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Tuesday, January 26, 2016


         Francesca and I went rowing along Coconut Grove's shoreline last weekend. It is littered thousands of pieces of plastic. As we continue to toss the world's garbage into the sea, our oceans are becoming "plastic soup".
    We saw something new in Peacock Park last Saturday, a festival that was good for the planet and Coconut Grove.  It was fun, friendly, and even had a noble purpose, saving our oceans. 
Unlike the last fall's Peacock events it did not churn the park's grass into mud.  It took place just west of the new grass field.
      The Save Our Oceans event  was sponsored by the Netherlands. Dutch representatives came here to help us become more aware of the proliferation of plastic that is slowly destroying our seas.

 There were booths promoting environmental awareness, recycling and good reasons to visit Holland (cheese, cookies, beer). 

Some kids worked at creating the world's 
longest plastic bag rope 

while others played skittles (a Dutch game) 

or enjoyed sliding down an inflatable shark. 

  It wasn't perfect. After the Dutch ambassador gave a short speech a DJ made the gathering almost unbearable with his loud music. When did causing ear pain become public art?

  But mostly it was a  fun, free, and non-commercial.  The low-impact event even pushed good cause, one that all of us should be supporting.
  Hooray for Holland and Coconut Grove.  It was great to see someone putting a small, simple event that was matched out village's size and charm.

   Afterwards we escaped to the Everglades to see the full moon rise.
       Thankfully, the people there aren't throwing their trash into the water.
                  _______________________ TICKETS FOR LEGOS

      A BMW is parked in front of the Perez Art Museum. It allows you to get (nearly) free admission.  It is an art piece by Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei. He is collecting Lego blocks to make Lego portraits of human rights activisits.
   Denmark's Lego, Inc.  has refused to sell him their product because of the art works that could result. Weiwei has been critical of the immigration policies of Denmark (as well as other countries).   
    To get the Legos he needs, Weiwei has set up donation sites throughout the world like the one we now have at the Perez. If you show the Perez admission desk a few of them -and promise to toss them through the car's open sunroof- you will get in for free.

                                                 Francesca tosses her Legos


Saturday, January 9, 2016


    Anyone who has spent time with children has heard a lot of weird questions. In 1993 I went to Europe with my seven-year-old son, Dylan. As we backpacked through England, France, and Holland he asked many.
   I wrote down some of of them in a diary I had not seen for twenty years. Dylan found it recently and passed it along.  Here are a few samples,
   Dad, which one would you want to be stung by, a bee, a wasp, or a hornet?


No stings for me, thanks. In Haarlem we bought a used Dutch bike, no questions asked. I rode it to yoga this morning.

Would you like to be shot in the leg with a mini-ball or in the arm with a bullet? 
         Would you like to live in a hot shower? (Asked while enjoying one after a long, wet, hike) 

What's your favorite cereal character, Snap, Crackle, or Pop?  (In the diary I noted that I went for "Snap" while he chose Pop).    
                                                                Dylan displays the switch-blade comb that he had to have.
   What do you think Jesus' body looked like after he was crucified and entombed?  (in the diary I described how my son then laid down on the sidewalk in Chedder, England, suggesting different tangled positions)

A few hours after this photo was taken in Bath, England, we retired to our room at the local youth hostel. I was reading in the lower bunk when I saw the blur of a son falling from the top bunk.  He survived to ask more questions.



Did Jesus wear underwear?

(He asked the next one after we purchased and lit prayer candles in the Notre Dame Cathedral)   If God doesn't answer our prayers can we get our money back?


    After we find The Holy Grail (digging at England's Glastonbury Tor) how much can we sell it for?
 Running down Glastonbury Tor.

 (And on the flight home,)
 If our plane crashes into the ocean and the emergency slides pop out, which emergency slide will be the most fun to ride?

  Note:  As a teacher of young children, I still get great questions like,  "Who'd win a fight between Batman and Superman?",  "Are rice and maggot eggs the same thing?"  and the annual,  "Santa Claus is real, right?"
    My oh my I love kid questions and yes, there is a Santa Claus.

Twenty three years later. well past the weird question stage.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


   We blew up Pogo on New Year's Eve. Did you see the bright red explosion on Biscayne Bay 'roun 7:30?  

 That was us, led by "Mr. Fun Time", Justin Long. 

Justin is the Miami-based performance artist known for burying limousines, giving shopping cart thrill rides, and shooting big timber with a ten-foot crossbow.  When we went out to Stiltsville Thursday night, he carried a small boat he had made. He told me "We are giving Pogo a viking funeral".  When I replied, "Lucky dog", Justin corrected me. Pogo was a human.

    Richard "Pogo" Evans was a family friend who died four years ago after a long illness.  The  builder of motorcycles and boats and avid ocean racer wanted to go out with a bang, hence the boat under Justin's arm.
Being dead, Pogo wasn't in a hurry to return to the ocean he had loved.
     Surrounded by the curious, Mr. Fun Time opened his boat's hatch and stuffed half of the hull with Pogo's ashes.  In the other half was a package of gunpowder from which emerged a nine-foot fuse.
     Justin's brother set it in the water, lit the cord, and we watched it drift off on the outgoing tide.
The fuse instructions had read, "burns at one-foot per minute" so we counted down until someone said, "This is taking too long. Can someone just tell us when there's ten seconds left".
       Three minutes later Pogo's ashes -and his boat- were blasted into oblivion. 
It was dark. Presumably Pogo either rose to heaven or returned to the salty waters that had loved. I like to think he did both.