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Monthly Archives: December 2005

Tournament of Roses Parade, HGTV is must see TV

These days there are few parades quite like the Tournament of Roses Parade. In aRose bowl 3 day when a majority of the parades seem to be getting shorter and less what we remembered as kids. The Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA just gets better and better.

Also, the only way to watch The Rose Parade is on HGTV. Not only are there no commercials, they provide so many interesting tid bits and stories regarding the construction and intricacies of the floats. Also, no interviews and shilling of TV actors and shows. Remember when a parade was a parade, HGTV brings it to us just the way we remember. And they actually show the marching bands for more than 5 seconds. For the best sights, sounds and commentary watch the Tournament of Roses Parade on HGTV. Rose bowl

Don’t forget the parade On Monday, January 2, 2006 at 8 a.m. (PST).

On Monday, January 2, 2006 at 8 a.m. (PST), millions of spectators from around the world will celebrate with the 117th Rose Parade themed It’s Magical. Spectators will delight in the tradition and pageantry of the magnificent floral floats, high-stepping equestrians and spirited marching bands. The 2006 Rose Parade will be on January 2 in observance with the Tournament of RosesNever on Sunday tradition.

Make sure to watch on HGTV, commercial and network annoyance free.

Grand Marshal: Sandra Day O’Connor Rosebowl 2

Theme: It’s Magical

Floral floats: 48

Equestrian units: 22

Marching bands: 26

Rose Parade 2006 Order

New Years Eve Around the World

New Years Eve Celebrations will be held around the world today and tonight. Some will range from the sublime to ostentatious. Here is a wrap up of a few.

Sydney new yearsSydney – 

Hundreds of thousands of revellers along Australia’s eastern seaboard have welcomed 2006 at spectacular fireworks displays.

In Sydney, three thousand kilos of fireworks exploded from six main locations lighting up the sky to celebrate the New Year.

Hundreds of thousands of revellers, many of them tourists, packed vantage points around Sydney Harbour to see the pyrotechnics display, considered one of the most spectacular new years eve celebrations in the world.

A beating red heart adorns the bridge, and earlier Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the theme of the celebration was one of tolerance and compassion. Via ABCOfficial Web Site

TokyonewyearsTokyo

 The biggest holiday in Japan is unquestionably New Year’s. It’s the time that most Japanese perform their annual Shinto duties – visiting temples and briefly acknowledging the spiritual/cultural history traditions. Speciality foods are prepared, some whip out their fancy traditional garb; millions converge on temples and thousands of small shops open up on the streets to sell New Year’s goods to those passing by.

London – Celebrates with a huge  display on  a midnight fireworks display at the London Eye wheel on the south bank of the River Thames. There is also Parade through starting at Parliament Square at Midday that is famous.

 Hundreds of thousands of London New Year’s Eve revellers faced transport chaos on Saturday as underground rail station staff prepared to strike on one of the busiest nights of the year.

The 24-hour strike, beginning at midday, will undermine a planned free underground service which had been due to run from 11.45 p.m.

Transport officials said they hoped to be able to provide some service on all underground lines but advised passengers to plan alternative routes home.

NYCnewYearsSmallNew York – No other city does New Years as well as New York City with it’s Ball Drop on Time Square. Then the city has over 120 parties around the city to welcome in the New Year.  And do not forget Dick Clark,  who will be broadcasting to the world from Times Square and counting in the New  Year.

The ball is made from 500 Waterford crystals and illuminated by 600 bulbs. It’s about six feet in diameter and weights 1,000 pounds. The world waits for the ball to descend a 77-foot pole during the final minute of the year, which of course, will be counted down by the unofficial mayor of Times Square, Dick Clark.

Clark missed last year’s celebration after suffering a stroke. His co-host this year, Ryan Seacrest, remembers watching him as a child

“New Year’s Eve is all about Dick Clark and his show,” said Seacrest, the host of “American Idol.” “It always has been. He’s obviously been recovering, and he wasn’t with us last year on the show. But he’s going to be back, and he’s giddy about it, and he’s excited about it.”

Vegas-New-YearsLas Vegas –  Working to turn their city into the second largest New Years Eve Party in the country, Las Vegas has many new ideas planned.

Celebrations will range from high brow to accessible.

Wynn Las Vegas, the Strip’s newest luxury hotel, will celebrate the opening of Tryst, a nightclub with its own 90-foot waterfall and secluded lagoon. For $2,000, clubgoers get a VIP table for up to 10 people and a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne. Non-VIPs will pay a cover charge of $100 for women and $150 for men, about five times the standard fee.

At Caesars Palace, the nightclub Pure is promising to deliver celebrity clubgirl Nicky Hilton and her boyfriend Kevin Connolly, the star of HBO’s Entourage. Kid Rock is scheduled to appear at the opening of Jet, the Bellagio hotel-casino’s latest club.

At the Fremont Street Experience downtown, $40 will get partygoers a ticket to see the ’90s pop groups The Gin Blossoms and Cheap Trick, and a commemorative plastic wineglass filled with 2004 Beaulieu Vineyard Chardonnay.

The Napa winery supplied 200 cases of the wine for the big toast, which must see more than 10,081 people drink in unison to seize the “world’s largest” title from a Japanese sake maker, winery spokeswoman Pip Jones said.

They will also have a Grucci fireworks display, with “

With 40,000 devices, 10 rooftop launching pads and 75 pyrotechnicians coordinating the explosions, the Las Vegas show will be five times as big as the one Grucci produces in New York’s Times Square. .

So where ever you celebrate the New Year, have a great and safe time.

Added to Wizbangs and Outside The Beltways Linkfests.

Smooth Sailing – Forbes.com

RoyalClipperForbes has a feature on one of the most beautiful ships I have ever seen, The Royal Clipper. If you are looking to cruise outside of the normal cruise ship, this is a vessel that has to be seen to be believed. Imagine cruising around the Caribbean on this ship, reminiscing over the early days of exploration and discovery. Amazing.

Seeing the Royal Clipper for the first time is a “wow” moment. With its five masts and 42 sails, this is no ordinary cruise ship.

Instead, it’s a sailing vessel, reminiscent of those seen in Pirates of the Caribbean, but without the zombies. No matter where this ship is docked, people stare, take photos and circle it in their boats.

The ship is not about the amenities on board; it’s about the sailing and the destinations. On this trip, the ship visited St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts, Iles Des Saintes and Martinique. During the winter, it alternates week-long trips between the Windward and Grenadine Islands. Both depart from Bridgetown, Barbados, and visit the smaller ports that many cruise ships can’t reach due to their size. During the summer, the Royal Clipper cruises the Mediterranean, and, between seasons, 16- and 21-day transatlantic crossings are available.

At capacity, the Royal Clipper can accommodate 227 passengers, but, depending on the time of year, she may be only half full. This means you’ll get to know practically everyone on board–both the good and the bad. The guest composition is about half European–primarily British and Germans–and half American. With free water sports, both tweens and teens will enjoy the voyage, but there are no programs for very young children. Via  Forbes.com.

Monarch Pilot Maroons Drunken Passenger on Desert Island

Monarch Airlines had a problem with a drunken passenger. He was being abusive to both flight attendants and passengers. The beauty of the situation, they dropped him off in the middle of a desert island, to make his own way home! Monarch Airlines is in my Top 10 airlines list from now on.

Monarch Airlines has yet to decide whether to sue him for the cost of the unscheduled diversion, estimated at “many thousands of pounds”.
The unnamed passenger’s difficulties began on Tuesday evening at 35,000 ft when he began abusing the cabin crew of flight ZB558 from Manchester. He refused to calm down and then turned his attention to the other 210 passengers.
Eventually the pilot decided that he posed a risk to safety and had to be removed.
Rather than continue for a further 45 minutes to Tenerife he diverted his Airbus A321 to Porto Santo. Within moments of the plane touching down the passenger was escorted to the terminal. Last night he remained a castaway on the Portuguese-controlled island. His New Year home is a mere 10 miles long by three miles wide with a population of 4,000. There is little entertainment apart from walking on the sand dunes.Telegraph .

Yotel Coming to London – Heathrow and Gatwick Airports

YotelYotel, a new name in the hotel game, is trying to create a new niche. Yotel will be opening two budget hotels at Heathrow and Gatwick International airports outside of London. The  Yotel will feature capsule rooms for 70  US Dollars a night.

A capsule room is a small room that has a fold out couch that converts to a double bed  The room also has a pull down desk, closet space, adjustable mood lighting, a shower, wireless Internet, an iPod connection and a flat-screen TV.

If this concept is successful, you will see 15 of them around London.

When I am traveling for business, the last thing I need or want is a fancy room or an expansive suite. I am an entrepreneur, and travel expenses come directly out of my pocket. So the concept of the capsule hotel fits every need I have and saves money at the same time.

What a great concept!

via CNN and Yotel

Delta and Pilots Union Reach Agreement

DeltaThe Delta Pilots ratified a temporary pay cut for by a slim majority, which may lead to a major battle in the coming months when Delta and ALPA (the pilots union) work to determine a permanent contract modification.

The latest concession is part of $3 billion in annual savings Delta is seeking to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It comes on top of a 32.5 percent pilot wage drop last year.
“Given the critical nature of our financial situation, this provides much needed financial relief,” said Delta Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein. “We greatly appreciate the additional sacrifices Delta employees — including our pilots are making to help save the company.”
A total of 5,166 pilots cast ballots in the ratification vote with 3,001 approving the pay cut and 2,165 rejecting it. “This is the closest vote I can remember,” said John Culp, a Delta pilot and spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association. “It was an uncharacteristically high turnout reflecting concern about the issue and the bankruptcy process.” Delta pilots, once highest paid in the industry, now trail cargo carriers FedEx and UPS, and midcareer Delta 737 captains are likely to earn less than pilots flying similar planes at cross-concourse rival AirTran, according to AIR Inc., a pilot consulting service that closely tracks pay rates. Average pay among Delta’s 6,000 pilots now falls to $146,000 from $170,000. via The Atlanta Journal Constitution

No Hooters (Air) For Gary (IN)

HootersAirIt looks like January 9th, 2006 is the last day of service for Gary, Indiana for Hooters Air till March.

Hooters Air’s announcement that it will suspend flights to and from the city means the airport will be without regularly scheduled passenger service just weeks after state officials said they had faith in the airfield’s potential. 

 Hooters Air said last week that high fuel prices are to blame for canceling flights to several destinations until March 6. It leaves Gary/Chicago International Airport without regularly scheduled passenger service for the first time in almost two years.

The last Hooters Air flight to St. Petersburg/Clearwater will take fly from Gary on Jan. 9. It follows the earlier suspension of flights to Las Vegas and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Airport officials have been told the flights will resume in March. via USA Today

America’s Party: Las Vegas New Year 2006

Las-vegasAmerica’s Party: Las Vegas New Year 2006 is the Las Vegas blow out of the year. I would love to be there for this extravaganza.

The city will be ending its Centennial year with a bang during “America’s Party: Las Vegas New Year 2006.” A five-mile-long fireworks extravaganza with a Centennial theme will ring in 2006 in classic Las Vegas style.
The theme of the pyrotechnic display will be “Vegas Through the Years: A Finale to the Centennial.” The sound track for the display will include Las Vegas icons Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Tom Jones, Elvis and Liberace. The tribute in light and sound will celebrate Las Vegas’ rich history, with a finale to honor the city’s Centennial.

More than 40,000 effects will be fired from the rooftop locations. Special effects such as the world famous Grucci Gold Flitter Split Comets will be highlighted during Sinatra’s “Luck be a Lady Tonight”, while multicolored Strobes shells will highlight the fancy keystrokes of Liberace’s “Chop Sticks.” Fireworks by Grucci has developed some sparkling neon colors for Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas,” a fitting end to the program and the finale of the Centennial celebration.
America’s Party is being produced by Las Vegas Events and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority. It is being co-produced by Fireworks by Grucci of New York, world-renowned for its mind-bending pyrotechnic creations. The eye-popping five-mile-long display will be launched from 10 resort rooftops.
The ten rooftop locations for the pyrotechnic display include the Excalibur, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, Bally’s, Flamingo Las Vegas, Venetian, Treasure Island (TI), Stardust, Circus-Circus and Stratosphere.
For visitors and residents spending the evening in downtown Las Vegas, the Fremont Street Experience – located on the street where Las Vegas first began – will pay tribute to Las Vegas’ rich history with a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring live music and entertainment beginning at 7 p.m. For more information on New Year’s Eve festivities throughout Las Vegas, visit http://www.visitlasvegas.com/. For more information about America’s Party: Las Vegas New Year 2006, visit http://www.americasparty2006.com/

New Year’s Eve Festivities (Official City of Las Vegas Web Site).

Oprah Plane Shows Wear and Tear, No Bird Damage

Gulfstream5Famed talk show host Oprah Winfrey was not injured when her Gulfstream Jet took off  from Santa Barbara Municipal Airport. The plane was initially reported to have been struck by a bird which caused the windshield to crack. Now reports are that it was wear and tear that caused the incident. The plane will be grounded until repairs can be made.

Officials now say that it was wear and tear, and not a collision with a bird, that damaged the windshield of Oprah Winfrey’s private jet and forced it to return to the city airport. “There was no bird involved, but the pilot did tell my captain that he felt it was a fatigue thing with the glass,” Battalion Chief John Ahlman, a Santa Barbara City Fire Department spokesman, said Tuesday of the previous afternoon’s incident. BREITBART.COM .

Delta Pilots – Pay Cut or Strike?

Delta40sDelta Air Lines Pilots will find out if they voted for a pay cut, or essentially voted for sending the negotiations back to the judge and a potential company ending strike.

The Air Line Pilots Association is scheduled to tally ballots this afternoon in a ratification vote that decides whether pilots will give up 14 percent of their pay in a deal that union leaders endorsed this month. Pilots grudgingly slashed their pay by 32.5 percent last year in a failed effort to keep Atlanta-based Delta out of bankruptcy court.

If a majority of Delta’s 6,000 pilots go along with the latest concession, average pay will fall to $146,000 a year from $170,000.

The price of rejecting the deal could be even steeper, however. Delta and ALPA would return to a New York bankruptcy court where Delta had sought to tear up its existing pilot contract and impose harsher terms.

Pilots have said they will refuse to work without a contract and threatened a strike that Delta has called illegal. “If the deal’s not ratified, we end up back in court,” said John Culp, a Delta pilot and ALPA spokesman. “I don’t have any inkling of which way the vote’s going to go.”

 ajc.com.