Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

@FLGovScott #RemoveHer #HallandaleBeach mayor & town bully #JoyCooper

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Once again, Jimmy Kimmel Live Show adroitly skewers puffery, smugness and pomposity, this time, average people talking about having watched the Ravens-49ers Super Bowl Game that's still days from being played; #nfl, #superbowl47, @nfl, @superbowl47


The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Lie Witness News - Did You Watch the Super Bowl, JimmyKimmelLive. Uploaded January 30, 2013. http://youtu.be/zR9NV7D4FVY
Once again, Jimmy Kimmel Live Show adroitly skewers puffery, smugness and pomposity, this time, average people talking about having watched the Ravens-49ers Super Bowl Game that's still days from being played; #nfl, #superbowl47
This humorous effort of Jimmy and his writers to really skewer average people's pomposity, with humorous results, actually reminds me most of the uninformed comments I've heard stated the past nine years on Miami-area TV newscasts as elected officials pontificated about things after-the-fact that they were clearly only dimly familiar with after having actually voted.
Or, just like attending and carefully watching a Hallandale Beach City Commission.

Everyone's afraid to say that they didn't know, don't know or are unfamiliar with a topic, so they try to "wing it."

Hallandale Beach looks the way that it does and is run as poorly as it is because too many highly-paid people in responsible positions have been "winging it" for years.
But Hallandale Beach is not alone on that score in South Florida, just where I happen to live and a place that I'm most highly observant of.

In the new year, you will hear more on this blog about other cities and agencies that have been run similarly, with little concern for actually delivering a dollar's worth of service for a dollar's worth of taxes, and a refusal to face reality when presented with the true facts by citizens and activists.

DVR Alert!: Oscar-winner Lee Marvin gets the TCM 21-gun salute tonight with 4 of his films, as new book on Marvin by Dwayne Epstein gets rave reviews; Tonight features John Boorman's fast-paced '67 noir thriller 'Point Blank' with Marvin as a one-man blunt object of retribution and malice -who does not crack wise- along with Cat Ballou, Monte Walsh, and The Dirty Dozen




Turner Classic Movies video: The Dirty Dozen - (Original Promo Featurette), A look behind the scenes of the making of the World War II thriller, The Dirty Dozen (1967), starring Lee Marvin, Telly Savalas, Robert Ryan, Donald Sutherland, Clint Walker, Jim Brown, et al.

DVR Alert: Oscar-winner Lee Marvin gets the TCM 21-gun salute tonight with 4 of his films, as new book on him by Dwayne Epstein gets rave reviews; Tonight features John Boorman's fast-paced '67 noir thriller 'Point Blank' with Marvin as a one-man blunt object of retribution and malice who does not crack wise, along with Cat Ballou, Monte Walsh, The Dirty Dozen
Los Angeles Times
CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD blog
Rediscovering Lee Marvin's gritty brilliance
By Susan King, Los Angeles Times 
January 29, 2013, 5:30 p.m.
The versatile Oscar-winner, who died at 63 in 1987, is the subject of a new biography, a film-series retrospective and a Turner Classic Movies marathon.
Lee Marvin "is the guy who started it all in terms of modern American cinema violence," according to Dwayne Epstein, the author of a new biography of the iconic actor.

Cat Ballou airs at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Monte Walsh at 10:00 p.m., The Dirty Dozen at 12:00 a.m., and Point Blank at 2:45 a.m.


TheTrailerBlaze YouTube Channel video: Trailer for John Boorman's 1967 'Point Blank,' starring Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson. Uploaded April 10, 2010. http://youtu.be/N2sKgsKTeEM

When I first saw Mel Gibson in 1999's Payback on one of the pay cable channels after it'd been out for a while, 


it seemed to me to be more his take on Michael Caine's 1971 film Get Carter than anything else, and all I could think of was this Marvin film instead.


No matter what current actors say, even ones who are as dedicated and perfectionist as Mel Gibson, there are very few who are actually willing and able to pull-off playing full-out menace throughout a film, with no light-hearted asides or quips to themselves to lighten the mood -a la 007 or Bruce Willis
They care too much what the audience thinks of them and their character, and I can understand that even if I don't agree that it should be so important.
But in Point Blankunder Boorman, Marvin is all-in, and makes no attempt at all to soften his hard, malevolent edges.

Trust me, you will recognize every-other actor in this film, too, as it has a great supporting cast. 

This video features celebrity chef and TCM's Guest Programmer for the night Alton Brown joining TCM host Robert Osborne and rhapsodizing on why he selected John Boorman's 1967 Point Blank as one of his films to share and talk about.
http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/186798/Point-Blank-Movie-Intro-Outro-Alton-Brown.html

Article at: 


If you have never watched this John Boorman documentary on his friend Lee Marvin before, it's flat-out wonderful, so make some time soon to come back to watch it.


smilerbwfc YouTube Channel video: BFI/AMC Documentary: Lee Marvin By John Boorman, Part I, Uploaded December 25, 2007. http://youtu.be/soA0_5oZ8LY


And before there were feature films...
wksufreshair YouTube Channel video: NBC-TV's "M Squad" Golden Look Part 01, starring Lee Marvin as Chicago detective Lt. Frank Ballinger, 1957.
-----

Monday, January 28, 2013

Eurovision 2013 news: SVT throws the world a curve in naming comedienne and new mom Petra Mede as its sole host for Eurovison Song Contest Semifinals and Finals in Malmö in early May. And not everyone is happy with the choice, whom even the show's producers call "beloved but controversial"; #euro2013, #eurovision2013, #sweden


SVT video: Petra Meade: "It's been hard to keep quiet about it." 
SVT throws the world a curve in naming comedienne and new mom Petra Mede as its sole host for Eurovison Song Contest Semifinals and Finals in Malmö in early May. And not everyone is happy with the choice, whom even the show's producers call "beloved but controversial"
So, either still feeling the effects of lingering jet-lag from my trip to Stockholm and my return to reality -six hours in the past- or restlessness, I woke-up early this morning, more than early enough to watch something that I've known was coming down the pike for a while.

The IT was the press conference carried LIVE on both Aftonbladet and Sveriges Television, SVT, at 5:15 Miami time, to see whom SVT would name as hosts for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest's Semifinals and Finals in Malmö in May, which are expected to be watched by about 100 Million viewers throughout Europe in May. 
Plus me and other interested parties around the world, of course...

The first surprise was that there will be only one host, and the second surprise was the identity of the sole host, a name that created a frenzy this morning: Petra Mede

It's clearly a real coup for anyone to host such a big-time show with so much attention and pressure coming your way, much less for Mede to host solo, since while the veteran Tv presenter and comedienne, who hosted Melodifestivalen in 2009, is well-liked, it's not a slight against her just to recognize that her name was NOT on the tip of anyone's tongue, given that she just had a baby five weeks ago.
http://www.svt.se/melodifestivalen/eurovision/programledaren-klar-sa-vill-petra-mede-leda-eurovision-song-contest
http://www.eurovision.tv/page/malmo-2013

But it's just the latest serendipitous step for the former ballerina-turned-tour guide-turned-stand up comedian, who is so well-liked by most but not all Swedish TV viewers. 

Info about Petra in English:

But already, less than two hours after the official announcement's been made, the mainstream Swedish news media is reporting that a not-so-small element is really NOT-so-crazy about her selection, with many penning words on social media much worse than these: "Det här kan inte vara sant." (This can not be true.)


Sverige uppdelat i två läger. Christer Björkmans beskrivning av Petra Mede "älskad men kontroversiell" stämmer in på reaktionerna.
(Sweden is divided into two camps, Christer Björkman's description of Petra Mede "beloved but controversial" applies to the reactions.)

Additionally, as was somewhat predictable, and as would be the case here in the U.S., with the identity now known, the press is now focusing on the story line of how the brains behind the selection were able to keep their months of inquiries secret from THEM.

It turns out that the small band of SVT insiders involved in the important selection(s) used code words to keep the news about who was being actively considered -and perhaps more importantly, who wasn't!- from being prematurely disclosed and blowing-up in their face.
The name they used for Mede in their various meetings and communications?
"Harry Potter."



Aftonbladet video: Christer Björkman - "Vi kallade Petra Mede för Harry Potter" Björkman om hur hemligheten hölls.
http://www.aftonbladet.se/webbtv/noje/article16142083.ab
http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/melodifestivalen/article16140974.ab

This selection of host today effectively starts the three-month countdown for the national music contests throughout Europe, some of which have already started in earnest, like in Iceland, where HBB fave Yohanna has already competed.

In the case of host Sweden and its selection to Eurovision, via Melodifestivalen, which begins on February 2nd with the First Round in Karlskrona, well, it is exactly as I've described here on the blog many times before, a national obsession.

To quote myself from an upcoming blog post here that was written about some news re SVT that I discovered while I was in Stockholm ten days ago:
The whole country watches Melodifestivalen, even people who think it's stupid, and people were talking about it last week to me, despite my only being somewhat famiar with some of the contestants, because the first nationally-televised competition takes place very soon. The Swedish news media positively fixates on the weeks of competition to an extent that would be hard to explain if it wasn't so self-serving, and yet also surprisingly, mean-spirited in many cases, as lots of people have reason to create or pass-along rumors!  
 It's on, baby!

---------

http://www.svt.se/melodifestivalen/

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Why is the McClatchy Company's Miami Herald continuing to ignore media reports the FBI has emails detailing activities of Herald fave, "Cuban-American" Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, repeatedly having sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic -at a resort owned by his Miami pal? No story's complete without a South Florida angle, so why are they acting like ostriches?; This cover-up is exactly the sort of thing that causes reasonable people like me to seriously question the future of the Herald, since their longstanding political bias and sheer laziness are both cancers in the digital era



Updated on Monday January 28th, 2013  5:15a.m.

Why is the McClatchy Company's Miami Herald continuing to ignore media reports that the FBI has copies of emails in its possession detailing unflattering and illegal globe-trotting activities of Herald favorite, "Cuban American" Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey?
The allegation is that Menendez has repeatedly flown-down to the Dominican Republic and had sex with underage prostitutes, and that one of the persons who facilitated these activities was his pal, a Miami surgeon and resort owner named Salomon Melgen.

This unwillingness to report seems especially curious given that there is the requisite South Florida angle, since no scandal in this country seems complete without some connection to this area.
And once you know that the behavior is alleged to have taken place at a resort owned by Melgen, and yet as you can see for yourself above, the Herald has published nothing about him or Menendez related to this story, it becomes especially obvious.

The newspaper has ignored this story for quite some time, even before the election three months ago, when people at ABC News were investigating it, an election which made incumbent Menedez one of three Hispanics in the U.S. Senate, and the presumptive choice for Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee if John Kerry becomes Secretary of State, which is a scary-enough prospect on its own, given how consistently unsound his judgment has proven to be over the years.

So ask yourself, is this an example of a an old-fashioned media cover-up by a Miami newspaper that has come to be well-known across the country for ignoring negative news about specific "pets" of its management and Editorial Board, or just the latest example of the arrogant laziness that's been going on for years at the Herald, which has so many predicates over the past few years?

Among those predicates is one that this part of Broward County is especially familiar with , that of the Herald iignoring for well over a year the facts surrounding an affair conducted by former Broward School Chair Jennifer Gottlieb with an individual with business before Broward Schools, a story that investigative reporter Bob Norman deconstructed so well. 


Here's my post of July 26, 2010 on the subject of Gottlieb that remains one of the most-read posts I've had in over five years:
Weeks later, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel & Miami TV newscasts STILL consciously ignoring Bob Norman's spot-on story re School Board's Jennifer Gottlieb

and
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-perfect-end-to-perfect-wednesday.html

So as you can see, this behavior of putting their head in the sand like an ostrich is nothing new
by the current news crew at the Herald.
It's just more of the same that nobody likes.

I sent a version of the above and what's below to Herald publisher David Landsberg,
Executive Editor Aminda Marques and Managing Editor Rick Hirsch asking just that very
question.

Menendez has been a favorite of Herald management and the Editorial Board because of his
political views towards Cuba, not because of any great original policy ideas of his, or even 
anything of particular note that he's said or done.
-----
And as indicated above from my screen grab of a few minutes ago, you have posted nothing at all on Menendez's Miami surgeon pal and connection?
How come?
http://www.miamiherald.com/search_results?aff=1100&q=Bob+Menendez nothing
The Daily Caller                                                                                                      
Emails show FBI investigating Sen. Bob Menendez for sleeping with underage Dominican prostitutes
By David Martosko, Executive Editor 
1:52 AM 01/25/2013
http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/25/emails-show-fbi-investigating-sen-bob-menendez-for-sleeping-with-underage-dominican-prostitutes/
Thinking that this story will eventually go away on its own if you don't report it, is NOT really much of a 21st Century strategy for managing news, and is exactly the sort of thing that causes reasonable people like me to seriously question the future of your newspaper if it continues to show that it can't be relied upon by readers to honestly report the news without personal or political favor.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Transportation Odds & Ends: Is the news that Ray LaHood is staying on as U.S. Transportation Secretary good or bad for Florida? Especially now that straight-shooter John Mica is no longer chair of House Transport. Comm.?; SFRTA's current Fast Start plan for "Tri-Rail Coastal" completely ignores and skips over Hallandale Beach and Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino, Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex

SFRTA Fast Start Plan from SFRTA IT on Vimeo.
SFRTA IT Vimeo video: SFRTA Fast Start Plan for Tri-Rail Coastal, Uploaded June 2012. This is one of the two competing proposals for a commuter line on the FEC railroad tracks connecting downtown Miami and Palm Beach County, but this plan as written does NOT currently envision a stop where I live -and where Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex are located - Hallandale Beach. Not that you've read that anywhere in any of the local newspapers or heard it mentioned on local TV newscasts. Or even heard it publicly discussed at HB City Hall. Well, now you know! As planned, we are completely skipped-over and screwed! 
Transportation Odds & Ends: Is the news that Ray LaHood is staying on as U.S. Transportation Secretary good or bad for Florida? Especially now that straight-shooter John Mica is no longer chair of House Transport. Comm.?; SFRTA's current Fast Start plan for "Tri-Rail Coastal" completely ignores and skips over Hallandale Beach and Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino, Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex
Bloomberg News
LaHood Says He’s Staying On as Transportation Secretary
By Jeff Plungis - Jan 22, 2013 11:25 AM ET
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-22/lahood-says-he-s-staying-on-as-transportation-secretary.html

Transportation Nation 
Mica Gets Transportation Subcommittee Posts 
By Matthew Peddie | 01/23/2013 – 4:06 pm

POLITICO.com 
A picture-perfect end to John Mica's chairmanship
December 5, 2012 04:38 AM EST
By Burgess Everett

Meanwhile, this email was sent to you from a city where the most-popular place on the city's 4 FREE Mini-bus routes, the Publix on Hallandale Beach Blvd. & S.E. 14th Avenue, does NOT and has never had a simple timetable posted there so that riders would actually know when the bus departs. 

Yes, as most of you know, I'm a big, longtime supporter of transit, esp. the South Florida East FEC Corridor study effort, have gone to all manner of transit-oriented forums in South Florida  since moving here nine years ago from the Washington, D.C. area, where I rode the DC Metro twice a day, 6 days out of 7.

I'm all for thinking globally and acting locally, but what if your city's elected officials and highly-paid city administrators are, simply put, stone-cold incompetent?
What then?

Then, all the clever and punchy public policy platitudes in the world, and attending or watching all the seven50.org forums in the world, can't help you.

That seems to be one of the South Florida news media's remaining no-no's.
You can't publicly talk about certain cities or pols having devolved into -accurately- becoming labeled as incompetent until further notice, unless they do something to show that they have applied remediation efforts and succeeded.

And besides, why would Hallandale Beach actually want to let riders know when the bus actually departs the most popular destination, when they can, instead, erect those useful timetables at numerous sites throughout the city where no riders are ever present in large part because of the chronic lack of bus shelters to keep the sun and the rain off of riders?
The ones we have less of now than we did three years ago.

The city-controlled bus shelters that were nearly 90% dark at night for YEARS because the city was so damn negligent in properly maintaining them, something that Mayor Joy Cooper did not like my reminding people of at transit forums throughout the area where important people were in attendance.
My fact-telling ruined the illusion of the city she wanted to create and foster.

Just another small reminder why there is no street in Hallandale Beach where logic and reason intersect.

I sure hope that your outreach efforts to the public and the pro-transit populace will be better than it has been in the past.

http://www.tri-railcoastalservice.com/

I will have more news next week about SFRTA's Fast Start plan and what it would mean to Hallandale Beach if the city is intentionally passed-over and does not get a train station on the FEC tracks, despite the fact that it would do more for this city -more quickly- than any other city in Broward on the route, in part because there is so much space. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy 4th Anniversary, Mayor Cooper's un-necessary, taxpayer-subsidized office! Which, four years later, STILL isn't even listed on City Hall's own building directory; #HallandaleBeach, @MayorCooper


Above, Hallandale Beach City Hall, October 15, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
Happy 4th Anniversary, Mayor Cooper's un-necessary, taxpayer-subsidized office! 
Which, four years later, STILL isn't even listed on City Hall's own building directory

Under the City of Hallandale Beach's charter, the only additional power that the elected mayor
has that the four elected city commissioners don't possess is the right to call a meeting and
the right to preside over it. 
That's it.
That's the whole list.

Over four years ago, Mayor Cooper convinced then-City manager Mike Good that despite the
fact that these differences were very slight on the face of it, she believed that she needed to have a much-larger office than her colleagues on the commission, and so, thousands of tax dollars were spent to ensure that Mayor Cooper got what she wanted.
Yes, no expense or amount of feigned ignorance is spared to keep her happy.

And not just a larger office in the back with the other commissioners, but right on the main hallway, just a short distance from where visitors get off the elevator.

Which is how four years ago this week, just as the mayor returned from the first Obama
Inaugural, at taxpayer expense,
that office burst onto the scene, becoming perhaps the only mayor's office in Broward County
or all of South Florida that isn't actually listed on their own City Hall's directory, in this case, the one located to your left as you walk thru the front lobby door.

Yes, because every queen must not only have her own palace, but her privacy... even it's paid for with taxpayer dollars.

In other news, somehow, inexplicably given the known facts, Hallandale Beach doesn't land
on the list of the worst-run cities in America because of... well, a technicality.
Because it's not among the 100 largest cities:

I know what you're thinking.
What a cruel fate for Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper -to be denied her rightful 
pride-of-place on a list of the worst-run cities in America, merely because our town is too short for the ride. 
Yes, it's so very, very cruel...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The blog and I are back from wonderful Stockholm! Bloggen och jag är tillbaka från underbara Stockholm!; #stockholm, #sweden

Stewie Griffin from "The Family Guy," as seen on Channel 6 in Sweden, where they run the show at night in English with Swedish subtitles. Trust me, Stewie is just as droll and spot-on in his observational humor and mockery in svensk as he is in englesk.
The blog and I are back from wonderful Stockholm!  Bloggen och jag är tillbaka från underbara Stockholm!
I will have lots of interesting stories, anecdotes, observations, photos, videos -and some valuable lessons learned- to share with you all over the next two weeks about my trip to Stockholm, "The Capital of Scandinavia," which, while it was cold and snowy while I was there, never getting above 27° F, got noticeably colder just as I was leaving for Arlanda Airport Friday night to return, with me crashing at the airport so I wouldn't miss my SAS flight in the morning. 

While it's now about 65° F here in Hallandale Beach in the middle of the night, in Stockholm right now, at 10:30 a.m., it's now just under 7° F.

Below, the weather forecast from Channel 4 today, Tuesday morning, around 6 a.m. Stockholm time.

V%C3%A4der%2006:10

You'll recall me writing here before my trip about how early sundown is, on those days when there seems like there really is some sun, which was between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m.
But what I may've neglected to mention was how late sunrise comes, too.
That's equally brutal this time of the year, and really, really makes you want to stay in bed.

This is what it looked like outside my hotel room window last Thursday morning around 7:30 am., looking down on Torsgatan in the Norrmalm neighborhood of Stockholm. Really.
Now that I'm back and my jet lag and the six-hour time difference in my head has finally (mostly) disappeared since landing in Ft. Lauderdale Saturday night, I'm busy organizing and cataloging everything from my trip, from my random or considered thoughts to my photos to my copious notes about consumer prices, so that everything will be in sync and I don't forget to mention anything I was planning on sharing here, especially those valuable facts and lessons that might prove instructive to some of you in the future who don't presently know much about Sweden or Stockholm at all. 
There's a lot you don't know -and a lot you think you know that isn't actually true.

From this perch of mine over the next two weeks or so, I'll try to re-calibrate the scales a bit, and lean them more to the side of fact-based knowledge over tired, old cliches and gross generalizations from 30-40 years ago, so that those of you who are interested and want to be well-informed, can have the benefit of what I know and have learned the past two weeks from first-hand knowledge and observation while seeing as much as I could in one of the world's greatest and most dynamic cities.

While not perfect, it's a place that honestly does have a visceral positive "buzz" about it, and trust me when I tell you, the area's residents there really DO love living there, esp. the folks fortunate enough to live in Södermalm, where I spent half my trip.

-----
Stockholm Visitors Board, Stockholm Convention Bureau
http://www.stockholm.se/

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

While Jon Stewart & Wyatt Cenac skewer America's understanding of Sweden for laughs, Reason TV's Ted Balaker adroitly explains how Sweden's embrace of individual choice and competition have created a better economic system for them, even while many in the U.S. remain resistant to many of the same free-market policies; The new 'Stockholm Syndrome' doesn't involve hostages, but well-educated, media-savvy people who visit and become besotted with a dynamic city and the great possibilities present there -and come to realize that they don't want to return home to a place that seems decidedly less-dynamic, innovative and fun; #sweden, #stockholm


 

ReasonTV YouTube video: Sweden: A Supermodel for America? Reason's Ted Balaker adroitly explains how Sweden's embrace of individual choice and competition -and free-market reforms- have created a better economic system for them, even while many in the U.S. remain resistant to many of the same free-market policies. Uploaded June 22, 2010. http://youtu.be/tDAQWJbEl9U

The Stockholm Syndrome, Part I on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart



Above and below, two short but humorous videos that aired on U.S. TV in April of 2009 during the public policy debate over Obamacare, which as most of you regular readers of the blog know, I opposed.

In them, comedian and Daily Show talk show host Jon Stewart and the show's correspondent Wyatt Cenac tweaks the U.S. by toying with 1960's-era cliches about most Americans general understanding of Sweden and its culture, society and political system.
This only serves to prove what most people know -nobody laughs at cliches about American stereotypes as much as other Americans.

The Stockholm Syndrome, Part II on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Monday, January 7, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside! But by sled, ski or snowmobile, everyone who's anyone -yes, even baby princesses- is eager to be part of the scene in chic, sexy, snowy (and Venture Capital-loving) Stockholm, and who can blame them? I'll soon be joining them!; Niklas Zennström, Andreas Ehn and other entrepreneurs on the secrets to their success and why Sweden "punches above its weight" when it comes to producing tech start-ups; #stockholm, #sweden


SVT video: Estelle åker pulka. Följ med kronprinsessan Victoria och prins Daniel när prinsessan Estelle för första gången åker pulka i Hagaparken. 
Princess Estelle gets the royal treatment and gets taken out for her first bout of sledding in the Winter Wonderland that is Stockholm's Haga Park, pulled by her parents, Prince Daniel and Crown Princess Victoria. Originally aired December 28, 2012. http://www.svtplay.se/klipp/933253/estelle-aker-pulka
The video above is an excerpt from SVT's annual review program below -here's the promo-
of the past year's activities of the Swedish royal court. 
You can see the entire 58-minute TV program -in Swedish- here:
http://www.svt.se/aret-med-kungafamiljen/se-program/
Baby, It's Cold Outside! But by sled, ski or snowmobile, everyone who's  anyone -yes, even baby princesses- is eager to be part of the scene in chic, sexy, snowy (and Venture Capital-loving) Stockholm, and who can blame them? I'll soon be joining them!; Niklas Zennström, Andreas Ehn and other entrepreneurs on the secrets to their success and why Sweden "punches above its weight" when it comes to producing tech start-ups; #stockholm, #sweden
Hammarbybacken. Stockholm.December 2012 from AnitaN on Vimeo.
AnitaN's Vimeo video: Hammarbybacken. Stockholm. December 2012

Originally, when I thought I was going to be in Stockholm right before Christmas, I was going to be staying at the Park Inn Stockholm Hammarby Sjöstad
a a nice two-year old Radisson property that's not-too-far from the slope seen in the video in nearby Hammarby: 

I only changed my plans when I got the chance to stay in a more centrally-located place that made it much more convenient to meet with some people I hoped to be meeting with and possibly even interviewing.

If it snows too much next Sunday to do much walking around and sightseeing, I may go here around Noontime, and then just do some people watching while reading the papers and drinking coffee outside, and do some filming of the whole crazy scene. 
And THEN head to a sports bar to watch the NFL playoff games!
That's when that six-hour time difference finally works to my advantage.

Romme27Dec2012 from Peter Törnestam on Vimeo.

Peter Törnestam Vimeo video: Romme27Dec2012 - Having fun at the Romme Alpin ski resort, which specializes in day trips from Stockholm. http://vimeo.com/56618632



RetardedVideos2013 YouTube Channel video: Crazy snowmobile ride in Stockholm (SWEDEN). Uploaded on December 6, 2012. http://youtu.be/j7sCpSFRKww




StockholmUniversity YouTube Channel Video: Two of the minds behind Skype, Spotify and Wrapp visit Stockholm University. "Niklas Zennström, co-founder of Skype and current CEO and Founding Partner of international venture capital firm Atomico, together with Andreas Ehn, former CTO of Spotify and now co-founder of Wrapp, spoke at Stockholm University on February 15, 2012." Uploaded February 23, 2012. http://youtu.be/8R_E4GYfZK4


Related article is at
TheLocal.se
Skype founder: 'cold winters' key to Swedish tech success
Oliver Gee
Published: 16 Feb 12 17:26 CET
http://www.thelocal.se/39150/20120216#.UOsNR-TAeSo

WIRED (U.K. version)
Europe's hottest startup capitals: Stockholm
By Tom Cheshire
15 August 2011
http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2011/09/european-startups/stockholm

I'll try my best to post here just about everyday and may even be able to post some YouTube videos, but because I'm going to be so busy on the trip, though, I decided to forego the whole Twitter thing until after I've returned, even though it would make it easier and quicker for you to see some of the photos I've snapped.
After all, I have to retain some mystery about the trip -and have time to edit and burnish things so they look just right.

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http://www.visitsweden.com/sweden/Local-pages/USA/Newsletter-2012/December/

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Have begun preliminary pre-flight checklist for trip to snowy Stockholm, yet am already taking flight in my imagination, even while researching how many NFL playoff games I won't be able to see in Stockholm sports bars because of the six-hour time difference; #stockholm #sweden



CopenhagenAirport1 YouTube Channel video: SAS commercial: Så godt som hjemme (As good as home)  Former Danish Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen is discovering Tokyo, Japan via SAS. Uploaded January 25, 2009. Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto. http://youtu.be/33CQKswrPlg  
Have begun preliminary pre-flight checklist for trip to snowy Stockholm, yet am already taking flight in my imagination, even while researching how many NFL playoff games I won't be able to see in Stockholm sports bars because of the six-hour time difference. 
Like former Danish Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen and his trip to Japan depicted above, I'll soon be the proverbial fish-out-of-water, a tanned Floridian in snowy Sweden in darkest January, riding sweet-looking trains, trying to figure out vending machines, and taking photos of normal, everyday things that cause passersby to wonder why I'm taking photos.

But those with a yen for the Internet will quickly spot my Sony Bloggie videocamera and surmise, "Oh, he must be a blogger! Everything is fascinating to them."

My first full day there I'm slated to say hallå to a day where sundown comes around 3:15 p.m.
http://www.smhi.se/
More on that in the days to come...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Florida's regionalism, identity politics and political and social cleavages were displayed rather accurately, curiously enough, in a map re NFL game telecasts I saw at Deadspin.com

The things you find when you're not looking: a near picture perfect example of the identity politics/political cleavages that exist in Florida displayed -curiously enough- in a map re NFL game telecasts that I saw at Deadspin.com.

The map below is from www.deadspin.com and The 506's Week 17 preview of NFL game broadcasts a week ago, and specifically, revealed what fans in the U.S. were getting most screwed-over by the TV networks by getting a lousy ballgame when they ought to be getting  something better.

Look below at the state of Florida, such as it is.
There was nothing but a series of meaningless 1 o'clock kickoffs on Fox-TV Sunday, that rare day when both CBS and Fox had double-headers throughout most of the country because the Cowboys at Redskins game was 'flexed' and moved to NBC's nationally-televised game, where it set all sorts of viewing records.

One of those 1 p.m. kickoffs was the Tampa Bay Bucs at Atlanta Falcons game.

But the map clearly shows that even when all the games are unimportant and in many cases, probably almost un-watchable, in the view of local CBS station general managers, SE Florida STILL has more in common identity-wise with the Northeastern U.S. than it does with another part of Florida just a few hours away, in this case, Tampa Bay, as Fox TV stations voted with their wallets in mind, not state unity: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

NFL on FOX: Week 17 Early Game - December 30, 2012

(Unless the Bucs are very good and might go to the Super Bowl! 
Then, of course, everyone's on the bandwagon!) 

That is, unless that sort of de facto regionalism and identity-politics doesn't lead to money or more money:

So let me lay the groundwork for bringing up the map. 

Based on my own experiences and those of friends, and especially my 15 years living and working in the Washington, D.C. area, I can tell you that it's often the case for well-informed and politically-aware Floridians that when you're outside of the state, regardless of where you are or even whether it's a formal occasion, that upon finding out where you're from -and that you really are on top of things- that people will start making a beeline towards you, even if somewhat slowly at first.

Eventually, someone will start randomly asking you to try to explain something they heard or read about that happened in Florida that they can't make sense of, or ask you how and why Florida is the confusing, peculiar and exasperating way that it is.

If you're anything like me, your response probably starts out with the most obvious -geography.

In such a large state, one that actually includes two different time zones, and cursed with a state capital that is not only NOT located in a large city, but located in a city that is NOT in any way shape and form centrally-located to the majority of the state's population, a lack of a common frame of reference for residents and voters is often the biggest problem when it comes to identity and knowledge of individual issues and personalities.

All of this is made worse by the generally poor coverage of local and state politics at most TV stations compared to even twenty years ago.
Institutional knowledge, what's that?

Yes, the people who actually knew the personalities involved, their pet projects and longstanding grudge and the general ins-and-outs for how things work, to say nothing of where the bodies were buried have come and gone.
They've been replaced by younger reporters who, in many cases, couldn't legally vote in the 1980's and who actually know very little.
Very, very little -and you know it.

And who had no connection to Florida before being hired.

The reality of Florida having so many different TV markets is that many well-qualified candidates running for statewide office, people who could plausibly be elected in many other states, simply can't compete here because of the prohibitive media costs involved, even if most voters agree with them on the issues.

Lofty and abstract ideas of democratic participation and outreach quickly fall by the wayside when your reality is that that unless you raise X millions of dollars, just for TV commercials, you are dead in the water.

Despite the Digital Revolution and the growing importance and influence of blogs, websites and Social Media to political campaigns, the sort of "free media" that exists in many other states that allows high-minded and well-informed candidates to remain a part of the larger conversation simply DOESN'T exist in Florida.
I wish it did but it doesn't.

This is made worse by the fact that despite the influx of new residents from other states, many from states with such a tradition, Florida DOESN'T have a tradition of voting "Independent," despite how many people in this state claim to be "independent."

So, those are just a few of the more obvious barriers to getting the sort of high-caliber candidates that other states often have and which keeps Florida a Confederacy of Dunces.

Once you've mentioned this to your interlocutor, you usually mention the influence of Latin America, blah, blah...
Then you mention the five/six nations of Florida, which is itself, a metaphorical subdivision of Joel Garreau's “The Nine Nations of North America.”

When I was a kid growing-up in South Florida during the 1970's, what was frequently remarked upon by almost everyone, especially during the holidays, was the low number of actual Florida-born natives we knew, since when I was in Jr. High and High School in North Miami Beach, despite being someone who knew almost everyone, I knew only a handful of people who were actually born in Florida, which made them outliers.
The kids who'd never seen snow!

Most of them were either Hispanic or African-American, and for whatever reason, almost always boys.
For some reason, girls were almost always from somewhere else, somewhere where they wore nice sweaters purchased at upscale Northeastern or Midwestern stores.

Which is why when I was growing-up in NMB, January and February existed at Jr. High as fashion season for girls, the one time they could wear something that was identical to what every other girl was wearing.

Boys wore boring windbreakers of 4-5 primary colors, unless, like me, they were sporting a teal-colored Dolphins windbreaker, back when they were, to use a word, relevant.
Those were the days!

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night we had! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is saying something considering what seems like the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

Miami Dolphins classic logo

Miami Dolphins classic logo
What I grew up with in South Florida in the 1970's - not just an expectation for winning, but for excellence and 100% effort!

North Miami Beach High school alumni

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.