Monday, August 31, 2009

The Boston Skyline - an evening view in HDR

This little obsession that so many of us enjoy, you know, capturing the light.....or sometimes chasing the crazy people......can be a bit lonely out there. If you aren't heading out with "photo buddies" that understand those special moments of the day, the times that the light is just right, like the infamous blue hour for example, you can find yourself in a very quiet moment. I guess I selfishly enjoy this quiet time alone to be honest with you. The time that the rest of the world enjoys dinner with the company of others sometimes has to take a back seat to this craft....and that's OK, as long as you take time somedays to catch up those you love. Tonight was one of those times...a time to briefly catch up.

Happy Birthday Mom, Rebecca and I really enjoyed the evening with you :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Son et' Lumiere Sunday - The Season in Palm Beach

"In the beginning there was nothing. God said, "Let there be light!" And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better." ~Ellen DeGeneres

On Sunday evenings, I like to take a little moment to recognize, look back at, and kind of give a bit of thanks to the industry I have been a part of for the better part of my life. Some posts are eu' currant, while others are a bit of a trip back in time. Why I do it in this tricky little French title kinda way, I have no idea.....but that's another story altogether......anyway.....

The Season.....yes the Season....

That period in South Florida and specifically here in Palm Beach in which the real party begins. Historically, the island swells up from its slow paced population of the summer from around Thanksgiving weekend up until Easter weekend, give or take a couple of weeks. Vendors such as hotels, restaurants, rental company's, event companies, florists, ......well, they all depend on this. It's always been a predictable cycle. A few of us have branched out and catered to the corporate market as well, but this seasonal social market continues to be a rather large share of the pie around here.

As I took a quick glance of the up and coming event calender for this season, I must say that this year seems to be predicting a kind of bleak outlook. Should be no surprise with the economy and the whole Madoff fiasco, but its still kinda tough to except.

For most of us in the game, I guess its a safe bet to except the fact that this is just a bump in the road. Sure, at times it seems like a huge bump, but I feel good times around the corner.

I've approached this challenge as a unique one. An opportunity to slow down a bit, focus on new strategies, realign myself with some new goals, travel, take some much needed personal time with my daughter, and appreciate (really appreciate) the fact that I have had a great 25 years so far. Although, it's not going to be business as usual for quite some time, I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that my bright future is bound to provide me with!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Icelandic moss that seems to be everywhere!

"I would like to spend the whole of my life traveling abroad, if I could borrow another life to spend afterwords at home" - William Hazlitt

As I look back on my nomadic experience in Iceland, one thing seems to come to mind and that's.......when will I get back there! Being somewhat tied to the city of Reykavik, I conveniently found a few opportunities to head out on my extendable dog leash to a few spots around that area. Don't get me wrong here, as I am SO grateful I had the chance to get there at all! Next time, however, from what I am told...the best way to see this place is to take the ring road the whole way around the island. God willing, someday, that I shall do.

A place to chill in Reykavik, Iceland

As soon as I arrived at the host hotel for the event, I wandered down to the bar in the lobby to await marching orders for the week. Since no one appeared to be partaking in the "high tea at noon" that was being offered, I took advantage of the clear space. Kind of a mix between chic Miami and Scandinavian, the hip and modern design seemed to be a great candidate for my first Icelandic HDR image.

Blue Lagoon overlook - Iceland

One of the first locations we scouted was the Blue Lagoon. Since the rest of the event guests were not arriving for 2 days, this "Welcome to Iceland" surprise from the producer of the event invited us all to the Blue Lagoon to enjoy its services. What an awesome gift! The hot geo-thermal pools of this world famous spa along with the theraputic qualities of the fine silica minerals were an incredible way to start the week.

A quick stop for water

Where there is ice, there is water.....and lots of it. During one of the first orientation treks about the area, I stopped at the first little stream I found to capture a bit of the late spring thaw.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Driftwood....lotsa driftwood - San Juan Islands, Washington

Its been said by many that to excel in any endeavor, you must surround yourself with the right people. That concept rings so true in the photo workshop environment. Although its been about a year since my trip to the San Juan Islands, that feeling of passion and teamwork is what I remember most. Its also quite fun to head out into a location and have the chance to see how your fellow classmates see the world. It was quite amazing that twenty to thirty sets of eyes in the same location actually did produce 20 to 30 unique interpretations! As in many areas of life, perspective is a personal path that you choose for your journey. It is with that perspective and vision that I continue to allow my mind to explore.

So, a little bit about this beach. Enough driftwood or what?! I usually love to find a bit of that when scouting a new beach or shoreline to photograph, but this was out of control!

Going somewhere.....anywhere

Going somewhere.....anywhere, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wrapping up the day

Wrapping up the day, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

So these were taken a few weeks ago, when the South Florida sky seemed to have a little bit of character. There for a few days, we were truly blessed with the artistic brush strokes of mother nature. These days lately....well, not so much.

I must admit, the weather lately has gotten me in a bit of a creative rut here. I think its about time for a total change of scenery. More on that in a couple of days!

For now, I think its about time to start purging out a few images here on the blog. My normal approach has lately been to post one a day as I think that each one that gets to the "blog worthy" file should gets its day in the limelight. I know, maybe a bit lame to think that way perhaps. Well, the files a little larger than it should be and I think that its kind of giving me a safety net to fall back into, thus allowing me to slack a bit in creative exploration department. So, here we go.....let the purging begin...

I took a little walk amongst the wreckage that used to be Flagler Drive today. A plan is in place to create a more friendly waterside experience for us here in West Palm Beach......a plan that this blogger and citizen supports. Not sure however if they are on schedule, but this evening, it appeared that progress is certainly being made. A target date for completion is apparently around the end of the year, just in time for a New Years Party!

Fisheye view of the new docks

West Palm Beach Skyline - starting to take shape!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Timelapse Tuesday - An afternoon in HDR (and a link to the youtube timelapse video)

Hey, its Tuesday.....and time for another addition of Time-Lapse Tuesday! As I patiently await the upload to youtube of the clip, I'll tell ya a little bit about it. First off, my balcony here is beautiful South Florida seems to be the easiest and most convenient location for the rig. For the most part, I can set up and go about the day without any worry......and actually find the camera there when I return! As I have posted before, the clouds are always a great subject for timelapse. This clip, however, has a little more going on a wee bit into it as I go about the afternoon having lunch, talking on the phone, and reading......all at hyper speed. I know, kinda silly....but hey, it is me ya know.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Boston Fountain fun in the summer

Sometimes there are moments, brief moments, that have the uncanny ability to lodge themselves deeply into your memory. It becomes a special moment indeed when it continues to bring a smile to your face. On a hot summer evening in Boston, while exploring the vibrant city with a couple of friends, this location had us slow down just a bit. Perhaps it was the intoxicating sound of the children screaming in delight as they dodged the cool spray of the colorful fountain. Is there a better sound in the world I wonder? The colors, the sounds, the energy,......all together, like a harmonious symphony.

Family's enjoying a special summer evening together and friends enjoying enjoying each others company while photographing the scene as it unfolds. Indeed, a special memory to save!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Son et' Lumiere Sunday - Devils Night and a view over Ghost pond

Wow, it seems like it was just last week about this time when I had my weekly post about the magic of special event lighting! (ahhhh, sorry, that was kinda lame....)

So anyway, these few images sat dormant for a bit until today. Kevin, a good friend of mine, is putting his creative magic wand to the event again this year. In hopes of helping out the website and the Facebook PR for the event, I passed these on to him today. Halloween is one of those holidays that allow us to have fun and be creative, and this year will be no exception. If last year is any indication, this is going to be THE party to be at on Halloween here in South Florida.

Slat house

Dancing under the stars

At the entrance

Check out the following video from last years event!

Visions of a Journey

Visions of a Journey, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

In sharp contrast to my post last night, this evening has my mind wandering off to a mysterious location. I guess sometimes living in the "now" means taking a moment to craft the future. I have been holding off planning a trip for myself up until now. Not sure why actually. I guess it kinda hit me when I saw a little news clip about the president off on his vacation. With all that he has on his plate, the leader of the free world even finds the value in "uplugging and recharging." More to follow soon on this I am sure.....

This little collage is my little impressionistic vision of sorts. While waiting for a train on one of Europe's many quant train station platforms a couple of years ago, I spent a little time trying to capture my feelings with the camera. I love to listen to great music as I travel. Quite often, the world seems to unfold in a cinematic explosion of visuals while music on the Ipod from Pat Methany, Lyle Mays, or some other great artist helps to melodically score the scene for me.

For me, there is something unique about train travel. I have allowed my mind to wander off to areas deeper than air traffic or driving a car could ever permit. A kind of special therapeutic journey I guess......if you let it be.....

These images, for me, are also a bit symbolic of the feeling you get while waiting for the train to arrive. A new location awaits, a fresh experience is about to unfold. Somewhat unclear of the exact details of what will occur, you are quite clear about one ARE living in the now.......

Good grief, what am I rambling on about, ....... time to get some sleep....

More on all of this later....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Stopping to smell the, well, whatever they are! (and a little reflection on life)

First off, I am at another one of those moments that finds me scrambling for an image that makes sense. My evening posts, as is the case tonight, often challenges me this way. So often we go about our days with total oblivion about the moment we are in. The mind often takes on these journeys into the future, hoping for new opportunities, better days, greener grass..... or perhaps the opposite. A reflection of days gone by......the good ole days as it were, " I remember when", if only it were like yesterday. It can be maddening. It sometimes seems impossible to enjoy the now, yes those precious moments, the only moments actually, that you are in total control of! Right here, right now, that is all you have in essence. Savour it, grab a hold of it, live never know what the future holds. Sure, it is foolish not to plan for the future, but to loose focus of the now is when the real fool shows its face.

I had one of those "real life" realizations this evening.

I was honored to be asked to run lighting for a benefit concert for a friend this evening. John and I had a few laughs, OK, a million laughs, in the early 90's when he worked with me. Driving across the country (a couple of times actually) has a certain way of cementing a relationship with someone. Sure, he moved onto bigger and better career opportunities, but as the years past, all it took was a few minutes of recollection for us to start cackling away the memories. Life takes us all on our individual journeys, but good friends become the landmarks by which we remember the trip by.

So why was it so hard to walk out of the lighting booth and say hi to him tonight? I timidly walked up to his wheelchair during intermission, a space in the theatre reserved for him, his wife of 15 years, and his wonderful 3 children, and prayed to God to help me find the right thing to say.

You see, a couple of years ago, on what started out as a normal South Florida morning, John set out on a little fishing trip. Out with a few friends to enjoy a day off, there was no way to know that his trip back to shore would eventually find his way to a new life and a challenging one for his family. A brain aneurism can do that to you I guess.

As I tear up, I kinda want to spare the exact details of him and his condition as its too difficult to imagine the internal pain he must be in. (not to mention his family). I hope he recognized me......I think he did, though it was a bit hard to tell. I can't even fathom the amount of strength that his family must endure just to get thru the day! My thoughts this evening are indeed with his family and close friends.

Now, right now, that is all you can be guaranteed to have ...... it can all change in a flash, so enjoy the present as it is in fact a gift!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mid day color on the way to Key West

A grabbed this one off the pile as I have a client that is moving to the Keys. As I type this, he is on his way. Drive safe my friend. I must say though, he is the person I know that has moved INTO Key West DURING hurricane season. Of course, he has always been a gambler of sorts! Welcome back to Florida :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Timelapse Tuesday - A view from the balcony at Turnberry

This time-lapse Tuesday (or woops........Wednesday now), has me posting a little view from the balcony from my last event down at Turnberry in Miami. I have a few more I am working on, just not finished keep checking back :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Castle Chillion

Castle Chillion, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

As I sit here pondering (boy that word just sounds kinda stupid doesn't it?) about what to ramble on about, my initial thought is about why I chose this image. Well, for one thing, the brisk cool mountain air of Switzerland would be a welcome reprieve from the sweltering tropical weather here is South Florida mid August.

Taken a couple of years ago, this image was created with a set of shots I captured before I had ever processed an HDR. Before that trip, I had heard of this process, but never tried it. With that in mind, I bracked a few shots in a couple of the locations I went not sure how I and when I might learn the process. I in turn worked on them a few months later. This is in essence, my 2nd HDR shot ever. I now wish I took a few more! I guess there is always next time. Hmmm. I wonder what the weather is like in the swiss alps about now........hmmm.......where is that passport anyway.....?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Son et' Lumiere Sunday - Market America - 2009 Convention (and a reflection on industry relationships)

Wow, these Sundays seem to come at me at lightning speed!

For tonight's weekly reflection on the industry I have enjoyed being a part of, its more than the image's about relationships. This image was from a recent project we were a part of in North Carolina...but more on that in a later post....

I must say that it is nice to know that over the last 25 years or so, there is group of folks that have tirelessly continued to promote and sell the service's of my company. Its a comforting feeling knowing that there is always a team of loyal producers, creative designers, coordinators, technical directors, and planners that see the value in our services and continue to bat for us. That being said, when there is an opportunity to return the favor and pull a few of these folks into a project that I am a part of.....well, it just feels good. Thanks for being there!

Here's to a great kickoff to the season this November!

Buildings in Boston, a unique perspective

You know, I've had this conversation with several people recently......about perception and perspective. I find it fascinating how several people can be in the same location at the same time, but yet see completely different things. This becomes quite apparent while with a group of photographers on say a workshop or a photowalk. I love looking at the images after one of these to see the perspective of another visualist. Although I knew I wanted create a unique perspective of this scene upon capture, I must admit that the real adventure truly happened in post while playing in photoshop. It will, however, open up my mind's eye while looking for new perspectives on future walks!

So, rambling on a bit more....

There seems to be an intense focus on positive thought and mind control recently (or at least, that I have noticed it more...once again, a perception). Certainly a process that I am working on as I continue my journey through life. I know that this down economy has hit a lot of people in a pretty hard way, but with every challenge comes an opportunity. I know this sounds like a lot of horse shit to some people, but its true. I can think of no better time in history to work hard on creating and visualizing the future you want for yourself. Through what appears to be a great need for this positive energy, there is an endless supply of great websites, books, and CD's to feed your grab a plate and dig in. Feed your mind with the fuel it need to excel and propel yourself into the future you deserve!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sunset over West Palm Beach, FL

Hey Folks, I'm back!!!! Cue the applause......(wait for it....wait for it......"cricket, cricket,...crrriicket")

Well, anyway, here I am...

After a few days away from the computer and essentially unplugged from the shackles of technology, I am recharged and, well, ready for another break...LOL!

This one was taken from one of my many favorite place along the bike path here in Palm Beach. The reflection in the water was treated a bit with "Topaz Adjust" and then linear blurred a touch in Photoshop.

Thanks for checking it out. Check back for more this week!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A nice place to stop along the bike path in Palm Beach (and taking a blog break for the week!)

Across the bridge on the island of Palm Beach is a bike path that I have enjoyed riding on for the better part of the last 20 years. While capturing a time-lapse loop with the D300 (that I trashed last week with excessive time-lapse capturing of the load-in), I took the opportunity to enjoy the rest of the area with the D3. This banyan tree is AWESOME by the way. Makes no difference how many times I pass this monster, I continue to be in total awe of its strength and beauty.

As far as my normal post for Sunday nights (Son et Lumaire Sundays)...well, kinda tired and a little burnt from the week, besides, I think you might have seen enough of it from this week.

My time-lapse Tuesday, although I have a few good ones ready for prime time, is gonna be put on the back burner as well. I am heading out in the am for a few days and taking a little vacation up in MIckey Town ....a.k.a. Disney World, with my little one. I should be back on the blog perhaps Friday Night? I am sure you all will survive (LOL!)

Enjoy your week!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Update from the arena floor

You know, I've been working in this industry for years and some things still amaze me. Watching this rig come down and load out was like watching a ballet. (Well, thats pushing it actually, but it was smooth!) Only with the help of my incredible crew of Chris, Sara, and Dallas could I have pulled this one off. Ten vendors, six semis, 6 straight trucks, a few vans, 50 stage hands, and about 24 lead techs and we are almost outta here. I have been hanging out a bit as I am attempting to time-lapse this "Dance" of sorts.

So for the record, it went like this:

7:00 PM Crew call for strike

7:50 PM Actual available start time for crew (show ran late, as predicted)
9:30 PM Under the deck and top of deck was cleared for stage to roll out
10:45 PM The screen truss and cable bridge were the only things in the air (I am pretty sure)
11:00 PM Crew break
11:30 PM Crew back on / screen truss came in
12:15 PM 1st lighting truck was being loaded / points were out of the air
12:45 PM As I type this right now, it looks like we have a few cases in the venue
I am guessing a total finish by 1:30AM / 2AM at the latest

So, also for the record, here are my thoughts:

1. The show is essentially a one off, so there is no way it can load out like a concert in say 3 hours.
2. The truck loading situation here is just a mess. If there were docks, we could possibly trim back an hour for sure
3. The call time for the out should start at 1 hour after the scheduled close of the event. This would allow for some time when it goes longer while giving the crew a quick break and would also allow scenic to get a jump start on getting off the stage.
4. And one more thing, the what the hell am I still doing here?!?!?! I gotta get outta this place!

Thats all for now. Look for more images and a really quick show wrap up on Sunday as well as a possible time-lapse!

2:30AM update - hold the press! (Geez, that was stupid!)
I ended up staying thru the strike to help get the last of the cases outta the venue and to coordinate the local hands (who were awesome this year!) as the cases bottlenecked at the top of the they do every year! What a stupid ass design for a colosseum load-in! Anyway, the truck doors were closed at 1:45AM....not too bad at all. Thanks again guys (and girl) all ROCKED this week :)


Saturday, August 8, 2009

From Flagler (but shackled to the lighting console)

There is one thing that sitting in a cold dark arena all day on headset does, and that is wonder what the great outdoors is like! Well, only 10 to 12 hours to go.....and I am free!

View from the dimmer beach

Well, the last day of the Market America Convention is in full swing. We are about an hour into the show this morning and off to a good start! I shot this yesterday, and although it starts a bit dark, the level picks up a bit after it kicks in.

Friday, August 7, 2009

China at Epcot

China at Epcot, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

My post this evening has my mind wandering off to a little get away I intend to take next week. Living about 3 hours from Orlando makes it a convenient escape and having a daughter to experience it with means seeing it thru the eyes of a child! Sure I've been there dozens of times, but there always seems to be something new to see. This one was taken on one of those trips a few months ago outside of the China pavilion in Epcot. The 360 degree circle vision theater is always a great place to duck out of the hot Florida sun while taking a mental trip to the far east!

One more thing, this HDR was created with 3 handheld exposures from a Canon G10!

Midday post - Market America - Before doors look (but now in show mode)

At this moment, the CEO is onstage giving one of his presentations. As always, quite motivating and thought provoking. Listening to these inspirational messages are a nice perk of the business, especially in these tough times!

Market America - Before doors - look 1

Market America - Before doors - no stage lights

Without stage-lights, well, ..... it's just a stage! Taken before the house lights were arc'ed down and the set lights worked their magic on the set, this shot says but one thing to me, and that is "Its all about the lighting!"

But seriously, I certainly appreciate the importance of all departments on a show like this, and its nice to be a part of this synergy! Look for a few more shots of what the lighting does to the set and perhaps some video tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Morning view in the Keys

Morning view in the Keys, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Not exactly the view from the arena floor that I am on now, but when you have been cooped up as long as I have staring at the stage lights I am programming, a nice view of the great outdoors is a welcome feeling!

Timelapse Tuesday - A peak at the setup

Just a peak into the world I will live in this week. As we continue the setup on this event, I must report that we are right on schedule....if fact, maybe a bit ahead of schedule. Thanks to the great crew of course, we had lighting focus done before midnight....a first time on this show!

I have been capturing 1000's of stills to create a huge timelapse. Of course, my vision for the end video it quite elaborate, and is gonna take some time to put together. Well, another day for that one cause its WAY late. Here is a peak at one of the clips from today until that gets done someday.

Oh yeah, one more thing. I'm tweeting now. I know, sounds stupid, and well, so far from me, it has been......anyway...
I have uploaded a few to my twitpic site if you are interested in grainy, low quality Iphone photos of the setup. Wow, bet ya can't wait now!

Check it out:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Boston building street art

Boston building street art, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

In my ever continuing quest to express myself, my recent trip in Boston was a great opportunity to wander about the city looking for a fresh perspective. Capturing architectural details eventually led to a new perspective for me......

So, what's that have to do with Greensboro Mike? I thought you were gonna post from the event you are on in North Carolina?

Oh yeah, sorry, a bit side tracked!

No real art to post yet, but I have been twittering though throughout the day. Follow me at:

(I just started this silly twittering nonsense, so, take it for what it's worth!)

More images from the event to follow this week, along with a timelapse Tuesday tomorrow, so stay tuned :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Son et' Lumiere Sunday - Market America - 2008 Convention

Son et' Lumiere Sunday - a day I have set aside as a weekly opportunity to post a bit about the industry I find myself in. This Sunday, I find myself up in Greensboro for our annual Market America convention. The image above was actually from last year as the load in for this year will commence in about, oh, seven hours or so. Sometimes, its still hard to imagine that in one day, we get this rig virtually in and focussed! Of course, if not for the hard work of the Hylite crew for the last week working tirelessly in the hot South Florida shop prepping this show like a concert tour would load in, tomorrow would probably be a total, it WOULD be a disaster (and thats putting it nicely!)

As I seem to totally immerse myself in this project, I anticipate most of my posts this week to be about this project.....onsite and behind the scenes.

One more before I turn in, here is a video I posted this evening from a previous show of the producer doing his best to announce some of the names in the recognition portion of the program....most of them in Mandarin! Enjoy!

More on all of this later :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

West Palm Skyline - in balance (and a cool perspective about the meeting industry)

As is so often the case, the image has virtually nothing to do with what's on my mind (or the fact that I am starving and about to head out and get some fish........ahh, too much info here.....)

Whilst tripping about the bike bath over in Palm Beach a couple of weeks ago waiting for my infamous time-lapse camera to, well, time-lapse I guess, this was one of the images I created. That is of course...... an "interpretation"' of what I saw :)

And now for something completely different......

A friend from the last show I was on (Eric) sent us a little blurb about the meetings industry today. I have copied it below. As I was attempting to ineloquently comment myself on this subject earlier in the week, this one really hits home for my industry. On a more positive note, I am off to North Carolina in the AM with the crew for the annual Market America look forward to more silliness soon! And now, please enjoy a little word from Mr. Ben Stein......
The Nation's Pulse
No Meetings on the Table

By Ben Stein on 7.27.09 @ 6:08AM

I was saddened to read in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago an article about how the federal government is clamping down on business meetings. The Department of Agriculture in particular is telling its employees not to have meetings if they can video conference, and especially, no matter what, not to go to resort towns like Las Vegas for meetings. This, so the government people say, shows respect for the taxpayers.

A few humble thoughts:

The idea of this, the most profligate administration in history by far, saying it is showing restraint by avoiding a few business meetings is like Genghis Khan saying he is a good guy for only pillaging 99 days out of 100. It would be funny if it were not so sad.

Second, it really tells volumes that this administration, with its vaunted smart advisers, thinks a business meeting is a bad, wasteful thing.

Are the meetings of Congress a waste? They are business meetings. Are the meetings of the Supreme Court wasteful? They are business meetings.

Business meetings involving travel are vital business and productivity tools for maximizing knowledge, the essence of human capital. They are the best possible way for new ways of adapting and adopting to be brought to bear. A business meeting is as valuable a business tool as a computer and maybe more so.

Perhaps more to the point, business meetings did not contribute to the credit bubble that caused this recession. Business meetings and travel did not cause the bursting of that bubble.


Even more to the point, banning or condemning business meetings will not help us get out of the recession. Instead, this anti-meeting policy gets hotel and airline workers fired, kicks hotel maids and busboys in the teeth, wrecks communities used to working hard to be good hosts.

As to meetings in resorts, the reason to have them is that there are a lot of rooms close to each other with good ways to get together. Often, as in Las Vegas, rooms are inexpensive. Traffic jams and people getting lost do not happen because everyone is under the same roof.

Fighting business meetings is like fighting common sense and progress. The fact that the administration thinks keeping hard working people from getting together to share their experience, strength and hope is just plain sad.

I will say it again. Meetings and business travel did not cause this recession. Kicking the hospitality and travel industry in the face and not allowing smart people to share their intelligence will not do anyone any good at all.