Monthly Archives: April 2023

#1 Bicycle Racer in the World Still on Track for Tour de France Race After Crash

April 28, 2023

Tadej Pogačar’s six-week program of recovery from his Liège-Bastogne-Liége crash and injury may still include a spell of altitude training from mid-May to early June, Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reports.

After a busy and highly-successful first part of the season, the Slovenian star had always planned to use the next two months as his build-up for the 2023 Tour de France, with a repeat of just one stage race, the low-key Tour of Slovenia, on his program prior to July.

There had been fears that the scaphoid fracture (wrist) caused by his crash in Liège-Bastogne-Liège could have seriously affected that process.

But according to the Belgian newspaper report, citing team sports manager Joxean Fernandez Matxín, Pogačar could yet be training as planned at an altitude camp by mid-May.

On his way to another Tour de France win even with this setback?

See More [CyclingNews]

Kelly Slater Wins Back World Surf League Place after being Handed Wildcard

American surfing great Kelly Slater will continue on the World Surf League tour after the 11-time world champion was awarded a wildcard. Slater’s year looked over when he missed the mid-season cut at the Margaret River Pro, which remained on hold on Thursday for a fourth consecutive day.

The 51-year-old was eliminated in the third round by Australian Liam O’Brien, which meant he was unable to climb the rankings into the top 22 who continue beyond the tour’s fifth stop. However the WSL announced on Thursday that Slater and France’s Johanne Defay, who finished as world No 3 last year, would receive the 2023-24 wildcards.

See More [The Guardian]

April is Military BRAT Month – 17 Things that Make Them Different

By R. Michael Brown, BRAT and Marketing Consultant

Since 1986, April has been designated as the Month of the Military Child (BRAT) by the United States Department of Defense.

This is a legacy of Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger as a time to applaud military children and the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges that they overcome.

Let’s remember all the Military #BRATS that serve our country, just like their parents.

17 Things Only Military Brats Understand

1) Making new friends in a new distant location every 3-4 years. Usually losing touch with the friends you left behind.

2) You have a military ID card and you better not lose it. Only thing that gets you on a base and allows you to buy anything at the Commissary (grocery store), BX or PX (Base or Post Exchange (small department store), check out books from the base Library, check out rec equipment like basketballs at the base Rec Center or gym, or show with respect to any MP (military police) if they ask you for your ID.

3) The pantry usually has MREs (Meals Ready to Eat – military rations), just in case. You ate a lot of vegetables and other foods out of cans from the Commissary.

4) You are around a lot of firearms, including automatic rifles (including machine guns) and it seems normal. If the base has a FlightLine (airport) you hear a lot of jets all the time and don’t complain about the noise or sonic booms when they break the sound barrier.

5) You don’t have a lot of books or toys because it’s too much to move every 3-4 years. The phonetic alphabet is learned, especially if you live overseas and have to learn a foreign language.

6) Your church on base always has an American Flag.

7) If you live or are on base, you have to stop and face the music or American Flag, standing at attention, when they play revelry (raising the Flag), taps (lowering the Flag), or the National Anthem (depending on the base) at the beginning and end of every day. Referred to as raising or lowering of “Colors.”

8) Calling an adult “ma’am” or “sir” is just what you do, without fail, every time.

9) Calling everyone by their last name is normal.

10) Folks ask you where you grew up and it takes 5 minutes to answer.

11) Your doctor is the base hospital.

12) If you aren’t 5 minutes early, you’re late. 15 minutes is better.

13) Your chores are mandatory and you don’t get an allowance for them. Making that bed first thing every morning better get done.

14) Respect is automatically shown to anyone in uniform.

15) You have had holiday dinners at a military Chow Hall or Officers Club (depending on the rank of your parent). You know all the military ranks of your branch of the service.

16) It’s a celebration when your parent returns home from deployment or a trip. You worry the whole time they’re gone. Most of the time you’re not allowed to know specifically where they went.

17) If you live on base, you worry when a military staff car drives down your street with 2 uniformed members in the car. It’s probably because someone’s parent is KIA (Killed in Action), MIA (Missing in Action), or a POW (Prisoner of War). During a war, most on-base housing blinds/curtains are shut facing the street so that those inside don’t see the staff cars. When the staff car stops at someone else’s house, one or both of your parents, along with the other parents from the neighborhood, go to their house to be with the family.


18) BRAT brothers torture their BRAT sisters more than civilian siblings. This is just for my sister, Patti. Love ya “older than me sibling!”

Military brats naturally develop organic strategies and tactics to deal with their situation. It makes them:



Civilians don’t get it. Most think that a BRAT lives like any other kid in America. Hopefully this beginning list shows why BRATS should get extra respect. They are serving their country too, alongside their parent.

Surfing Legend Kelly Slater Misses Cut to Leave 3-Decade Career in Limbo

Kelly Slater, File Photo: Creative Commons

Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater missed the World Surf League tour’s mid-season cut Saturday in a blow that could spell the end of his more than three-decade career.

The 51-year-old American, widely regarded as the greatest professional surfer of all time, was eliminated in the round of 32 at the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia.

It meant he finished outside the top 22 halfway through the season to miss the cut, a contentious new concept introduced in 2022 to slim down the field.

He can no longer compete on the top level championship tour unless he is offered a wild card for the back half of the year. Alternatively, he could surf the second-tier challenger series, or retire.

“It is what it is. Let’s see how things turn out,” the Florida-born Slater said on the WSL website after his elimination, adding that he was not sure about his plans.

See More [France24]

Surfing Webcam Page Updated

Live beach cams are up on the Brownie Bytes website. Live cameras on the East coast of Florida have a hard time staying up. Weather is usually the culprit. Hurricanes, lightening strikes, and lack of attention/maintenance of some of them render them out of service pretty often.

18 Live East Coast Webcams on

As of today, we have 18 live ad-free cameras on our Surfing Webcams in Florida webpage.

Sample Live Webcam in St. Augustine – 18 Up and Running on Brownie Bytes Surfing Webcams in Florida Webpage

This is primarily a surf-check webpage for surfers. I review the cameras almost every day and update the page frequently to try and keep the webpage up-to-date so click below to see the page:

Surfing Webcams in Florida

The live cams are organized on the page north to south from St. Augustine Pier to Boca Raton Inlet.

There are lots of surfing webcams in Florida but these are my favorites because they stay up (most of the time) and show a wide range of views and information for surfers and don’t have ad interruptions.

Why this page? I just do it as a community service for surfers. To provide a single-source to be able to see all the cameras on one page rather than checking 18 different sites to get daily surf updates.

R. Michael Brown, Marketing Consultant, Multimedia Producer, and Freelance Writer and Editor

Too Much Excitement – First an Emergency Alert Test @ 4:48 AM in Florida – then SpaceX Starship Blew Up

Florida Emergency Alert on all the cellphones in Florida

I’ve been up today since, you guessed it… 4:48 AM. Thank you Florida state government Emergency Response Team.

The governor is pissed. So am I and a lot of others throughout Florida because the alarm went out to every cellphone in the state.

But, I’ll bet the coffee companies are happy because of the millions of Floridians that couldn’t go back to sleep and just got up and got coffee. We’ll need some more between 2 and 3 PM this afternoon to stay awake beyond dinner.

Officials apologize after ‘Emergency Alert’ test sent in ‘error.’

Typically, only a few agencies have the ability to request and send out emergency notifications to cell phones, and they’re usually for imminent situations, such as severe weather warnings, an AMBER Alert for a missing child, public safety alerts, or a national emergency.

Hours later, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) apologized for the incident in a tweet, and said the Emergency Alert System (EAS) notification was part of a monthly test, but that it was supposed to air on TV, not cell phones.

Florida Governor DeSantis’ press secretary @BryanDGRiffin says “party responsible” for 4:45 a.m. emergency alert will be fired, “This morning’s 4:45AM SERT test alert was not appropriate and not done at our direction. The party responsible will be held accountable and appropriately.”

Twitter is Lit Up

“ICYMI: Florida‘s got its feathers ruffled today because at 4:45am the EAS decided to send a TEST to our phones. All of our phones. All of them. We are grumpy.”

“To whoever decided to do a test of Florida’s Emergency Alert System at 4:45 a.m.: I hope you step on a Lego. Jerk.”

“On the night my sister’s six-month-old was actually sleeping through the night for the first time. She’s out for blood.”

“The only thing the state of Florida achieved with this 4:43am emergency alert test was helping people find out how to turn alerts off, probably at the expense of all other alerts including AMBER alerts.”

And Then… the Cool Huge Rocket Blew Up

SpaceX Starship launches
SpaceX Starship blows up at about a minute into the launch just as it tried to separate stages.
SpaceX Starship blows up at about a minute into the launch just as it tried to separate stages.

The giant rocket started to spin weirdly and wiggle, then… BOOM!

Geek wording for an explosion of SpaceX Starship today: “Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation,” SpaceX said in a statement on Twitter.

I just want to go back to sleep at this point.

We Paid $4 Million For A Cabin On A Cruise Ship That Will Sail The World Year-Round. We Want To Travel In Total Comfort, Without The ‘Bag Drag’ From Place To Place. | Digg

Myle Hammond splurges on nice vacations, but even the best hotel mattresses don’t rival the comfort of his own bed. Now, his bed will travel with him.
— Read on

Bicycle Racing #ThrowBackThursday

Throw Back Thursday #BicycleRacing during the Lions Clubs International Ride for the Blind race in Boca Raton. Circa 1977 at Florida Atlantic University.

R. Michael Brown leading charity race at Florida Atlantic University in 1997.
R. Michael Brown leading the charity race at Florida Atlantic University in 1977. Victor Beltran finished 2nd in 1977 but went on to win in 1978 with a new course record of 115 miles. Press Photo: Atlantic Sun

I won it by completing 115 laps (about 103.5 miles) in 4 hours, setting a course record. I was racing for Florida Freewheelers Club out of Orlando at the time.

I got folks to pledge donations per mile before the event. Most said a dime or a nickel per mile. One of my professors told me a $1 per mile thinking I would go maybe 20 miles or so. When I told him I did 103 miles, he backed out of the deal and gave me $40…. and grumbled about it.

Grew the beard because I had started working as an ocean lifeguard for the City of Boca Raton Beach Patrol and the constant wind, salt, and sun was tough on your face.