Saturday, April 20, 2013

SUNDAY, APRIL 21, 2013

Good morning! Welcome to another week of "early summer" in SARASOTA.  This week marks the beginning of RINGLING COLLEGE 2013 Senior Thesis Exhibition,  comprising works from seniors of all majors. many of the galleries on campus are hosting exhibits daily throughout the college.  For a complete schedule including times, dates and locations click here .  RINGLING is one of our true jewels, and living here  or visiting affords you an opportunity unequaled by most cities.

Janet Miles, Tom Brokaw, George L. Miles Jr. 
Staying with Ringling College,  but moving to the RINGLING COLLEGE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, my Executive Assignment Editor, George L. Miles Jr , reported "This year's Town Hall last  speaker, award winning and distinguished journalist Tom Brokaw,  spoke to another full house at Van Wezel.  Tom's remarks were intelligent, humorous, full of historical perspectives, and thought provoking. He asked our national leaders to seek common ground much like past leaders.  His best remark was to encourage all of us to demand "ADULTS" in leadership.

Next year's RINGLING COLLEGE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION lineup includes George W. Bush, Lara Logan of CBS, Leon Panetta, Wes Moore, Platon, and a speaker still in negotiations; however incoming President Jay Logan,  while making the announcement pulled out a BIG GULP SODA.  You make the connection.  In addition to the above, Jenna Bush Hager is an extra speaker for all those with PLATINUM subscriptions.  Current subscribers get first opportunity for tickets to either the evening or morning lecture.  This is one of the best series any major market has to offer and it is because of reputation that it attracts only the best."

It has been several months of zero movie reviews.  I am happy to report, last week's opening of 42, was the week's highest grossing movie and attracted adults back into theatres.  It tells the story of Jackie Robinson's good and bad days as baseball's first player to break the color line in 1947.  The acting is first rate with Harrison Ford playing Branch Rickey, the one baseball owner with the courage to sign the best player of his era.  Ford is a great actor whose roles these past several years have not done justice to him.  Forget Indiana Jones, Star Wars and the rest, he is truly magnificent here, as is the entire cast. I highly recommend this one!!


A few weeks ago, I informed you  of a new iPhone app full of wonderful coupons.  Some took advantage of the app, some ignored it, or some didn't read that portion at all.  I am back again urging you to either go on line and look it up or download it on your phone.  Among companies offering anywhere from10-40% discounts on the site are ULTA, BED BATH AND BEYOND, STEIN MART, FRESH MARKET, TARGET and many, many more.  IT IS FREE.  Its name is SNIP SNAP.

AKINATOR IS NOT FREE, but if you're looking for a fun party game or diversion on a long car trip or just want to have a good time, this is the APP for you.  You will be amazed at the knowledge of this "genie" as you ask him questions about a person, living or dead, and in a few minutes he comes up with the answer.  The best $1.99 I've spent so far for iPhone and iPad.

HYDE PARK revisited.  After my unfavorable review of this restaurant a few weeks ago, word got back to new manager Chad Allard, who called and asked about our bad experience.  I was candid with him, he took the criticism well, and asked if we would give HYDE PARK another chance.  We did....twice!! First for dinner where  our meal and service were vastly improved from our last visit, and HAPPY HOUR at the patio bar, featuring fun drinks and interesting food for much less than the normal menu.  There are several happy hours in SARASOTA; this is one of the best with more seating than most.

If you are looking for a mother's day brunch, Hyde Park has created a 3-course menu $27.95 per person including, Short Ribs&Eggs, Bacon-Wrapped Twin Fillet, and more, plus a $20 dining card to mom to enjoy on a future occasion.

This week, I had to call COMCAST about billing issues.  While on the line I inquired about ANY ROOM DVR, which is being offered by both BRIGHTHOUSE and VERIZON. I learned it is available from COMCAST/XFINITY NOW right here in SARASOTA for a few dollars per month and a small set-up charge. As a COMCAST subscriber, you can now watch recorded programs on every set, not just the one doing the actual recording.  If you record as much TV as we do, I highly recommend this new service.  It won't be promoted until more markets are on line. 

Put your DVR to work this Sunday 8-10pm when DISCOVERY airs the Robert Redford documentary ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN REVISITED.  I have read two highly favorable reviews of this film that Redford produced and narrates.  It will also be ON-DEMAND a few days later. And, don't miss MARY AND MARTHA on HBO.  The blog is late because I just watched the movie of two mothers who lose their sons to malaria and find a way to work through their pain to help prevent the terrible disease from spreading. Hillary Swank and Brenda Blethyn turn in award performances.

JIM's RANT this week is the high cost of watching television these days.  We're stuck and they know it. Oh for the good old days of FREE television.  With bills approaching $100 and beyond this is getting ridiculous.  and here we are again, with most of the better programs running in competition with each other.  However, I still recommend ANY ROOM DVR, I just don't like paying for it!!!!

In closing this week, I want to congratulate TICKET SARASOTA on its 21st anniversary.  They are celebrating with a party Thursday, April 25, 5:30-7:30 pm at their offices on Main Street. Tickets are $10 per person.  Information about this event can be found all over Sarasota.

Is it just me, or is the HERALD TRIBUNE delivering us a better product these days?  More emphasis on local features, like Panhandling, Benderson Rowing, Illegal gambling , the current Legislative session, improved graphics, new writers for this generation.  Hats off to them .  Keep it up.

Thanks as always to Tracy for her attention to detail and for George for his informative narrative about the RINGLING LIBRARY SPEAKER SERIES.  He returns next week with an interesting article from the WSJ about retirees rocking on.  And also coming back next week is Jason in a new role as well as the eagerly anticipated announcement of his next 4 years.
To the courageous participants, first responders, Boston Police and everyone involved with the Boston Marathon bombings,  thank you for keeping the true spirit of America alive.....JIM

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