Slattery's, a tiny, dark watering hole where only the Irish dare go, can make winners feel like losers. At least, that's one possible outcome if you enter the bar on a Wednesday night for Slattery's "Alternative Pub Quiz." The proprietors promise fun and games all night, with the chance to win "T-shirts, drinks, and God Knows What Else." The ad hoc contest allows patrons to compete with one another on current events, world history -- and plenty of UK football trivia -- but sometimes yelling out the right answer can lead to an even toastier circle of hell. Your "prize" might entail your racing around in a circle, pounding a beer in seconds flat, or arm-wrestling your opponents, all because you answered a question correctly. Sometimes it's better to just be quiet and drink your Guinness in peace. Otherwise, says the in-house trivia master (a ringer for Mike Myers), you may well end up with "a punch in th' throat an' a kick in th' balls!"
Vero Beach's answer to James Patterson, Woods has written another punchy, charming mystery featuring the recurring character of police chief Holly Barker. This time, she is joined by her father, Ham, as they go deep undercover to infiltrate a cult of right-wing, trigger-happy crackers. Finely detailed characters and a tight plot have helped Orchid Blues remain on the New York Times bestseller list for months. Woods, a former Air National Guardsman who likes to fly his own Piper six-seater, has written 22 novels, the first of which, Chiefs, was made into a CBS-TV movie starring Charlton Heston and John Goodman. Check out his Website at www.stuartwoods.com and read his bio and tell us if you don't think he is Charlton Heston (without the ammo).
Vero Beach's answer to James Patterson, Woods has written another punchy, charming mystery featuring the recurring character of police chief Holly Barker. This time, she is joined by her father, Ham, as they go deep undercover to infiltrate a cult of right-wing, trigger-happy crackers. Finely detailed characters and a tight plot have helped Orchid Blues remain on the New York Times bestseller list for months. Woods, a former Air National Guardsman who likes to fly his own Piper six-seater, has written 22 novels, the first of which, Chiefs, was made into a CBS-TV movie starring Charlton Heston and John Goodman. Check out his Website at www.stuartwoods.com and read his bio and tell us if you don't think he is Charlton Heston (without the ammo).
Those who dare upset the status quo can be dangerous (like those death-defying drivers on Interstate 95) or they can be entertaining and basically harmless, like the illegal pirate station 90.9-FM, which has shoehorned itself into a spot on the dial. Sure, it upsets folks like the legitimate stations whose signal it smothers. But it's easy to appreciate an outlet for FCC-verboten sounds (like gangsta rap with every outlawed word plainly audible) with no commercials or fund-raising drives. Founder Mark T is doing the Nine-Oh for the right reasons: He's motivated not by a desire to make money but simply by the hope that he can string together a community of microhoods across Broward County -- and have a great deal of fun in the process. This unmediated brand of lunacy, even more enjoyable because it's so naughty, reaches a party-flavored zenith with shout-out dedications, on-air freestyle contests, and a genuinely raucous, home-brewed brand of idiocy that beats commercial radio's manufactured idiocy hands-down.
Those who dare upset the status quo can be dangerous (like those death-defying drivers on Interstate 95) or they can be entertaining and basically harmless, like the illegal pirate station 90.9-FM, which has shoehorned itself into a spot on the dial. Sure, it upsets folks like the legitimate stations whose signal it smothers. But it's easy to appreciate an outlet for FCC-verboten sounds (like gangsta rap with every outlawed word plainly audible) with no commercials or fund-raising drives. Founder Mark T is doing the Nine-Oh for the right reasons: He's motivated not by a desire to make money but simply by the hope that he can string together a community of microhoods across Broward County -- and have a great deal of fun in the process. This unmediated brand of lunacy, even more enjoyable because it's so naughty, reaches a party-flavored zenith with shout-out dedications, on-air freestyle contests, and a genuinely raucous, home-brewed brand of idiocy that beats commercial radio's manufactured idiocy hands-down.
Upper-crust audiophiles in South Florida moaned December 31 when WTMI shed its 30-year tradition of playing classical music in favor of a format that caters to the younger techno-dance crowd. It morphed into "Party 93" as executives explained that classical fogies just didn't spend enough money with their advertisers to keep them going. Party now crows that it plays fewer commercials than its competition, WPOW-FM (Power 96.5). But all is not lost for those who know that Claudio Monteverdi, Michael Praetorius, and Cesar Franck are not Marlins relief pitchers. Boynton Beach's WXEL-FM (90.7) began Saturday matinees of classical broadcasts in early February. And WTMI's classical tradition continues on-line at its Website, which links to Beethoven.com's Internet radio.
Upper-crust audiophiles in South Florida moaned December 31 when WTMI shed its 30-year tradition of playing classical music in favor of a format that caters to the younger techno-dance crowd. It morphed into "Party 93" as executives explained that classical fogies just didn't spend enough money with their advertisers to keep them going. Party now crows that it plays fewer commercials than its competition, WPOW-FM (Power 96.5). But all is not lost for those who know that Claudio Monteverdi, Michael Praetorius, and Cesar Franck are not Marlins relief pitchers. Boynton Beach's WXEL-FM (90.7) began Saturday matinees of classical broadcasts in early February. And WTMI's classical tradition continues on-line at its Website, which links to Beethoven.com's Internet radio.
Calypso Bay Waterpark
If you're a kid, nothing is better than going to a playground. "No, Mom, a swimming pool."

"No, Junior, a playground."

"No, Mom, a swimming pool."

"No, Junior, A PLAYGROUND!!"

All right. All right. Enough with the family disputation. Thanks to the wonders of our modern age, kids can now do both. While no one's talking about why we had to wait until the dawn of the new millennium for someone this side of Disney to figure out the intricacies of putting a playground in water, Junior doesn't care. He and/or she is/are too busy loving the features that are popping up like Yellowstone geysers in city and county parks throughout the two-county area. With water slides, water pistols, water swings, water hoses, and super spongy floors to cushion any fall, what's not to like? Placed in shallow water, the playgrounds are safe enough for toddlers and exciting enough for older kids. Two particularly stellar ones in Palm Beach County -- Calypso Bay Waterpark off Southern Boulevard in suburban West Palm Beach and Coconut Cove Waterpark and Recreation Area off Glades Road in suburban Boca Raton -- also feature meandering streams for leisurely floating and (for older kids) those big, long, twisting tube slides that used to be the sole province of private amusement companies. Now that the cost of the technology has come down, allowing public agencies like the Palm Beach County Department of Parks and Recreation to splash into the water-park business, such frolicking doesn't have to endanger the kids' college education funds. At $8 for adults, $6 for kids under 12, and free for kids under 3, the biggest thrill for parents is the price. So who's arguing now?

If you're a kid, nothing is better than going to a playground. "No, Mom, a swimming pool."

"No, Junior, a playground."

"No, Mom, a swimming pool."

"No, Junior, A PLAYGROUND!!"

All right. All right. Enough with the family disputation. Thanks to the wonders of our modern age, kids can now do both. While no one's talking about why we had to wait until the dawn of the new millennium for someone this side of Disney to figure out the intricacies of putting a playground in water, Junior doesn't care. He and/or she is/are too busy loving the features that are popping up like Yellowstone geysers in city and county parks throughout the two-county area. With water slides, water pistols, water swings, water hoses, and super spongy floors to cushion any fall, what's not to like? Placed in shallow water, the playgrounds are safe enough for toddlers and exciting enough for older kids. Two particularly stellar ones in Palm Beach County -- Calypso Bay Waterpark off Southern Boulevard in suburban West Palm Beach and Coconut Cove Waterpark and Recreation Area off Glades Road in suburban Boca Raton -- also feature meandering streams for leisurely floating and (for older kids) those big, long, twisting tube slides that used to be the sole province of private amusement companies. Now that the cost of the technology has come down, allowing public agencies like the Palm Beach County Department of Parks and Recreation to splash into the water-park business, such frolicking doesn't have to endanger the kids' college education funds. At $8 for adults, $6 for kids under 12, and free for kids under 3, the biggest thrill for parents is the price. So who's arguing now?

You can see them each sunny Wednesday evening and Saturday morning on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Six intrepid paddlers push a Hawaiian-style outrigger canoe into the surf and paddle off. Sometimes they hug the shoreline; sometimes they head toward the horizon. Maybe the opening notes of "Hawaii 5-0" will run through your head before you think, "Hey, this is the Atlantic!" Well, yes it is, and you haven't seen Fort Lauderdale Beach until you've seen it from one of these babies. Best of all, it's absolutely free to try out your paddling skills, and all levels of physical fitness can be accommodated. Show up on Wednesday around 6 p.m. or Saturday around 10 a.m. and you'll be given a five-minute lesson, then handed a paddle and life jacket. The core group is diverse in every way: age, level of fitness, and nationality. There's an easy camaraderie that becomes all the more obvious when you're in a canoe that hulies, which means it flips over. If that happens, you're no longer a newbie, and you become an official member of the Las Olas Outrigger Canoe Club. Some of the perks of membership -- if you stick with it, you'll eventually be asked to cough up $60 in annual dues -- include full-moon paddles, snorkel and dive paddles, the opportunity to participate in the Fort Lauderdale Boat Parade, and the chance to compete against other Hawaiian-outrigger canoe clubs springing up in Hollywood, Key West, and Palm Beach. But the first few times you're out, you'll just feel the thrill of synchronizing six strangers in an 18-inch-wide canoe against an unpredictable sea. If you don't try this at least once, you might as well be living in Peoria.

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