Monday, December 27, 2021

Pondering what I will do in 2022. I know what I don't want to do!

"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that."

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas - 2021 - remembering the Christmas Truce in WWI - read History dot com account

Christmas Time - a time for a little truce and ponder the true meaning of Christmas.

One of my favorite Christmas events still remembered - Christmas in wartime - leading to the brief respite that came to be know as the Christmas truce. 

Read the full account on Christmas Truce of 1914
On December 7, 1914, Pope Benedict XV suggested a temporary hiatus of the war for the celebration of Christmas. The warring countries refused to create any official cease-fire, but on Christmas the soldiers in the trenches declared their own unofficial truce.
At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.
Some soldiers used this short-lived ceasefire for a more somber task: the retrieval of the bodies of fellow combatants who had fallen within the no-man’s land between the lines.
The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers’ threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers’ essential humanity endured.
Info above taken verbatim from History.Com
Photo: “1914 Christmas Truce Monument, Messine.”

Friday, December 24, 2021

Where is Santa now? NORAD tracks Santa - 2021 - this is for the young & young at heart - links to tracker and the story as to how it all began.

  NORAD Tracks Santa A recommended site.

Click on this link to Welcome to NORAD Tracks Santa to view where Santa is at the time.  

Or follow Santa on Google's Santa Tracker by CLICKING HERE 

Always a family favorite, at least until the kids age out.


Merry Christmas

Eugene Flinn and family

How it started: One of my favorite Christmas stories: A great read - NPR (originally published December 19, 2014)

Read the full NPR story as related by the grown children of Col. Harry Shoup who came to be known as the "Santa Colonel." Col. Shoup passed away in 2009.

The Earthrise photo. Taken 53 years ago today, 12/24/1968

Smile, you're being photographed (53 years ago). Two of my strongest non-family related Christmas time memories:

Apollo 8, we all monitored that mission (all space missions at that time) - we later saw the Earthrise photo taken  53 years ago this date, 12/24/1968.  This photo provides perspective; that we live on a small self-contained outpost.

The other, and certainly less important memory was back in 1971, when the Miami Dolphins were relevant, and played in the Christmas Day playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The double-overtime game remains the longest game ever played in NFL history.

The Dolphins were led by coach Don Shula, and six players – Nick Buoniconti, Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Larry Little, and Paul Warfield. 

I prefer the space memories, looking up as if I could actually see something with my own eyes, if I could only focus on the exact spot near the moon. 

One of the many gifts that space exploration/NASA has provided to us.

Read the article (it remains available online), Miami Herald: The stunning photo on Christmas Eve that changed how we see our planet, by Christian Davenport The Washington Post

Thursday, December 23, 2021

2021 Year in review - photos - 02 - road cycling. Spoiler alert - 4,000 mile reached once again

I enjoy road cycling. I can roll out of my driveway and have reached as far as Hollywood Beach, Florida. No need to drive to a starting point. It is easy to cycle when we live in one of the best places to cycle year around. The pandemic dramatically increased the popularity of cycling. This year saw yet another increase in the activity as it can be done socially distanced as well as outside. 

But for me, there were no big trips this year - no cycling in central Florida or upstate NY,

The 2021 B-day mileage ride
I did once again meet my annual goal of cycling 4,000 miles For comparison, my drive / mass transit work commute for 2021 was approximately 6,000 miles.  The annual mileage included the annual "ride my age (in miles) ride" as well as at least one (ok, maybe 2) metric century rides (62.5 miles).

Remember Rule #1 listed in the movie Zombieland: Cardio. I am fortunate to maintain my health - and I credit long term gym and spin class for my health, though since the pandemic, my activities are nearly exclusively outdoor cycling. Published studies have shown that cycling at a moderate pace for an hour allows overweight people with diabetes to halve their blood sugar levels in the next 24 hours. Even cycling faster for only half an hour can reduce levels for an entire day, but only by 19%.

Other health benefits include strengthening your heart muscles, lowering one's resting pulse and reducing blood fat levels. Research also shows that people who cycle to work have two to three times less exposure to pollution than commuting via car; improving lung function.

But let's  be clear - bicycling alone is not magic, like any exercise, a certain level of exertion is required for maximum health benefits.

And let's not leave out the social aspects - not the mad pelotons, but friends who ride together - fun times.

One such ride was the 12-22-21 "Holiday Lights, City Ride" where the group explored the local holiday light displays:

So on to the photos for 2021:

Above left - Coral Gables branch library. Above right - The Sahara, Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL

Above left - Hollywood Beach. Above right - Rickenbacker bridge

Above left - Virginia Key. Above right - Black Point Marina.

Above 3: More fun with friends

The 2021 year is nearly finished. I am looking forward to the 2022 rides.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

2021 Year in review - photos - 01 - gravel biking.

I am kicking off the year in review with some photos of the 2021 gravel biking adventures - a great socially distanced activity (no drafting). The pictures tell the story. No cycling travels this year, it was all local - south of Black Point, east Everglades, parts in and near Everglades National Park, in and around Shark Valley and the Tamiami canal / Levee areas.

I am looking forward to the gravel riding adventures in 2022!

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Rickenbacker Climb - 01 - Sunday, December 12, 2021. Solo ride. What a v...

It was a beautiful day to ride. You can tell I am not much of a climber ( at 4:36 )  as you can watch some experienced climbers blow by me. It is all about practice. It had been a while since my last ride over the bridge: January 17, 2021.

And then - back to the mainland:

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Christmas rankings for movie versions of Dicken's "A Christmas Carol". Here is a suggested guide to binge watching. Ranking my personal favorites.

Who is a fan of watching the many variations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol? Does anyone want to argue about which is the best?

We are in prime binge watching season for the Christmas specials. We still are not fully out of the woods on COVID, so I offer up an activity you can share within your family bubble as well as participate with others remotely. Here is a guide for your Pandemic Christmas Ideas –

'A Christmas Carol' Adaptations Ranked from "Bah Humbug!" to "God Bless Us Everyone!" by Dave Trumbore, COLLIDER Movie News, Dec 21, 2019 His lead in: 

Besides the Christmas stories that are Biblical in origin, Charles Dickens' 1843 classic telling of A Christmas Carol remains one of the longest-running, most-adapted, and most-relevant holiday tales to date. More than 170 years after the infamous miser-turned-do-gooder Ebenezer Scrooge entered our culture for the first time, there are still quite a few folks out there who could do with taking this timeless lesson to heart. I'd suggest they take the time to do what I did and watch 20 or so adaptations of A Christmas Carol until the moral sinks in, but the good-willed among you who don't need a lesson from the spirits can check out our ranked list to see which version is most worthy of your time.

A story for that stands the test of time. A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall December 19,1843 - Wikipedia

Here are some of my favorite film versions and how they were ranked by Dave Trumbore:

9. A Christmas Carol (1999) what I call "the Patrick Stewart version". (My #4)
6. A Christmas Carol (1984) George C Scott (my #5)
My favorite - 5. Scrooged  - Bill Murray - For all the reasons in the description:

Easily the best non-traditional adaptation of A Christmas Carol, Richard Donner's 1988 comedy Scrooged is a testament to just how timeless Dickens' tale is. Set in the hyper-violent and profit-obsessed entertainment world of the 1980s, Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a TV network executive who's under the gun to bring in huge numbers for the channel's upcoming Christmas special. What follows is an exploration that goes behind the scenes of a "traditional" TV adaptation of the story, and more importantly, a character examination of Cross as a modern-day Scrooge.

Scooged (rated #5, but it is my #1) does compete with the top two as determined by Dave Trumbore. I, however, have them ranked in reverse order and both after Scrooged in my personal list:

1. A Christmas Carol (1951) Alastair Sim (my # 3)
2. A Christmas Carol (1938) (my # 2) An earie classic - wonderful to watch even 82 years later - 82 years old and still holding its own!

In conclusion: Much like college football, pre-BCS championship sellout, the fun is in the argument as to #1, so watch and opine away.  

It’s just not Christmas until two things happen on my TV:

I watch my #1 Scrooged (note: checked off the day after Thanksgiving here in 2021) and …

“It's not Christmas until Hans Gruber falls from Nakatomi plaza” (Die Hard is a Christmas movie – change my mind).

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Why they call it "vulture alley" 12-5-2021. Part of the Sunday road ride

Check out the hundreds of vultures congregating in and near the southern Mount Trashmore on this Sunday chill ride - 31 miles for the day. 106 Miles for the week. 3,812 miles for the year to date.

I am working to complete my annual goal of 4,000 miles.
The Strava segment known as "Vulture Alley"

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Construction of the 87th Avenue Bridge - coming to Palmetto Bay in Fall, 2022, at least per this County Fact Sheet

The information provided in this fact sheet do not appear to be consistent with the actions planned by the current members of the Palmetto Bay council. This project is moving forward, at least according to this update:

Fall 2022 - we are in the last month of 2021.

How to register and participate: Virtual Public Meeting Regarding the SW 87th Avenue Bridge Project, Wed., 12-15-2021, 6:30 to 8:00 PM

Updated information / link to register for the meeting.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works has scheduled a VIRTUAL public meeting to discuss the SW 87th Avenue Bridge over the C-100 Canal project.

Miami-Dade County has scheduled the meeting Palmetto Bay officials have declined to have –a detailed public meeting on the 87 Avenue bridge. The advertisement was posted in the Miami Herald on Page 12A, Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

As stated in the meeting notice, "the project consists of the Design and Construction of a new bridge that will provide vehicle travel lanes, dedicated bike lanes with physical raised separation from vehicle traffic, curb & gutter and sidewalk in both directions, northbound and southbound. The project scope includes a new roadway, storm water drainage system, signing and pavement markings, bridge lighting, fencing and landscaping along the project."

Furthermore, the meeting notice states that, "The objective of the project is to provide connectivity for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians along SW 87th Avenue and to improve traffic network along the SW 87th Avenue corridor within the Village of Palmetto Bay. funding for his project will be provided from the Road Impact Fees of District 5, pursuant to Section 33E of the Code of Miami-Dade County."

Please use the links below for additional information and to register for the Zoom meeting. For additional information from Miami-Dade County concerning the project, please email

Note - photo above is not the actual rendering for the bridge currently in design. 

SPECIAL NOTE: Thank you Miami-Dade officials for scheduling a meaningful public meeting. See my prior post of October 4, 2021, OPINION: It is time for this mayor and council to come clean and hold a proper town hall update. Residents' voices should matter. Come out of the shadows on the bridge. - Residents' voices should matter, but is has become a mere a catch phrase here in Palmetto Bay since December 2018.. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Miami-Dade County DTPW sets a critical Virtual Public Meeting regarding the 87th Avenue bridge - set for December 15, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Miami-Dade County has scheduled the meeting Palmetto Bay officials have declined to have –a detailed public meeting on the 87 Avenue bridge. The advertisement is posted below. Miami Herald subscribers can view this Miami-Dade County advertisement on Page 12A, Miami Herald, Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

This meeting didn’t just pop up overnight. I am not sure why it was not discussed by the current mayor and council members at the Palmetto Bay Special Council meetings held Monday, November 29. Perhaps they were caught by surprise at the public notice in the Wednesday paper (although advertisement deadlines required that this advertisement be submitted days prior to the Monday meetings). Unfortunately, the current Palmetto Bay administration appears to prefer to restrict information rather than promote robust public discussions.

Regardless – who should attend? (I bet you, the reader, meets at list one of those listed below):

·       Those concerned (for and/or against) the bridge. 
· Cyclists who want input as to the planned dedicated bike lanes (including, not just for the bridge, but for all of 87 avenue). 
·       Those interested in connectivity for golf carts.
·       Pedestrians (who plan on walking this section – to see what protective walking areas the County has planned as they are not included in ‘dedicated’ bike lanes).
·       Those interested in ensuring that drought resistant native plants will be used for landscaping.
·       Those interested in this project adding value to the area (more than ‘just a bridge’ – the additional amenities).

Note the project will include lighting, fencing and landscaping - all of which will impact the immediate area.

Also note: This is a Miami-Dade County planned project, so we want to watch this project to ensure that it does not become another 136th Street MEGA sidewalk fiasco as planned by Palmetto Bay officials.

Also note - the planned amenities are those planned by Miami-Dade County and were never mentioned or sought by Palmetto Bay Officials during the many months of negotiations were held on the proposed Interlocal A

More information (for those who truly want to be ‘in the loop’ on this matter: email: