Friday, December 9, 2011

Florida Christmas

Yes, we do have Christmas in Florida just like everyone else, except without the cold and snow  ;-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Droid Razr

Picked up the new DROID RAZR this week and I love it!! It is the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone (4G will be in Stuart soon). It’s made strong with KEVLAR® fiber, and Corning® Gorilla® Glass defends the 4.3" screen against scrapes and scratches. The dual-core 1.2 GHz processor packs up to twice the processing power of single-core smartphones, while 1 GB of RAM added to the mix keeps things running smoothly. There are way to many features to tell you about here, stop at your local Verizon store and check one out for yourself.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Annual Stuart Air Show

The annual Stuart Air Show, dedicated to America’s veterans and active military, enjoyed a weekend of the most perfect weather Florida can produce and brought to the area a variety of civilian and military acts to thrill a crowd of all ages. From the first year Black Diamond Jet Team painted in Arctic camouflage, to the AeroShell  Aerobatic team which has been entertaining spectators with their maneuvers and precision flying for over twenty years, the show presented acts of daring and demonstrations of air power from the World War II era to the present. Click to enlarge:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things that bug the hell out of me.

Whether it's a lawyer, politician, public servant, professional, or a person you know. God made us all of the same cloth. To exhibit an exaggerated opinion of one’s self is a abysmal display of ignorance.

How could wealth, power or circumstances enhance the beliefs or behavior of some to the point that those others who are less fortunate or less informed cannot be tolerated?

Religious, environmental activists, or politicians who lay claim to moral standards and support them by laws or rules to which they ultimately assert themselves as exempt.

People who are so thoughtless of those around them that they don’t see chances to say a couple kind words that could ease somebody’s hurt feelings or just make them feel better, or don’t jump in and make a move that could save somebody some time or effort, it's really a shame.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

While I had a wonderful trip and experience in my visit to Michigan this August, there were a few disappointing experiences as well.

The Good:
Visiting old friends and family; having a 94th birthday dinner with my mom; watching Verlander win his 18th game at Tiger stadium; living with two monster dogs for a month; visiting Ronald McDonald House and Belle Isle in Detroit; seeing Third Day in concert at DTE; visiting the Ford F-150 assemble line in Dearborn; attending services at Northridge Church, with (my favorite) pastor Brad Powell; revisiting Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes in northern Michigan; and of course golf with my daughter, son-in-law and many dear friends.

The Bad & The Ugly:
Seeing the residential neighborhood near where I had worked completely devastated, and my mom's old home a couple of miles away completely destroyed. And while there are a great many charities, residents and volunteers trying so very hard to revitalize Detroit, seeing architectural landmarks in complete disarray, the filthy streets, abandoned and burnt out businesses and residential areas in Detroit that are so massive as to be discouraging to even the most optimistic city supporters.

Click to enlarge collage: 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes

As you may know, the Sand Dunes were recently rated the “Most Beautiful Place in America,” by Good Morning America, and while that may be arguable, we have known of it’s spectacular beauty for years.

We used to vacation every year, as a family up at the Sand Dunes in the 80’s and 90’s. We rented a little cottage on Glen Lake at the foot of the Dune Climb. I had not been up there in about ten years, so Nadine, Frank and I went up for a weekend while I was visiting.

We visited all the old familiar places, Glen Arbor, Glen Haven, Fishtown in Leland and of course all the usual scenic Dune sites and hiking trails. We had a great time and took hundreds of photos and since a photo is worth a thousand words – click for some of the photos:

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Youth Connection - After School Fair

We volunteered to help the 10th Annual After School Fair held on beautiful Belle Isle in Detroit on August 20th. Belle Isle
is the largest island park in the United States comprised of 985 acres, and the tenth largest municipal park in the United States. Although many of the islands once beautiful structures have fallen into disrepair, and the park is under-utilized it is still a great place for events like this.
Organized by Youth Connection CEO Dr. Grenae’ Dudley, the 10th Annual After-School Fair featured registration for hundreds of after-school programs, foster care agencies, Department of Health services, immunizations, health information, substance abuse prevention information and lots of activities for children young and old. Among the hundreds who came together with a common goal on Belle Isle there was also an attempt to break the world record for largest dodge ball game ever.

Click for photos:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Detroit Tigers vs Minnesota Twins

Enjoyed a great Tigers victory over the Twins as part of “Be a Tiger For Kids” day. The Cornerstone’s 6th annual game at Comerica Park is a perfect venue for a corporate gathering, family outing or a get-together with friends. The event provides much-needed scholarship assistance to the children of Cornerstone Schools. More than 1400 Detroit children receive an excellent education at Cornerstone Charter Schools. 100% of the proceeds from every Be A Tiger For Kids donation help provide an excellent education for Cornerstone students.
Of course watching Justin Verlander secure his 18th win at this time in the season was very exciting for all the Tigers fans!
Click below for photos:

Ford Rouge Factory Tour

The original Dearborn Rouge Plant launched in 1917 was the most radical innovation the auto industry had very seen, eventually employing over 100,000 workers. Four generations later the Ford family embarked on a revitalization of the Rouge facility every bit as ambitious as the original construction of Henry Ford.

A tour of this modern facility is an excursion into Ford history and the current realm where environmental innovation and industrial production work together to put an entirely new face on manufacturing that would make Henry Ford quite proud. If you are in the Detroit area be sure to stop by Greenfield Village & the Henry Ford Museum, and be sure to take the Factory Tour as well.

Click for a few photos of the facility and visitors center:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ronald McDonald House

I tagged along with my daughter and a Small Group from Northridge Church to Ronald McDonalds House at Children's Hospital in Detroit. The Group prepares and serves a dinner once a month to the parents of children hospitalized with serious illnesses.

Families often travel far from home to get treatment for their seriously ill or injured children at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. Nothing seems scarier to children facing a serious medical crisis than not having their mom and dad close by for love and support.

Ronald McDonald House programs provide a “home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close to their hospitalized child at little or no cost. The Houses are operated on the simple idea that there is nothing more important than supporting a family who is focused on healing their child.  Alleviating the worry of where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why I Love Florida

Of course there is none of the northern winter weather with no snow to shovel, no hazardous driving conditions, no ice to scrape from the windshield, etc. But the first thing to strike me as I arrived in Michigan, where it is as hot as Florida, for a summer visit is the terrible condition of the roads. Not only the main streets, but the side streets are all like driving on a wash-board. Not just the pot-hole patching, but none of the concrete sections meet on a level surface. I'll probably need a suspension re-build when I get home? But hey, the golf courses are very nice with level and smooth putting surfaces!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

End of an Era

Atlantis landing at dawn.
See my previous entries for the history of an amazing era.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WW II in Photos - Retrospective in 20 Parts

from The Atlantic, with Alan Taylor:
World War II is the story of the 20th Century. The war officially lasted from 1939 until 1945, but the causes of the conflict and its horrible aftermath reverberated for decades in either direction. While feats of bravery and technological breakthroughs still inspire awe today, the majority of the war was dominated by unimaginable misery and destruction. In the late 1930s, the world's population was approximately 2 billion. In less than a decade, the war between the nations of the Axis Powers and the Allies resulted in some 80 million deaths -- killing off about 4 percent of the whole world.

This series of entries will last from June 19 until October 30, 2011, running every Sunday morning for 20 weeks. In these photo essays, I hope to explore the events of the war, the people involved at the front and back home, and the effects the war had on everyday lives. The entries will follow a roughly chronological sequence, with some broader themes (such as "The Home Front") interspersed throughout. These images will give us glimpses into the real-life experiences of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents, moments that shaped the world as it is today. I hope to be able to do justice to this important story in this large-photo narrative format and invite you to join me for the next 20 Sundays.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

HP Touchpad

Picked up my new HP Touchpad tablet this week. While still learning all the in's & out's, I am quite pleased with the performance and particularly like the WebOS - it is great! I would say comparible to or better than the iPad. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shuttle History

From its first launch 30 years ago to its final launch last Friday, NASA's Space Shuttle program has seen moments of amazing inspiration and of devastating disappointment. With the last launch the program has sent up 135 missions, ferrying more than 350 humans and thousands of tons of material and equipment into low Earth orbit. Fourteen astronauts have lost their lives along the way -- the missions have always been risky, the engineering complex, the hazards extreme. As the program ends let's look back at the past few decades of shuttle development and missions as we anticipate the next steps toward human space flight.  Click [ 61 photos] Alan Taylor - The Atlantic

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

End of an amazing era

This is your last chance to watch a Shuttle launch in person or on TV. NASA has been ordered to end the Space Shuttle program and the launch of Atlantis scheduled for this Fri., July 8th will be the last.
Launch dates change frequently, be sure to check the Cape Canaveral Launch Schedule for launch updates and information.
Time Lapse of Shuttle prep for launch:

Endeavour blasted off on the next-to-last shuttle flight:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chuck Bessey’s Outlook has been re-designed with a new approach to content and expression of ideas that reflect my personal approach to our life and times. You never know what you’ll find, so please visit often and do not hesitate to offer suggestions and comments.

Florida Drought Conditions

There have been 3,814 Florida wild fires from January to the end of June this year. The wet season so far has not provided enough rainfall to replenish severely depleted groundwater, canal and lake levels throughout South Florida. The rainfall deficit stood at 11.98 inches through June 27. Consequently our ponds have suffered and are all very low as evidenced by the 5th hole pond here.