise – and as we age, walking keep us moving. My wife and I walk at home. We walk on vacation. We walk on the ship’s deck when cruising. We like to walk.

As we walk, conversations can be short or long – the topics deep or shallow – important or trivial. In times of silence, my mind keeps going – to think – to ponder the world. Thinking is also good exercise. Like the body, the mind must keep moving as we get older.

We walked a lot in January – yes – on the beach as this was our first attempt at being snowbirds from the north who went south for the winter. Walking on the beach as snowbirds facing the difficult daily questions of wondering about the temperatures at home – wondering what’s for dinner – wondering about the day of the week or the date because we aren’t sure. Be

As I walk the beach my contemplations are mental dictations on imaginary paper. Oh the blog post I have created my walking. Yes – the perfect words of never-to-be published gems that never make it outside my mind. Sometimes poetic in the rhythms of Frost, Keats, or Poe – well, at least in my mind.

My thoughts can be simple or complex. Some about wonder – some leading to awe. Others start with awe and lead to wonder. Some are personal, others professional, and others in wide-ranging topic – but fiction is a rare occurrence. All this as water refreshes my feet.

Sometimes after walking I attempt to recreate those insightful words. Usually in a notebook – but it’s never the same as the perfect string of words while walking the beach – yet future posts they will probably be – simple reflections from my mind as I walk on the packed sand along the water’s edge where water retreats to the sea.

There will be more walks in the weeks ahead because we were in the south for 27 days. More walks because I like walking the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing my feet.

Do you like walking the beach? Long distances or short? Do you contemplate or just try to chill?

earlymornwalker

 

On Alabama Tidbits

Although I’ve been to the state of Alabama before, staying a month allows ample learning opportunities. I present tidbits you may not know about the state of Alabama.

1) These people are football crazy! During the month and no matter the day of the week, the newspaper’s Sports section features college football – even weeks after the season is over. Ohio is enthusiastic about football. Texas thinks they invented the game – but Alabamians are just bonkers over football.

2) Grapefruits and oranges in the store were of pathetic quality. I get better tasting citrus in Ohio. Being close to Florida, one would think the quality would be better. After all, Florida thinks they invented grapefruits. Why we couldn’t find pink grapefruits from Texas is beyond me.

3) We stayed in Orange Beach – where sales tax is 10% on everything!

4) The Alabama coast is only 100 miles (160 km) – but the beaches are very good.

5) Restaurant menus offer many fried foods – they may be willing to fry anything.

6) Politically, Alabamians are very conservative, therefore all troubles can be traced back to presidents who were Democrats – especially Obama and Clinton.

7) Alabama is home for manufacturing/assembly plants for Toyota, Airbus, Honda, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz.

8) Alabama is home to the first Mardi Gras in the U.S. (Mobile).

Image from Tennessee’s Boll Weevil Eradication Program

Image from Tennessee’s Boll Weevil Eradication Program

9) The Atlas rocket that launched astronauts to the moon was built in Alabama (Huntsville).

10) Alabama is home to the monument honoring an agricultural pest – the Boll Weevil (Enterprise).

11) Alabamians described President Trump’s inaugural address as uplifting, refreshing, unifying, powerful, great, and amazing.

12) Alabama has the longest Constitution in the world: over 300,000 words and 775 amendments.

13) Alabama is the only state naturally possessing all the raw materials for steel. No wonder a statue of Vulcan sits on a hilltop above Birmingham.

14) I’ve never seen so many billboards advertizing attorneys – and the number of TV commercials for attorneys is very high. I saw this commercial 10 times in 45 minutes – while wondering about the content. Any thoughts?

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 325

Welcome to the post number 1,901. I enjoy milestones. Given Friday’s timely post temporarily bumping OITS from its slot, I present OITS: The Weekend Edition.

Anything wrong with this sentence? “Rodriguez was involved in a deadly car crash last month and will reportedly miss several months due to shoulder surgery.”

Now compare the above sentence to this one. “Rodriguez needs left shoulder surgery thanks to a January car crash and will not play for three to five months.”

Here’s a throwback to the days of Monday Morning Entertainment. I love it … and had to watch to the end because I wanted to know how it ends. For those who chose to watch, enjoy.

I have long maintained that the viewer is more biased than the news source. Consider these points about the morning shows. CBS This Morning is more about news than entertainment, and its ratings are last in the race between the big 3 networks. The highly biased Fox & Friends has by far more viewers among the cable morning shows.

I was surprised that the recent post about Charles Darwin’s faith created little reaction.

Baseball teams are starting spring training this week. My Cincinnati Reds will be preparing to defend last place in the division.

Not only did Americans voted in Donald Trump, people across the globe voted out an iconic Monopoly piece – the Thimble.

Regarding President Trump’s latest press conference, these two comments say it best. First, from Scott Pelley at CBS News: “President Trump called a hasty news conference and reached for the familiar tools that built his career: bluster, bravado, exaggeration and a few loose facts.” Second, from one of the greatest American orators.

The lack of vetting of cabinet members by Republican senators is pathetic.

Many Democrats are looking ahead to the 2018 mid-term elections. In the Senate, 33 seats are up: 8 held by Republicans, 23 by Democrats, and 2 by independents … plus, a good number of the 23 Democratic seats are in states Mr. Trump won. All that adds up to not looking good at the moment. Besides, the party blew the great chance they had in the 2016 Senate elections. Pathetic … simply pathetic.

I’ve been telling my wife and a friend that the reason why Congressional Republicans don’t investigate the White House or vet the cabinet nominees is because Congress has not received any of the agenda they want. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) confirmed my thoughts Wednesday by saying, “I don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. … We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing Obamacare if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

The analogies keep getting better and better. I’ll paraphrase Scott Pelley. He’s not mad at the media. He’s mad at not being the man at the top any more because he has to answer to the public, Congress, Federal Courts, and the press. He is now the apprentice, not the boss, so a press conference is one of the few places he can take command.

Advice for the Democratic Party. Go left! Energize the base. Go Left! Follow the Republican lead of abandoning the center. Go left!

Former President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week
The Appeals Court going against President Trump’s executive order
National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation
The end of Cincinnati Bearcats 15-game winning streak
Flu outbreaks in many states
Shortage of vanilla beans

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers tips for starting a community garden.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Cryptic new laundry rule hints at tale of bizarre infraction
Short film drags on
Scientists developing pollinating bee drones
Tupperware will not truly recover from red curry leftovers
Pope Francis sneaks leftovers to false god Moloch at backdoor of St. Peter’s Basilica
Report: That was a very stupid thing to say

Interesting Reads
Five of the most violent moments of the Reformation
Toads: To kiss or not to kiss
Lessons from the 1937 flood
High school graduation peril in Tennessee
The parasite that lures mosquitoes to humans
A way to build productive bipartisanship

To here’s a song for your weekend, enjoy the group of legends known as the Traveling Wilburys. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On 64

cooltext64In Mathematics
64 – the square of 8, the cube of 4, and the sixth power of 2

64 – the first whole number that is both a perfect square and a perfect cube

64 – the smallest number with exactly seven divisors (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64)

64 – a cardinal number, ordinal number, dodecagonal number, centered triangular number, Erdős–Woods number, superperfect number, and the index of Graham’s number

In Science
64 – The atomic number of the element gadolinium, whose neutrally charged atom contains 64 protons and 64 electrons

64 – the number of codons in the RNA codon table under genetic code

Messier object M64 – a galaxy known as the Black Eye Galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices

The New General Catalogue object NGC 64 – a spiral galaxy in the constellation Cetus

In Entertainment
The number of squares on a game board for checkers, chess, and Bejeweled

64 – the name of a Russian chess magazine

64 – a dog character in the Donald Duck comics

Catullus 64 – a poem written by Catullus

Sonnet 64 – one of 154 sonnets written by William Shakespeare

64 – Channel number of television stations in Barstow (CA), Brownsville TX, Cincinnati OH, Fulton (AR), Kalamazoo MI, Kannapolis (NC), Kittanning PA, Providence RI, Ridgecrest (CA), San Bernardino CA, Scranton PA, Seaford DE, Stockton (CA),

64 – the number of crayons in the popular Crayola pack

64th Golden Globes – Held in 2007 with Dreamgirls winning the most awards (3)

64th Academy Awards – Held in 1992 with The Silence of the Lambs winning 5 Oscars

64 Zoo Lane – a British-French children’s cartoon

Sixty-four – a web comic

In Music
64 – The subject of the Beatles song When I’m Sixty-Four

“64” – the title of a song by the hip-hop group Mellowhype

Symphony No. 64 – composed by Joseph Haydn in A major

Opus 64, No. 1 – The Minute Waltz in D-flat major by Chopin

Trio 64 – an album by American jazz musician Bill Evans

Sixty-Four – a 2004 album by Donovan of his 1964 demo recordings

My 64 – a song by Mike Jones

64 Spoons – British rock/pop band in the 1970s-80s that was also known as The Legendary 64 Spoons or just The Spoons)

Commodore 64 – one of the pioneer bands for hip hop while being named after the 1980s computer

Fabric 64 – an album by Guy Gerber

Code 64 – an electronic music band from Sweden and Norway

In Computers
64-bit processors

Base64 – a group of similar binary-to-text encoding schemes

Decimal64 – a decimal floating-point computer numbering format that occupies 8 bytes (64 bits) in computer memory

Commodore 64 – an early 8-bit home computers

Nintendo 64 video game console, plus all its games that includes 64 in their title

64 – the maximum stack size in the video game Minecraft

Madden Football 64 – the first game in the Madden NFL series

In Business
Avenue Sixty-Four – a boutique wedding venue in Brisbane, Australia

In Culture and Language
Sessanta quattro, 60 Vier, 60 fyra, Sześćdziesiąt cztery, Шестдесет и четири, -Sáu mươi bốn, Fire og seksti, and LXIV

64 – The maximum number of strokes in any Chinese character

64 – The number of classical arts listed in many Indian scriptures

In Geography
64 – the international calling code for direct dial calls to New Zealand

64 – a US interstate highway from Missouri to Virginia

U.S. Route 64 – a highway from Arizona to North Carolina

Sixty-Four Villages East of the RIver – a group of Russian villages along the Amur River across from China

M64 – a planned but never built motorway in England

64th Parallel North crosses Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, United States, Canada, Greenland, and Iceland

64th Parallel South crosses Antarctica – including land claimed by Argentina, Chile, and United Kingdom

64th Meridian East crosses Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and Antarctica

64th Meridian West crosses Canada, Greenland, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Antarctica

In History

Year 64 AD
Buddhist calendar 608, Korean calendar 2397, Discordian calendar 1230

Nero is the Emperor of Rome

July 19 – Great Fire of Rome destroying nearly half of the city occurred during the rule of Nero
Persecution of Christians in Rome begins
New urban planning program with wide streets, open spaces, and ornate buildings

Phoenicia becomes part of Syria.

The Kushan sack the town of Taxila (in present-day Pakistan).

The year the First Epistle of Peter is traditionally believed to be written.

Seneca proclaims the equality of all men, including slaves.

Deaths include Peter the Apostle, Paul the Apostle, and Empress Yin Lihua.

Year 64 BC
Berber calendar 887, Assyrian calendar 4687, Byzantine calendar 5445-5446

Servilius Rullus, Roman Republic tribune, proposes an agrarian reform law.

Pompey destroys the kingdom of Pontus, annexes Syria, captures Jerusalem and annexes Judea.

The end of the Seleucid dynasty.

US History
Federalist No. 64The Power of the Senate by John Jay published on March 5, 1788

The Sixty-fourth United States Congress – met during the third and fourth years (1915-1917) of Woodrow Wilson’s presidency

Miscellaneous
64 – the number of Braille characters in the old 6-dot system

64 – number of sexual positions in the Kama Sutra

64 – number of demons in the Dictionnaire Infernal

64 – refers to Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

1:64 – the traditional scale for models and miniatures

Unfortunately, 1,900 is not divisible by 64. Too bad because that would have been a great coincidence of celebrating the 1,900th post milestone on my 64th birthday. Seems like good rational to bypass the latest edition of Opinion in the Shorts.

Celebrate the events with one of my favorites. Which one to you chose?

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