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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Book Signing Tonight: Historic Photos of Tallahassee

Andrew Edel, author of Historic Photos of Tallahassee, will be signing copies of the book tonight at Barnes & Noble on North Monroe (Tallahassee Mall) 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. The book is a wonderful journey through Tallahassee's early beginnings and makes the perfect gift for anyone who's called Tallahassee home. Check out my review of the book.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two State Tourism Offices Have Tongues Waggging

A couple of state tourism offices are in this week's spotlight with their advertising campaigns.

First there's New Mexico and their alien tourism ad campaign. If you're not familiar with the buzz, some New Mexico tourism officials are upset with the ugly aliens pushing the great state. (In short, the aliens decide New Mexico is the best place in the Universe to visit). The people upset about the campaign claim the ads are geared towards Gen Xers while its the Baby Boomers who have the money and time to travel.

You can check out the video for yourself (see below). I have to admit, the aliens are ugly and the commercial doesn't even mention Roswell and Area 51, but I don't find it repulsive. But then again, I'm a Gen Xer. Is the commercial going to make me want to go to New Mexico? Yeah, a little bit. The spot tells me more about New Mexico and encourages me to think about the state differently from what my preconceived notion. One things' for sure, all this buzz has to be driving interest. Check out the accompanying Web site: The Best Place in the Universe. New Mexico, Earth.

Closer to home, have you read this article in today's Tallahassee Democrat? It's certainly sparked plenty of conversation around the office. The NAACP is upset with VISIT FLORIDA, the state's official tourism marketing corporation, upcoming campaign called "Shine." I've seen the campaign. It shows all sorts of happy people enjoying themselves in Florida. It's pleasant, calming and inspiring.

We live in the Sunshine State. Some of the definitions for "shine," according to Merriam-Webster include:
To emit rays of light.
To perform extremely well.
To have a bright glowing appearance.

These don't seem like negatives to me, but apparently, "shine" is a derogatory term against African Americans during the early 20th century. It's a term I've never heard of (and remember, I'm a Yankee) and asking various people in the office about the term, they don't find it offensive.

What I find more confusing is that the Tallahassee Democrat article uses the term "black" when I thought the politically correct term is "African American?" Or, is it uncool to be politically correct? Or, do the rules say it's okay to be politically correct only when it's convenient?

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I had some profound thoughts to share this week but getting ready for my trip to Italy has been top of mind. Check out my primary blog where I hope to be posting updates about the trip.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Is Anyone Going to Play with Me? Free Screening of the Kite Runner Movie

So"The Kite Runner" movie competition has been extended until Nov. 15. This is because there was some controversy over the child actors. But that's not what this post is about.

I'm BEGGING, Tallahassee. Join the Tallahassee Kite Runners club so we can receive a free, private screening of "The Kite Runner." It's not a scam, it's not too good to be true. We just need at least 100 people to register on the Paramount site for the online community.

You won't receive spam (just an occasional email from me) but will hopefully receive bragging rights for being part of a something cool (that would be the free, private screening of "The Kite Runner."

Click here to join.

Click here to read my previous plea.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Green Guide Class: Creatures from the Black Lagoon

Sunday was another beautiful day in paradise, at least another beautiful day in Wakulla County. Green Guide Class was at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.

I arrived early to grab lunch at the Lodge's restaurant (mmm, fried chicken) then met up with the rest of the group and Jeff Hudd with the Florida State Park Service. First was a glass bottom boat trip (see the photo of the manatee tail, other classmates and me with the camera?) in which we had different tasks (I had to look for the secchi disk, no, not pronounced "sexy disk"), followed by sampling collecting - dipping our nets in native water plants and non-native (hydrilla) and comparing the number of species found, then a river cruise up the Wakulla River.

It was a fabulously, gorgeous day, not too hot, not windy, just perfect. Saw woolly mammoth bones at the bottom of the springs (from the glass bottom boat), the invasive impact of hydrilla (it's everywhere!), three manatees (including a calf - awwww!), a big ass alligator along with loads of birds, turtles and other gators.

I'm taking a break from classes over the next couple of weeks, I have too much going on this week to make it down south and Sunday I head to Italy for a week (yes, already).

Soon I'll have photos organized for everyone's viewing enjoyment. For now, enjoy snapshots from the day in Wakulla Springs State Park!

Oh, and for you movie buffs. Creature from the Black Lagoon was one of many flicks filmed here in the park.

Author Jeff Parker Spoke at Word Traffic Books Saturday

I went over to Word Traffic Books Saturday night for their grand opening. They actually opened in August and Saturday was the time to celebrate.

It's a great little place, they still have some work to do but it'll get there. I love the comfy sofas and wooden church pew reminds me of the ones my Dad would get from auctions in town and would either sit in the house or garage. Anyway...

Jeff Parker, Tallahassee native who now splits his time between Toronto and Michigan was there to read from Ovenman: A Novel (Tin House New Voice)

I debated whether going but after I read the reviews for Ovenman and looked at the Web site, I was hooked. It sounds like an edgy, dark, funny and uncomfortable read. You know a book's excellent if it makes you feel something. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Be sure to read my blurb about Saturday's event over at Word Traffic Books (I love the name, too).

As for this goofy photo? Well, Parker looks good, I look, well, pissed off. I was smiling and before the photog snapped the camera, Parker said, "look serious." I'm caught in a transition between happy and serious.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What I Got to See from the Filming of "Recount" in Tallahassee...

Alright, so I wrote this post last week, about Kevin Spacey being in town to film the HBO flick, "Recount." Roberto over at Comunidad de argentinos en Tallahassee (my Spanish is poor, I'm assuming it means for the Argentina Community in Tallahassee?) asked that I post what I saw (BTW - thanks for dropping by!).


I didn't make it downtown to see any of the filming! Darn work got in the way and I was tied up with meetings the first half of the week. I did see a CNN truck and dark Secret Service type vehicles each morning on the drive to work. I assume they were being used for the filming.

However, my sources told me a scene shot at the Doubletree Hotel Tallahassee took four takes, something to do with Laura Dern and I think bag pipers playing the FSU fight song - does that sound right?

Another source told me the week prior to the shoot (maybe it was the weekend), a little bash was thrown over at downtown's Metro Deli and Mr. Spacey made a surprise appearance.

So sorry Roberto, I didn't get to see anything either.

Friday, November 09, 2007

What Is It?

Imagine my surprise this Thursday when I got up to find out the temperature was 28 degrees outside! Yes, this image shows ICE on the windshield.

Although being a Buffalo native, I did not have any type of ice scraper in the car. I thought about the things I could use to scrape off the ice (and things I shouldn't use, from past experience) but relied on the interior vents and friction from the windshield blades to melt the ice away.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'm Off My Game: Kevin Spacey's in Town and I Find Out Now!

I know I've been wrapped up with work and other bits of life when I finally learn today about Kevin Spacey being in town, filming HBO's movie called "Recount." I really haven't been living under a rock, about a month ago I was meeting a friend at the Tallahassee Mall and saw casting signs for the HBO film. I peaked my head inside but didn't see where casting auditions were being held then decided since the signs were handmade they weren't legit.

Fast forward to yesterday, where I saw a blip in the Tallahassee Democrat about roads being closed and today, I found the Tallahassee filming schedule for "Recount" on a St. Petersburg Times blog called The Buzz: Florida Politics. The schedule's from mid-October so don't know how much it's changed.

A couple of gals from the office and I will head downtown tomorrow to see if we can catch a glimpse of the filming or see Mr. Spacey, Laura Dern or any of the other actors. They ship out of town at the end of the week and most of the film will be shot in Jacksonville.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Green Guide Class: Critters in the Air, Sea and Land

Despite a 6 a.m. wake up call, today was awesome. Finally, the temperature has cooled down and the humidity has dropped making being outside enjoyable.

My day began at Mashes Sands Park on Hwy. 98 past Panacea. We met up with George for some early morning bird watching. (Stupid me, I forgot my binoculars, but honestly, I have no idea where they are. Well, I know which room they're in, just not which box).

I also learned something new about horseshoe crabs - usually the shells found washed up on beaches is just that, a shell. The crab inside most likely shed it for a new one. Pretty cool!

Next was lunch at Posey's - grouper sandwich, yum!

Then, Jack Rudlow, founder of Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories gave us a tour. I have to say, this place is pretty cool. There were several touch tanks to feel all sorts of sea critters, from starfish to scallops and sea urchins to seaweed. There are also non-touchable tanks to observe and watch the sea life, such as sea turtles, sharks and fiddler crabs.

While there, a fisherman had hooked a Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle and brought it in to have the hook removed. The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab is the only authorized turtle rehap center in the area. I've enclosed a photo of the turtle and circled the hook. Luckily, the hook was easily removed and the turtle will soon be released.

We were also at the lab during feeding time, which was fun to see the reactions of the sea critters. Enjoy the video below of the spider crabs feeding. They really are ugly creatures but fun to watch. Over on my QuirkyKitschGirl site, check out the video on the remora (suckerfish) feeding. These are the fish which attach themselves to the bottom of sharks, manatees and turtles.

Since I was already in Panacea, I decided to head over to the Florida Seafood Festival in Apalachicola. I love that town! Indulged in gumbo and oyster stew, saw a crab race and enjoyed great music. A band was even playing on a boat! (Not in the boat below, I just liked this boat.)

Got to tour the newest hotel in Apalachicola, Water Street Hotel & Marina. It only has 30 rooms but they're huge and very comfortable. It's not in the downtown area but an easy walk to the action. Nice property, I'd definitely stay there sometime.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Plumb Fun: Too Much Fun in a Photobooth

I've been M.I.A. because the conference/tradeshow me and the office team have been working on for the past year came to fruition and Internet access was spotty. Hopefully an article or two will be forthcoming from the trip (speaking of articles, here's my latest about Whigham Georgia's Rattlesnake Roundup).

One of the tradeshow vendors was Plumb Fun specializing in photobooth rentals in Georgia and Florida (I think for Alabama, too). The first day, people seemed a little hesitant to use it but after people got comfortable and realized it wasn't going to bite, they tried it out (plus I threw a plug in the nightly newsletter about it).

I have to admit the first time we tried this, five of us got in there and it didn't work. Well, it worked, only the center person was in all the shots and partials of the rest of us showed up.

GW from a Tallahassee travel agency (who's our travel agent for the event and whom we brought along) and I popped in and had too much fun in the photobooth! Wish we thought up more poses.

If you're a meeting planner planning an event or meeting in Florida or Georgia (maybe Alabama? Check with Plumb Fun for locations), this is a must-have item (I'd recommend having it during an evening function after the delegates have loosened up with a cocktail or two). Or, this would be really cool to have at a big family reunion, high school reunion, other social event or even at a wedding!