Saturday, January 5, 2013


The new year begins and most of us are asking "why did we eat so much" these past few weeks.  Now you have many opportunities to shed the pounds and develop muscles few knew existed.  For some inexplicable reason, several BIG BOX fitness center's have opened in Sarasota.  LA FITNESS has a new location on Bee Ridge and one under construction near BJ's off University.   CRUNCH is doing so well in its new Lockwood Ridge location they are expanding.  And across the street YOUFIT continues to prosper in one of their 6 area locations.

All are reasonably priced with monthly options available.  At the moment, only LA FITNESS requires an initiation fee.  However, I urge you to shop for location that best suits you and negotiate. With so much competition their are deals to be had.

This week's movie may well be nominated for an Academy Award on
Thursday in many categories.  LES MISERABLES is equal to the task of recreating the Broadway musical for film.  Tom Hooper. who won an Oscar for King's Speech is at the top of his game as  is the entire cast; AND yes I am including Russel Crowe, who did not get great reviews.  Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway become Jean Valjean and Fantine in ways not seen in musicals before.  In one bit of nostalgia for those of us who saw the original production 26 years ago in London or New York, Colm Wilkinson the first Jean Valjean, this time around,  plays the priest who shields Valjean form prison and helps him turn his life around.  This is one movie that should be seen on  the best screen and sound system available.

In a few weeks SPRING TRAINING begins and my favorite team THE BALTIMORE ORIOLES return to ED SMITH STADIUM for an extended stay.  I recently had the good fortune to tour the facility inside and out and came away more impressed with the team's attention to detail on every level.  The training facility, including whirlpools, fitness equipment and lockers is top drawer.  The Luxury Boxes, though not quite as elegant as CAMDEN YARDS, are nevertheless as good as it gets in the GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE.  Here are a few pictures.  Single game tickets go on sale 1/23, and last year's success should see many sellouts.  Get your tickets early!!!!  First game is Saturday 2/23 against American League rivals Minnesota Twins.

Also returning this week are some of your favorite television shows off for the holiday season.  THE GOOD WIFE, MODERN FAMILY, SCANDAL ,SIXTY MINUTES, SMASH, and tonight on PBS, the third season of DOWNTOWN ABBEY begins.  These are just a few of the returning programs.  And if you are a Jimmy Kimmel fan he goes head to head with Leno and Letterman on Monday.  And maybe if you're lucky, PUBLISHER'S CLEARING HOUSE  will come knocking at your door!

This week I am adding a new feature "What's on Jim's mind."  Today it's the drivers on our roads who come from many cities and countries with their own creative idea of speed limits, turn signals, lane violations and some with the ability to drive while barely able to see above their steering wheel.  And why is it that the slowest drivers find my car and park themselves in front of me either on Honore or Rolling Meadows or even Lockwood Ridge?  Trust me, this is not a snow-bird creation, but one that happens daily year-round.  And to you motorcyclists...SLOW DOWN!! Do they have their own speed limits?

Have a great week. Thanks to Editor in Chief Tracy Finglass.  And thanks to Jason who this week was named to the newly created post of Editorial Advisor.JIM