The Gull Reef Club

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9/17/2019 · 2:03 am· Trouble · Good Bye Blue Sky
sometimes waiting and watching is all you can do. The weather has been oscillating quite a bit this... | Read More

9/1/2019 · 1:30 pm· Jaime · Good Bye Blue Sky
It's summer. We don't adventure much in the summer. It's too hot & buggy. We hibernate and wait... | Read More

9/1/2019 · 2:25 am· Trouble · Good Bye Blue Sky
So how goes the summer of adventure? Inquiring minds want to know.... | Read More

6/6/2018 · 12:46 am· Michael (Net2007) · My friend, my friend, (s)he’s got a knife
I've often felt this way, it's strange and divisive times in many ways. As far as this goes, I... | Read More

7/12/2017 · 4:22 pm· Trouble · Half of Us Are Wrong or in the Alternative, Half of Us Are Right
I've been following the saga and cataloging links of interest that contain more than mere rhetoric.... | Read More



Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:13 pm

Coming to teh internets near you, more mindless memes! Enjoy.

>Courtesy of my pal Eeyore: Woah…woman. Drag and drop, baby. Drag and drop.

>From the mind of Mike, er President Bush, we have – President Bush Addresses the Nation (mp3)

>Fashion for the high-steppin’ holy roller – Stand on the Word of God.

>Cool art work (and related items) are in store for you Dave Devrie’s Monster Engine.

>A scam? Who knew? Toby Saved.

>Finally, William Swislow’s The Gyros Project. If you can’t appreciate how cool this site is, meet me in Chicago later this year. I’ll learn ya a thing or two about gyros.


Forgetting 9/11

Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:33 am

At last night’s chat, after Bush pulled the 9/11 card, I joked that I was going to begin a ‘have we forgotten 9/11?’ count. The phrase has become haute couture in certain Beltway and Beltway-wannabe circles, and trend-followers make for such fun targets.

Upon first tuning into the radio this morning, WBMQ’s Ben Bennett is spouting off about the ‘cockroaches’ (fundamentalist Muslims, I assume) and beseeches us listeners, ‘Have we forgotten 9/11?’ This was a sign for me from the cosmic comics to actually begin my count.

So here we are beachcombers – one. One of what will likely be many, many references to ‘forgetting 9/11’. If you have The Gull Reef Club on RSS, it may get crowded in my folder.


Spare Tomatoes?

Filed under: — Jaime @ 4:47 pm

If anyone is interested in chatting about tonight’s speech by President Bush, you are more than welcome to join the peanut gallery in the America’s Debate chatroom, starting around 8 pm (eastern). Information Link.

You don’t have to be an AD member to chat with us, you just need to have an opinion…and those are so hard to come by these days….


Kiss me in Kosice

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:10 pm
Postcard courtesy of Zdenko Liptak

Dobry den, beachcombers. Today’s Postcard finds us in Košice, Košice, Slovakia. Košice is the capital city of the ‘kraj’ (region/district) by the same name. It is the second largest city in the Slovak Republic. The city’s name is pronounced Ko-SHEETS-seh for those of us not up on our Slovak.

This lovely old berg of 250,000 or so inhabitants is nestled in the far eastern part of the Slovak Republic. It lies in the Košice basin, in the valley of the Hornad River. To the north are the the Cierna Hora mountains and to the west of Košice are the the Volovske Vrchy Hills. Košice dates back to the 13th century. provides a consice history of the region.

Košice is a really tiny place and it shouldn’t take us too long to see most of the sites. Maureen Mikovics Pulignano offers a lovely general gallery of photos. There are also some delightful photos in the Albis Photo-Gallery, although I find it unfortunate none of the photos were labelled. Both Kosicke.d42 and offer informational tours of Košice’s historical monuments. Far and away, Julius Silver provides the most thorough gallery.

For more a detailed tour, created this one of St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral. I also found this page dedicated to Urban’s Tower. Yes, the site is entirely in Slovak. Just click a picture and stare. Then say, ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh.’ Move along. Repeat. That’s all you need to do. That’s how these tours work. Plus, it’s easy to do in Košice, because the architecture is stunning.

A number of websites offer authentic Slovakian recipes including George Dolnak’s The Recipes of Slovakia Remembered,’s Recipe Guide, University of Pittsburgh’s Slovak Recipes, and The Slovac-American Cultural Society of the Midwest’s Food From The Best Cook – Our Mothers. Good heavy eats. Hope you’re up for a little sauerkraut.

Like many cities of the former Soviet republics, Košice is still adjusting to a more free market society. Unemployment is high, around 15%. Yet, the workforce is highly educated and with Slovakia’s admission to the EU, the future looks bright. Oddly enough, US Steel is the largest employer in Košice. They seem to recognize their role as a local corporate giant and give back to the area in the way of organized events and regional development. There is a lot of potential in this city.

This visit to Košice has been short but pleasant. I’ll warn you in advance that next week’s trip may not be all that glamorous. I will be preparing the polls for the America’s Debate Year in Review, 2004-2005, which puts Postcards in the backseat. Anyway, this trip to Košice has been enchanting. Thank you to our kind webhosts.


See? I told ya this week’s trip location wouldn’t start with the letter C.


Boo Barrow!!!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:18 pm

Shame on you Representative Barrow for voting in favor of the flag burning amendment.

Let’s recite together shall we?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

What part of Congress shall make no law do you not freaking get here, Mr. Barrow?

You and your fellow representatives are merely wasting our time when you could have been doing something constructive like shaking babies and kissing old hands. The prevailing case law, Texas v. Johnson, has already held that flag burning is protected speech. If this passes the Senate, it WILL go to the Supreme Court and it WILL be struck down. All of which could have been prevented by not voting to infringe upon the rights of Americans in the first place. The Constitution and its amendments are to define the limits of federal authority, not to enact criminal code. It’s apparent to me that it’s been quite a long time since you’ve read that document, serves as better toilet paper does it?

I doubt I will bother contacting Chambliss or Isaakson over this. They are such well-known GOP lapdogs my complaints will be ignored.

Personally, I have never burned a flag, and until now, have never been tempted to. Anyone got a match?

House One Minute Speeches

Filed under: — Jaime @ 7:40 am

Here are some highlights from yesterday’s House of Representatives One Minute Speeches:

I think we oughta get mo in-fo.
Ted Poe (R-TX) on ‘possible’ abuse allegations at Guantanamo. You may have to read it out loud in a Texas twang to fully appreciate it.

It’s not Pol Pot at Gitmo, it’s pot roast!
-Tom Rice (R-GA). I love this one. Who knew our reps were comedians, too?


Oral Acrobatics

Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:58 am

Senator Mel Martinez of Florida is on C-Span’s Washington Journal this morning talking about a variety of issues. He was posed a question about the pending energy policy and stated, “[Our energy policy] will create more competition in the energy markets, it will create more mergers and acquisitions…” ¿Que? Which is Senator? More competition or more mergers? Seems contradictory by its very nature. Quite the polished politician that Senator Martinez. If he goes to shake your hand, keep your other one on your wallet.


Shackdwellers and Strandlopers

Filed under: — Jaime @ 7:36 pm

(Postcard courtesy of The Postcard Stalker)

Picking a country of origin from my visitors’ logs seemed to work last week, so I did it again for this postcard. Today we are traveling to the southern most region oAfrica – Cape Town, South Africa.* We’ll explore the city and parts of the outlying West Cape province.

Like the demanding coast that gives rise to the many legends of the Cape of Good Hope, it seems Cape Town itself is a place one should get used to slowly and probably not go into unfamiliar waters. Cape Town is a city of contrast. It is home to great wealth and extreme poverty, soaring mountains and beaches, blacks, whites and coloureds (As an American, I feel weird typing that but apparently this is still common in South Africa).

Let’s start off with some general galleries that capture most of the city-proper and touristy ‘must see’ places. We have Georgia Roessler’s Cape Town Gallery, Emily Delmont’s Cape Town Gallery, and Pat McKune’s Cape Town Galleries – all very good at displaying the popular locales. Cape Town is also home to the lovely Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Of course, we couldn’t visit Cape Town without a ride down to Cape Point.

As I was exploring, I noticed the touristy galleries were all rather similar. It seemed like very few capturing ‘day in the life’ type pictures. I then stumbled upon this site My Mother Built This House, Lifeonline. More specifically, this bit of information, “Nearly one-third of Cape Town’s population of three million live in slums or squatter settlements.” Oh, I thought meekly as I sat in my comfy leather chair, in my air-conditioned room, typing on my specially purchased ultra-quiet keyboard – at least we have an explanation for the tourist gallery similarities.

This is when the contrasts of Cape Town really began to show themselves. I am not the only person to notice these contrasts. They are manifest themselves more once you begin to look. Manfred Leiter noticed. So did the folks at the Southern Africa Environment Project. Cape Town offers a great deal of luxury to those who can afford it. We see this in Craig Sydney’s Cape Town Buildings and the voluminous websites dedicated to luxury rentals. This isn’t how many Cape Towners live, however.

One third of those who live in Cape Town and the outlying West Cape area do so in extreme poverty. When I mentioned earlier that we may not want to explore unfamiliar waters, it is because of galleries like Marcel Baumann’s Cape Town and Janet Walt’s Trek Earth Gallery and articles like this from the BBC, SA housing protests turn violent. Then there is the ravishing of the poor community by HIV and AIDS. Personal stories of these (mostly) Cape Towners from the Wola Nani Embrace are certain to anger and disgust. Now I understand why so many tourist maps exclude anything on the outer edges of Cape Town. This portion of the trip could get real depressing if I went on, so we’ll just leave it here for now.

There are a few more miscellaneous stops to make before we go. I have no way of putting these in any semblance of order, so random it is. First, a (white) local’s look at his homeland after having been away for awhile brought to us by Dr. Gernot Hassenpflug. I confess I really enjoyed his gallery because he took lots of pictures of his meals. I couldn’t find many Cape Town specific recipes, but this more than covers the food portion of our trip.

Also, while we are in Cape Town, we are going to want to pick up a little slang. The South African Expat’s Slang Page is a good start. Very befok. Check, China?

This trip also proved to be immensely useful in that I learned the Dutch word for beachcomber – strandloper. The term as it is used in reference to Cape Town is detailed by M.L. Wilson of the South African Museum in his (her?) Shell middens and Strandlopers.

We’ll depart by sharing one of Cyber Cape Town’s Myths and Legends of Cape Town:

As the story goes Jan van Hunks, a pirate in the early 18th century, retired from his eventful life at sea to live on the slopes of Devil’s Peak. He spent his days sitting on the mountain smoking weed on his pipe.

One day a stranger approached and asked to borrow some spliff. After a bit of bragging, a smoking contest ensued which lasted for days.

Van Hunks finally defeated the stoned stranger – who unfortunately turned out to be the devil – and they both vanished in a puff of cannabis smoke. Legend has it that the cloud of “tobacco” smoke they left became the “table-cloth” – the famous white cloud that spills over Table Mountain when the south-easter blows in summer.

Thank you for joining me on this trip to Cape Town. It has been a learning experience. See you next week, strandlopers. Sala kahle!

*As an aside, I realized this week that a disproportionate number of my Sunday Postcards are dedicated to cities or counties starting with the letter C. Well, C is for cookie afterall. I must have some underlying holdovers from youth I’ve not fully explored. I really do like cookies. A lot. Mmmm…cookies… In any event, I promise that no matter where we go next week, it won’t start with the letter C.


Survey Says

Filed under: — Jaime @ 9:59 pm

I recently found and participated in an MIT Weblog Survey. The questions don’t get too personal so go help them out. I want to see these results.

Not Hopscotch

Filed under: — Jaime @ 1:18 pm

Check out Julian Beever’s very cool sidewalk work: Julian Beever’s Pavement Art.

Thanks to Mike for the heads up on this. :)


Island hoppers

Filed under: — Jaime @ 9:24 pm

Two more members of the America’s Debate community are hosting blogs nowadays – Doc’s Rants is brought to us by the adorable Doclotus and nebraska29 runs the show at the Stogies and Politics Lounge. Welcome to the blogosphere, gentlemen. :)


Cuckoo for Cocos

Filed under: — Jaime @ 10:33 pm

Happy Sunday, beachcombers. Tonight’s Sunday Postcard is inspired by The Gull Reef Club’s visitors logs. I saw someone visited here from a country called the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Despite fancying myself as a amateur geography buff, I had never heard of this place before. I will use this postcard to return the visit and learn a little something while I am at it.

The Cocos Islands are one of the Indian Ocean’s best kept secrets. 27 tiny islands make up this territory of Australia. These maps will help orient you to the atolls. According to this site Cocos Tourism – the islands didn’t even exist when our last postcard, the Roman Ruins, were at the height of their civilization. In fact, there were no inhabitants until the 1820′s. The people maintain residences on only two of the islands – Home Island and West Island, with a total around 600+ people living there.

In the last week I spent finding resources on the Cocos Islands I think I’ve seen just about all there is to see. This place is so incredibly tiny. The 27 islands make up a total of 14sq kilometers. There are only 15 kilometers worth of roads. There is one landing strip and two planes that arrive in and out of the Cocos Islands every week. There are two schools to educate about 150 students. If you are looking for a paradise in the middle of nowhere, this is it.

There are a few very nice galleries that will help you get an idea of what the area looks like. First we have some photos of the lucky Karen Willshaw, a citizen of The Cocos Islands: Ikan Images. Next, Windsurfing in Western Australia brings us on a nice little tour. CR-Photo, a German website, has a nice gallery also. The Australian government has a mediocre gallery (the pics are a bit small for my liking) featuring the everyday life on the Cocos Islands. The best gallery I found is that of Jonas Lorch. He has the most complete Cocos Islands online photo gallery.

If you visit the Cocos Islands, it seems there are two ‘must do’ activities. One is to go scuba diving in their abundant coral reefs. Cocos Dive hosts a stunning gallery of life under the sea around the atolls. Another activity that shouldn’t be missed while visiting the Cocos Islands is a guided tour of the Pulu Keeling National Park. Home to an abundant ecosystem of rare vegetation and animal species, the park is only accessible by boat (and even then you have to swim in the last few meters). Once you’ve covered these spots, had supper with one of the local supper clubs, and slept on the beach a few days, you’ve done just about everything there is to do on the Cocos Islands. Of course, setting this pattern on repeat for a few weeks could prove to be quite therapeutic.

I reluctantly pack up to leave the Cocos Islands. I had no idea what to expect when I first ran across the name of this wee territory in my visitors logs. This trip has been a delight. Thanks to my anonymous visitor from the Cocos Islands for the inspiration.

Selamat jalan!


An Honest Politician

Filed under: — Jaime @ 12:54 pm

Although rare, honest politicians do exist and we are fortunate enough to have one of them here in Savannah. Congratulations to our Mayor, Otis Johnson, for winning the National Public Elected Official of the Year Award from the National Association of Social Workers. It is an honor for our entire city that our Mayor has been recognized in this way.

Keep up the great work, Mayor Johnson. You are truly an asset to our community.

Seeing Spots

Filed under: — Jaime @ 9:53 am

Since most of us can’t get a buzz on at work, there are other ways to amuse ourselves: Afterimage. :D


The Experts Say…

Filed under: — Jaime @ 12:17 am

(Source: Savannah Morning News)

Whaddaya know? I do feel confused now…


Antiquitas Adventor

Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:08 pm


Good day, beachcombers. Welcome to this week’s Sunday postcard. By request of Ms. Flynny, we are travelling to Rome to visit the classical monuments and architecture symbolic of one of the greatest civilizations of the past.

Unlike some of the other places we’ve visited, there is no lack of photo galleries of Roman ruins. A good place to start is Alan Zeleznikar’s Rome Travel Page. Scroll down to the green ‘Rome’ section. Mr. Zeleznikar has done a very thorough job of detailing what a tourist to Rome’s ruins can expect.

A trip to Rome to see the ruins would not be complete without visiting certain, quintessential landmarks, most of which are mapped out in this useful Ruins Map. While we could probably spend weeks on the details and minutia, we’re going to stick to the most popular and well-known spots for this postcard. One of the most-known of the most-known spots, of course, is the Roman Coliseum. Professor Felix Just of Loyola Marymont University offers us a nice gallery of the Roman Coliseum. He also hosts a gallery for one of the other most-known of the most-known spots, the Roman Forum.

Virtual Tours of Architecture provides a great tour of the Pantheon. We start, logically, by seeing the beauty of the Pantheon’s exterior. The Pantheon’s interior is equally spectacular.

Other locations that we can not miss while we are touring ancient Rome are the Mausoleum of Augustus, courtesy of Yong-Ling Ow, the Theater of Marcellus, brought to us by the University at Buffalo, and of course, Circus Maximus, gallery courtesy of Virtual Travels. The University of Buffalo also offers this fabulous gallery featuring the Arch of Titus – a gallery I sought out especially for Titus (who needs to get around to blogging more).

While it is a bit slow to load, Druid’s Den brings us 3-D panoramic tours of the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps (not ancient, just old), Palazzo della Civilta, Piazza Navona, Piazza Farnese, Trevi Fountain, and Parliament.

Next stop on our ancient Rome tour are the Baths of Caracalla, gallery courtesy of the University of California San Francisco. UCSF not only offers great images of the Baths, they also provide a detailed description of a typical day at the Baths for your average Roman. Do any resorts exist like these today? I would sure love a day at a place like the Baths of Caracalla.

We’re about to wrap this trip up, but not before visiting the Trevi Fountain.’s nighttime gallery of the Fountain really captures the beauty of this ancient fixture. Legend says that we must face away from the fountain and toss a coin in or we will never return to Rome. So let’s toss our coins in to ensure we come back because I have really loved this tour. Thanks, Ms. Flynny, for suggesting it.

This has been a lovely visit to ancient Rome. Until next week…ciao!



Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:18 pm

Got an email today from Krispy Kreme (yeah, I’m on their mailing list, you got a problem with that?) stating:

Could there be a sweeter day of the year? On Friday, June 3rd, Krispy Kreme will celebrate National Doughnut Day by offering customers a free doughnut of their choice in participating stores throughout the U.S.

Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression and to honor the work of World War I Salvation Army volunteers who prepared doughnuts for thousands of soldiers. Doughnut Day is celebrated annually on the first Friday in June, and special fundraising events continue today at Salvation Armies around the country.

So stop by and celebrate National Doughnut Day with Krispy Kreme on June 3rd and have a doughnut on us! Please visit Krispy Kreme for store location information and to find out if your local Krispy Kreme is participating.

Doughnuts are good. Free doughnuts are better.

The Gull Reef Club