Greetings from Clearwater

Greetings from Clearwater, Florida.  I’m down here for work with the UPCEA Commission meetings, the UPCEA Executive Committee meeting, the UPCEA Board meeting, and the Career and Economic Development Forum.  Let me repeat, I am here to work, not to play.

This is a very exciting meeting for a number of reasons. First, it is always great to get together with our leadership team.  Second, our Commissions meet only three times each year and it is great to hear their insights. Finally, we are on the cusp as an association to begin a strategic planning process for UPCEA.

Unfortunately, when budgets are tight, it’s difficult for folks to travel, so I will try to give keep you updated over the next several days on what we learn from our meetings with the Commissions as well as what we learn about workforce and economic development.  (Now the extent of my reports will show that “I really am working while I’m in Florida.”)

For my first day report, I was forced to spend an hour walking the beach this morning and I think I learned a few things.  Living in Virginia, my beach experience has mostly been on the Virginia and North Carolina shores.  (Now that doesn’t include our trip to Mexico for our son’s wedding but that may be for another post.)  As an amateur    ornithologist, malacologist, and Buffetologist, I found some differences and similarities between the Florida and Carolina beaches.

I’ve found as a (very) amateur ornithologist that there seem to be a larger variety of birds in Florida. All the different gulls — Laughing gulls and Herring gulls — and the many terns — Royal tern, Caspian tern, the Least tern and the Common tern.  I also ran across a buzzard-type bird this morning laying claim to a large beached fish.

The other item I found is that, again an amateur malacologist, that the sea shells seemed much larger in Florida.  I mean you need to see these things, they’re as big as two fists.

Finally, the beaches bring out my Buffetologist, both beaches are reminders of great Buffet lyrics and songs.  Not far from our motel is a “place” just like that in “The Bama Breeze.”

More to come from Clearwater as events develop.

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