Having a great time, very relaxed. Saw a bunch of old friends, had a bunch of great food, read books uninterrupted :), hung at the beach (they did a great job renovating Lake Worth’s beach) and we the movie Bird Man. A little odd here and there, but a great movie and I love Michael Keaton (besides being a Pittsburgh native, I loved him in Beetle Juice, one of my favorite movies). Left Lake Worth Monday morning after a great stay at The Mango Inn. Deb didn’t have room for me Sunday night (or was it she threw me out?) and so I ended stay at The Holiday House Motel. I knew the previous owners when I had The Parador of the Palm Beaches and they were very nice. It was cheap, I was only spending the night and I really hate supporting chain hotels and motels. Well, there’s new owners, apparently it had been empty for four years and all the copper, etc had been stripped by thieves. It took Lance and his wife a year to be able to open and I must say, I was impressed with what they are doing. It reminds me of when I first opened, tackling the large required projects and then coming back to fine tune things. All though no where near as nice as The Mango was, the room was bigger, the bath was much bigger, lots more on cable (I just watch the morning news when I get up). They must have spent a fortune on the mechanicals, even pretty much state of the art door locks. If they can keep the momentum up, it will never be a Bed and Breakfast, but a well priced and well appointed motel would be a fine choice in Lake Worth. I’m now in Key Largo, no there isn’t nor was there ever a Hotel Large, I still love the Humphrey and Lauren classic. I’ve had coffee and my book both mornings on the Bay Beach with Charlie:
There’s been some great shopping here and up in Lake Worth. Greeting you at one of the artists’ malls is this ridiculous huge crab:
So here’s picture of the beach at Lake Worth, Florida where the first Parador was:
And here’s a picture I woke up to each morning at the lovely Mango Inn in Lake Worth:
Google Street View has re-shot my street I think I saw them last Fall. For those of you that saw me sitting on my porch reading a book, that image is gone. Somewhat related to that is Google’s Street View Art Project. They are in the process of creating 360 degree views of some of the most iconic museums in the world. The Frick and Museum of Modern Art in New York are already ready for view, in all, they currently have 630 partners in 60 countries. Though seeing an image on your computer is no match for the real thing (I still remember walking into Accademia Gallery Museum in Florence and seeing Michelangelo’s David-it took my breath away). As most things in life, the Art Project has many good reasons to visit, you are going to a museum and want a great preview, you’ve been to the museum and want a refresh, you want a closer look at a piece than security would normally let you, etc.
At a time that the world seems to be falling apart, who would have thought a pope would be a superstar? I was raised Catholic but have fallen by the wayside over the years. The church’s rigidness, inflexibility, concentration of wealth when there was so much need. Then along comes Pope Francis, what a breath of fresh air. I don’t know if he still does, but he used to sneak out the gates and walk the streets outside the Vatican to “tend his flock”. He has taken on the Vatican bureaucracy on several occasions, the most recent was possibly his harshest in December. And his most recent expressed opinion of the French terrorist attack I think is something the world should take note. He strongly agrees with the inalienable human rights of free speech, but tempered it with the need for respect. Just because you can publish or say something, doesn’t mean you should. Just because I could walk down the street telling overweight people they are too fat, doesn’t mean I should do that. The Muslim religion doesn’t believe in images of their prophet and so we should respect that. This doesn’t give them the right to kill and maim, nor does it give the overweight person the right to pull a gun and shoot me.
The 56th Three Rivers Arts Festival is getting closer and they are looking for artist participants. The Fest runs from June 5 through June 14 and this year’s theme will be Unseen/Unheard exploring those marginalized in some way (your contribution does not have to relate, but I imagine it would give you a leg up). Applications have to be in by February 1 and more info can be found at Trust Arts or by calling 412-456-6666.
The Hays Eagles are starting their nesting routines. Eggs aren’t expected for another month or so, but you can see them getting their home ready for this year’s event. As far as I know, all three eaglets survived last year and are out on their own. When you have a minute, it’s always cool to peak in on what’s going on the Eaglecam.
Lets talk about credit scores. Did you know 35% of your FICO is based on your payment history? 30% is based on how much you owe (compared to your income), 15% is the length of your credit history10% is the types of credit you use and the remaining 10% is the amount of new credit you request. As I encourage about once a year, you should pull your credit report one a year to see if there’s erroneous information on it and see where your FICO score stands. The range is from 300 to 850. A FICO score of 720 to 740 is considered good. Anything over 740 is what you should shoot for to obtain the best rates on mortgages, new car loans, etc. The three credit reporting agencies are required by law to provide you with a free report once a year. Don’t go to those on-line companies that offer a “free credit report”, there is usually strings attached. So go to TransUnion’s website, Equifax and Experian and pull your credit report to see where you stand.
Well, another day in Key Largo and Islamorada then it’s up to Tampa to visit with my good friend Jeff that owns The Inn on the Mexican War Streets.Then it’s back to the frigid north. The good thing is we’ll just have February to deal with, the days will be getting longer noticeably and the temperatures will be climbing. Wishing you were all down here with me,