Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

You Don't Approve Of Homosexuality? You ARE A Bigot And A Criminal!

Harvey Fierstein:
If we are ever to scrape the black rot of prejudice from the heart of our nation, we must stop excusing those who give it expression and even excuse. The next time someone dares to say, "Just because I don't approve of homosexuality doesn't make me a bigot," we must all answer back, "Yes, it does. Not only does it make you a bigot, it makes you a criminal, a danger to me, my family, my community, my city, and my country." Intolerance is not a matter of opinion. It is a call to violence.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Remembrance Event In Cherry Grove

Community members came together to remember those who have died but who "put a smile on our face" while they were among us.

Chestnut Warbler At The Feeder

Yesterday we had a visit from this handsome Chestnut Warbler at our bird feeder on Fire Island. This is the first one I have ever seen out here.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy 30th Anniversary To The One I Love

Thirty years ago, on Memorial Day in 1983, Dan and I met at the home of a mutual friend. We dated for months but quickly bonded as a couple. I moved in with Dan on January 1, 1984. We've been together happily ever since. Sure, there have been a few challenges to our relationship over the years, but our strong love for each other meant that none of these amounted to very much. The years have flown the old saying goes...time flies when you're having fun. But I want to say that it has been Dan that has been the rock in our relationship. He has always been loving, kind and generous, all that anyone could want in a partner and husband. It is he that has made our long duration together possible. I've offered him what I could including my love and loyalty. And for as many more years as we have left together I will love him with all my heart and be immensely grateful for all that he has given me and done for me. I am a lucky man to have him.

Happy 30th anniversary Dan!

All my love,


Photo: On board the Seabourn Legend in the Mediterranean, May 2013.

LGBT People Are The Democrat's House Negroes

This past week Democrat Senators removed protections for GLBT couples from the "comprehensive" immigration bill because Republicans didn't like the provision. Once again, we find ourselves thrown under the bus by our "friends," the Democrats. Victoria Brownworth is just a tad upset:
LGBT Americans are the Democrats’ house Negroes. I’m sorry if that comparison offends anyone, but it’s the most accurate societal comparison I can make. The Democrats let us come right up close and then remind us we are really just there to serve them with our votes and campaign contributions.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Always Exciting Monaco!

Our ship, the Seabourn Legend arrived in Monaco early Sunday morning, the very last port of call on our two week itenerary. The municipality is preparing to host the "Formula 1" automobile race through the streets of the town, so the harbor is full of yachts and there are spectator stands visible along the streets. We disembarked our ship and briefly drove through the town en route to the airport at Nice for the beginning of our long voyage home. Perhaps we'll visit Monaco once again on a future trip.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Views Of Modern Livorno, Italy

Last Day: Visit to Lucca and Livorno

We arrived in Livorno this Saturday morning; the city is the port for Tuscany, but most of its historic district was bombed and destroyed in World War II. From the port we took a tour bus to Lucca, a wonderful old Medieval town which a fine Cathedral, the unique and highly ornamented church of St. Michael’s and the Anfiteatro, which used to be an ancient Roman arena but in the middle ages turned into a vast apartment house. Also on our own personal agenda was the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini, one of the greatest of all opera composers. A small museum occupies the house his ancestors once lived in, and where the great composer of “La Boheme” and many other masterpieces, was born. We also enjoyed the beautiful countryside of Tuscany, full of mountains, with countless trees—cypress, olive trees and umbrella pines--- lining the roads. Tomorrow we return to Philadelphia, to our beloved pets and our friends, before heading up to Fire Island. –Dan

Tower...Luca, Italy

Cannes Photos

Friday, May 17, 2013

More Cannes Photos

Cannes During the Film Festival

Our ship arrived in the harbor of Cannes Friday. We took a tender or small boat from the ship the Legend to the port. From there we walked to the old city Le Suquet to tour the Musee de la Castre. This is not one of the notable small museums of Province, but instead a mish-mash collection of anthropological art from Oceania, meso-America and so forth. I used to teach these types of art works in a course but am not that interested in those art forms today, except perhaps the Northwest Coast American Indians—a type of art not in the collections of the Musee de la Castre. But Jim particularly enjoyed the magnificent view from the top of the tall tower in the ancient building, which also included a Medieval chapel turned into a gallery. From that part of town we walked to the glitzy, modern part near the harbor where the Film Festival is currently taking place. We saw Uma Thurman—but only on a poster. The building where the festival is held is controversial because of its (rather ugly) later 20th century architecture, but it features the famed red carpet, and many entrances are restricted to those with press passes, etc. After our tour of the seafront we returned by the tender to the Legend, our Seabourn ship.--Dan


We are anchored just offshore at Cannes, France...there is lots of excitement in town because the famous film festival just started.

Views Of Ajaccio, Corsica and the Nearby Countryside

The Fantastic Red Granite "Les Calanches" Of Corsica

Thursday, May 16, the Seabourn Legend docked at the port of Ajaccio on the southwest coast of the island of Corsica. It was raining when we arrived, and Dan was feeling under the weather with a cold, so he elected to stay on board for the day. Jim decided to join other passengers on the tour we had previously booked going to "Les Calanches," a two hour drive North along the rugged and spectacular coastline of western Corsica. Here is what the Corsica travel guide has to say about the scenery:
The Calanches de Piana are an almost surreal world of weather carved pink granite, an other-worldly vista of strangely shaped red figures, often plunging dramatically into the turquoise sea below. Some of the dramatic rocks plunge towards the sea below, others stand poised high above at altitudes up to 300 metres, all are fascinating and beautiful, with the sea providing a perfect backdrop.
As soon as we left Ajaccio driving north, the rain stopped. We were treated to many beautiful vistas along the coast of the heavily mountainous island of Corsica. Our guide explained that Corsica was once part of France millions of years ago..and the Corsican mountains were part of the Alps. The western coastline of the island is jagged and rocky. The eastern coastline has beaches. When we arrived at "Les Calanches," our tour bus parked and we went on foot along the narrow, winding mountain road to view the remarkable red granite formations. I haven't seen anything like this since Dan and I toured the southwest U.S. The formations are simply spectaular. The skies were alternately sunny and partly cloudy which provided a variety of lighting effects as I took many photographs. Here are some of the photos:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cocktail Specialty: Blue Lagoon

Vodka, Sprite Zero, Blue Curaco and sweet and sour...on board the Seabourn Legend, Ajaccio, Corsica.

A Talented Entertainer

Our favorite performer on board the Seabourn legend is classical guitarist Chris Bundhun. Chris is also the assistant cruise director on board. He is multi-talented, graduating with a joint honours degree in philosophy and French from the university of Nottingham. Chris went on to accept a scholarship for the postgraduate performance course at the Royal Academy of Music. He now performs and teaches and is much in demand as a classical and electric guitarist. He plays very well and it is truly a pleasure to hear him perform.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Crusie Ship Specialty Restaurants

Cruise ships usually feature so called specialty dining...restaurants on board that you can choose to visit for an additional fee. One of the differences between the Seabourn Legend and other ships is that the Legend's specialty restaurant does not charge a fee to passengers. You do have to make a revervation, but there is no additional cost. The offerings at "2," the name of the specialty restaurant on Legend, are distinctive. For example, last evening we enjoyed escargots as an entree and striped bass as a main course, both of which were not available in the main dining room. The food is excellent in all of the restaurants on board Legend, but it is nice to be able to visit the more exclusive venue without having to pay an additional amount up front.

A Special Dinner, Trapani and Segesta

Monday night we enjoyed a remarkable dinner on the Seabourn Legend. That was not because of the food—though the lobster Thermador and other dishes were delicious--- but because we were at the Captain’s Table with a group of interesting people. Most interesting of all was Captain Dag, the Norwegian skipper whose interests span many fields, from the competitiveness of the cruise liners (he’s worked on several) to politics, social problems, history and the arts. His friendly and lovely wife Kari was also present at the table last night, along with passengers from Great Britain, the United States and elsewhere. The following morning (Tuesday) we docked early in Trapani, Sicily. This town is another Sicilian seaport and it has some beautiful Baroque churches and long streets which face the sea from two directions since Trapani occupies a peninsula. When we walked through its quiet streets in the afternoon, we found that most of the shops and all of the churches were closed because of the siesta. Only some restaurants remained open for the tourists from the two cruise ships in port. In the morning we had better luck on a terrific excursion to Segesta, via motor coach. Our guide Massimiliano, from Palermo, had taken us on a tour last summer through his city and Monreale. This time he talked about the ancient Greek temple and the nearby theater, set into the hills. Both of these very simple and classical buildings were typical of the stunning way the ancient Greeks knew how to place important monuments in beautiful natural settings. From the theater one could not only see distant mountains but also a coastal bay, bathed in the clear Mediterranean light that impressed Goethe back in the 18th century. It’s always startling to realize that so many peoples---both ancient and modern---settled and tried to tame the wild island of Sicily. Some succeeded more than others, but all left their mark on this fascinating conglomeration of cultures. --Dan

Tuesday, May 14, 2013