Friday, May 30, 2008

It's a tough gig, but someone has to do it

We are taking a little bit of a break and fishin' in the general vacinity of Flagler Beach, FL at an RV park that is, as you can see, right on the water.

I know. Tough gig.

I'm a bit sunburnt already and this place isn't nearly as full as we would have expected. I suspect that the fuel crisis and general economic malaise has dropped attendance down a bit. We have been looking into some other ocean-front RV parks and planning to hang out a bit this summer but this place (Beverly Beach RV Resort) is one of our favorites. If they would give us a break on weekly rates we might conduct our Jacksonville-based business from here for the next few months.

We did have an opportunity to drop by and see Mark, a/k/a the Tiki Tender ( ) last night at Flagler's Golden Lion, which is one of the better beachfront bar and restaurants around.

Later tonight we hope to see Jim Morris, one of the absolutely best of the tropic rock musicians, play nearby. You can check out Jim at

The last few weeks have been very exciting, even if I haven't had much of an opportunity to update the blog or otherwise write much online. While we were traveling we incorporated a new business and have been putting a ton of effort into that. In addition, the never-ending upgrades to the venerable Bluebird Wanderlodge continue, with a bizness telephone system and satellite television with multiple LCD monitors being recently installed, and some dents pounded out following a little "clash" that we had in Mississippi. But that last point is classified so let's not talk about that one. The co-pilot claims that the little "oops!" was caused by driver error but the pilot wants to argue that point.

My novel, a tale of lewdness, UFOs, 100-year old Nazis, bars and bar maids, mentally-unstable geriatric Internet stalkers, natural disasters, corporate corruption, , clown-phobic Texans, ex-cons, truckers, life, death, hookers, and the other things that make living worthwhile, continues. I recently noted that a well known author took an advance from his publisher on a novel that he promises to finish within the next 6-7 years. I can relate. For those of you who aspire to write, all that I can say is that you have to start somewhere but it's a frickin' slow project.

There are a number of things from our New Orleans trip that I hope to show y'all in the next few weeks, but, alas, I haven't had an opportunity to organize my photos yet. We took a drive down into Plaquemines Parish, roughly 100 miles south of New Orleans and basically Ground Zero for Hurricane Katrina. As much as I feel that we as a nation have let New Orleans and parts of Mississippi down when we should be helping them to rebuild, the residents of Plaquemines Parish appear to have been totally forgotten while the oil company interests down there are looking awfully healthy. The contrast between the haves and the have nots is stark indeed. In comparison, New Orleans has at least gotten some relief funding.

And then there's the subject of casinos. Ah yes ... casinos. The retirement home for many of us baby boomers. As much fun as I found the casinos in Mississippi to be I still find it strange that I have reached that age when a casino with a good buffet and a nice RV park is looking mighty appealing.

Speaking of buffet(t)s ... for you Parrotheads have you heard that Jimmy Buffett is involved in not one, not two, but now three Margaritaville Casino projects? Count 'em - Biloxi, the Mohegan Casino in Connecticut, and now some group has just announced that they are buying one of Donald Trump's Atlantic City properties and will be redeveloping it in conjunction with Margaritaville, Inc.

What is this world coming to?

Oh, and to totally skip around this planet and to see how quickly things are changing, check out CCTV-9, or English Language Chinese Central Television. We can pick CCTV-9 up on Dish System satellite TV on Channel 265, although I think that you have to request it at no add'l charge. DirectTV surely has it somewhere. Rural China reminds me of rural Mexico or, for that matter, rural Kentucky from the time of my birth - pretty backward. But the major cities - WOW! Very pretty. Very modern. And very much the economic powerhouses of the next generation. I hate to say it, but it kinda makes me think that we here in the USA have been asleep at the wheel (or perhaps our government has been concentrating on the wrong things) when China looks so modern, most of Europe can supply their citizens with retirement and health care and still have a currency that is increasing in value as compared to ours, and Mexico can be building new universities left and right and still have diesel at $2.27/gallon (diesel is about $4.29/gallon here in Floriduh as I write this).

As many of us olde phartes like to point out the Little Johnny of today often cannot read, and here in Florida neither he nor Little Jill seemingly can drive worth a damn, but they do have their rap songs memorized. I am not optimistic with their abilities to compete with the Euro and Chinese kids that I meet who have excellent math skills.

Then again, who from our generation would have ever thought that Jerry Rubin would have gone from being a Yippie to being a yuppie and would have become a big promoter of multi-level marketing, right?

But we do have great bar-b-que, I'll give you that. The USA leads the world in good pork bar-b-que.

And football.

But not Formula 1.

Did anyone watch the race in Monaco last weekend? No traction control on the new cars and it rained - yikes! It was looking like Ferrari was going to run out of body parts for their cars before they stopped the race a few laps short. Now that was exciting, even if the new F1 cars have so many wings and tabs and aerodynamic surfaces that you halfway expect the cars to start flapping and fly away on the start/finish line. NASCAR it ain't.

As I said, times change. Ya gotta roll with the punches, and keep on smiling.

A great billboard slogan that I saw a few months ago: "If you don't have dreams, then all you have in your life are your worries." So true.

Pursue your dreams. Whether they involve travel or doing something positive for you, your family, or the planet, pursue your dreams. If there is one thing that isn't in short supply in this universe it's negative people, and that's such a pity since there are indeed "so many nice things happenin' out there," to quote a lyric from a Buffett song.


tikitender said...

How funny....I was just posting a blog about pirate john....

PyrateJohn said...

Thanks Mark! Good to see you too!

Marks comments can be found on his blog at