Sunday, May 24, 2009

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ~ Enviornmental Crusader

Whistler, British Columbia – Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. brought his Environmental Sustainability Message to the 2009 BC Land Summit in Whistler (May 20-22). The Land Summit is an interdisciplinary conference organized by six professional organizations, all of which share ties to land use in British Columbia.

“You show me a polluter, I’ll show you a subsidy. I’ll show you a fat cat using political clout to escape the discipline of the free-market,” he said. Spontaneous applause erupted from the Whistler Convention Centre audience throughout Mr. Kennedy’s inspiring 1 ½ hour speech that disclosed the long-standing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and a culture of crony capitalism that is standing in the way of a North American shift to alternative energy sources. Kennedy also commented, “As technology progresses and people move to solar and wind power, the economy will benefit. There’s no need for a trade-off between the environment and wealth.”

My wife and I felt privileged to be in attendance. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is doing some extremely important work with a view to saving and improving the environment for ours and future generations. To learn more about his noble efforts, check out his website.

Monday, May 18, 2009

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association's Newest Member

Today, I was welcomed into the illustrious ranks of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association as a Regular Member.

Founded in 1956, the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) strives to be a gathering point and resource base for an active membership composed of professionals engaged in the food, wine and travel industries. The association's membership includes professionals in culinary arts and sciences, the wine growing and production industry, destination travel, and in the hotel and hospitality management industries.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Predators as Prey ~ a report from OCEANA

OCEANA is an international conservation organization that is focused 100% on protecting the world's oceans. They have posted on their website several reports related to the overall cause.

One in particular, "Predators as Prey", can be downloaded by following the link below...

Save a shark, stop shark finning today!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Greatness Comes In Many Forms

In my lifetime, I’ve seen Bob Dylan croon Like a Rolling Stone, The Rolling Stones bump n’ grind to Brown Sugar, The Police turn out the red light with Roxanne, The Moody Blues perform Nights in White Satin, Neil Young singing Heart of Gold, Glen Campbell singing Wichita Lineman, Elton John trying to remember if they were green or blue in Your Song, Rare Earth mining the song Get Ready, Yes unleashing Roundabout, Neil Diamond bah, bah, bah Sweet Caroline, Gordon Lightfoot performing If You Could Read My Mind, J. Geils Band singing Give It To Me, Rod Stewart and the Faces drinking their way through Stay With Me, Van Halen wailing Ain’t Talking Bout Love, Bon Jovi Living On A Prayer, Alice Cooper singing I’m Eighteen, Paul Anka beseeching Diana to stay with him, Billy Idol punching his fists to Rebel Yell, Tony Bennett performing I Left My Heart In San Francisco, Eric Clapton playing Layla, Eric Burdon and the Animals doing House of the Rising Sun, The New York Dolls talking bout Trash, The B52’s grooving to Love Shack, Kiss shouting I Wanna Rock n’ Roll All Night, and I’ve stood in the Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, and watched The Preservation Hall Jazz Band play some spine tingling jazz, along with many more artists too numerous to mention who it could be said were at the top of their game.

Tonight, however, my wife and I were privileged to witness an unaccompanied live performance from a man sitting on a chair and cradling a cello in his arms. His instrument, named “Petunia”, is a vintage 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice. The cellist performing some musical selections of J.S.Bach at the Chan Centre for The Performing Arts this night was the incomparable Yo-Yo Ma, a French-born American cellist and winner of multiple Grammy Awards. It has been said that greatness comes in many forms. On this evening, Kathryn and I experienced greatness from the eighth row in a magnificent theatre. Transcendent bliss!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jett Versus The Tiger Shark

It may not have been the biggest tiger shark in the water with us that day...but at approximately 12 feet long and weighing somewhere between 800 to 900 pounds... one would think it was entirely unsporting of the shark to chomp down on my underwater camera housing while I was still holding on to it. Somehow... I remained calm and managed to fend the shark off. I figured that in its frenzied state it mistook my camera housing for being a tuna head. Anyway... there was no way my life was going to end then and there. Not if I had any say in it. Quite simply... it was not to be. It was not my time.

Alex Mustard, one of the world's top underwater photographers was in the water with me that day and was about 15 feet away. It is a testament to his humanity that, despite possessing enormous photographic talent, he could not snap a picture of me vs the shark. Pity, as it would have made a great keepsake. The picture above is one of the shark just as it was about to open its mouth.

"I was next to Jett on the line.
Wow. That tiger shark that
grabbed his camera was big.
I didn't even take a shot of it.
I was quite worried for Jett...."

Alex Mustard
March 15, 2006
(Wetpixel Blog)

Saturday, May 2, 2009


May 2, 2009: We attended the annual travel writers symposium at the Listel Hotel on Robson Street today. Apart from providing an opportunity to meet and mingle with fellow members of the BCATW, there were also attendees from other media & tourism organizations.

Featured guest speakers were Julie Ferguson, a successful freelance non-fiction writer for 40 years and a popular speaker at writers' conferences and renown photojournalist, Michael DeFreitas, who has published three travel guides and has written and illustrated hundreds of travel articles featuring over 60 countries.

My lovely wife, Kathryn, a writer who has her first yet to be published book lurking on her computer's hard drive, won the first door prize of the afternoon. I also won a later door prize (a spa visit to absolute spa group at the Century Plaza Hotel) which my wife will be enjoying, along with my mom. when I send them both there to be pampered and spoiled.