No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Dog Days



July 31, 2017



 

Leigh, Matt and Jen

Martina

Dog Days

The Dog Days of summer have settled in here in Key West, and for me they have a greater meaning as Kathy has headed out to Colorado for six weeks to oversee the construction of our house there and I have been charged with taking care of the house here and our pets, cats Van, Sammy and Huey and our dog Jack. I have been basically keeping a pretty low profile and trying to spend as much time as possible with the pets since they only have me to keep them active.

Mome



This means spending a lot more time with Jack, who has been pretty thrilled to all the new experiences that he has been exposed to since moving here from my mother’s home in Winston-Salem. I have begun taking him out with me whenever I can as well as taking him more often to the Dog Park, Beach and even out downtown a few times.

Sammy 





While he has visited the beach a number of times, I took him to swim at Dog Beach for the first time recently. He started out with the new dog life vest at first and he did so well with that that soon he was free of it and swimming like an old pro even though I think this must have been his first time swimming ever. He has never enjoyed getting baths and such, but was unafraid of the water and really enjoyed running around at the beach with the other dogs there and digging in the soft sand as well.

 





In addition to his trip to Dog Beach and many evenings at the dog park, Jack even made his first trip ever to Duval Street where the Lobster Season crowds made for a flurry of new sights and smells for him to take in. He even spent his first evening at my favorite bar, The Porch. It was all a sensory overload that he handled quite well. It has made his normal neighborhood walks seem rather bland and boring. 

Stephanie and Landon

 



The cats have also been more attentive since Kathy has been gone, with both Sammy and Van often following along as I walk the dog much to the amusement of those passing by. Jack also has a good friend cat who comes running out to see us every time we walk by his home. Smokey loves to come out and rub up against Jack which he wasn’t quite sure how to handle at first, but now seems to look forward to.

Jack and Smokey 

Argus

Turtles have also been a focus this week, starting with the release of a green sea turtle that has been recovering at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon since having surgery to remove tumors. Released in cooperation with the Tour De Turtles initiative, the turtle was returned to the sea at Sombrero Beach in Marathon in front of a throng of people who gathered to witness the event, myself included. My friend Richie Moretti runs the Turtle Hospital there and oversaw the entire operation which was a huge success. The turtle Argus, can be tracked via the Tour de Turtles web link below and as of this writing has already traveled from Marathon west past Key West over sixty miles.





 





It has been a banner year for sea turtle nests in Key West as a number of successful nests have hatched out. The Key West Sea Turtle Club helps monitor and protect the nests and our friend Jen is very active in the Club. She and her wife Martina hosted a great fund-raising party at their house this week that I attended and made a small donation to. It was so great to meet so many dedicated volunteers who care so deeply about the turtle population. My friend Corey took some great photos of one of the nests that he just happened upon as it was hatching.





*photo by Corey Malcom 

*photo by Corey Malcom





Tom Hambright

This week also had a couple of other highlights including a cool presentation by Key West Historian Tom Hambright at the Customs House about the Virginius Affair, which was an unprecedented display of naval military force by the US in Key West harbor in 1874 which helped postpone a war between Spain and the US. A beautiful painting of the incident was loaned to the Art and Historical Society and the talk coincided with its display. In addition my friend Dr. Chris Begley is in town with some students from Transylvania University to do a marine archeology project. Dr. Begley was on-site in Albania, Montenegro and Croatia for the field schools and scientific diving classed that RPM Nautical sponsored in the past few years and it is his first visit to Key West so I got the chance to hang out with him again.



RPM working in Greece



http://tourdeturtles.org/

Monday, July 17, 2017

Coming Through In Waves



July 17, 2017

Roger Waters 

Livi, Chris, Kathy, Renae and Keith





Coming Through In Waves

Another week, another rock and roll icon live in concert, this time the legendary Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd as well as lead vocalist, bassist and creative guru who led the band through one of their most productive and successful eras. They are one of the most influential and iconic bands in rock history.  I had the great pleasure to see Waters perform what would be the first show of what would become his current “Us and Them” world tour last fall when I saw him play at Coachella as part of the Desert Trip show, but this was a solo show at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.



The week began with the last few days of a week-long visit to Key West by Kathy’s good friend Pam and her two boys, who pretty much were the meat of the sandwich that the two concerts in Miami, Paul McCartney last week and Roger Waters this week. We capped off their visit with a nice visit to Origami on what was exactly the sixteenth anniversary of Kathy and I’s first date there. It was a fun night.

Pam

 



Then it was another road trip to Miami and to the Intercontinental Hotel once again as we got there in plenty of time to meet our friends Chris, Live, Keith and Renae at 180 degrees restaurant and pub in downtown Miami for some pre-show drinks and food. It is always fun to hook up with Key West friends in other cities and we love going to shows with Chris and Livi who we have joined for more than a few shows.

 





The concert tickets urged fans to get to their seats promptly as Waters was going to take the stage at 8 PM prompt, we were there and prompt only meant about fifteen minutes late, which is pretty good. We saw more Key Westers at the show including our friends Matt and Debbie and Jan and her husband who were only a few rows away from us. We had great seats in the 5th row of section 2 on the floor.

Matt and Debbie

 





Roger Waters is known not only for his fantastic catalog of songs both from Pink Floyd and his solo career, but for his incredible staging. Light shows, lasers, fantastic effects and huge video screens that ran both the width and length of the arena. He certainly knows how to make a large room feel intimate and as concert craft goes, there are few acts who can match him.



The sold-out show had an amazing 24 song set-list that featured 19 songs from his time with Pink Floyd and 5 from his solo albums and the show lasted close to three hours with a brief intermission. The crowd was one of the best crowds that I have ever experienced in Miami, as they seemed to hang on every note and cheer mightily at most every song of the amazing show.

 





They even cheered for what has been a somewhat controversial portion of the show when Waters expressed his disgust for President Donald Trump during a few of his songs with huge video screen images showing Trump in all sorts of demeaning ways, a group of kids wearing resist shirts joining him onstage to sing and dance and even his famous flying inflatable pig featured anti-Trump messages.  It was easily the most political concert performance I have ever seen that was not at a benefit concert.







Water’s political leanings have had some audience members complaining or even walking out of some of his shows, but I saw none of that at this show. In fact the cheers were loudest during some of the most political statements. I thought it was fine, but then I knew in advance that Waters has very strong political beliefs and if you did not know that, you have not been paying any attention to his music. 



I know for a fact what the political leanings of performers like Kid Rock, Toby Keith and even Ted Nugent are and they would not prevent me from going to see them, and I certainly would not boo or walk out of a performance of someone whose politics I disagree with. That is part of what makes America so awesome, freedom of expression should be celebrated, even and perhaps especially if someone is espousing views that you don’t agree with. Personally I thought it was one of the best shows that I have seen this year and among the better ones that I have had the pleasure of attending in some time. 







On our way back down the Keys, we stopped in briefly to say hello to my Cathedral High School classmate, Michael. He and his wife were taking a few days and visiting Key Largo during a trip to South Florida and I did not want to pass up the opportunity to say hello, having seen him maybe once since we graduated some 35 years ago. It was a quick, but nice hello and hopefully they can return and come to Key West next time.

Michael and Michael

Finally I want to take a moment to acknowledge the closing this week of one of the more popular bars in Key West. The Lazy Gecko has been a Duval Street mainstay for close to twenty years and while Kathy and I have not frequented the place in many years, we have had many memorable times there over the years and many of our friends have worked or played there. While rumors surround the closing, I basically have no knowledge of or interest in why they are going away, but will certainly miss the place and wish those involved with success and happiness in whatever ventures await them.