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Ocean Elders convene to save the Caribbean
The Necker Island, British Virgin Islands’ retreat, serves as the location of a symposium for corporate leaders and government officials to save an industry. That industry is the 80 Billion dollar tourism and fishing trade of the Caribbean Islands. The perceived destruction of the infrastructure that supports the ecology of the region and the blatant disregard for the preservation of the most visible sea life is the highlights the discussion.

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compliments of PhotoStock

Led by Virgin Group Ltd, Chairman, Sir Richard Branson and co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Grenada, The Right Honorable Keith Mitchell, lead a group of industry stalwarts of Disney, Starwood Resorts, Sandals Resorts, The Nature Conservancy and a host of Caribbean Goverments. The outcome is promised as a significant agreement to preserve the island water’s resources. These “Ocean Elders” from St. Kitts, Jamaica, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Grenada and more gather to hammer out the desire of the G-20 the save the pelagic species that are so rich to the draw of over 25 Million Visitors each season.

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Shark Reef, Bloodybay, Jam

A start is the ban on the hunting and fishing of those species at most risk. The prohibition of shark hunting and the fishing of the eagle and manta ray for two years are to kick off the moratorium. The management of energy ecology will be considered. Regions near the breeding grounds of whales could be directed toward marine reserve status. Waters off of Haiti have been recognized as breeding grounds of the sperm whales. As the tourism industry promotes the Caribbean sea and build the vessels to carry 4000 at one time to the ports, the stresses are evident. These and further discussions of Goverments and leaders, Ocean Elders, if you will, are imperative.

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Where Is My Back Yard?

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Island Travelers Unite and Show that Imbedded Skill

Look here for that Location/Architectual Marvel/Panoramic View

THAT YOU KNOW SO WELL

IDENIFY IT

Where is my Back Yard?
Where is my Back Yard?

 May_14_2013____________ Solution?______ each next Friday!

Architectural Marvel? This structure may compete with many

of the most visible, most photographed, and treasured edifices in its

category, world-wide. Where is my Back Yard?  Enter in Comments.

You guessed it?  Paraportiani Church, Mykonos, Greece

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Sunkist2 Island Traveler

This page gives you a little insight of my Travels through my lens.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

Boston Area outpouring of support; our cultural heritage.

The Boston Copley Plaza ground zero Adhoc Shrine brings out the best and this little puppy.

The Boston Copley Plaza ground zero Adhoc Shrine brings out the best and this little puppy.

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As a product of the late fifties, honed into the sixties, and refined in the seventies, the idea of  Wonderbread for a Peanut Butter and Jelly was a given. This was my staple. That lunch required a dessert of Twinkies.

 82 Years of Twinkie Bliss

Today, 500 million Twinkies are sold each year.   Today, the Twinkie is an icon of a staple in America that rejects all practical logic. Nutritional value is questionable and the process to make them unclear. Today is the time to corner your future supply, as the era has come to an end. The company that makes both of these products is shuttered.  The employees are locked out and little hope remains of a labor impasse to clear.

Sponge Cake and White Filling

Aren’t sponges used to soak up dishwater? This tubecake texture and the sickly sweet concoction contained therein of unknown substance, has remained true to its origin for my decades of consumption. Why fix it? Sure, some chefs concluded that deep-fat frying these puppies enhances the whole relationship of sugar and fat decadence. I never tried that offering.  Though, I’ve had the Twinkie Sunday loaded with the goop of stuff to raise the blood sugars to off the charts. I recall a county fair contest, kind of like the hotdog contest on Coney Island. The victor lived and record Twinkies devoured. When you think of it, consumers of these delicacies will out live most. Multi-syllabic chemical compounds, the kind used in the military field foods, and have a shelf-life of cold war nuclear bunker stashes are found in a lot of grocery store aisles.

Hemorrhoidal Preparation H Rectal Applicator

Tom Hanks in the  film Joe Vs. The Volcano, finds Joe surrounded by drums of K-Y Jelly as he bookkeeps for the ACmE Rectal Probe Co.  I am picturing the Twinkle Injection Operator loving his old job and sadly searching in vain for work.  While the junk food industry will fill the gap, this icon may be commercially completed.

Home Chefs fill the Twinkie Gap 

How hard could it be?  Get the pan, fill it and make sponge cake, squirt the filling, insert, swallow and repeat.  They are out there and they know their stuff, if even Vegan Recipes.  Buyer beware on those health conscious folks, as they miss the scheme. We ate our Twinkies to break every law of nature and would do it again. I’m thinking Devil Dogs as my replacement.  How about you?

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Bread and Puppet Museum display

 

The North East Kingdom of Vermont’s northern-most region nestles 40 years of imbedded political protest and “hippie” refuges.  The lush Green Mountain area is the arena of the Bread and Puppet Theater, Museum and puppetry apprentice program. On a sprawling several acre ramble of barns, warehouse, and dormitories, the troupe is composed of performers, artists, craftsmen and educators.  The 1960s opened the theater under the guidance of Peter Schumann of New York, moved to Vermont in 1974, and now travels the country to stages and street fairs for performances.  The 60’s instilled a direction of the theater toward protests against war, poverty and injustice.  These tenants remain today in the puppetry and dance of the theater.  The stark puppets are the creation of Schumann’s sculpted clay models, using simple materials like cardboard, wood saplings and rags, to construct figures of immense size. Peter has drawn on a nibble organization to bring all together.

Enormous Papiermâché heads, flowing gowns, and stilted performers

Museum puppetry headsI remember this Vermont region from many years ago and traveled there on a recent visit to a nearby inn.  The chance encounter with Bread and Puppet on a two lane country road was mystical. It transported me back to a time of campus protesting and civil rights marches. Vermont country life evokes a freedom from suppression and this was the continuation of that era.  The weathered hay barn museum was open to visit and a few student volunteers sat near a dorm.  In the dim light of late afternoon, shafts of  sun filtered in through narrow beams and hit the Papier-mâché collages and puppet displays in odd angles.  The barn air was heavy and the wooden structure shadows blurred the real from the  puppetry.  Were human faces behind the masks or were the masks human?

Cheap Art of Bread and Puppet

The theater’s name evolved in theory from the need for bread for life as equal to dissent from injustice.  In the summer months, work goes on in the Museum’s front yard, where the Quebec-style clay oven  bakes  famous sourdough rye bread.  Tours are given in the museum and volunteers are housed to learn the craft.  Today, the theater has supported performances at the Occupy Wall Street movements in Harrisburg, PA., New York,  and Boston.  Festivals and circus events fill in the calendar into fall.  The peacefulness of the hayfield and cornfields of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, USA  against the edginess of the political mission of the Bread and Puppet, makes for a true destination.  Bed and Breakfast Inns and camping abound in the region.

As they announce, the museum is open June 1 to November 1, daily 10 am to 6:00 pm.  There is a museum tour every Sunday at 1:00 pm during July and August. During the cold months, it is officially closed, but may be opened by appointment or chance.  Admission is free.  http://breadandpuppet.org/museum

Hay Barn Museum first floor

Bread and Puppet Museum

Bread and Puppet Museum

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     A Baby Boomer relinquishes the last vestige of Youth in sorrow.

I remember the day clearly, as I wrote the check to the man at the counter.  He pushed the package across the counter and I was off and running. The sleeping bag, pup tent, mess kit and the one little burner Coleman gas stove gingerly was put in the trunk. The luxury of the single blow-up mattress was my next great desire. Sleeping on the ground bonded me to nature in the best primitive way.  As Tonto, from the Lone Ranger, placed his ear to the ground to learn the rhythms of the land, so could I feel the stability of the earth below my body, and, I loved it.  The pint-sized cooler held all nourishment needed.  At twenty-five years old, I splurged on the equipment with the hopes of the financial efficiency of wilderness and campsites.  I was not disappointed.

I quickly learned to make one extra purchase. The second sleeping bag assured companionship in my tent, as there would be plenty of room for two. I was ready to venture into the wilderness and to campsites.

     Matching Nylon Jumpsuits and Rhinestoned Poodles

The distance from the oversized apartment closet out to the trunk of the car was not far and the camping equipment fit perfectly. Hiking boots and denim and the obligatory plaid flannel shirt was quickly stuffed in a duffel bag and I was on the road.  The first destination was still unclear, but I would find the ideal campground.  Youth is resilient. The sign said “JellyRock Family Camping” and the price was cheap. The site had the campfire stone ring and was back from the small paved road. At twilight, with the baked beans and hotdogs well digested, and the flames inching up from the campfire, beverage in hand, what could be wrong? I paid  little attention to the others around the “Family Camping” area, until the strolls of residents began at dusk. There is a style to seasoned trailer campers that includes a travel cocktail tumbler, a sporty nylon windbreaker jumpsuit outfit and a little dog on a bedazzled leash. These folks all knew one another and appeared in for the season, each with a “Howdy!” as they passed by. The next outing was certain to scope out a true forrest, where my pup tent blended as one with nature. A requirement never to be forgotten. Or, so I thought.

     Finding Nature’s Bliss

All the comforts neededSoon the equipment graduated to a quality of comforts needed for the “experienced camper”.  The queensized plush-top mattress, with the electric air pump started the mission.  How could anyone sit near a fire without lucite brandy snifters?  The demands of the day required the nonstick pancake griddle to be supported by the Coleman double burner Camp Stove.  These in no way hampered the living off the land. In fact, the purchase to the six-person umbrella tent and camper fly awning, was only a mere forty pounds. One cannot expect to camp on the coastline of Maine without an aluminum and nylon 10 by 20 foot dining tarp; the weather so iffy. I so enjoyed the campchairs, they bringing comfort off the damp ground. The Coleman fuel lanterns gave off the glow that assisted the cuisine preparation on the aluminum prep table. Chilled properly, steaks and food supplies can last days in that 25 gallon cooler!  A fine camp chef need his resources, right?

     The Quality of Life on the Earth

Ok, I do not have the knowledge of when it started. It was not quite a tipping point. Maybe it was the camping vacation for five days when it rained buckets every day.  A  few, no, several, slugs climbed up my legs the week. There was the fall leaf peeping trip to camp on a Berkshire mountain side as the temperature plummeted to below freezing in several hours. I can love children and families while camping, but the several little ones shining the laser flashlights into my tent that one night was a bit much.  Maybe it was a seasonal event that one July weekend, as the mosquitos were the size of small sparrows. I believe a blood replacement transfusion would have made me feel better. There continued to be several more incidents of equal and forgettable outings. Oh, those “cheap” camp fees ceased to be anything but cheap over the years.

    A Four Poster Bed and Down Comforter

Vermont, B & B, The families that run the small county inns and bed and breakfasts know me.  They feel my pain.  Some have perhaps been in my shoes.  What they do not have is my camping equipment.  That all now belongs to a great younger friend with an oversized closet and a good sized car trunk. I do not have a small dog with a rhinestone collar and never did have one. What I do have is a knowledge of the loss of my youth to retain the creature comforts of warm baths, linen table dining, and inn-keepers happy to keep me off the ground.

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Business Travelers and Suppliers Convene for Travel Management

The Global Business Travel Association is finishing up the 2012 July conference at the new Boston Convention and the attendance is strong.  This event delivers $113 BILLION in buying power.  The travel industry focus on the highest margin traveler and the trends to secure that prime business heightens each year. Productivity and travel budgets are reviewed by the corner offices and the vendors search for the hot spot to win a place in the sun.  This group is spared little expense and speakers on the subjects include Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  Heads of the industry giants and luminaries of travel round out the panels.  This year the subjects dwell on:

  • Safety and Security of the business traveler
  • The Economics of successful Hotel negotiation
  • Optimizing Travel Card Programs & understanding Premium Air Travelers
  • Constructing Travel Policies & Loyalty Programs
  • Air Sourcing & travel management relationships
  • Business Travel to Asia  & India, Latin America, Learning the Landscape

Road Warrior Apps are one of the many tools in the strategy to reduce the costs to corporations.  And, “Happy Travelers” ?  What is the impact from  frequent travel on employees and company?  The GBTA has complied data on much of the above and the Hospitality Vendors leverage their resources.

The demands are on the vendors to provide the Business Traveler amneties to drive value. Wider seats and Wifi are a start.  Hotels are considering installation of in-room  iPads and the  “greening of the hotel campus”.  The missing link has been the connecting procurement and the traveler experience. The average travel buyer at GBTA Convention manages a $91 MILLION travel program and 10,000 travelers.  Company Travel Managers must look for the keys to success in the Garden of Good and Evil in the travel years of a changing landscape.

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