Saturday Night Retro

Saturday September 25TH 2010
Volume 3 / Number 3 / Edition 100

It’s the remarkable 100TH edition of my ‘Saturday Night Retro’ – an unsuspecting weekly blog series that began at the start of September of 2008.

While 100 is indeed a very special number signaling a milestone it is not often utilized in reference to time. You don’t often hear the terms ‘100 seconds’ or ‘100 minutes’. They are essentially irrelevant. ‘1 minute and 40 seconds’ or ‘1 hour and 40 minutes’ are more appropriate. ‘100 days’ is used to signify the first 100 days of a Presidential administration: ‘It’s his first 100 days. Here’s what he didn’t get done.’ Nobody really cares about 100 weeks or 100 months because 100 weeks is close enough to 2 years, and 100 months is just too many to keep track of. 100 years is significant because it’s a century. When you turn 100 that’s remarkable enough to get your name mentioned by the legendary Willard Scott on “Today” on NBC. I often find myself rooting for Willard to reach 100 himself. That could happen in 23½-years.

On this 100TH edition of my ‘Saturday Night Retro’ I look back at 39 years ago in September of 1971. I was a 4-year-old kid living with my Mom and Dad in our small Greenbelt Maryland ground floor apartment (# 102). We watched a lot of TV together after my Dad came home from work. In fact one of my favourite TV shows during that time was the cartoon “Wait ‘Till Your Father Gets Home”. I also loved to visit my Grandmom and Granddad and their Pekingese ‘Meei Ling’. They lived just a mile-and-a-half down the road from me in neighbouring Lanham Maryland. Their grandchildren loved to visit them, and I loved to hang out with my cousins there – especially John John who is two years older than me. He was like a big brother to me back then. We loved to play with green Army men figures and colourful Matchbox cars. Good Times. 1971 Retro.

My Grandmom always played the hottest hits on her stereo and record player – like this one from The McCartneys:

The Major’s Weekend Blast-Off

It’s time once again for the weekly blog series that’s 7 days in the making. Let’s kick-off this final weekend of September of 2010 !

WEEKEND GRAB BAG O’ THOUGHT:
Ever since this past Monday night I’ve been tracking a developing tropical system to the south of us deep down in the Caribbean. Once we get in to late-September and definitely October and November we stop looking east for any storms that may affect us – and start looking south and west. During the latter portion of the Atlantic basin storm season our tropical systems come from behind us – from our own backyard per se. Who can ever forget Hurricane Wilma – one of the most destructive in modern recorded history. It wrecked havoc on South Florida during the final week of October of 2005. Now we’ve got Tropical Storm Matthew. It formed in virtually the same exact spot as Wilma. Its trek through the southwestern Caribbean is virtually identical to that of Wilma. Up until last night it appeared that its entire trek would mimic that of Wilma (from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico northeastward across South Florida). My weather models consistently placed a Category 1 or Category 2 Hurricane Matthew sweeping directly over South Florida for next Thursday and Friday (September 30TH and October 01ST). This morning I awoke and I updated my weather models with all-new overnight data, and for the first time in 5 days they no longer bring that system to South Florida. They keep it over the Yucatan Peninsula for a few days where it stalls and then degenerates into an open low pressure system. I’m not quite buying in to this new scenario, but we’ll see. It’s an interesting new development, and a positive one for us. I’ll keep my eyes on Matthew, and I’ll tweet any relevant news associated with him and how he may (or may not) affect us late next week.

BEST LUNCH OF THE WEEK AWARD:
This was the work week in which I said ‘good-bye’ to a good coworker friend over a Monday Lunch at Red Lobster. On Wednesday I enjoyed a delicious Shiner Bock BBQ Burger at Chili’s. But this week my ‘Best Lunch Of The Week’ occurred at downtown Homestead‘s quaint and historic White Lion Cafe. I enjoyed the Fried Chicken dinner (not what you think). This was a MASSIVE hunk of boneless chicken breast dipped in egg and flour and seasoned to juicy perfection (not at all greasy). The mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, and sweet ice tea complemented it perfectly. I also enjoyed this feast with a good friend of mine. In fact she’s one of my longest-running friends. I’ve known her for all 23 years that I’ve lived here in Homestead, and we celebrated her birthday at one of our city’s nicest restaurants. If you’ve never experienced the White Lion Cafe before for Lunch or Dinner then try to do so whenever you get the chance. You won’t regret it pal.

RETWEET:
NEXT weekend I will almost definitely see “The Social Network“. It’s all about one of the most demonic web sites ever created by mankind.

PANDA WITH AN ALLERGY:

BLATANT PROMOTION:
TOMORROW on the blog I’ll be presenting the remarkable 100TH edition of my ‘Saturday Night Retro’. It’s one of the many weekly blog series that were created during the frantic 2008 heyday of this blog, and it’s the lone survivor of them all. ‘Retro’ gives me a chance each week to look back at my life and highlight some of my most vivid memories – good and bad. I can’t change the past, but I can certainly learn from all of those mistakes that I’ve made in times gone by. In the similar-concept tradition of the long-running ‘Major’s MASSIVE Memories’ (from my old hit music web site) I always include a memorable pop song from the era that I’m flashing back on. The music is the soundtrack of my life – then and now. It instantly transports me to a time period  that was once present day time and space. Music was even used by God some 49 months ago to radically change my life. That’s Life. That’s ‘Retro’.

COMING SOON:
As announced on Twitter earlier this week I’m kicking-off ‘The Great Chris Day Winter Of 2011 Cultural, Historical, & Economical Stimulus Tour’. From October through February I’ll be visiting and exploring fun and exotic locations near and far such as Everglades National Park, Monkey Jungle, Jungle Island, Naples, Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, Panama City Beach, Dallas / Fort Worth Texas, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and San Juan Puerto Rico. I’ll be tweeting and blogging every step of the way.

Saturday Night Retro

7 years ago during the Autumn months of September, October, and November of 2003 remember when these 7 notable events occurred:

– Once Cat. 5 Hurricane Isabel strikes N. Carolina causing $4 billion in damage.
– Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected Governor of California.
– 11 die and 71 are injured in the Staten Island New York ferry crash.
– The Concorde flies for the very last time.
– Wildfires ravage San Diego County in California destroying over 2,200 homes.
– The Florida Marlins beat the New York Yankees in the World Series.
– Americans pay $1.40 to $1.60 for a gallon of gas.

European dance music had a spot on the South Florida radio dial via Party-93.1, and this was one of the hottest songs of the year on that memorable station that was an integral part of my life for two years. It’s a dance remake of the clasic Duran Duran # 1 smash “Ordinary World”. Here’s Aurora with Naimee Coleman:

Next week it’s the remarkable 100TH edition of my ‘Saturday Night Retro’ – now my only remaining original weekly blog series from the 2008 heyday. I’m not planning anything out of the ordinary for the milestone edition. It will all be routine standard fare. How ‘Retro’ of me. We’ll flashback to 39 years ago to the Autumn of 1971. I want you to meet an Uncle. He knows this Admiral.

See ya next week !

The Major’s Weekend Blast-Off

WEEKEND GRAB BAG O’ THOUGHT:
I’ve got an interesting idea for a new and innovative television show. It would be similar to the long-running “Cops“, but this show would utilize helicopters instead with no police action involved. They would fly directly above our streets – neighbourhood and city roads and high-speed expressways alike. They would simply fly around the region and record the traffic down below. Don’t even look for anything unsual. Just record what’s happening down there. Make sure that the cameras that are utilized to capture this footage are very high quality so that everything is clear and visible (aside from license plates and people’s faces). Make it in HD. We could then show that footage during a half-hour nationally syndicated nightly TV show – perhaps right after the local and national news at 7 PM. We’ll have a variety of traffic analysis experts in the studio showing each day’s footage and analyzing it via the extensive use of telestrators. They can tell us everything that’s being done wrong and right while we drive. They can show us all of the near collisions that occur. They can spotlight the good, the bad, and the ugly. They can tell us what we need to know to survive and stay alive. I bet that most people don’t have any idea on how bad their driving actually is, but if they saw it for themselves on television then maybe they would get a clue. The TV show idea sounds simple enough. I’d watch. Not reality. Actuality !

BEST LUNCH OF THE WEEK AWARD:
It’s been a too long 25 days since I last ate Lunch at my home away from home – Longhorn Steakhouse – so what better way to spend an hour late on a Friday morning than to pull in to the parking lot, open the front door of the joint, and be welcomed by my regular greeter and my regular waitress. FRIENDLY customer service. DELICIOUS food. I can’t ask for anything more out of a Lunch hour. I enjoyed my standard fare – Renegade Top Sirloin (8-ounce / Medium-Well), Mashed Potatoes, Bread, Coke.

RETWEET:
Facebook is like your high school yearbook getting circulated and signed by people you don’t know or like. Twitter is like tagging a wall.

THOSE CRAZY CRAZY CATS:
My longtime cat Boots (1995-2007) did this frequently with geckos on our back porch screen. It was his warning call. If the gecko didn’t scram within a reasonable amount of time then Boots would run and jump on it and push it off the screen himself (thus saving my life of course). Here’s somebody else’s home video that reminds me of the fun times that I enjoyed while I was living with my very own feline buddy. Maybe some day – when the time and the place is right – I’ll go to a local animal shelter and adopt another abandoned feline and bring him or her to my loving and happy home.

BLATANT PROMOTION:
The weekend blogging continues tomorrow night with the 99TH edition of my ‘Saturday Night Retro’. I’m flashing back to 2003. It was only 7 years ago, but it seems like an era that’s just so foreign to me looking back at it from the light of the present day. Don’t forget that you can stay in touch with me and my Life in-between the weekend blogging simply by following me on Twitter – @majorhitwaves. Watch as I tag my walls with the more notable events of my Life. Have a fun and safe weekend my friends, and I’ll see you out and about.

Carnival Valor Grab Bag O’ Thoughts

I sailed aboard the gorgeous Carnival Valor during the recent Labour Day holiday week of Sunday September 05TH 2010 through Sunday September 12TH 2010. It was my 10TH Carnival cruise, and my 1ST of many more to come as a V.I.P. Platinum cruiser.

We sailed out of the Port Of Miami on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and we headed southbound into the pristine Caribbean Sea. Our 4 exotic ports-of-call were George Town, Mahogany Bay, Belize City, and San Miguel.

George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies:
This was my 3RD visit to the rich U.K. island of banks. My last visit there was 4 years ago in October 2006 via the Carnival Miracle. The island has taken a beating from a series of major hurricanes over the past decade, but she still looks beautiful. I took a 3-hour coach tour along the far northwestern end of the island. We visited a turtle farm and a rum cake outlet before we all went to Hell !

Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras:
This was my very 1ST visit ever to Honduras. Of course this was actually one of the many outlying islands north of the mainland, but it still qualifies as my 21ST unique country, republic, nation, or territory that I’ve visited in my lifetime. It’s a relatively new cruise ship port, and the island itself is rather quaint and primitive. On a 4-hour shore excursion we visited the Carambola Botanical Gardens, the Roatán Tropical Butterfly Garden, and then a seaside shopping and dining village. It was a fun visit to a new Caribbean island discovery.

Belize City, Belize:
This was my 2ND visit to Belize. My 1ST was 4 years ago in October 2006. Belize is the only 1 of the 4 ports that you can actually drive to from anywhere in the U.S. It’s part of mainland Central America – south of Mexico and east of Guatemala. It’s the only English speaking nation south of the U.S. in the entire western hemisphere. Although it’s geographically located in Central America it’s culturally Caribbean. We visited the Belize Zoo – about 30 miles southwest of Belize City. I dig zoos, so it was real exciting to visit this zoo in a foreign country and see the animals of the jungle. It was also a real thrill to return to my cabin back on the cruise ship after Dinner each night to see which new towel animal was hangin’ out with me. Here’s a sample of 4 of those cotton creatures:

San Miguel, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico:
And there I was again – the Caribbean port-of-call that I’ve been to more than any other – by far. 7 out of 10 of my Carnival cruises over the past 11 years have sailed there, and it always feels like my home away from home whenever I return. Hurricane Wilma devastated Cozumel back in October 2005, but it was quick to recover with all of those American dollars constantly pouring in to the island. The last time I visited earlier this year in February it was a bit chilly and dreary during a major cold snap. This time around it was hot and sunny – just like it should be on the island. I’ll be back again.

Miami, Florida, U.S.A.:
It was back home stateside this past Sunday morning after a week at sea and 4 exotic countries. This was perhaps the smoothest ride at sea of any Carnival cruise that I can remember. I barely felt the waves of the sea on the ship. Ironically that’s one of the advantages of sailing during the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. If there’s no organized tropical systems around then the seas can be as smooth as glass during this time of the year. While I was at sea the only organized tropical system was making landfall near the south of Texas.

Until I cruise again with Carnival in less than 18 weeks – I’ll remember this:

Saturday Night Retro

Saturday September 04TH 2010
Volume 3 / Number 1 / Edition 98

Although it certainly wasn’t as wild and crazy as the legendary Summer of 1990 this past Summer of 2010 will certainly be a memorable one for my own personal historical archives.

In June I stepped foot in New England for the very first time ever. I flew in to Hartford Connecticut, and I spent the better part of a work week up in ‘West Mass.’ as the natives refer to it. I enjoyed my short visit, and I can see myself returning for an encore visit on a future vacation. I wish to explore Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine as well.

In July I spent the long Independence Day holiday weekend out west in the Dallas Texas area with my family. I got to see my favourite Uncle and Aunt for the first time in about 7 years, and I also got to see another favourite Uncle and Aunt while I was there. It was like a ‘Day Family Reunion’ in Texas for a few hours on the 05TH of July, and as it turns out it would be the final time that my Dad got to see everyone together. He passed on to Heaven just 13 days later. He died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). I got the news just a few hours after returning home from a road trip up north and west in the rural panhandle of Florida.

I haven’t taken any trips since then, so I’m really looking forward to this upcoming vacation of mine that begins tomorrow. I’ll cap off the memorable Summer of 2010 on a high note out on the high seas as I visit Grand Cayman Island, Isla Roatan Honduras, Belize City, y Cozumel Mexico via the Carnival Valor. I’ll actually have a camera with me on this trip (for the first time ever), so I’ll try to take some pictures of my adventures on and off the ship and then post them on here and on Twitter upon my return back home.

This weekend’s ‘pick-hit video’ is from Milli Vanilli. It actually features LIVE footage from the “Club MTV” tour of 1989 that stopped over in Miami on June 30TH of that year that I was in attendance at. This was their 5TH and final smash hit in a row before the bottom fell out on their short yet extremely successful worldwide hit music career. From the Spring of 1990 I present to you the final song of ‘The Awesome ’80s In August International Dance Party’. It’s “All Or Nothing”. It’s ‘Retro’.

The Major’s Weekend Blast-Off

WEEKEND GRAB BAG O’ THOUGHT:
It’s the long Labour Day holiday weekend here in the U.S.A. It’s the end of the Summer, and it’s back to school and back to work for millions of Americans. Of course many of you have already gone back to school, and most of us have been working all Summer long. With Labour Day Weekend here all of the rest of the end-of-year holidays are not too far behind. I’m talking Columbus Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. That’s lots of special days and long holiday weekends to celebrate and enjoy with loved ones. Have lots of fun in whatever you do, but always be as safe as possible. Drive safely. Barbeque safely. Take your time. Slow down. Relax.

BEST LUNCH OF THE WEEK AWARD:
My life and diet radically changed for the better several years ago. As a result I’m in the best physical and mental condition of my entire lifetime. I’m stronger and healthier today than I ever was back during my teens, 20s, and 30s. It’s all part of my fantastic journey. It’s an effect of the cause. One element of my diet that I was doing pretty good at for awhile, but then I sort of got away from it is eating salads. I’m talking BIG salads – BIG nutritious salads with a wide variety of meats and fruits and vegetables and plenty of fiber. Salads can be delicious, and I really need to get back to that good eating habit at least once a week. This past week I did just – at Chili’s. I have a rejuvenated interest in this jumpin’ joint. I enjoyed the Quesadilla Explosion Salad. Let me tell you that this salad was certainly an exciting explosion of exotic tastes. It was grilled chicken with cheese, corn relish, cilantro, tortilla strips, and citrus-balsamic dressing – served with cheese quesadillas. I dig.

THE FORTUNE COOKIE MESSAGE OF THE WEEK CLUB:
– Find the road to happiness by helping others.

THOSE CRAZY CRAZY CATS:
… More like those lovable cats !

BLATANT PROMOTION:
TOMORROW on the blog it’s the 98TH edition of my ‘Saturday Night Retro’ as I wrap-up ‘The Awesome ’80s In August International Dance Party’ with one last dance jam from early on in 1990. It would be the final song ever from a European act that went from hero to zero literally overnight. I’m taking next weekend off from the blog, but then I’ll be back with fresh new editions of the ‘Blast-Off’ and the ‘Retro’ on the 17TH and 18TH of September. Have a great holiday weekend my friends. Make it special. Make it memorable.

COMING SOON:
‘The Major’s Walk-A-Thon’ RETURNS !