Christmas Eve Lights

If you buy a house on Verbenia Ct in Satellite Beach, Florida, be prepared to keep up with those with a Jones for Christmas.

Every house on this cul de sac block goes all out for the holidays. On Christmas Eve, cars line up to parade past homes with inflatable lawn ornaments and thousands of lights.

Milk jug farolitos lined the streets and Santa greeted children (even though NORAD had him flying somewhere over Iceland at the time… seems like this dude is everywhere).

One house even had a band playing doo-wop versions of Christmas carols in the garage.

There was a sleigh with Pooh Bear and Tigger being pulled by Eeyore. A Homer-Claus and a reindeer stuffing (and pulling) Santa from a chimney.

My favorite was the sign with a snowman with outstretched arms that said “flakes welcome.”

The Old Sea and the Men

The fish was a king. A king fish, that is. And if we were to figure the day’s catch by the price we paid for a half-day’s outing on the “Obsession II,” the 33-foot fishing boat captained by a man named Brent, it would be hefty amount per pound.

But let’s not think that way. Let’s not dwell on the skunking of our luck… the salao of Hemingway’s fishing tale.

Let’s not worry too much about the swelling seas and the pitch and yaw of the boat.

Forget the three of us who succumbed to sea sickness (and the one who spent most of the five hours bent over the side of the boat, yawning breakfast and all the other contents of his insides into the waves).

Let’s not fall into cliché and lament the one that got away, holding our arms out as wide as they’ll go.

No. Let us, rather, celebrate this fish.

The sole catch.

This silver fellow with the sleek three-foot body. The one we took turns posing for photos with. The one that fed us well on Monday night, whose dark green flesh turned flaky white on the grill. Continue reading “The Old Sea and the Men”

Yours Truly on the Knight Foundation Site

Today, the International Center for Journalists announced that it had been given a new three-year, six million dollar grant to continue the Knight International Journalism Fellowships. My long-time readers will know that Craig Duff Blogs began when I was sent off to Cairo as a Knight Fellow in August 2006. Here’s proof: My photo, with a workshop participant from the website Islam Online, is on the Knight Foundation website today.

The Top 10 Viral Videos of 2009

My TIME colleague Dan Fletcher and I came up with the top 10 viral videos of the year. In a year when Susan Boyle became a sudden star and babies began dancing to Beyonce, there was plenty to choose from.

One of my favorites is the one below (wait about 40 seconds and it kicks into gear). The rest can be found here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.