Karl Denson Announces ‘Fantastic’ Fall Tour Additional Dates

first_imgMaster musician Karl Denson has just announced a West Coast extension of his 2015 “Fantastic” fall tour schedule! Bringing his band Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe on the road, Denson will kick off a West Coast run on November 12th at Terrapin Crossroads before heading up and down the West Coast. The run culminates in a two-night stand at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas over Thanksgiving weekend!Denson’s band is sounding tighter than ever, and, in a recent exclusive with L4LM, the multi-instrumentalist discussed plans to record new music to be released in 2016. Denson is also planning to perform Prince’s Dirty Mind on Halloween (more info here), so be on the look out for some fun KDTU shows in the near future!You can see the full tour schedule below, and head to Denson’s website for further details.KARL DENSON’S FANTASTIC FALL TOUR 20159/25 – Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater *9/26 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre **10/1 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex10/2 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up10/9 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse10/10 – Charlotte, NC – U.S. National Whitewater Center10/11 – Birmingham, AL – Vulcan Park & Museum10/30 – Woodstock, NY – Bearsville Theatre ^10/31 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl ^11/12 – San Rafael, CA – Terrapin Crossroads Music Hall11/13 – Nevada City, CA – Miners Foundry11/14 – Santa Cruz, CA – Moe’s Alley11/17 – Napa, CA – City Winery11/18 – Arcata, CA – Arcata Theatre ***11/19 – Eugene, OR – HiFi Music Hall ***11/20 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom ***11/21 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox ***11/27 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl11/28 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl1/6 – Miami, FL – Jam Cruise* w/ Drew Emmit** w/ Robert Randolph*** w/ Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers^ Performing Prince’s classic album, Dirty Mindlast_img read more

Welch to FDA: Exempt pure maple and honey from ‘Added Sugar’ label rule

first_imgVermont Business Magazine As the comment period for the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts Label draws to a close, Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Representative Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter(link is external) to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib last Friday insisting he exempt pure maple syrup and honey from any new “added sugars” disclosure requirements.The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) of 1938 authorizes the FDA to regulate labeling of most packaged food products. To ensure that the Nutrition Facts label remains scientifically valid and helpful to consumers, the FDA is proposing to revamp the label, in part by requiring products to disclose the amount of added sugars they contain.  Under the proposed changes to the label, FDA would require an added sugar disclosure for most products.“While we support FDA’s effort to ensure the label remains scientifically valid and helpful to consumers, we are concerned about the misleading impression that an ‘added sugars’ disclosure on single ingredient maple and honey products would create,” wrote the legislators.  “An ‘added sugars’ declaration on single ingredient maple and honey products may signal to consumers that these pure products – such as a bottle of maple syrup or jar of honey – actually contain added sweeteners such as table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. This is patently false.”The members continued, “We appreciate FDA’s recognition of this issue and willingness to consider alternative labeling options for these products. Although the FDA’s March 2, 2018 Draft Guidance would allow manufacturers to add a symbol immediately after the added sugars daily value directing consumers to clarifying language elsewhere on the label, this approach seems unlikely to reduce consumer confusion. The simplest, most common sense solution to this issue would be to exempt single ingredient maple and honey products from the added sugars disclosure requirement because they do not, in fact, contain any added sugars.”Other legislators signing the Welch-Cramer letter were, from the House, Reps. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), and David Joyce (R-Ohio).  And from the Senate, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Angus King (I-Maine), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Christopher Murphy (D-Conn).Consumers can submit comments by visiting the FDA website(link is external). The comment period closes on June 15, 2018.The text of the letter follows:June 8, 2018The Honorable Scott Gottlieb, M.D.CommissionerFood and Drug Administration10903 New Hampshire Avenue(link is external)Silver Spring, MD(link is external)  20993(link is external)Re: Docket ID: FDA-2018-D-0075Dear Commissioner Gottlieb:We write today regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts Label. While we support FDA’s effort to ensure the label remains scientifically valid and helpful to consumers, we are concerned about the misleading impression that an “added sugars” disclosure on single ingredient maple and honey products would create. As FDA finalizes its changes to the label, we ask that you exempt these products from any new “added sugars” disclosure requirements.As you know, the Nutrition Facts label has not been meaningfully updated in decades. We commend the FDA for its effort to revamp this label and fully support this undertaking. By incorporating the latest evidence-based information on nutrient, fat, and caloric content, the updated Nutrition Facts label will help consumers make more informed, healthy dietary choices.As part of this effort, we understand that the FDA plans to require an “added sugars” disclosure for most products. While this label will provide consumers with a greater understanding of the types and sources of sugar they are consuming, we are concerned about the misleading impression this requirement would create for single ingredient maple and honey products.The presence of an “added sugars” label may lead consumers to believe that maple syrup and honey are no longer pure products, undermining decades of education and marketing while negatively impacting sales.  An “added sugars” declaration on single ingredient maple and honey products may signal to consumers that these pure products – such as a bottle of maple syrup or jar of honey – actually contain added sweeteners such as table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. This is patently false. Moreover, this requirement could set back years of consumer-focused education aimed at highlighting the pure aspect of these products and guarding against adulterated brands.We appreciate FDA’s recognition of this issue and willingness to consider alternative labeling options for these products. Although the FDA’s March 2, 2018 Draft Guidance would allow manufacturers to add a symbol immediately after the added sugars daily value directing consumers to clarifying language elsewhere on the label, this approach seems unlikely to reduce consumer confusion. The simplest, most commonsense solution to this issue would be to exempt single ingredient maple and honey products from the added sugars disclosure requirement because they do not, in fact, contain any added sugars.Additionally, we appreciate FDA’s April 13, 2018 decision to extend the Draft Guidance comment period by 45 days. As you know, maple producers across the country are in the midst of sugaring season and beekeepers have just finished pollination season. This has left little time for them to weigh in on FDA’s proposal. Further, the honey industry is currently undertaking an effort to study the impact of the guidance on consumer perception and to submit for FDA’s consideration. Extending the comment period deadline to June 15, 2018 will provide producers with the time necessary to submit meaningful feedback. By exempting maple and honey from an “added sugars” disclosure, FDA is well positioned to support these industries while reducing consumer confusion. We look forward to working with you on this matter.Sincerely,[Other legislators signing the Welch-Cramer letter were, from the House, Reps. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), and David Joyce (R-Ohio).  And from the Senate, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Angus King (I-Maine), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Christopher Murphy (D-Conn).]last_img read more

Northeast Johnson County morning roundup

first_imgHighlawn added a second story to its east building in 2012. On Monday, the Prairie Village City Council approved the addition of a second story to its east building.Prairie Village council approves Highlawn expansion. The Prairie Village city council on Monday by a vote of 11-1 gave final approval to a plan to expand Highlawn Montessori School. The expansion includes the addition of a second story to the school’s west building that will house two new elementary school classrooms.Register to continuelast_img read more

AVIXA Foundation Is Inviting Students and Educators to Behind-the-Scenes Look at the New Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

first_imgThe AVIXA Foundation, the charitable arm of the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, will host 140 students, educators, and community leaders from Southern California for an AV experience event at the newly renovated Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 12. Attendees will tour the Coliseum to get an up-close look at the new AV technology in action, from scoreboards to displays, and meet with AV professionals to learn about careers in the industry.“It’s so important to help young people visualize future career possibilities,” said Joseph Valerio, program director, AVIXA Foundation. “At the Coliseum, students will see first-hand the vibrant experiences AV professionals create in their own community. Events like this are an essential part of the AVIXA Foundation’s mission to showcase the exciting opportunities in the AV industry and help build more bridges from school to the workplace.”The 96-year-old stadium, home to the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans and Los Angeles Rams, recently underwent a $300 million renovation to bring it up to modern standards in preparation for its 100-year anniversary celebration in 2023 and the 2028 Summer Olympics.During the event’s tour, attendees will explore the Coliseum’s AV technology, including two LED displays measuring 26.5 feet high by 99.5 feet wide on the east side of the stadium, LED ribbon boards in the press box, a 6,000 sq. ft. LED scoreboard, and more. Students will also learn about careers in the AV industry from representatives for Atomos, Canon, Sony, Shure, and other companies.The event will draw students from several Southern California school districts, including Bellflower Unified School District, Downey Unified School District, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District, and Newport Mesa Unified School District.See related  Sessions We Loved from D=SIGN, Day 1“As the Director of College and Career Readiness for my district, I’m always looking for opportunities to connect our students with industry professionals, especially in the greater Los Angeles region, which is ripe with opportunities in this particular field,” said John M. Harris of Downey Unified School District. “Events like this help students experience the real-world applications for everything they’re learning in our schools’ Career and Technical Education pathways program and further cement their future career goals.”The L.A. Coliseum event is a collaboration between AVIXA, educational consultants/liaisons 2CPR Group and Bayha Group, creative agency Pier Collective and event producer HIN Events.“Together, we are shifting the paradigm of what is possible in public education by building awareness for career pathways in AV and production,” said Kelly Mazanti, founder and CEO, Pier Collective. “This event facilitates connections between industry and education by bringing individuals together to share experiences, develop strategic partnerships, and build community,”“We’re also excited to announce that in September, West Hills College Coalinga will begin offering a new introductory course called Audiovisual Essentials with AVIXA. Students from our partner high schools around California can enroll for free and earn college credit,” said Angela Allison, co-founder, 2CPR Group. “This course is a valuable first step for students to build a foundation towards pursuing careers in AV.”The AVIXA Foundation is here.last_img read more

Target and Neiman Marcus hacks: The latest

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Many questions remained unanswered Monday after Target said its holiday shopping hack was worse than first believed, and another major retailer said it too had been breached.By Gregory Wallace  @gregorywallaceNeiman Marcus said over the weekend that cards of some customers had been used fraudulently, but provided little additional information.It follows a breach at Target that could become the largest in U.S. retail history. The company acknowledged Friday that up to 110 million customers were affected.“Clearly we are accountable and we are responsible—but we are going to come out at the end of this a better company and we are going to make significant changes,” Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in an interview with CNBC.In addition to the 40 million customers of the chain’s U.S. stores whose credit and debit card data was stolen during the busy holiday shopping season, hackers lifted personal information — including names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers — for 70 million customers.There may be some overlap between the two groups, but Target couldn’t say how many were counted twice.Among those 70 million people may be customers who haven’t shopped at Target recently, but whose information was stored in company databases. It was unclear if online shoppers were impacted by the personal information breach, and spokeswoman Molly Snyder said only the information was collected and stored “during the normal course of business.”Related: Tips to protect your moneyNeiman Marcus said Saturday it, too, was “the victim of a criminal cyber-security intrusion” involving customers’ credit cards.The luxury retailer said in an online post that it was notifying “customers whose cards we know were used fraudulently after purchasing at our stores.” Neiman Marcus spokeswoman Ginger Reeder said she could not say how many customers were affected or notified. continue reading »last_img read more

Researchers can predict terrorist behaviors with more than 90 percent accuracy

first_imgGovernment agencies cannot always use social media and telecommunication to uncover the intentions of terrorists as terrorists are now more careful in utilizing these technologies for planning and preparing for attacks. A new framework developed by researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York is able to understand future terrorist behaviors by recognizing patterns in past attacks.Researchers at Binghamton have proposed a comprehensive new framework, the Networked Pattern Recognition (NEPAR) Framework, by defining the useful patterns of attacks to understand behaviors, to analyze patterns and connections in terrorist activity, to predict terrorists’ future moves, and finally, to prevent and detect potential terrorist behaviors.Using data on more than 150,000 terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2015, Binghamton University PhD student Salih Tutun developed a framework that calculates the relationships among terrorist attacks (e.g. attack time, weapon type) and detects terrorist behaviors with these connections. Mohammad Khasawneh, professor and head of the Systems Science and Industrial Engineering (SSIE) department at Binghamton University, assisted and advised Tutun with his research. In the framework, there are two main phases: (1) building networks by finding connections between events, and (2) using a unified detection approach that combines proposed network topology and pattern recognition approaches. Firstly, the framework identifies the characteristics of future terrorist attacks by analyzing the relationship between past attacks. Comparing the results with existing data shows that the proposed method was able to successfully predict most of the characteristics of attacks with more than 90% accuracy. Pinterest Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Sharecenter_img Email LinkedIn Moreover, after building the network with connections, the researchers propose a unified detection approach that applies pattern classification techniques to network topology and features of incidents to detect terrorism attacks with high accuracy, and identify the extension of attacks (90 percent accuracy), multiple attacks (96 percent accuracy) and terrorist goals (92 percent accuracy). Hence, governments can control terrorist behaviors to reduce the risk of future events. The results could potentially allow law enforcement to propose reactive strategies, said Tutun.“Terrorists are learning, but they don’t know they are learning. If we can’t monitor them through social media or other technologies, we need to understand the patterns. Our framework works to define which metrics are important,” said Tutun. “Based on this feature, we propose a new similarity (interaction) function. Then we use the similarity (interaction) function to understand the difference (how they interact with each other) between two attacks. For example, what is the relationship between the Paris and the 9/11 attacks? When we look at that, if there’s a relationship, we’re making a network. Maybe one attack in the past and another attack have a big relationship, but nobody knows. We tried to extract this information.”Previous studies have focused on understanding the behavior of individual terrorists (as people) rather than studying the different attacks by modeling their relationship with each other. And terrorist activity detection focuses on either individual incidents, which does not take into account the dynamic interactions among them; or network analysis, which gives a general idea about networks but sets aside functional roles of individuals and their interactions.“Predicting terrorist events is a dream, but protecting some area by using patterns is a reality. If you know the patterns, you can reduce the risks. It’s not about predicting, it’s about understanding,” said Tutun.Tutun believes that policymakers can use these approaches for time-sensitive understanding and detection of terrorist activity, which can enable precautions to avoid against future attacks.“When you solve the problem in Baghdad, you solve the problem in Iraq. When you solve the problem in Iraq, you solve the problem in the Middle East. When you solve the problem in the Middle East, you solve the problem in the world,” said Tutun. “Because when we look at Iraq, these patterns are happening in the USA, too.”The paper, “New framework that uses patterns and relations to understand terrorist behaviors,” was published in Expert Systems with Applications.last_img read more

CARPHA Urges Public To Protect Themselves Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases

first_img For CMAW 2020, CARPHA’s slogan states, “In times of COVID – Let’s Unite to Fight the Bite!”, placing emphasis on taking preventative measures and remaining healthy during this time.  As the rainy season starts, it is expected that greater rainfall will lead to a proliferation of mosquito breeding sites, build vector populations and increase the risk of transmission of diseases, such as Dengue.  To counter this increase in mosquitoes and potential disease transmission, greater effort should be placed on mosquito awareness in communities and vector control activities should be intensified. In late 2019, CARPHA entered into a grant agreement with the European Union, which supports regional prevention and control efforts against mosquito borne diseases. Focus will be placed on strengthening Member States disease surveillance systems and vector control operations, expanding community engagement, public health education and increasing partnerships and collaborations  to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with mosquito borne diseases. Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week (CMAW) was declared in November 2014 at the 17th Special Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government on Public Health Threats. It is an important reminder to the general public to take action to reduce their risk of diseases spread by mosquitoes. Oct 15, 2020 More deaths from COVID-19 recorded in CARICOM countries,… Oct 15, 2020 Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC Oct 16, 2020 (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean Public Health Agency,  7 May 2020) “Countries around the world have battled the spread of COVID-19 by closing borders, placing national restrictions on population movement and integrating further social distancing measures into everyday life. This was done to ensure that our health care systems are not overwhelmed in the identification and management of COVID-19 cases.  In the midst of this pandemic we must be mindful that other public health threats still exist. Mosquito borne diseases, such as, Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika, have placed an additional burden on our Region’s health care systems, and negatively impact social and economic development. As individuals and communities, we each have a role to play in preventing an upsurge of mosquito borne diseases,” stated CARPHA Executive Director, Dr Joy St. John, in observance of Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2020. CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak Mr Rajesh Ragoo, Senior Technical Officer, Vector Borne Diseases, CARPHA recommends, “The best way to “fight the bite” around homes and communities, is to ensure our surroundings are clean and free of materials or containers that can accumulate water. The base of plants pots, vases, buckets and used vehicles tires are typical breeding sites. Water storage drums and tanks must be properly covered and inspected periodically to ensure that there is no breeding. It is also important to minimize individual exposure to mosquito bites.” Vulnerable groups such as infants, young children, older adults and women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant must exercise extra caution. Personal protective measures including the wearing of long sleeved clothing and the use of insect repellents are strongly recommended. Oct 16, 2020 “During 2019, the Caribbean Region experienced another outbreak of Dengue, with many CARPHA Member States reporting an increase in the number of severe and hospitalised cases. Dengue outbreaks tend to occur in cycles every few years due to a complex interplay between population, ecological and climatic factors”, said Dr. Laura-Lee Boodram, Head of Vector Borne Diseases at CARPHA.   She further added, “While we haven’t seen a resurgence of Chikungunya or Zika within Member States in the last few years, countries in South and Central America did report outbreaks of Chikungunya in 2019 and early 2020, therefore, the Caribbean must remain vigilant.” CARPHA has developed Mission Mosquito, an innovative information toolkit, which includes animated videos, posters and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).  The toolkit is specially packaged to meet the needs of a diverse audience, which include public health professionals and clinicians, pregnant women, and children. The toolkit is available here  http://missionmosquito.carpha.org/ Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… St. Lucia records more cases of COVID You may be interested in… Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Feb. 29

first_imgKids are disrespectfulI’m tired of all the soliloquies about the importance of integrating culture and diversity and social injustice into the next generation. I don’t read enough about the importance of teaching our history and the sacrifices made for this country.To my point: I recently stopped at a fast-food restaurant. I sat next to two older gentlemen. As they talked, I noticed they were both wearing Iwo Jima Survivor hats. That battle was 75 years ago this month which puts these men in their 90s. Admittedly they were a little loud (allowing for age or injury). Two tables away sat three high school kids. One turned towards them to tell these veterans “to turn it down old man.” The second time they demanded, I got up and suggested that they show some respect, that these men had fought in WWII and had earned it. There was no response or apology while they buried their heads back into their phones.I returned and spoke with the two men and thanked them for their service. We shook hands. It was an extraordinary honor. Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionSen. Joseph McCarthy was absolutely rightI write regarding Mr. Shapiro’s attack on Sen. McCarthy in his Feb. 22 letter (“Trump acts similar to Sen. McCarthy.”)A little background: the House Un-American Activities Committee was a reaction to the national paranoia regarding Communism (the Catholic Church shared the same paranoia). Its main focus was “Hollywood” and writers, directors, actors, etc. It managed to cripple several careers.Sen. McCarthy went after Communist spies in the State Department. His tactics were condemned, and he was forced out of office. Ironically, the subsequently released records of the Soviet Union showed that Sen. McCarthy was absolutely right.That being said, I point to an attack on Sen. McCarthy contained in the letter which is repeated in almost every article I see on Sen. McCarthy, “Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who chaired [HUAC] (House on Un-American Activities Committee) …” Again, “Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who chaired [HUAC] (House on Un-American Activities Committee) …” Once more for emphasis, “Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who chaired [HUAC] (House on Un-American Activities Committee) …”Nuff said.PETER V. COFFEYNiskayunaSolar can’t replace Indian PointThe New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced the installation of 2GW (gigawatts) of solar capacity in 2019 which is a significant accomplishment in the state of New York. Interestingly that capacity is the same as the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant’s capacity. So how will this solar installation compare to what Indian Point can produce. Annually 2GW of solar is expected to produce about 2,452 Gwh (gigawatt hours) of carbon free electric energy. In New York assume solar energy produces over time about 14 percent of the rated capacity of the installed solar cells.The sun produces capacity during full sunlight directed on the solar cells and falls off to zero at night. Indian Point in 2019 produced 16,695 Gwh of carbon free electric energy because it operated at full capacity 95 percent of the year. The nuclear production is many times more than the solar.For some of the readers the term gigawatts may be unfamiliar. We all receive electric bills which give our home’s electric use in kilowatt hours. One gigawatt hour is one million kilowatt hours. Even though they have the same capacity, solar will be unable to replace Indian Point when the plant is permanently shut down. Therefore, the release of carbon dioxide will increase significantly which is contrary to the objectives of this state.JOHN BASILEStillwaterThe writer is a former Consolidated Edison Indian Point 2 Plant Manager and Chief Mechanical, Fossil Power and Distribution Engineer. I sat back down absolutely furious. The blatant disrespect shown by those kids was inexcusable. Not understanding the notion of “all gave some and some gave all” means their education has been sorely neglected. Somewhere they should have been taught that because veterans have bravely served that even ingrates like them are free to act so stupidly.It is indefensible. This is real injustice. Try integrating that.JOHN MYERSSchenectadyThank you GazetteWith “Last Letter” on the Gazette’s Feb. 23 front page, plus the ensuing article on the late Dr. Malebranche, the paper brought pride and great pleasure; you could not have recognized a more deserving person.That Sunday Gazette will be saved in the antique clock Roger faithfully maintained for me for twenty years. Until reading his obituary and your several tributes, I just never realized how privileged I had been to be his friend. Thanks, Gazette.C. G. MACDERMOTSchenectady More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Take a role in police reformsHIGH NOTES: PPEs, fighting hunger, backpacks and supplies for kidsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Make a game plan for voting. Do it now.EDITORIAL: Don’t repeal bail reform law; Fix it the right waylast_img read more


first_imgI don’t want to go to Budapest.There, I’ve said it.I feel the pressure is mounting on me: Karen wants to go. Her family wants to go. My friends want to go.Budapest!I am a learned man, but if truth be told at this very moment in time, I could not tell you for sure where Budapest is. My guess is Hungary, but I can’t tell you where Hungary is, either.As regular readers know, I’ve traveled extensively on Grateful Dead tours. But I’m pretty certain the Dead never played Budapest — now that would have really been a long strange trip.I think there are Cossacks in Budapest, Cossacks who battle Hassocks on horseback and camels and people who wear turbines on their heads.My preferred vacation destination would be the “’70s rock and romance cruise” on the Celebrity Infinity beginning February 15. There are concerts from 10 AM until midnight.Check this out, seriously: Todd Rundgren, Randy Bachman, Cheap Trick, John Lodge of the Moody Blues, Don Felder of the Eagles, and America, just to name a few. That’s right, we would literally be able to sing along with “been to the dessert on a rock with no pain I ain’t got time to give you Lorraine” and all the other hits from the 1970s.You say Budapest? This cruise starts off in Miami and goes to (gasp) Samana and Labadee, which are like Budapest except the donkeys are toilet trained. The cruise ship also stops at the Dominican Republic, where we can drop our kids off to live in cages (see how they like it) so we can get stoned out of our minds for a week without worrying about them.Why go to Budapest? “The culture and the arts,” Karen said.Want culture? Perhaps she didn’t notice Edgar Winter was booked on the cruise. The last time I saw Winter he weighed about 73 pounds and he had the skinniest arms I’ve ever seen. But he played a mean blues guitar. His tattoos weighed more than his torso. That was 40 years ago.There will be karaoke, which is funny when you think about it, and “Dancing with the Stars” (I hope I can get a slow dance with Edgar — for his sake) and of course, all-you-can-eat goodies like brownies, hemp sandwiches, Nutella, PB& J, and the like. You know, gourmet stuff.Rita Coolidge will be there. And with Bachman there, you can be quite sure we’ll be “Taking Care of Business!”According to the travel guide, here are the top things to do in Budapest (note Rita Coolidge is not even on the list):Cruise the Danube RiverRest legs on ChassockGo Truckin’ on Bourbon StreetMake a list of all the subtle nuances that make Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and, of course, Hungary, so unique yet so alike at the same time.Did I mention Marrakesh?I’ve been to a lot of big cities in America. In most of them I checked into a hotel, went about my business (or pleasure), and moved onto the next joint. I don’t miss the road. I like to wake up in my own bed. If I ever do decide I want to travel though, I’m gonna do it in the Volkswagen van. Isn’t that the trend?I remember once when I was a bartender, a patron was discussing a restaurant she favored in Paris and I noted it sounded like a similar place in Florence. After discussing the menus for a while, she left. “I didn’t know you were in Florence, Murph,” a guy at the bar remarked. “I haven’t been to Paris, either,” I answered. Truth is the only foreign country I’ve been to is Mexico (Cancun), and my first three meals were at the Hard Rock Café, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Taco Bell. I feel, I gained a real understanding of the people and the culture. Someday I’ll have a bucket list — you know, a list of things I want to do before I die. I will try to put “visit Budapest” on the list, but I’m pretty sure it will be far below Rita [email protected] Sharelast_img read more