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Volume 1• Issue 03

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Matt Joyce

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6 What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com

PUBLISHER Ian Beckles

EDITOR Dave Norrie ART DIRECTOR/LEAD DESIGNER Ruben Joseph Carbonell WEBMASTER/SENIOR DESIGNER Bert Price COPY EDITOR Audrey Woods PUBLICIST Brandi Kamenar SALES & MARKETING David May, Billy Castro CONTROLLER Dayle Urquhart PRINTER Done Right Documents CONTRIBUTORS Ten Minute COVER ARTIST Ruben Joseph Carbonell rucarbo@hotmail.com

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10 What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com

Lifestyle • Health • Art • Fashion • Sports • Entertainment

CONTENTS

the boys are back in town!!! Tampa Bay Welcomes Baseball: 2010 Spring Training and Season Preview

pg. What’s Hot Tampa Bay Top 10 Beer Quotes by Dave Norrie

20

Shamrocks & Hard Rock 24

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Council Oak Steaks & Seafood

You don’t need to be Irish to be lucky! by Gina Morales

70

Shining Star An interview with artist Justyn Farano by Dave Norrie

26

Fashion Focus Finding jeans that fit by Tawanna Larkin

34

The Dish A delicious Irish treat! by Eddie Shumard

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What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com 11

pg.

Volume 1

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Justyn Farano

ISSUE

03

Local artist has become the choice for athletes past and present. What’s Hot talks with him about how he go started. Springtime is for wine! by Dave Madera Elite Traveler Ireland on the Cheap by Tammy Levent

38 The Tampa Sports Knucklehead 70 Grapefruit League returns to Florida. Let’s Play Ball 40 by Basil Spyridakos

Tampa Brrrr... 74 The warm weather is just What’s Hot BIG GAME around the bend PARTY at Channelside 42 by Captain Bret Gamrot What’s HOT was at the IMAX in Channelside to watch New Rising Star 78 Orleans take home the title Interview with Tampa Bay Rays Matt Joyce by Billy Castro It’s Evander-ful Life!!! 46 Get to know this very interesting citizen of the Bay Area! Hidden Stars Peggy O’Neill’s by Dave Norrie by Ian Beckles

Adam vs. Eve 52 Adam wonders how sexy the Irish really are Millionaire’s Minute 56 Luck shouldn’t be a factor in your investments by James Cordier

82

Evander

pg.

46

Tampa Bay Rays

Matt Joyce

Kindness for Kids needs you! 60 by Julie Weitraub Be Healthy 64 Healthy eating tips for the on-the-go by Brian Wolstein, D.C.

pg.

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Star Sightings

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01 Ron & Ian with the LFL girls 02 David Norrie & Dana White 03 Rick Springfield

04 Morgan Flarity & Evander

05 Joss Stone by the pool at Hard Rock 06 Joss Stone & Derek Jeter

07 John Fontana & Derek Jeter

08 Budweiser Clydesdale Statue 09 J. Paul Pepin, Ian Beckles

10 Mike Alstott & Larry Archibald

11 Mike & Nicole Alstott with Tom Pepin & fiancĂŠe Lauren 12 Mr. & Mrs. Randy Garcia 13 J. Paul & Patsy Pepin

14 Deann & Patrick Marasco 15 Fred & Veronica McGriff

16 Mr. & Mrs. Gary Garcia, Dayle Urqhart 17 Entertainer

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“Comedy for a Cause” at Side Splitters for Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Sponsored by Trendsetters Men’s Exchange


Celebrity Bartending at 717 South for Big Cat Rescue Sponsored by Witty Wocks


20 What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com

S R E E B ! U O Y TO

by Dave Norrie

When times were tough, who was always there for you? That’s right, beer was. When other alcoholic beverages let you down and came back up on you, who did you always run back to? Yep. Beer! When your wife made you mow the lawn, who was right by your side, sweating it out with you on the mower? Not orange juice, that’s for sure. Like a faithful companion, beer has been around when you needed it most. And now it’s your turn to show beer what it means to you. The best part is, beer doesn’t want a mushy card or fancy flowers. No, all beer asks for is to keep it cold, not waste it and realize the journey it’s made and its place in history. Man learned to ferment grain into beer more than 10,000 years ago. When monks in the middle ages fasted, guess what? They still drank beer. The ancient Babylonians, Egyptians and Chinese all brewed beer.

Thomas Jefferson sat in Philadelphia’s Indian Queen Tavern with a feathered pen in one hand writing the Declaration of Independence and guess what was in the other? Yeah, that’s right, beer!! His people, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, James Madison and George Washington drank it, promoted it, even brewed it themselves. It’s even said that during the Revolutionary War, G-Dub made sure his troops received a quart of beer each day. And we won that war!

The late Art Pepin, who was a good friend of Mr. Busch, added to the tradition with the creation of Pepin Distributing in the 1960s. Pepin employs close to 300 Bay area workers and distributes more than 10 million cases a year.

The fever for beer is even growing amongst microbreweries in town as well. Founded in 2007 by Joe Redner Jr, the Cigar City Brewery off of West Spruce Street has already made a splash in beer circles, garnering the title of No. Today beer sits at No. 2, right behind tea, in 1 overall rated U.S. brewed beer (Hunahpu’s terms of the world’s most popular beverage, Imperial Stout) in Ratebeer.com’s 2010 awards. no doubt in some part thanks to you, Tampa. We’re a beer-drinking city with great pubs in Saint Louis and Milwaukee better be looking Ybor, McDinton’s in South Tampa and World over their shoulders; Tampa’s got hops. of Beer in Westchase just to name a few. So whether you’re drinking a cold one on the The Bay area is rich with beer tradition. Back porch with Grandma or crushing a tower at the in the mid-1950s Augusta Busch opened a new Lime on a Sunday, beer is definitely not just for brewery here in Tampa and had the ingenious breakfast anymore! idea to create a “beer garden” across from it where patrons could sample the suds and watch And in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and all the exotic bird shows. That idea would eventually beer lovers in Tampa, I’ve compiled my Top 10 turn into what we know today as Busch List of Great Beer Quotes: Gardens.

10- “24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?” –Stephen Wright

9- “Beer is proof that God wants us to be happy” – Benjamin Franklin 8- “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a beer...in a tree”

– Bob and Doug McKenzie

7- “Beer...Now there’s a temporary solution” – Homer Simpson 6- “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day” – Frank Sinatra


What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com 21

5- “The easiest way to spot a wanker in a pub is to look around and find who’s drinking a Corona with a slice of lemon in the neck” – Warwick Franks 4 - “Fill it up again! Fill it up again! Once it hits your lips, it’s so good!” – Frank the Tank

3 - “I like my beer cold, my TV loud and my homosexuals flaming” – Homer Simpson

2- “If you give a man a fish you will have kept him from hunger for a day. If you teach a man to fish he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day”

– Unknown

1- “You can’t be a real

country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer”

– Frank Zappa

* Beer facts compliments of the Beer Institute [www.beerinstitute.org]


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Shamrocks and the Hard Rock Luck's not just for the Irish

I

f you’re feeling lucky this March, come out and play at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa where we’re giving away cold, hard cash and prizes all month long! You’ve definitely reached the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow here with all the chances Player’s Club members have to win! It’s also our anniversary month, six years of gaming right here in your backyard! Win a Ford F-150 Raptor on Monday, March 29th to celebrate our six year anniversary!

Every Wednesday play Pot of Gold and win up to $10,000 every hour from 10am to 4pm! Earn entries from February 25th through March 31st, 2010. Earn one free entry by swiping your Player’s Club card every day when you visit the casino.


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Every Tuesday in February, Player’s Club members will have a chance to win $1,000 cash every hour from 1pm to 9pm in the Win Some Wheels giveaway! There will be a grand prize drawing at 9:30pm for a new 2010 Cadillac Sports Wagon. Earn entries from February 24th through March 30th.

Then, get ready to laugh with comedian Jim Florentine, star of VH-1’s That Metal Show, at the Event Tent on Monday, March 8th at 8pm! Tickets are only $20 and can be purchased at the door, the Hard Rock Retail Store or through all Ticketmaster outlets. Doors open at 7 pm.

Put your favorite green shirt on and join the fun on St. Patrick’s Day Wednesday, March 17th, 2010! For more information on any of these events, visit the Player’s Club or call 813-627-ROCK. You can always visit our website www.seminolehardrocktampa.com. You may also become our fan on Facebook and follow us at Twitter. And be sure to swipe your Seminole Wild Card all month long to earn entries and to claim your share!


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Justin G N I N SHI Farano R A ST

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by Dave Norrie

I

t’s not often that one can combine their passion with their career. And for the better part of his life, Justyn Farano wondered how his love of art would translate into work and financial stability. But persistence and a few chance encounters changed his fate a couple of years ago, and these days you might call him the Renoir of the National Football League. As a painter, his canvases have captured the biggest names in the league—Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger—taking sports portraits to the next level by incorporating such incredible detail and texture to capture the essence of the individual in a way which truly combines sport and fine art. In doing so, Farano has caught the eye of the powers that be in the very exclusive world of sports art memorabilia, evidenced by his appearance at last month’s Super Bowl in Miami. Prior to the big game, Farano was commissioned by former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo to paint a portrait of Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Rice for a charity auction. The piece fetched a cool $100,000. Humbling for a young man who not too long ago was wondering what to do with his life. “Growing up, I always kind of stood out drawing,” Farano said. “But as I got older, going into college, everybody always asked ‘how are you going to make a living?’ I’d always wanted to do something like this, but I had no idea how to break into it.”

Photo by Scott Purks

Having painted all of his life, Farano enrolled into the University of Tampa and majored in Art. He learned graphic design and started his own company doing that to make money following college. But deep down inside, he just knew it wasn’t what he truly wanted. His passion outside of art revolved around sports, often sketching and painting his favorite athletes as a kid. So one day he says he just decided to sell his company and pursue his dream. “I knew it would take a long time to get to the athletes, get the licensing and a business model in general,” he said. “And during that time I really had to trim my lifestyle. There were a lot of humbling moments and it was extremely tough, but my parents were always extremely supportive and still are.”


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What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com 29

Farano’s big break came in 2007, in a piece titled “Fire the Cannons.” It captured Tampa Bay fullback Mike Alstott in a manner all Bucs fans had come to appreciate, as a bruising yet graceful, larger-than-life character. Not only did it define the A-Train, but it equally encapsulated a presence and uniqueness that Farano himself would come to be recognized by. Athlete and painter crossed paths at a local event, and Alstott liked the piece so much that he agreed to showcase it at his charity event, and “Fire the Cannons” became Farano’s first autographed portrait. Months later, another clandestine meeting, this time with a gentleman named Dave McCarthy at the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Fan Fest, led to an even bigger break. McCarthy is the Executive Director of the Ted Williams Museum, which is located at Tropicana Field in St. Pete. He also took a strong liking to Farano’s work, going so far as to make him the Official Artist of the museum. McCarthy then introduced Farano to John Papelbon, Deputy Director of the “Hitters Hall of Fame,” which shares a home with the Ted Williams Museum. (If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Papelbon’s son Jonathan is the superstar closer for the Boston Red Sox.) That series of events started a six degrees of separation chain reaction that put Farano in a position to display his talents for some of the biggest names in baseball. Soon his brushstrokes were immortalizing players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedrioa, David Ortiz and Carl Yastrzemski. Farano spent the better part of 2008 and 2009 in Boston. He did however stay true to Tampa over that period as well, continuing to work on his “Tampa Legends” collection which featured portraits of Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber and other Buccaneers. At the age of 30, he is on the cusp of becoming the preeminent sports artist of his generation. Like many artists, he possesses a quiet, rather reserved nature and stays religiously devoted to his work. A humble 700 square foot Harbor Island loft barely has enough room for a bed and an easel, as he shares the small space with images of the sporting world’s most iconic legends. Most notable of late are signed pieces by Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter and Kobe Bryant. “It’s not easy to break into this business. There were a couple of times when you ask yourself, ‘am I gonna make it?’” Farano said. “I was right up against it. Because when you own your own business the only person who kicks your ass is yourself. “I think ‘09 was my year. I met [Muhammad] Ali at a fundraiser and that was huge. Because there is money to be made but it takes money and contacts, a kind of ‘who you know’, to get your foot in the door.”


30 What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com

It also takes time and dedication. Farano typically spends between 100 and 200 hours on each piece, depending on details. All of his works are done with oil paint with the originals on 30 X 45 canvases. According to Farano, what makes them unique and different is that along with the image of the athlete, he attempts to incorporate a concept about the team and the player. Many of his pieces have that grunge or edgy type of look; and as he continues to evolve, he has added a lot more texture, making a big difference in the overall appearance of the finished product. And for all those parents out there, don’t be so quick to trade your children’s paintbrush for a calculator, Farano’s originals sell anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000. The gliclees (digital reprints), which are hand embellished for a unique feel, are part of a limited edition of no more than 99 pieces and sell for between $1,000 and $5,000. And business is booming. Farano reads off a waiting list of All-Stars all interested in commissioning him for work. Although painting athletes is what he’s become most recognized for, Farano’s body of work is not entirely limited to that. He has also ventured into the hip hop world with portraits of rappers like Notorious B.I.G., 50 Cent and P Diddy, who he says was really “blown away” when Farano met him and had him sign his likeness. Having spent so many hours detailing the images of so many incredible people, one would have to wonder who, or which piece, would be most dear to his heart. “They all have special meaning to me, but if I had to pick a favorite, I’d have to say it would be 2 Pac,” he said. “It was one of my earlier paintings and he’s my favorite musician. I typically listen to him while I’m getting into the detail of a painting. He just puts me in a flow, in a rhythm.” Capturing a subject’s true spirit is the hallmark of any great artist and where Farano seems to stand apart from so many others. For instance, regardless of whether you like him or not, many people are drawn to his recent depiction of the New England Patriot’s Head Coach Bill Belichick, complete with trademark hoodie and headset. The piece is indicative of how the detail and expression of Farano’s strokes brings the canvas to life. And while his list of celebrities is impressive, there are still a few big fish out there that Farano hopes to capture. Among those on his wish list is Michael Jordan, whom he says he will probably end up doing sometime this year. However, with the landscape of sports these days, the players being traded or switching teams so often, he says it’s tough to hit the iron while it’s hot. He’s formed a company called Sports Art Illustrated, and in the future would like to venture into painting more entertainers and historic figures—Michael Jackson and Kurt Cobain for instance. Other than that the future may be in painting boats or yachts; even car shows are a possibility. With name recognition and financial security on his side now, the future really is unlimited. “This is just the beginning,” Farano said. “I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I want to accomplish.”

Justyn Farano

www.sportsartillustrated.com


34 What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com

Finding Jeans That Fit You Like a Glove! by Tawanna Larkin Jeans are a wardrobe mainstay nowadays. Most would agree that a great pair of jeans are always in fashion; but the key to finding a “fashionably correct” pair of jeans is to make sure that they are also well-fitting. I have a few tips and suggestions to help you look dazzling in your denim! This may go without saying, but your entire wardrobe should be figure-flattering and complementary to your body type--even your jeans! Which is why it’s essential to find the perfect fitting jeans. I have a question for you: Do you ever wonder if the jeans you’re wearing may not be a perfect fit for you? If you are one of those who are trying to find jeans that will fit you better, you have come to the right place. If you already know what type of jeans fit you well, this article can still help you discover jeans that might be even better. One of the three major factors that decide the suitability of jeans for you is fit. Are you wearing regular, slim, extra slim or relaxed fit? For example, an extra slim fit will work wonders on someone with long and lean legs, but at the same time, they can be a disaster for someone who carries bulk on the legs or derriere because they highlight the original shape of your legs and bottom. The leg type of the jeans like boot cut, straight, tapered, wide leg or flare does the balancing act for your figure and plays a major role in maintaining proportions. For example, someone with broad shoulders, wide hips or a big bottom can balance out the figure with a flared leg or boot leg.

There are really two issues when it comes to finding Here are some tips: The rise of the jeans, which ranges from low, the best pair of jeans for your figure: finding a pair • Look for a waist that buttons or snaps easily (laying down on the bed to do it medium to high, is also important in finding the that fits and finding a pair that flatters. doesn’t count). For low-rise jeans, make right fit at the tummy and the seat. Nowadays, sure they don’t bind or you’ll create a low-rise is making waves everywhere, with many Let’s start with Fit: “roll” effect over the top. people also opting for ultra-low or super-low rise. • The crotch/back seam portion should fit But before choosing such a low rise, you should Okay, let’s get one thing straight: just because you comfortably without grabbing. make sure it will work well for your body type. can zip up a pair of jeans, it doesn’t mean that they fit. The rise of the jeans also makes a big difference • Make sure the jeans are long enough to wear with whatever you have planned in balancing out the torso if you are short-waisted One reason it’s so hard to find perfect jeans is to go with them, including boots or or long-waisted. heels. They should reach the top of your because there are so many parts to the design footwear in the front. Some manufacturers In a perfect fashion world, the first pair of jeans that are required to fit, including the waist, thigh, are even making angled hems to keep you tried on would fit like a glove.But in the real length, inseam, backside. All it takes is one of from wearing out the back of the hem. these areas to fall short and the fit is a wash. world, inseams are too short, waistbands pinch and button flies don’t quite close.


What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com 35

Flatter

• Big bottom - Avoid skin-tight styles and

any extra embellishment on the back (like the new popular vintage treatments that make the butt area look worn). Choose pockets that are proportionally sized and spaced (too small and wide spaced will make your backside look even broader). Styles with a slight flare or ankle interest (vents, embellishment, etc.) will balance out your lush figure. Low-rise jeans can also flatter your bottom (Jennifer Lopez uses this trick often).

• Ample tummy - Never, ever buy pleats.

Choose five-pocket styles or jeans with slash pockets on the diagonal. Look for stretch jeans (that aren’t snug) for some give. Elastic waists may feel comfy, but the denim bunches below the elastic and adds unwanted inches.

• Heavy thighs - Go for a style that skims

(but doesn’t hug) your leg. Flares and boot cuts are good because they elongate the leg and give some heft to the ankle area to even out proportions. The worst? Peg legs, stretch jeans that fit skin tight and baggy jeans with no shape.

• Tall & thin - Try the new retro peg leg

(very narrow ankle opening) or extra low-rise styles to show off your flat tummy and slim hips.

• Short legs - Slim-fit styles with a slight

flare make your legs look longer. Avoid cuffs and peg legs.

More General tips

• A slight flare looks good on just about every body type.

• The darker the denim, the thinner you

will look. Conversely, you’ll look larger in lighter washes (and the new treatments that make your new jeans look old that feature “worn” areas will highlight your figure wherever they are -- like the backside of your jeans; the folds of the crotch, etc.)

In my opinion, denim is one of our most fabulous fashion staples because of its timeless versatility. We are free to dress our jeans up or down--which makes having the perfect fitting jeans both casual & chic. As I said earlier, all of our clothes should be figure-flattering, but if by chance they are not, please don’t hesitate to invest in having your slacks/jeans altered. Altering will help generate the garment to fit Your personal body type. Yes, you can purchase a pair of jeans that seem to fit okay, but why not invest a little bit of money in having the jeans altered so that those same jeans go from good to GREAT, by creating a more shapely appearance, a more sophisticated look, and a much more polished style. When it comes to jeans, having the proper fit truly does matter. So be sure to do your homework before you buy your next pair of jeans, be sure to try them on before leaving the store and most importantly, be sure that YOU feel confident & fabulous in your well-fitting new jeans! Tawanna Larkin Certified Image Consultant P.S. Denim History Tidbit: The fabric has a long history and has been widely used since the late 18th century. Denim originally got its name due to the place where it was first made. It was first created in the city of Nimes in Southern France, between Avignon and Montpelier. The ‘de’ part that forms the start of its name means ‘from’, so the name denim means ‘from Nimes.’


36 What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com

Sticky Toffee Pudding by Eddie Shumard

If you’re looking for that perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert, Sticky Toffee Pudding is a velvety and decadently sweet cake that shines under a thick blanket of caramel. This dessert is a favorite in Ireland and throughout the British Isles. You can enjoy a hearty slice with an Irish coffee or a hot toddy, or just enjoy its rich sweetness all by itself. To be sure I shared the most authentic and delicious recipe I reached out to chef and friend Jennifer Lee. Chef and Proprietor of Celtic Table (www. celtictable.com), Jennifer was Ballymaloe trained under Darina Allen in County Cork, Ireland. Her beloved grandfather shared his passion for organic practices while growing up on their farm. Her connection to the land

at a young age grew into a lifelong pursuit and interest in the environment, sustainable farming practices, and the slow food movement. With a background in environmental law she now lives between the United States and Galway, Ireland where she shares an organic sheep and cattle farm with her son Jonathan, her husband Patrick, and their sheepdogs. Impress your guests or just treat yourself this March with an authentic and truly mouth-wateringly scrumptious Irish dessert. But remember what Pink Floyd said in “The Wall”: “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding.”

Tips and suggestions Cook’s Tips... This pudding can be prepared entirely in advance and will keep very well once cooked, lasting five or six days in an airtight box in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer. Before serving, just warm it up in a low oven for about 15 minutes covered (defrost first if it has been frozen). Adapted from Rachel Allen, Bake (Collins) Ingredients * 225g stoned dates, chopped * 250 mL black tea * 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature * 175g golden caster sugar * 3 eggs * 1 tsp mixed spice * 1 tsp vanilla extract * 225g self-rising flour * 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (you can find a simple conversion calculator Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Butter and flour the sides of a 20 x 20cm square cake online.) tin and line the base with greaseproof paper. * vanilla ice cream or whipped cream * toffee sauce

2. Place the chopped dates and tea in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for a few minutes to soften the dates, then remove from the heat and set aside. 3. Beat the butter in a large bowl or an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the mixed spice and vanilla extract. Fold in the date mixture. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and fold in gently until mixed. 4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is just firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 5. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to stand in the tin for about five minutes before removing and transferring to a serving plate.

Eddie Shumard can be found at The Refinery in Seminole Heights.

6. To serve, cut into squares and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and a generous drizzle of warm toffee sauce over the top.


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Springtime….

is the right time…… for drinking wine!!!

I

n this town of Tampa that I have been proud to call home for the past 32 years, there is a solid run of winter cool weather that lasts about three to four weeks. Then after those weeks are up, it’s right back to 90 degree days and humidity that will make even Fabio’s hair a little frizzy. In between that flux in weather change, Tampa has some really beautiful springtime weather. I truly do love the weather here for a number of reasons. The main reason is because there is nothing like sitting by a pool with a nice glass of wine, sucking down some oysters and enjoying some cheese on a toasted focaccia toast. Did I paint a good enough picture for you? Good, okay now follow me. Spring is a season when I think most couples get to spend some quality time together. Why is that you ask? Because all the good sports on TV are over. Trust me, every Sunday, when there is a good game on, the grill is fired up and I have a beer in my hand. But during spring, when there is nothing on the TV except for NASCAR and bowling (no offense anybody) and all I want to do is relax, then it’s wine and apps by the pool for me. So, you ask, what wine is a good springtime wine? Most people don’t think about drinking wine during the day, but why not? Some people think that wine drinking and warm days do not mix well. Others think that only white wine is the only wine for the daytime. Well my friends, the times, they are a-changin’. Each and every day winemakers are experimenting with new and exciting ways to put twists on their varietals. One winemaker in particular, Abe Schoener of Scholium Project Wines, makes a Sauvignon Blanc where he leaves the stems and skins from the grapes in during fermentation.

This gives his Sauvignon Blanc a cloudy, almost wheat beer look to it, but it gives the wine a beautiful aroma of fresh tropical fruits. Pineapple, mango and honeydew jump out at you when you put your nose to the glass. So the first thought your brain processes is that it must be sweet. No, no my friend, it has everything you would like in Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp, nice acidity and chock-full of citrus fruits. This is just one example of what some winemakers are doing these days to keep all of us on our toes.

Rosés are made in much the same way that red wine is made, but instead of leaving the skin and stems in to fully give color to the wine, the winemaker pulls the wine out early, giving the wine a pinkish color but while still possessing all the qualities of the grape.

But that is just one wine, what else is there to drink on a warm spring day? There is always a Riesling.

Rosés are made from numerous types of grape; Syrah, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon are just the tip of the iceberg. There is even a region in France, Tavel, where the only wines they produce are Rosés. I try to pair Rosés with our tasting menu as much as I possibly can, just so our guests can see all the wonderful characteristics that Rosés possess. I like the Rosés from Pax vineyards that hail from Sonoma, California.

I know, most of you think that all Rieslings are sweet, right? Wrong again. Some Rieslings, especially from the Alsace area in France, tend to have more characteristics of mineral and acid than sweet and savory.

I challenge you to close your eyes and try this wine. You are going to think that somebody has chilled a red wine. Dark in color and in flavor, Pax Rosé, made from Syrah grapes, is my favorite Rosé out there.

Alsatian Rieslings are also some of the world’s most flexible food wines as well, like shellfish and Zind-Humbrecht Alsatian Riesling, it is a match made in heaven. Another varietal I suggest is Viognier. Viognier has some qualities of a Sauvignon Blanc and also that of a Chardonnay. Nice floral aromas matched only with a slight creaminess and finished off with nice acidity, makes this wine a must to just chill by the pool.

So whichever wine that you choose to drink on your beautiful spring day, just make it an interesting one. Nobody likes a boring wine, whether it’s springtime or not. So go out and explore. Make sure to try something different. If the time comes and you still haven’t found a spring wine that you like, well just wait a couple more months and you can come by my pool, watch some football and have a beer with me.

So what is my favorite wine to drink on a warm spring day? I like to drink…don’t laugh… Rosé! Rosé wine is, in my opinion, the perfect aperitif, food and/or party wine. Let’s make sure that we don’t get Rosé and White Zinfandels mixed up now. White Zinfandels are sweet and made in mass quantities while Rosés, on the other hand, are made in very small production and are dry and crisp in flavor.

Cheers!!

Dave Madera General Manager/Wine Director Mise en Place Restaurant 442 W. Kennedy Blvd. Suite 110 Tampa, FL 33606 813-254-5373


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TAMMY LEVENT

CEO, ELITE TRAVEL TAMMY@ELITETRAVELGROUP.NET WWW.ELITETRAVELGROUP.NET

You don’t need to find a pot of gold to travel to Ireland this year. Even though the euro to dollar exchange rate is not in our favor, there are still some deals to be found on the Emerald Isle. As the owner and CEO of Elite Travel, I have a few ideas on how you can have your own St. Patrick’s Day celebration on site, and still have enough money left over to buy a round at the pub. There is something mystical, even spiritual about Ireland – and I’m not just alluding to the wonders of Guinness. I’m talking about miles of narrow country roads winding through moors and heath-covered mountains, white cliffs and thatched roof villages on one side, limestone castles and tombs on the other. For a small country, there is a lot to see, and the best – and cheapest – way to see it is by car.

GO AS YOU PLEASE One of the least expensive ways to travel around Ireland is to book a “Go as you please” holiday. The package includes a booklet of Bed and Breakfast vouchers, airfare and car rental, allowing you to explore the island at your leisure. Ireland’s famous Bed and Breakfasts offer great value and the vouchers make them even more budget-friendly. Here’s how it works: you pay one price for the number of nights you will be in Ireland and receive vouchers for each night with a guide to over 1,600 participating Bed and Breakfasts across the country. The guide includes pictures, descriptions, lists of facilities, websites and contact information for the B&Bs. You can use your vouchers on any B&B on the list either by pre-booking, or just showing up at the last minute and asking if there is a room available. This flexibility allows you to go at your own pace. If you find a gorgeous little village and want more time to enjoy it, you can stay longer without incurring extra costs. There is also no penalty for leaving a place early. You have absolute control over your itinerary.

of a big house. You’ll have more fun if you have no expectations of what you’ll get when you walk through the door, although you can expect friendly hosts who will do their best to make your stay comfortable. Prices for the “Go as you please” packages vary depending on where you are flying from and dates of travel, but they are generally lower than what you could book independently. Book your package and get your vouchers in the U.S. because you won’t find them in Ireland. Countries offer travel incentives abroad, but often those same incentives aren’t available in the countries themselves.

TIPS FOR DRIVING ON THE “WRONG” SIDE Ireland is an easy country to navigate once you get used to driving on the left. However, it takes a day or two for driving on the “wrong” side of the road to become second nature. Before you hit the road, drive a few minutes in the rental company’s parking lot to get a feel for where your mirrors are, and to remember that the gearstick is on your left. When you get on the road, always remember that the driver should be seated towards the middle of the roadway – that rule goes for all countries.

Most rental cars in Ireland are stick shifts, so ask for an automatic if you need one. Rental cars also tend to be tiny, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many rural roads are narrow which makes smaller cars a blessing – just don’t Bed and Breakfasts are the best way to immerse yourself in Irish culture bring a lot of luggage. since most hosts are happy to engage in conversation and give you tips on favorite pubs, nearby sites, and the best food in town. Staying at B&Bs also There are not many gas stations in rural areas, very few offer 24/7 service, ensures home cooked Irish breakfasts every morning, which cuts down on and not all take credit cards. Fill up your tank when it is half empty to make food expenses. However, if you want more elegant accommodations, there is sure you have enough to reach the next town. When planning your driving also a voucher program for staying in Irish castles. Since castles are booked itinerary, expect to drive more slowly than you would at home. Ireland’s faster and often have only a few guest rooms, you should call at least 24 roads can be narrow, and country roads should be considered one giant hours ahead to make sure a room is available. unmarked sheep crossing. The “Go as you please” package gives the traveler flexibility, but it also Nearly all sights in Dublin are within walking distance of each other, so don’t requires some flexibility from the traveler. Not all B&Bs are created equal. ruin a day of your vacation by fighting traffic and trying to find parking in the Some are very nice, some are even country manors, castles, or spacious city. Friends don’t let friends drive in Dublin. thatch-roofed farmhouses, but others might have you stay in the back room


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OTHER AFFORDABLE ADVENTURES

Ballymaloe Cookery School, East Cork

Guinness isn’t Ireland’s only major contribution to culinary advancement – Ballymaloe Cookery School in East Cork is at the center of a renaissance in Irish food. The school itself is a converted apple barn in the middle of 10 acres of gardens, greenhouses and rolling countryside. There are four teaching kitchens, two demonstration kitchens, and over 30 short courses on everything from beekeeping to making your own butter to butchery. Half day classes are $160, full day classes are $258, and there are even two and five day courses. Ballymaloe House is a B&B owned by the same family as the school, and is also all about gourmet dining. You can take cooking classes at the school, or wine and gardening classes at the House, or visit nearby Cork. Rooms start at $118.

Belleek Castle Hotel, County Mayo

Most castle hotels in Ireland are expensive, but for one night’s splurge, the experience of staying in one is worth the cost. While castles are not cheap, there are less expensive ones, like Belleek Castle Hotel. Rooms feature grand four-poster beds and incredible views since guests stay in the upper floors of the castle. The lounge and dining room were built using wood from a 17th century ship wrecked off the coast. Rates start around $223 for double occupancy, but spend a little extra for dinner at the excellent gourmet restaurant. If you’re staying in a castle, you have to live it up a little.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Ireland has two currencies: the Euro in the South, and Pounds Sterling in the North. Euros or Sterling can be bought at any bank in Ireland. The best time to go is in May, September, or early October. Then you can avoid peak tourist season and peak prices in the summer, and foul weather in the winter. One last money-saving tip: if you are willing to connect flights through a major gateway like Atlanta or New York you will have a better chance at finding cheaper airfare.


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What’s Hot Tampa Bay, in partnership with Channelside Cinemas 10, put on our first annual “Big Game on the Big Screen” Party. Football fans from around the Tampa Bay Area enjoyed musical entertainment courtesy of Mighty Mango and watched this year’s gridiron battle between the Indianapolis Colts and the victorious New Orlean’s Saints, on a 55’ screen inside of the theater’s Dolce Vita Lounge. If you missed this year’s event, make sure to lock in your spot for the 2010 season finale...it is sure to be HOT!


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On January 21st the Soho Leisure Group Goddesses were treated to a night of luxury and pampering at Raydiance Wellness Center in Hyde Park. The evening featured complimentary yoga classes, spa treatments and much more! For more information about the Goddess Program, how to join and upcoming events, please visit soholeisuregroup.com


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It’s

Evander-ful by Dave Norrie Photos by Scott Purks

Life!!!

Imagine a life without boundaries. One in which your outward appearance wasn’t so important and you didn’t have to watch your tongue with every sentence spewed from your mouth. What if, in that life, you bought things only because you wanted them and not because you needed them? And in that world you never had to apologize for not conforming to sobriety. People might label you bizarre and thus interpret your candid comfort a significant threat to the status quo. Welcome to Evander Preston’s world. And if you don’t like it, he’d probably look you in the eye and say, “tough shit” and hand you a beer.

I HEAR THE SOUND OF NATIVE DRUMS You don’t simply meet Evander Preston, you must be introduced. That’s what I was told by St. Pete locals, one of whom was Zack Gross, owner of Z Grille off 2nd Street South, downtown. It was in Zack’s restaurant that I was first introduced to the legend of Evander and given one of his locally brewed beers of the same name. The beer was good but the slogan was outstanding; “It’s better to be a well known drunk than an anonymous alcoholic.”

We were hunting for a character that looked like Bigfoot with the brain of Socrates and Peter Griffin’s thirst for beer. And before we could unload our equipment from the car, we looked up and there he was; six-feet of man, three feet of beard and handfuls of bottles.

Now that’s got balls!

“Hurry up and take some of these beers before I drink them all.” With some persistence, I convinced Zack to arrange a meeting between Now that’s what I call a greeting, but I said to myself, ‘wait a minute, this myself and this man whom many described as an eccentric recluse. guy isn’t huddled up in the corner of a dark room shielding his face from the Zack was one of the few people tight enough with Evander to make visits to light, he’s standing there in his old-fashioned dungarees with a friendly smile his pad after hours. From time to time, he’ll stop in with some of his world on his face.’ famous Dr. Pepper ribs, an Evander favorite. They vibe so well probably because they have common philosophies on life, not to mention sharing a I had been prepared for the Phantom of the Pinellas, not Chewbacca with charm. This recluse whom everybody seemed to know of but few had look that I’ll just call ‘less than polished.’ actually met was rumored to be aloof, anti-social. But Evander was none of “Being around him is the closest thing to being with a movie star without that. Kind and cordial, I immediately felt welcomed, like visiting a favorite all the bullshit of Hollywood,” Zach explained to me on our approach to uncle I hadn’t seen in years. However I did sense that his presence demanded a certain amount of reverence, more than the common courtesy extended to Evander’s hideaway on Pass-A-Grille Beach. a stranger. I was anxious about the encounter, feeling a bit like Marlow chugging down the Congo River in Heart of Darkness, destined to encounter the infamous Accompanied by his wife Susan and daughter Heather, Evander seemed as Kurtz. Because like Kurtz, Evander was described to me as a man with interested and eager to meet us as we were him. The two-story, saloon style quite a reputation and many areas of expertise; a man who was a collector, building we entered was a museum, retail store and living space combined a musician and most of all, a man of unexplainable genius. The handful of into one extravagant sideshow of artifacts and accoutrements. Two enormous natives whom Evander chose to endear himself to, spoke of him as being this flies crafted from glass and metal, the size of mopeds, clung to the wall outside, prepping us for the oddities to come. anomalous icon of insanity, a paladin of all that’s peculiar.

LONG-HAIRED FREAKY PEOPLE NEED NOT APPLY “The jewelry is for sale, but nothing else is,” Evander explained as we Luckily, a hint of daylight remained upon our arrival at his quiet Pass-AGrille seaside location. My photographer and I felt like Shaggy and Scooby getting out of the Mystery Machine at an abandoned amusement park.

entered his showroom. “People come in and want to buy stuff and I have to point out to them that it’s a private collection.” A collection of what though, I wondered. Fred Sanford didn’t even have this much junk lying around.


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“I don’t throw anything away,” he continued as he led us from room to room. “Even if you don’t think you like something, don’t get rid of it. You can always do something with it.” Most people use the term “pack rat”, but Evander isn’t like most people. When it comes to junk, there is no such term. Whether it be a regular old garden shovel he put his twist on and wrapped in gold and silver or the white coat and hat entirely made of wood, it is, if nothing else, conversation piece heaven. I can only describe his abode as being like a prop studio for 20th Century Fox. A mid-twentieth century Chinese rickshaw bicycle. A vintage 1950s motorcycle with sidecar. A full-sized replica of a Chinese Terracotta Army Statue. There was so much to look at you couldn’t stop turning your head, afraid if you walk too quickly, you’ll miss something extremely cool, like the guest sign-in book with the electric shock pen. I nearly grabbed it before being stopped by a stern warning that if I picked up the pen, I’d get a jolt. That’s a hint of the twisted sense of humor Evander possesses. “Nothing here really goes together,” he spouts. “That’s why you like it, ’cause it’s juxtaposition. Anybody can have the same thing.” When Evander talks, you listen. You listen like a child whose granddad is reading them a bedtime story. Half the stuff that comes out of his mouth you’d swear was bullshit though. Like the story he tells about Henry “Hank” Aaron, the famous baseball player. “Well I pulled out all these miniatures from my pocket [Evander holds in his hand dozens of tiny working miniatures, things he’s crafted from metals “I was at a conference years ago and Hank Aaron was the keynote speaker,” such as little brass mousetraps, gold airplanes, scissors etc.] and said ‘I make Evander said. “He came up to me and said ‘so what do you do?’ these.’ “Hank looked at me and said, ‘What in the hell would make you do that?’ and then he just turned around and walked away. “Isn’t that great? I think I’ll put that on my tombstone.” You can’t make stuff like this up I thought to myself. And if he did, he should’ve been an author. Except that would’ve been impossible because he either got kicked out or flunked out of just about every school he was in.

A ROUND PEG IN A SQUARE HOLE Evander didn’t always look like the fourth member of ZZ Top. Born in North Carolina, his mother was a student of Juilliard and his father studied under the Metropolitan Opera, which explains his love of music. At St. Pete High in the late 1940s, he was a member of the school tennis team. But admittedly, he was always a prankster. He loves practical jokes. Unfortunately, his teachers didn’t feel the same. One day a young Evander walked into the Principal’s office seeking a recommendation letter to college. “Somehow” the school’s public address system was turned on and, according to Evander, the Principal explained rather vehemently that he’d “rather give one to a [derogatory term for an African American] than him.” A comment which went out over the PA and the entire school overheard. “I went home and told my parents what happened and they took me out of that school and sent me to Admiral Farragut,” Evander said. “But at that time if you were in a military school you were either gay or criminal. You didn’t go there to get an education, you went there because there was something wrong with you. “And I guess there was because I ended up getting the most demerits of anybody in school history. I even gave one teacher a nervous breakdown.” Eventually he did get into college, the University of Florida, although it wasn’t a lengthy stay. One day a friend paid him $5 to copy his English exam and the two ended up staying up all night drinking malt wine. When he got to class the next morning, Evander threw up all over a table and his paper.


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“That’s when I decided it was time to go home,” he said. “I hitchhiked home and told my dad it was time I go to work.” Reverting back to his first love, music, Evander scraped up some money to open a music store in downtown St. Pete. There he sold instruments and gave lessons for thirty years. He felt at home there and it’s where he met one of his closet friends. Eddie, who has an equally long beard, was a student of Evander’s when the music shop first opened. The two forged a strong friendship and these days spend their time doing what they do best, hanging out making beer and sangria.

seriously either. “Everybody asks me if I make the beer back here in my shop,” he says. “I wanted a picture of me taking a leak in the one of the bottles so I could say, ‘yeah, I make it here.’” Now it’s just one one-liner after another, like a comic-blending of Mitch Hedberg and Foster Brooks.

“I’ve never shaved,” Eddie said. “I don’t like messing with a razor. Plus, nobody likes you when you look like we do. It’s great. I like it when they say you’re disgusting.” Life-size cardboard cutouts of Evander and Eddie stand guard over the collection. Eddie is holding his guitar and Evander is sporting the Kanye West glasses. I quickly realized that this encounter was a classic example of why you shouldn’t assume something about a person based on their looks. I had to laugh when I learned that Evander was a scratch golfer at one time in his life. It seems once he sets his mind to something, it’s set. And perhaps that’s why he can afford the life he does, because he becomes good at whatever he chooses to set his mind to. He himself calls it the Eccentric Club. Sure he’s eccentric, but there are a lot of eccentric people living in dumpsters. These “toys” Evander buys can cost pennies or run in the tens of thousands of dollars, like the antique organ he has upstairs or the vintage synthesizer he still plays which looks like something out of Barberella. Evander’s psuedo-lavish lifestyle is funded from sales of his custom jewelry, which is again, the only thing you can buy in the entire building. The line is as intricate as it is unique. For instance, the gold spider web necklace “isn’t for everyone,” he says. “It takes the right kind of person to pull that off.” His attention to detail is amazing, a small spider in the middle of the web with a tiny man crawling towards it. The photo of a model next to it has her wearing it draped down the back of her neck, almost from shoulder to shoulder, with a black evening gown. I only imagined a celebrity like Pink or a young Angelica Houston wearing it. Be it a hand-crafted wedding ring or a bracelet made out of gold pop-tops off of old soda cans, it’s definitely not Mayors.

I DON’T DRINK TO GET SOBER By this time in the evening Evander ‘the storyteller’ has us in the palm of his hand, not to mention fairly buzzed. Myself, Zack, and my photographer can’t get halfway through a bottle of beer before the bearded one is popping the top off another and extending his generosity. Four dozen or so empties litter the table in his makeshift kitchen area, all wrapped with his unforgettable mug on the label. “Old School” Eddie doesn’t say much, he just works diligently at the sink with a funnel and huge plastic buckets, mixing his recipe for a wicked brandy sangria of which Zack forewarned me about. An enormous candelabra with a jeweled steer’s skull attached to it acts as the centerpiece. Evander has graduated from bottles to a 24 oz. glass mug, refilling it from a beer rig engraved with a plaque which was dedicated to him by August Busch II, his old neighbor who lived five blocks from him. “I don’t drink to get sober,” Evander says. “If I wanted something good for me I’d drink a milkshake, you son of a bitch.” Understandably, at this point, the term ‘son of a bitch’ is a term of endearment and although beer is his passion, I realize he can’t seem to take that too

I feel lucky that he’s taken a liking to us and that he feels comfortable with our presence. By now his eyes are a bit wilder and the narratives are getting farther and farther out there. Susan sees our perplexities and attempts to explain the centerpiece and the décor in general. “He sees stuff like this and just has to buy it,” she says. “He’s not obsessive, he’s excessive. If he wants one mask, we end up with 200. He’s not boring, that’s for sure.” Tribal masks, pinball machines, skulls and antiques. If it’s weird or odd, chances are Evander owns one. The entire ceiling of the kitchen is embellished with ornamental Chinese lanterns and masks, upwards of 25 or 30 in one room. One of anything is never enough for Evander, even when it comes to dogs. India, the latest of more than two dozen Great Danes he’s owned over the years, roams the kitchen and parks herself between Evander and the immense Tandoori oven from India.


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It’s Evander-ful Life!!! (continued)

I make an attempt to ask him about finances and politics, two subjects I quickly find out he has no clue about. “Politics bore me. And I’m not a money person. I don’t even write checks. I don’t know about it and I don’t understand it,” he says. He is obsessed with pinball though. And the two biggest inspirations in his life are jazz trumpeter Miles Davis and artist Andy Warhol. Go figure, two of the most original when it comes to music and art. Their influence is heavily felt.

A HUMAN RUBIK’S CUBE Although his passion for alcohol is fierce and just about every story he tells revolves around it in some way, I’m not so sure you could label him as either a drunk or alcoholic as his slogan suggests. Evander is simply an anomaly, like something out of the middles ages which just plopped down on a quiet beach on the Gulf Coast. And the beach is his castle. Yes he’s collected objects and artifacts from all around the world, but he hates to travel and rarely leaves the comfort of his ornamented grotto. “I’ve been out of the country maybe a couple of times, but by accident,” he said. “So people wonder how it all got here. The fact is, everybody has one thing at home that they aren’t crazy about and that’s how I end up with these things.” At first glace, it all appears so random, but nothing is there by accident. Entertaining stories accompany each relic of his life’s journey. A life where he’s used to entertaining himself, unbothered as to whether his antics are either appropriate or civilized. Regardless, everything seems to revert back to beer at some point. Even ill-health has its comic moments. Evander pulls out a black walking cane with three silver skulls on the handle, telling me this is what he brings to the doctor’s office, tapping it on the floor while announcing to the nurse that he’s “ready for another drink”. Zack took him to Roys for a recent birthday, a rare trip out of the house. As Evander proceeded to lecture the waiter on his dedication to the vegan lifestyle, the beer came one after another. He then ordered Duck and ate the entire bird, head to tail. Life is for his amusement. And for me it was very difficult not to be completely enamored by his wit, although it’s certainly not for everybody. For a man in his 70s who drinks as much as he does, his memory and intellect are outstanding. I call him a human Rubik’s Cube because he’s colorful and entertaining but damned if you’ll ever really figure him out. Unfortunately, I could only print half the stories he told us, too much beer and too little regard for the Queen’s English, if you catch my drift. But if you ever get a chance to meet Evander, do it. Because once in a blue moon you meet somebody who completely changes your perspective on life, a person who opens your eyes to a reality that may have been right in front of you but you couldn’t see. Hopefully he’ll be around to share his tales a lot longer, but one thing’s for sure, Miles Davis and Andy Warhol are waiting to pop the cap and tilt a few back with him after he empties the keg here on earth.


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Hot Potatoes:

Irish sex appeal?

here to talk about finding some Irish babes. In particular one who could be the poster girl for “What’s Hot” Eve, when I told my 92-year-old about Ireland. grandmother that my favorite quarterback was Donovan McNabb, The first one who comes to mind she replied by saying, “aw, well is Jenny McCarthy. Hot and funny I’m happy to see a nice Irish boy is is a great combination, but her star may have burnt out. She may be finding success in the NFL.” a grandma by now. Then there’s Needless to say, she’s not a sports Lindsay Lohan? Pale, freckly and she fan. But it got me thinking about the loves to hit the sauce. That certainly Irish, because it is that time of year fits the stereotype does it not? But when redheaded, pale-faced people no. She’s a hot mess. raise a glass in honor of the Patron Saint of Ireland. And why shouldn’t Allow me to nominate every the Irish have their day in the sun? college kid’s favorite actress then, Well, maybe not in the sun. They Jenna Jameson. The “supposedly” burn easily. Their time to shine, let’s reformed porn star won more than 20 adult film star awards prior to say. retiring in 2008. She’s been animated But unless you’re a cricketer, a boxer on the Family Guy, been an advocate or a jockey there isn’t much chance for PETA and also lent her support to for you to shine in sports Ye of Irish Senator Hillary Clinton. Surely Bill heritage. And no, Larry Bird isn’t gets her vote. Irish. And Brady Quinn and J.T. There’s even a drink named after her, O’Sullivan both suck! appropriately enough it’s a combiMusic then, Eve? Well, maybe. If you nation of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, like U2 and the Dropkick Murphys. Irish Cream and Cherry Liqueur. But maybe she’s not such a good repreHollywood surely delivers a Mick sentative of the good people of Irish or two. You ladies fawn over Catholic descent. McDreamy, right? But before Patrick Dempsey was cool on Grey’s Ok, ok, I think I’ve got one. Ever Anatomy he was a huge tool in Can’t heard of Irish born singer/actress Buy Me Love and Loverboy. Colin Samantha Mumba? Her single Ferrell scores big with the ladies too “Gotta Tell You” reached No. 1 on but he kissed a dude in Alexander, the Irish charts and No. 2 on the didn’t he? And Liam Neeson? Not so British charts. She’s also modeled for Dior and Reebok. good either.

Adam

Irish girl. In fact Mumba is a perfect candidate for Dave Chappelle’s infamous “Racial Draft”, the skit he made famous on his HBO show. Although she was born in Dublin, her father is from the Republic of Zambia. Her mother is Irish.

EVE Pullleeeze. Although I am 98% Sicilian (which is pretty darn close to Italian, right?), give me a little more credit than Steve Buscemi. A great actor yes, but far from what I would waste a draft pick on as far as hotties are concerned. But before I get to my nominations there are a few things I should point out, dear Adam. Although Football may not be the ‘Luck of the Irish’ sport, they do stand out in other notable arenas. Take for instance John McEnroe, whose father happens to be of Irish descent. He may have been an obnoxious bully on the tennis court but he won seven Grand Slam Single titles… four at the US Open and three at Wimbleton. Not to mention he kept it real for his peeps by marrying in the bloodlines with Tatum O’Neal.

Let me also introduce to you Sonia O’Sullivan, one of the world’s leading runners in the ’90s and So, speaking on behalf of the the early part of 2000s. She was born O’Reillys, the Doyles, Kellys, in County Cook, Ireland and is one Murphys, McLaughlins and Quinns, of the Emerald Isle’s most famous with the first pick in the 2010 Racial Olympians having both Gold and Draft, the Irish select Samantha Silver Medals under her belt. Mumba. In return, we give Italy full rights to Steve Buscemi, whose As for music, yes, U2 is indeed mother Dorothy is Irish but dad John one of my favorite bands. They’ve got the talent, they’ve got the edge is in fact a Goombah. (pun intended) and they’ve got the Eve, you love you some Steve politics. Bono and his boys may be the most popular of Irish bands, but Buscemi don’t you? not the only famous musicians to The only problem with this pick is But I’ll leave that to you Eve, I’m come out the fair country. Look at that she doesn’t look like your typical


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Van Morrison, the Cranberries and Sinead O’Connor. Ok fine, maybe not Sinead but how about John Fogerty? He may not have been born in Ireland but he’s Irish American, and in my book that counts! And Adam, contrary to popular belief, not all Irishmen resemble our good friend Lucky the Leprechaun. In fact some are magically delicious. My personal favorite is Jonathan Rhys Meyer who has been the face of Versace and Hugo Boss. And whether he is playing the King of England, the King of Pop, or the bad guy in Match Point, this dude is F.I.N.E. fine. Those lips, those eyes, that chest! Whew…. Do you have any cold water handy? Coming in a close second is your boy Colin Farrell. Who cares if he kissed a dude? Just the mere sight of him makes my knees weak. And because he’s so lustworthy, he deserves a double mention. And finally at third and fourth are my two favorite funny men, Will Farrell and Conan O’Brian. Girls love guys who can make them laugh.

However, if I MUST choose “What’s Hot” about Ireland, it would have to be my favorite 007, Pierce Brosnan. Before he was the spy I wanted to shag me, he starred in the Thomas Crown Affair and Remington Steele. Other films worth mentioning are Mrs. Doubtfire, the Matador, and Mama Mia. Although singing is not his gig, he still looks good. In fact, in 2001 he was voted People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. And yes, he was born in Ireland to not one, but two Irish parents. There you have it. As the spokesperson for the Oirish women, we nominate Pierce Brosnan because he’s mature, debonair, charming, and yummy. But I still have one question Adam, are you sure Larry Bird isn’t Irish??


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St. Patty’s Day or Not, Luck shouldn’t be a factor in your Investments By: James Cordier, OptionSellers.com

There is a small but growing group of investors that are learning how to minimize the role of luck and instead focus on putting percentages in their favor.

M

ost traditional investors have been taught since they first held a calculator that successful investing revolves around one simple concept. Buy an asset, wait for it to appreciate, sell it at a higher value. They have applied this concept to everything from equities, to coins, to stamps to commodities, to real estate. If they are lucky, the asset does appreciate and they make money. They have also held onto the philosophy, most unwilling to embrace new approaches. This remains true even after the cataclysmic consequences of such an approach were revealed in September of 2008. The mainstream investment industry (including financial planners, brokers, advisors and authors) has done a good job of convincing the mainstream investment community that buying an asset for appreciation is the only way to invest and that any other approach to investing is most likely nonsense or “hoo-doo.” They have convinced the investor that swaying from the prescribed path (ie: removing assets and or equity from their investment firm or advisory service) is fraught with risk, irresponsible and doomed to failure. It isn’t true. There is a small but growing group of investors that are learning how to minimize the role of luck and instead focus on putting percentages in their favor.

Investing for asset appreciation has its merits and by no means should anyone suggest that you should abandon it entirely. However, individual investors are often deprived of the knowledge and/or education to explore alternative approaches. Specifically, this refers to approaches used by professional or institutional traders, industry insiders, and “black box” hedge fund managers generally unwilling to reveal their trade secrets to outsiders – or even their own investors.

The mainstream investment industry (including financial planners, brokers, advisors and authors) has done a good job of convincing the mainstream investment community that buying an asset for appreciation is the only way to invest

Unlike the investing public, professionals and Wall Street insiders have often moved beyond the game of trying to guess which direction the market is


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going to move. Many, in fact, have no preference which direction the market Options held through expiration expire worthless approximately 80% of is moving at any given time. Professionals are more interested in playing the time. When this happens, option sellers make money. That is where the odds. odds come in. However, it is also a flexible strategy. It can produce profits regardless of if the market moves higher, lower, or does not move at all. While not without risk, if you choose to apply this approach in the manner If you remember the 1980’s movie “Wall Street”, Gordon Gecko only bet this book suggests, it can produce outsized returns - consistently. You will no on “sure things.” While there may be no such thing in legitimate investing, longer need to rely on asset appreciation to profit from it. And if you choose, professionals are looking to stack the highest odds in their favor before putting you can diversify yourself from equities entirely. money at risk. Using strategies such as spreads, swaps and arbitrage, pros can increase odds of success without betting on outright market direction. Professionals and market makers like to play odds, not market direction. This short tutorial will show you how you can do the same, right now, with no Many of these institutional strategies require economy of scale (ie: billions need for high tech computer software, intense training or complex matheof dollars in equity), a physical presence on the trading floor, hundreds of matical formulas. thousands of dollars in “quant” software, or years of training to execute effectively. We work with over 150 high net worth investors that apply this strategy every day. The following example will give you an idea of how these investors apply this strategy to specific commodities markets.

…professionals are looking to stack the highest odds in their favor before putting money at risk.

SUGAR MARKET – A Good Place to Start? Sugar and Sugar Options are traded at the ICE Commodities Exchange in New York and are just as easy to trade as a share of stock.

If 2008 was the year for crude oil bulls, in 2009 the spotlight belonged to sugar. For while energy prices remained in check, Sugar prices surged to 29 year highs and closed out the year as the strongest commodity market on the However, there is one strategy favored by professionals, that, given proper board. In January, the market capped off 2009 gains with a spike to over 30 direction, can be learned relatively quickly by the individual investor. More cents per pound before pulling back this month. This kind of volatility can importantly, it can be implemented fairly quickly and efficiently on the certainly create opportunities for option sellers. The question is, is sugar in for another year of soaring prices or has the market “flamed out.” To find the personal investor level. answer, one must look no further than the markets base fundamentals. The strategy is Selling Options. Unlike “regional” markets such as soybeans, orange juice or cocoa, Sugar Selling options is not without its drawbacks. It takes a fair amount of capital is a truly a global market more along the lines of wheat. It is produced and to implement the strategy effectively. If risk is not managed properly, losses used everywhere and thus, fundamental price projection becomes a bit more can accrue. Gains tend to accumulate gradually instead of in large chunks. involved. Most discouraging is that most in the financial industry will discourage you from utilizing such a strategy – better to go with their “stock pick of the week.” For most brokers, advisors and consultants are either not versed enough in the strategy to offer it themselves, or they don’t feel their investor clients possess the intelligence to grasp the strategy. I give the individual investor a little more credit. Investors, especially ones possessing the capital requirements to implement this strategy effectively, have typically mastered at least one field to a point where they can generate a considerable income whether it be business, law, medicine or some other pursuit. If they can do that, they can grasp a simple investment concept. And if they can, they will enable themselves to take advantage of a high odds strategy used by some of the largest traders and institutions in the world.

Chart courtesy of Hightower Research

…if you choose to apply this approach in the manner this book suggests, it can produce outsized returns - consistently.

Monitoring sugar usage and output from each individual country can often be fruitless as a shortfall in one can often be offset by an oversupply in another. For Sugar analysis, it is global supply and consumption figures that matter. If there is one figure that can encapsulate all of the fundamentals in this market it is global stocks to usage. As we have discussed in past agricultural articles, stocks to usage measures the amount of supply left over at the end of the crop year compared to the expected demand for the upcoming crop year.


58 What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com (continued)

In other words, if global sugar stocks to usage was 25% for the 2009/10 crop year, it means that if no sugar was harvested in the world in 2010, we have enough leftover supply from 2009 to meet 25% of global demand for 2010. Stocks to usage incorporates all of the supply and all of the expected demand into one figure. Note in the chart below the correlation between stocks to usage and price movement over the last 1 ½ years. As stocks to usage declines, prices rally reflecting scarcity. This is not rocket science, folks.

and other factors contributed to the shortfall, crop problems in the commodity’s two largest producers can still pack a heavy enough punch to make a significant dent in world inventories. However these problems, and their subsequent supply consequences, are old news. The market has spent the better part of 2009 and early 2010 pricing these expected shortfalls. It will soon be time to shift focus to the upcoming 2010/11 crop which could spell trouble for the bull market. The keywords for 2010/11 season will be growing supply. Sugar inventories could rebound over the next 12 months for varying reasons, including:

• Brazil begins harvesting sugar in March. The crop is expected to yield 10% more sugar than last year’s disappointing harvest.

• A dry

Monsoon season is an exceptionally rare event. Monsoon season is characteristically wet. That is why it’s called the Monsoon. Expecting India’s yields to return to more normal levels this year would be a good bet.

• The

pendulum of Ethanol vs. White Sugar production will be shifting back towards white sugar in 2010 as lower petroleum prices are curbing demand for ethanol. Shifts in ethanol producing countries such as Brazil will help put more white sugar supplies on the market

With 09/10 Global Stocks to Usage near 26 year lows, Sugar prices have surged. Chart courtesy of Hightower Research

While it is too early to predict what 2010/11 global sugar ending stocks or stocks to usage will be, the market will begin over the next 90 days to do exactly that. And while official estimates will not be guessed at for several months, one thing seems fairly certain: The world will produce more sugar for the 2010/11 crop year than it did for the 09/10 crop year. Consequently, both ending stocks and global stocks to usage should rise. This does not per se, project a massive correction or a new bear market in sugar. It will take several years to rebuild stocks back to pre-2008 levels and prices will be sensitive to that. However, it does suggest that the worst of the supply squeeze may be over and thus, the majority of the price move has likely already taken place. Our price projection for sugar is that it will put in a high in the first quarter of 2010, if that has not already occurred. We expect sugar prices will then level off and drift lower into the second half of 2010 as new supplies begin to flood the market. This may sound rather mundane or even useless to a futures trader trying to decide where to buy or sell this week in order to take a profit next week. But to an option seller, it can be a set up for a profitable quarter, or even profitable year in the sugar market.

The recent volatility in sugar has pushed option values to levels not seen in years. Sellers of 40 or 45 cent sugar calls have little care if prices topped Supplies remain tight which is why sugar prices reached a new crescendo in out in January or push up to 31-32 or 33 cents in the next 60 days. For January. Two consecutive years of near historic low stocks to usage figures option sellers, it’s the big picture that matters. And it seems unlikely that in sugar have been the fundamental engine for the bull market. The 2009/10 sugar prices will rise another 33-50% with fundamentals shifting into a “less Global Stocks to Usage figure at 17%, if realized, will be the lowest in 26 bullish” posture. years. Obviously, currency fluctuations will continue to play a role in sugar and all The reasons for the supply shortfalls are the same reasons that prices could commodity prices in the coming months. However, the value of the dollar eventually drift back to earth: Production. India’s crop was decimated last can only serve to enhance or hinder a fundamentally driven move. If sugar is year by uncharacteristically dry weather through the Monsoon season – a going to rally by 50%, it will need a fundamental reason to do so. time of year where heavy rains are critical to crop development. Brazilian production suffered from the opposite reason – an overabundance of rain that That reason appears to have already come and gone. carried over into the normally dry season. While sugar is globally produced


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FREE FOR LUNCH?

Kindness For Kids needs you!

Julie’s way of entertaining Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe on a recent visit to the US.... by Julie Weintraub

Hello Tampa Bay! I believe we experience everything for a reason. Last year I spent some time with my children at a beautiful school in St Petersburg. While I was there I witnessed some things going on that you may not be aware of that were painful for me to see. Many of us may have our kids in private or public schools in more affluent areas with plenty of moms and dads to volunteer and help wherever they are needed—the halls richly scattered with the moms that never seem to leave the school. Well, let me tell you there is a heartbreaking situation in many of our public schools all over Pinellas, Hillsborough and most likely across the US: a mix of kids that are from homes with parents just trying to keep the roof over their heads, many living with only one parent or even with aunts or grandmothers that can’t even think about having the time to volunteer.

I asked a staff member why they all seemed so hungry, and I was told that for most of the kids that was the only good meal they would get that day. In a meeting with the principal I was told that many kids go to aftercare until 5-6 pm, and most parents don’t send the snacks or anything they are supposed to that are needed to keep these kids fed.

We must all agree their jobs are one of the MOST important jobs there are. They try as hard as they can to keep things in order, but how can you really watch that many kids, and kids that are STRESSED financially and emotionally with such limited resources? But they do, and they stay, and they try with all they have.

There was little Italian boy who explained to me that he would have to teach my son how to “protect himself, his money and his food” if he was going to go to school there. Amongst the cute little faces there was tension in this lunch room.

I know that if we all pull together and donate a lunchtime visit even just once a month in our communities it will benefit us all. These children that will be members of our community need our support! Trust me I know most of us have little time but even if it’s not you, it could be someone you know who would enjoy it. These kids are so cute and it really is a great experience!

I watched a child large for his age get bullied by the other kids while he was on trash duty. Realizing I couldn’t keep my kids there, I also realized I couldn’t take all the other children with me too. But I couldn’t just leave and forget what I saw and all the cute little faces and fun personalities I met.

Please contact me on Facebook if you or someone you know may be willing to help, even if it is just to coordinate the effort! I would like to put a pool of people together that may be able to help, I couldn’t be there every day to protect them and eventually grow to a powerful enough pool I spent some time at lunch with the kids after and give them the lunchtime I thought they of loving people that change lunchtime for these my son told me about elementary school kids should have. Yes, there are teachers in there at schools all over Tampa Bay that need it. throwing food at each other, taking each other’s lunchtime, but not 2-3 for 60-100 kids, there are food and bullying. As I chatted with the kids, 2 staff watching them—most likely underpaid and Next month we will have the results and pictures one child asked me for another bread stick, which underappreciated—and having to move 600 kids of our live broadcast at Gold & Diamond Source I bought for him. Then another child asked for through in an hour and a half. They certainly with Ron & Ian from Sports Animal 620 with the another bread stick, and another child asked for do their best, and we all know these teachers and Red Cross to raise money for the victims in Haiti. anything, even another little tangerine, until I ran administrators of our schools should be paid a lot Don’t forget...Kindness for Kids...contact Julie out of the cash I happened to have with me. more then they are. Weintraub at 727-572-9911.


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NUTRITION FOR THE ON-THE-GO by Brian Wolstein D.C.

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e all know that nutrition plays a vital role in our overall health. It is also a key ingredient in achieving our goal of increasing lean body mass and lowering body fat. With busy schedules, many times it is hard to find the time to eat frequently, or even just eat a balanced meal! We know what needs to be done, we have heard it a dozen times; eat 4-6 meals a day, watch portion size, and stay away from refined carbohydrates and saturated fats.

As Infinite Vitality’s nutritionist, I interact with clients on a daily basis whose schedules do not allow time for frequent meals (let alone meal preparation). Consequently, we have made it a point to be informed about the fare/menus of local restaurants that offer healthy options for dining out. There are a few local restaurants that have menus offering energizing foods which can be formatted for any diet. PF Changs, located on Westshore Boulevard, serves traditional Chinese cuisine and offers the “Training Table”, a menu listing the macronutrient breakdown of each meal. This enables you to “customize” your meal to fit your dietary goals.

Ciccio and Tony’s restaurant, with three South Florida locations, offers Asian, Mediterranean, and American fare. Any time you walk into a Ciccio and Tony’s; you will find it filled with fitness

Arby’s: Junior roast beef (270 calories, 9g fat, 34 carbohydrates, 16g protein). You can remove half the bun which will cut the carbohydrates in half, also lowering the calories. The Roast Chicken Club can be a good option when the mayonnaise is excluded. Intact it comes to 470 calories, 25g fat, 39g carbohydrates, and 27g protein. Cutting the mayonnaise and half the bun will significantly reduce the fat and carbohydrates. Remember not to just be concerned with fat and carbohydrates, Many common restaurants are following this but also overall calories. trend, providing us with healthier options. It is important to note that we never recommend Paying attention to detail is vital in maintaining fad diets to my clients; rather, we give them the your dietary lifestyle while eating out. A perfect education they need to make healthier choices. healthy chicken salad can become your heart’s It is a lifestyle change that should be maintained worst enemy when dressings and cheeses high in saturated fats are included. Fat contains 9 calories throughout our lives. per gram while protein and carbohydrates contain Unfortunately for most of us, there are times 4 calories per gram. Keep this in mind when using when we have no option other than to hit the fat-containing condiments. dreaded “drive-thru”. If you must, then do so but don’t allow it to become habitual because daily Eating healthy at every meal isn’t easy, this is fast-food consumption is an easy way to make true, but for the busy person it is still possible to sure you don’t reach your goals. So much of what maintain optimal health and achieve your goals we find at fast-food restaurants are items high in while eating out. I hope you can use this as a tool saturated fats and high glycemic carbohydrates. to aid you in the process. Yet, it is still possible to achieve your goals by occasionally eating “fast foods”. Here are three options if you’re in a pinch from a few of the most Dr. Wolstein can be reached at www.infinitevitality.net common fast–food joints around: Wendy’s Chicken BLT salad Wendy’s: Chicken BLT salad (330 calories, 18g fat, 10g carbohydrates, and 35g protein). Hold the croutons to keep the carbohydrates low. Adding any of the dressing packets will increase the calories by 100, including the fat and carbohydrates. Always ask for low fat, low sugar dressing on the side and use it sparingly!

enthusiasts of all sorts. The “low carbohydrate, high protein” menu includes lean meats, plenty of vegetables, and low glycemic-carbohydrates. The food is prepared in olive oil, rather than butter or vegetable oil. Olive oil supplies you with essential fatty acids used for energy and aid in the reduction of body fat. Ciccio and Tony’s use only fresh ingredients, offering organic options, and delicious low fat-low carbohydrate condiments.


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the tampa sports knucklehead

Tampa Bay Welcomes Baseball:

2010 Spring Training and Season Preview by Basil Spyridakos

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inter’s bite has loosened its grip on the Tampa Bay region and the crisp, fresh air wafts throughout the great baseball state of Florida. You can feel it in the atmosphere, both the changing climate and the pent-up excitement. The countdown has begun and the anticipation for “America’s Pastime” weighs heavy on the minds and hearts of fans everywhere.

Florida welcomes numerous Major League Baseball teams who use the state as their preparation ground for Spring Training because of the gorgeous weather provided each year. The teams that participate in Florida are known to be a part of the “Grapefruit League.” This tradition has spanned nearly a century and was started back in 1913 when the Chicago Cubs were enticed to train in the city of Tampa by then Mayor D.B. McKay. He promised to cover the team’s expenses up to $100 dollars a day, which was a substantial amount of money back then. The Cubs practiced at Plant Field, only a few short blocks north of the University of Tampa, but was torn down in 2002. The Cubs, Boston Red Sox, and Detroit Tigers are a few of the storied organizations that have called Plant Field their home for Spring Training. Currently, the Bay area hosts many professional baseball teams during the spring, including the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and Philadelphia Phillies. The New York Yankees practice and play their spring ball at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, right next to Raymond James Stadium. Steinbrenner Field opened in 1996 and is home to the Single-A Tampa Yankees baseball

club. The 31-acre complex holds up to 11,000 seats and has entertained the people of Tampa with concerts as well as high school baseball championship games. The 2009 World Series Champions are younger from a season ago and have reloaded for 2010. Teams in the A.L. East have always feared the Yankees and their limitless payroll, but this upcoming season has an air of progression from a team that went all the way a year ago.


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They made a blockbuster move by trading with the Toronto Blue Jays for pitching ace Roy Halladay, but countered that deal with a very controversial transaction by trading pitcher Cliff Lee, who carried the Phillies throughout the 2009 playoffs, to Seattle. Only time will tell if it hurts them in the long run. Combining Halladay, Lee, and a rejuvenated Cole Hamels would have spelled danger to not only the N.L., but also all of baseball. Although the Phillies outfield is currently exceptional, an up and comer to keep an eye on is MLB Top 50 and Phillies top prospect, Domonic Brown. This kid has speed to burn as well as unbelievable bat skills. Expect him to be called up come 2011 or possibly sooner.

Two major off-season moves were trading with the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Javier Vasquez, who shores up a solid number 4 or 5 pitcher in the Yanks rotation, and trading for speedy superstar and centerfielder, Curtis Granderson, formerly of the Detroit Tigers. Barring injuries, both players should make an immediate impact for the Bronx With the talent surrounding both of these powerBombers. houses, will there be a World Series rematch in 2010? Not if these guys have something to say Keep an eye on MLB Top 50 and Yankee top about it… prospect, Jesus Montero. The young man may be the person who replaces legendary catcher Jorge Posada behind the plate sooner than most think. The Philadelphia Phillies call Clearwater, Florida home during Spring Training. They practice and play their games at Bright House Field, which entertained its first game in March of 2004 and seats more than 7,000 fans. The Clearwater Threshers, Philadelphia’s Single-A affiliate, takes up residency once the Phillies are ready for big league play. Bright House Field also hosted the Big East collegiate baseball tournament in 2009.

The Phillies have had an amazing two-year run, winning the World Series in 2008 and being the runner-up in ‘09, and I don’t expect much change out of this organization for the 2010 season.

crushing tough opponents and struggling with the weaker ones. The team finished with consecutive winning records, its second winning record in franchise history, but missed out on the playoffs. 2010 is shaping up to be an incredible year with the acquisition of true closer, Rafael Soriano, traded to the Rays from the Atlanta Braves. Soriano gives Tampa a dependable closer, something that would have benefited the Rays in past seasons. Catcher Kelly Shoppach was also obtained via trade from the Cleveland Indians. Shoppach provides a solid right bat and key defensive fundamentals. He’ll push starting catcher Dioner Navarro for playing time. With these two additions and a nucleus intact from a season ago, sprinkle in a healthy Carlos Pena and a motivated B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay looks to make a ton of noise in 2010. I anticipate a playoff berth come September. The Rays also garner some of the best young talent in the minors, four of which are tops in the MLB Top 50 prospects list. Two may very well be on the opening day roster. Tampa Bay fans got a glimpse of Wade Davis at the end of the ‘09 season. The hard throwing righty finished out the season 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA and one complete game. Look for Davis to be considered for Rookie of the Year honors by season’s end.

Another top prospect is outfielder Desmond Jennings. He has been compared to Rays’ superstar Carl Crawford and the young prospect can make The Tampa Bay Rays travel to beautiful Port an immediate splash in an already speedy outfield. Charlotte, Florida for their Spring Training. Jennings received multiple minor league awards Charlotte Sports Park graciously hosts the Rays, for his outstanding play in 2009. who give the nearly 7,000 seated stadium and bright city renewed life when the boys from St. So, there we have it. Baseball is back and the city of Tampa is not only excited, but also truly grateful Pete make Port Charlotte their spring residence. to be a part of such a wonderful and storied Spring The Charlotte Stone Crabs, Tampa Bay’s Single-A Training tradition. minor league squad and runner-up in the 2009 Florida State League Championship, entertain This season, like most seasons, will have plenty of fans when the Rays eventually begin MLB action. surprises in store, heart-racing finishes, and many deafening cheers and I, for one, am thrilled to have Tampa Bay came up short in the 2008 World baseball back. Series and had high expectations for 2009. The Rays were unpredictable throughout last season Let’s play ball!


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Tampa Brrrrr….

Warmth Is Just Around the Bend

By: Captain Bret Gamrot If you are anything like me, you just can’t wait for the cold fronts to stop pounding our coastline. It’s been a crazy winter as cold fronts sweep in from the northwest, every three days, relentlessly. Lately we seem to get maybe one day of nice weather with light winds, and then we’re blasted by three days of harsh winds and fifty-degree temperatures. None of us are used to this. This is a frigid winter that we haven’t seen the likes of since 1985 when Madonna was well, like a virgin. Tampa Bay is still in the clutches of Old Man Winter like a fish in the talons of an osprey. It seems like this Old Man just doesn’t want to let go. As far as I know, the earth has to be about to swing closer to the sun on its 365-day orbit bringing its warming rays of sunshine. At least we pray that it does. March is the time that we start to feel the days warm up, bringing warmer water tempera-

tures as well. Looking back at my fish log, last March was the time the flats became alive. Redfish pods were in abundance and the trout were everywhere. Schools of bait rained across the water’s surface and pelicans crashed into the bait schools, filling their bills with food like kamikaze pilots. Many other fun fighting fish like Jack Crevale, blue fish, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and ladyfish also begin their feeding frenzies right under the wings of the feeding birds. We’ll have to wait with anticipation while snook and tarpon remain in their winter haunts until April when the water temperatures near 75 degrees, but there will be plenty of other fish to catch.

sunshine, then when the tide rises the fish embrace the warmth and begin to feed. These are all great places to fish during warming temperatures. My favorite spot to fish in March is upper Tampa Bay around all the oyster bars. I fish places like Safety Harbor, Double Branch, and Rocky Creek. I also love to fish the eastside of Tampa Bay near Cockroach Bay and over near the Kitchen. Don’t be surprised to find snook in the 25” range hanging around in these backwaters.

I have many different favorite artificial baits. Fish really seem to love the smelly soft plastics from Gulp Baits and Fish Bites. The “New So where are the best fishing spots for March? My Penny” 3” shrimp is a must-have on a 1/16th oz advice is to get out there on the lowest tides. Work Mission Fishin jig head. Slowly work your jig your favorite areas with the tide rising. Oyster up and down letting it fall and go “poof” in the bars, grass flats and sea walls will heat up in the dark mud. That action attracts the reds and snook.


What’s HOT Tampa Bay.com 75 “One of the best days I have ever had red fishing was just last spring near Fort Desoto. We caught exactly 39 reds that day.” Carter Middlemas

Casey Strum and Amber Gamrot took to the water early last spring to work on their tan and their trout fishing.

Non-stinky artificial include the root beer paddle tails from Mirrolure and gold darts from Mister Twister. Always use a loop knot to your jig head and three feet of 25 to 30 pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader.

and the air is crisp and cool, stay home. That’s when we have high barometric pressure and the fish usually slow down and almost sulk like you might do after a long night on the town. Wait a couple days before fishing and the high pressure will lighten up, the winds will calm down and of When I fish the oyster beds I always make sure course, temperatures will warm up. that I have plenty of leader because when working them effectively you often can get caught up and My fish log indicates that March 2009 was a cut off. If you’re not bumping into oysters, then typical March. The days were windy, yet temps you’re not fishing it right. You have to remember, were warming up into the normal spring range. slow and low. If you think are working your bait Be patient and prepared for this March to do the slow, slow it down. same, and be ready to enjoy the early days of spring fishing. Although, if this atypical winter we Remember the cold front rule of thumb. If it is a are having hangs on a bit longer, don’t blame me, day before the front comes in, get out and fish. the groundhog did it! After the winter we’ve had, That’s when there is low barometric pressure and who knows what is going to happen? fish typically feed hard. When the front passes and the skies are bright blue like Swedish eyes See you on the radio!

Captain Bret Gamrot is the co-owner of Onshore Offshore Magazine. He appears each Friday on the Ron and Ian Show on 620 WDAE. To reach him to book a charter, call 727-647-2524. Visit www.onshoreoffshore.com


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By Billy Castro

Tampa Bay Rays

Matt Joyce

Photos by Bert Price, courtesy of SportsMeter, LLC

An Armwood High School and Florida Southern College graduate, Matt Joyce is fun-natured and ready for the challenge of this upcoming Tampa Bay Rays season. My brother Alan, and Matt went to high school together. Alan has been telling me to keep an eye out for this young man. Matt and I had fun chatting and joking around at the photo shoot. One thing is for sure, Mr. Joyce is focused and knows that being a MLB professional is not an easy task, but it is what he has always dreamed about. Matt recently had his jersey number retired at Armwood High School; this is just the beginning of many great things you will see and hear from this sharp young man. Stay tuned…and enjoy.

BC: Do you feel any pressure being a hometown protégé?

MJ:

I’ve always played in front of the hometown crowd. Whether in high school, college, or spring training with the Tigers, someone from my family or one of my friends was there to root me on. When you do it enough you’re able to forget who’s watching and learn to just play the game. However, it’s always more exciting when you play in front of your hometown crowd.


Photos by Bert Price, courtesy of SportsMeter, LLC

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BC: What are your personal goals for this upcoming season?

MJ: My first goal is to make the team, after that it’s to be consistent and contribute to as many Rays’ victories as possible.

BC: What do you enjoy doing during your off-season and free time?

MJ: I do a little bit of everything, I love to

Photos by Bert Price, courtesy of SportsMeter, LLC

golf, go to the movies, play some video games, but my buddies and I have actually gotten into paintball lately and it’s a blast. BC: Who and/or what has been your strongest support and motivation?

MJ: My whole family has always been behind me, cheering for me and supporting me through the ups and downs. When things weren’t going well, they would tell me “you’ve got it Matt, you have that something special that makes you different”. I’ve been really blessed to have them by my side. BC: When did you start visualizing and realizing that you have major league potential?

MJ: I remember being in kindergarten and

making a book about my family and on the last page you wrote down what you wanted to be when you were older, I’ll give you one guess what that was. I said I wanted to be major league baseball player. As far as when I knew I had the potential to play in the big leagues, I don’t think I realized I had a shot until I was called up the first time. BC: How important is it to have people you can trust and count on, in your life? Family? Team? Business?

MJ: It’s actually something I value most. If

you don’t have trust, you don’t have anything, whether in a relationship, friendship or even a partnership. Knowing you have people behind you who you can count on whenever you need them makes doing this job that much easier. BC: Thanks for coming out and supporting What’s Hot and AS*I*BE. We are excited to watch you out there at Tropicana Field rounding those bases.


Photos by Bert Price, courtesy of SportsMeter, LLC

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kles’ Ian Bec

HIDDEN STAR

SHEPHERD’S PIE

www.peggyoneillsirishpub.com

Peggy O’Neill’s Irish Pub & Eatery

1026 Florida Ave, Palm Harbor, FL 34683 • (727)787-7734

I

n honor of St. Patrick’s Day, What’s Hot Tampa Bay’s staff took a field trip to Peggy O’Neill’s, Palm Harbor in a quest to find the Bay area’s finest Irish restaurant. Peggy O’Neill’s came highly recommended by our webmaster Bert Price... and it lived up to his high praise.

Ireland, and that we did! We all ordered another Guinness and waited for our Celtic fare. I’ve always been a fan of shepherd’s pie, one of the world’s true comfort foods. This shepherd’s pie did not disappoint with crispy and fluffy mashed potatoes, while the ground beef, carrots and corn married beautifully. The corned beef and hash sandwich also got Owners Eric Webber and Jon and Bridget passing grades from our whole staff. Egan have a restaurant that serves delicious Celtic cuisine teamed with classic American The food at Peggy O’Neill’s is fantastic. If dishes. Friendly Irish warmth, traditional there was one dish that made the trip worthIrish coffee and a perfect pint of Guinness while, it was the “World’s Best” Fish and makes Peggy O’Neill’s the closest thing to Chips. Claiming to be the best in the world being in Ireland. is a bit cocky, but Peggy O’Neill’s Fish and Chips are the best I’ve ever had. The fish was We started off with a good, old-fashioned lightly battered and fried to perfection. The American staple: chicken wings. The wings fries came crispy and seasoned like someone had a nice crispy skin with a sweet glaze. in the kitchen takes pride in their creations. Hardly Irish, but our pints of Guinness kept it real. Next came the sliders, which were tender It’s St. Patrick’s Day every day at Peggy and appetizing. The seared tuna wrapped up O’Neill’s. Slainte! Peggy O’Neill’s should be our American dining experience. your first choice in the Bay area for authentic dishes from the Emerald Isle. We came to Palm Harbor to experience

STAFF PICKS

FISH & CHIPS

THE ULTIMATE REUBEN

PEGGY’S COBB SALAD

CHICKEN WINGS

CASTLE WHITE “SLYDERS”

ASIAN TUNA SALAD


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What's Hot Tampa Bay (March Issue 2010)