Tag Archives: uas
November 2, 2007

Legal Ease

Em waves goodbye to Cuba (20k image)A few days ago, I was threatened with legal action over a blog entry I wrote almost four years ago.  Cliff Mayhew, owner of aircharterbahamas.com, claimed that I libeled his business.  I feel like I’ve just passed some blogger right of passage!

When I first read it, I was worried.  What did I write?  Was I going to have to edit my entry… perhaps remove it altogether?  After rereading what I wrote back in 2004, I realized I didn’t have anything to worry about.

If I hadn’t been so busy with Halloween, I would have posted a response sooner.  I’ve been seething about that comment for a days now.  Let’s have some fun tearing it apart, shall we?

Here’s what he wrote:

New comment on your post #15 “Cuba:  Getting to Cuba”
Author : Cliff Mayhew (IP: XX.XX.XX.XX , XXX.fl.comcast.net)
E-mail : XXXX
URL    :
Whois  : XXXX


I am the owner of Air Charter Bahamas.com

This blog has liabled my business and I am in contact with an attorney.

I have never been in contact with anyone that has written the story above.  

You should take the time to determine the legitimacy of the article –

This article was most likely written by one of my competitors – this industry is filled with scumbags that should be housed in the federal penitentary.  Watch your wallet..

A competitor called the BBB to file a complaint with us too!!  They acted as a customer when dealing with the BBB – The BBB threatened to place us on a “bad” list if we did not competulate to their “rules”.  Bullshit.

If you need to deal with an honorable, trustworthy, respectable, honest, reliable, etc. company, call us – you will soon learn who we are, and what we stand for.

Thanks for the post:

Cliff Mayhew, CPA
Masters – Finanace
Masters – Taxation
Bachelors – Finance
Commercial Pilot
Certified US and Bahamian Air Carrier


Please call me personally if you would like information about fllying to the bahamas.

Too bad the blogger didn’t leave contact information – scammer in the shadows.

Have a great day!

Nice how he turned a threat into an advertisement for his company, isn’t it?  I thought about editing that information out, but then I realized that I went ahead and linked to his business in what I wrote, anyway.  If you want to give him your business after reading this, go right ahead.  Here, you can have these, too:  My condolences.

Before we really get into it, I’d like to respond to his comment, point-by-point:


October 29, 2007

Cirigliano's Italian Video

Ciriglianos olde-styleThe UAS Campus is gearing up for another Halloween — there are already departments in the process of being decorated. I’m sure it’ll be another fun holiday work day, where very little work is actually done. I’m looking forward to this year, because I plan to shoot the traditional ITS Halloween video in HD. Sure, I probably won’t get around to editing it for another year or so, but I still think it’ll be pretty cool.

I already wrote about last year’s theme, Cirigliano’s Italian Restaurant, but there wasn’t yet a video to post along with it. I’ve made music videos out of these Halloween events dating back to 2000. They’re usually hard work. Finding the right music, establishing a style, telling a story through the images… Some turn out better than others.

Earlier this month I finally found time to start editing the Cirigliano’s video. For the first time, the whole project just sort of eased itself together. The stylistic vision came to me back when I was recording one of the very first scenes to tape (the “cook” and the “gangster” practicing their singing). I wanted to see the scene in an old, desaturated, scratchy film look. That same vision stayed with me all year, and when I sat down to begin editing, each clip just fell into place. Usually editing these music videos together is a long process of trial-and-error, of trying minuscule edits to get the timing just right; this year I barely spent any time tweaking.

Click “more” to watch the video…

November 3, 2006

Cirigliano's Italian Restaurant

CiriglianosOnce again, UAS topped itself in its own Halloween celebration. It’s been rather amazing to witness how quickly the competition for best costume, best department, and best group has expanded from a friendly rivalry between two departments six years ago to an all-campus, no-work-gets-done day of competition here in 2006.

Our department decided on an Italian restaurant as our theme this year. Only after the theme was voted upon did anyone come up with ideas on how we’d pull it off. Chef uniforms; mafia undertones; lobster, spaghetti, fork, wine bottle, and buttered bread costumes – it all came together through post-decision brainstorming.

And, of course, without even donning a costume, I got to have my own fun. (more…)

November 4, 2005

Halloween 2005

UAS ITS as Willy Wonka, I guess.Early November and another Halloween has come to pass. This year was remarkably similar to the last – video editing to get me in the mood through the weeks before, an enjoyable social evening spent carving pumpkins, and a surprisingly taxing half-day of videotaping my department’s at-work shenanigans.

This year, our department decided on a Willy Wonka theme. I must say, despite procrastinating until the last weekend, our crew turned out some great costumes. Orange-faced, green-haired Oompa Loompas paraded around a purple-suited Wonka, a tuxedoed Slugworth, and four college-age adaptations of the lucky golden-ticket-wielding children. During our tour around campus, everyone handed out Wonka Bucks that were intended to be exchanged later for treats at our “Candy Store.”

Unfortunately, our lack of planning came back to haunt us when the student judges selected two other departments for the coveted campus Halloween awards. Not that the competition wasn’t deserving. We were handily beaten by the same strategy our department had created years before – the Presentation. That’s right; capital P.

We didn’t go home empty handed, though. One of our student assistants took home the best individual costume for Violet Beauregarde’s blueberry. I would never have guessed that an oversized blue jumpsuit, filled with balloons, would beat out all the other impressive costumes!

Back at home, Oksana spearheaded our pumpkin carving. She went corporate this year by selecting a Dodge Ram log while giving me the difficult task of carving a design whose difficulty was listed as “moderate” in our book. After punching maybe a thousand holes into the pumpkin through the cheat sheet, using a tiny jack-o-lantern saw to carve out tiny, intricate bats and a swooping ghost’s cape, I wondered what horrors lay in wait for those that chose to tackle a “challenging” design.

No Halloween would be complete (at least, not for me) without the mad rush to finish editing the previous year’s Halloween music video. 2005 was no exception. I finished the “SPAM!” video with just five days to go, but a little push from the campus PR department ensured that it got played around campus and helped to build excitement.

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July 14, 2005


Three views of my knee

Outside it’s a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon, and because I’m physically and emotionally exhausted, I’d much rather take a nap than start a new ‘blog entry. But someone told me that it’s not such a good idea to go to sleep when there’s the possibility you may have a concussion…

I can remember the first time I ever played ultimate. A couple friends and I were hanging out at the local comic book store in Ketchikan when one of the co-owners started reminiscing with his visiting college buddy about the game. Having spent many summers on the beach in Nags Head, North Carolina, I was somewhat familiar with the aerodynamics of a common Frisbee, but this was the first I’d heard of sport utilizing one.

Six of us decided to go out that afternoon and play the game. I remember only a few things: The amazement I felt at learning that there was more than one way to throw a disc; kicking up dust clouds on a dry, dirt field in the heat of summer; the fountaining explosion of my only chance at refreshment – a can of Diet Coke that had inadvertently been left out in the sun; and a single, breathless quote from a fellow inexperienced player, delivered after maybe half an hour of play, “Are we seriously considering more of this?”

After that (arguably) enjoyable outing, a small group of us began to take up ultimate as a sort of pastime. We had no formal understanding of the rules, were lucky if we could gather 6 or 8 people to play at a time, and always struggled to find a decent spot to play in grassless Ketchikan. It was fun.

May 17, 2005

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Alaska Airlines Snacks (25k image)Six months ago, I wrote about a trip to Fairbanks. Last weekend, I had the urge to do so again. There isn’t any need, though, because everything was the same. Same flight, same aerial views, same snacks, same airport shuttle to the same hotel – all for two more days of conferences on the same campus.

Oh, there were just enough differences to make it interesting. Last time I waited for my shuttle in the dark, surrounded by a foot of snow, wearing a heavy ski coat, gloves, and a wool hat – this time it was almost 80 degrees and sunny. Last time I attended a web portal training session in the Butrovich Building – this time it was in the International Arctic Research Center just up the hill for an instructional design workshop. Last time I entertained myself with a DVD I bought at Fred Meyer – this time I bought a book instead. Seriously, everything else, including the exact layout of my hotel room, was the same.


December 25, 2004


Arlo as Darth MaulIf you’ve been wondering why I haven’t posted an entry to my site in over 6 weeks, wonder no more. Ever since I started up this blog, I’ve wanted to write about the Halloween where I dressed up as Darth Maul… and here it is. It’s out of control, off the hook, up in your grill. If the MS Word stats are to be believed, this entry contains slightly more than 12,000 words typed out over 1,000+ minutes. With two drafts I made well over 1,000 “revisions.” If you figure a “page” is anywhere from 200 to 250 words – this entry somewhere between 48 and 60 pages of text. As they say at Idlewords: Brevity is for the weak!

I wouldn’t expect anyone to sit in front of their monitor long enough to read this in one sitting; therefore, I’ve put in “chapter breaks” at convenient stopping points. Good luck!

I’ve never been much of a fan of Halloween. Oh, sure, as a kid I looked forward to amassing large piles of candy through the implementation of the normal traditions, but it was never really one of those holidays that I anticipated with fervor. Despite a general lack of enthusiasm on my part, I have nonetheless had many memorable experiences on All Saints’ Eve.

My earliest memory of Halloween wasn’t exactly a good one. I must have been about four years old, living in an apartment in Morehead City, North Carolina. My younger brother had not yet been born, though a quick mental calculation tells me that my parents must have already expected his imminent arrival. I bring this up only as a frame of reference – at four years of age, I was still too young to be trick or treating without adult supervision. Furthermore, I lacked the placebo security afforded by a sibling companion.

Our apartment complex, if I can trust some of my earliest memories, was laid out in a square. The front door to each of maybe 9 or 10 units faced inward to a small, shared courtyard. A sidewalk conveniently rimmed the courtyard, allowing easy access into each home while simultaneously providing a finite, circuitous pathway for young children who did not yet have the rampant Halloween candy ambition of older Americans.

I only remember one scene from that particular Halloween night; everything else I have reasoned out. Either my mother or father was escorting me door-to-door; of that, I am fairly certain. I probably had one of those hollow plastic orange pumpkins into which I could stash my treats, who knows? What I do know is that when we reached the fourth or fifth door and rang the doorbell, something bad happened.