That Hooker In Vegas

It’s the Spring of 2000. I’m temporarily living in Las Vegas, and I’m walking up Fremont Street, which goes from the southeast part of the city up to downtown.  It’s around 7am, so the streets are devoid of all the craziness that usually surrounds it. I’ve seem bum fights on Fremont Street, just kept walking like there was nothing to see.

So this brunette hooker approaches me with an offer: how about you buy me a cup of coffee, and I’ll perform a certain service for you. It’s the “service” that ends with the letters J-O-B, people. That kind of J-O-B that got President Clinton in trouble and made Monica Lewinsky famous. She’s got a bit of a face that tells me she’s probably done a few drugs, has a petite build, didn’t look like she was wearing a bra.

As she’s telling me this, I notice something very telling: the lack of eye contact. I knew enough about Las Vegas from my visit there in 1996 to know that this was a red flag. Never read anything about it up until that point in 2000, but instinct kicked in.

So many things I don’t know about this stranger who wanted to grease my weasel. She could have an STD for one, or be a front for some drug gang or thieves. Stories are abound in Vegas about women like this who slip mickeys into a guy’s drink to render them unconscious so that they can be robbed of their money and their possessions.

So I politely decline, and that was that. I’m not all that street smart, but my Mom didn’t raise no fool.

Dealing With Difficult People The Pauly Way

So Ameripride Lawn Services (over at 1-888-612-5700) just toxified the neighborhood lawns, as they usually do. The guy who did it chose to block my driveway which fortunately (for him) I did not need to get out of. I love people who park in a manner that blocks the driveway.  Really, I do. I’m convinced such incidents are only going to get me closer to the one time where I ask whoever the offender is the following question: why do I need your permission to use my driveway?

The guy applying all the chemicals as actually bigger than me, and it didn’t look like MENSA was missing any its candidates. So I leave the guy alone, but I stand right by the front door and let him know I was there. No need to be overly confrontational.

But if you’re going to block the driveway, it might not be a good idea to leave your number on the side of the truck, see. It winds up getting posted places…like this blog entry.

A few minutes later, a smaller Ameripride truck is on the other side of the road, and right behind him is this white minivan. Does the truck let the minivan go by? Yes, but not after several moments. Apparently, a chat amongst co-workers was immediately more important than the plans of anyone else.

I feel my brain getting hot as my blood boiled, but I’m staying right were I am. My mere presence seems to make these two yokels move faster, and moments later they both depart.

It’s important by the way that if you let your presence be known that you have something to document things if the worker gets hostile at you. I had a Blackberry out, and if this guy said something at me or flipped me off, all I had to do is flip on the voice recorder and THEN talk to the guy. Give THEM the chance to screw up and protect yourself.

Isaac Walked On By

It’s better to be lucky than to be good, and once again, the Tampa Bay area was lucky. So far, we’ve only gotten tropical depression effects from Tropical Storm Isaac, still a TS when many thought it would be a hurricane.

We were lucky this time around, as eastern Florida got all the rain off of the storm. Unlike Debby, we got just a little bit.

Isaac’s next stop appears to be New Orleans at this point, and with the storm being so large in size, they’re going to get a pretty big storm surge off of it. Wednesday is the seventh anniversary of Katrina, so I’m sure “little” Isaac will bring back some hard memories.

Being a long time resident of Tampa Bay, I keep wondering when our hurricane luck will run out. Then, I’m reminded that it’s not a good idea to think of such things.

He Took A Giant Leap For Mankind

RIP Neil Armstrong…

Amidst all the preparation for Isaac and the Republican Convention in Tampa (and whether or not that happens) comes some sad news.

Neil Armstrong, the first human being to set foot on the moon on board Apollo 11, has passed on at age 82.

The irony is that Armstrong had a near disaster on board Gemini 8, as depicted in “From The Earth To The Moon” series on HBO a few years back:

May he rest in peace. First Sally Ride a few weeks ago, now Neil Armstrong. Two pioneers of space travels.

A Jump To The Right

Just got back from the local Walmart here in Pinellas Park. Not seeing a lot of concern on the faces of the shoppers.

Last night, that lack of concern was well-advised. But as I visit the Weather Underground blog section hosted by Dr. Jeff Masters, we may have to revisit those concerns. The operative word there is may.

The latest models have Isaac just off of us once again, in varying distances:

Isaac Spaghetti Models, 8/24/2012

As Denis Phillips often says on WFTS (the local ABC station), when watching a hurricane you never get a high sense of optimism, nor do you get a low level of optimism. You watch, you wait, and hope things go your way.

The models shifted a little east, they can shift back west again. If it’s still looking like this on Sunday, then it will be time to prepare.

Models, Models, And More Models

Spaghetti Models for Isaac, 8/23/2012.

Looking more and more that there will be a tropical system where I live in five days, or close enough for it to be noticed.

I get a kick out of the weather people here in Tampa Bay that always tell you that when you watch the forecast track, always watch the cone, never watch the red line.

And I always think: if that’s what you want us to think, then why have the red line there to begin with?!?

I always watch what are called the Spaghetti Models. No, this has nothing to do with Kate Moss, Giesle Bundchen, or any other supermodel. These are computer models tracking tropical systems, each using it’s own formula to determine the track. Every six hours, the National Hurricane Center looks at all of the data and makes a forecast as to where they think a system may go.

The GFS and the European models are usually the best, and both seem to think Isaac will hit Florida somewhere. The rest is still a guessing game right now.

My gut tells me this is going to be a panhandle storm, with Tampa Bay getting grazed by it. More on this tomorrow.

Isaac, Georges…Georges, Isaac

Concerns over what is now Tropical Storm Isaac are ramping up here in Tampa Bay. But I’m not convinced yet that we’re going to have any trouble with it.

See, I remember what the Tampa Bay area sweated over Hurricane Georges back in September of 1998 for several days. The thinking was that this hurricane would run up Dominica and Cuba then curve up to run up the West Coast of Florida  Never happened. The angle and curve wasn’t step enough, so Georges said hello to Biloxi, Mississippi instead, with effects felt from New Orleans to Mobile.

For us to get impacted by Isaac, this storm is going to have to make the sharp curve Georges couldn’t do 14 years ago, nearly.

Keep an eye on it if you’re in Florida, looks more like it hits Miami or thereabouts at this point in time. But how strong it will be is an open question.

Number Nine, Number Nine

Tropical Depression Nine, 8/21/2012.

The last time the Tampa Bay area was hit by a major hurricane was in 1921, which was a half century before I was born.

We are an area that as far as hurricanes go, we always seem to be the bridesmaid and never the bride. And I’m not complaining.

Noticing this tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean right now and seeing the track, this TD 9 does have my interest.

If this hits the West Coast of Florida during the Republican convention next week being held in Tampa, the irony of that if it happens, considering we haven’t seen a big hurricane in all this time. Big if at this point. Stay tuned.

The First Day of School

So today the school bells rang out for the first time where I live, and the little ones go back to school. And for the 24th straight year, I don’t have to worry about getting up early to attend it. Can’t say I miss it.

I could never get much sleep the night before the first day of school. Every year seemed to open up a new can of worms, and some of those cans I really didn’t want reopened.

So this one girl I liked in high school that I gave flowers to and what wound up being the day famous for Challenger’s explosion. Well, things went downhill from there, to the point I think she’s a liar and a player (which she was) and I’m telling her to go do pleasure herself off, if you catch my drift. Fast forward to the Friday before we all go back to school in August of 1986. I’m talking to a friend walking down Indian Rocks Road in Largo, Florida who’s asking about what high school is like.

Continue reading “The First Day of School”

An Oldie But A Goodie

This is one of my personal favorite YouTube videos that I’ve put up on the Net.

A little over two years ago (seems a lot longer for some reason), I put this video up of one of the Space Shuttle launches. I put it to a piece of “A Brass Band In African Chimes” by Simple Minds, remembering that it was on the flip side of the commercially infamous “Don’t You Forget About Me” made famous by that great teenage angst movie, “The Breakfast Club.”

Anyway, enjoy the video, should you watch it.