Walking The Line

Today I did my monthly travels around town, and as usual, I stopped by the neighborhood 7-Eleven.

No, I didn’t make a mess out of another Slurpee this month as I did last month.  I make mistakes like most human beings do, but I usually do not make the same mistake twice.

I make my Slurpee concoction and head to the check out.  There are two counters at this 7-Eleven, and I’m third in line at the counter farthest from the door.  The blonde haired lady sporting a significant amount of tattoos ahead of me in line is a good six feet behind the first person in the line.  At this store and how tightly packed these stores are spaced, she may as well have been waiting in line in Indian Rocks Beach.

I thought about saying something to this lady, but I ruled against it.  It’s a habit I’m trying to pick up, not letting other people’s arrogance get to me.  Let it go, make note of it, and move on.

Some people aren’t worth your time, or your concern.  That’s what I think.

OJ Redux?

So Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots was arrested yesterday for an alleged murder.  The Pats quickly cut ties to the tight end, releasing him from the ball club.

The evidence against him, from what I have seem, is pretty damning.

But just like every other citizen, the man deserves his day in court.

What happened is nothing new.  How many athletes have we seen over the years get drunk on their own power?  All that “mega money” only seems to lead to bigger troubles for those who can’t get their lives under control.  Mr. Hernandez, like so many before him, fell into that trap.

Another Bout With Mother Nature

You’ll forgive me if I’m a little sick of tornadoes these days.

Friday, we had a microburst where I live in Pinellas Park.

Last night, it was a waterspout-slash-tornado a few miles to my east in the Gandy section of St. Petersburg, not too far from the Derby Lane dog racing track.

The Slow Death Of Television

So like many of you last night, I watched the Skywire show on The Discovery Channel where Nik Wallenda successfully walked across a gorge of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

But what bothered me about the presentation is that the show began at 8pm our time.  It wasn’t until 9:30 until Wallenda began his death defying act, which went 20-25 minutes before completion.  They hyped the thing for an hour and a half, which I found especially lame considering they had already had two hours of preview shows on before the main show began.

NBC did the same thing with the US Open golf tournament out of the Philadelphia area this year.  Usually when the coverage starts, it’s nothing but golf shots.  This year on both Saturday and Sunday, it was an hour of talk about golf mixed in with the occasional shot, which drives me crazy.

It takes way too long to do so little on TV.  Maybe we have the reality TV genre to thank for that, and their mainly rigged shows.  If you don’t believe me, read the fine print.


Anyone want a branch?
Anyone want a branch?

Maybe it was God’s way of punishing me for my last post.  That thought had not escaped me.

But between 12pm and 1pm yesterday, I got caught in a microburst in my home here in Pinellas Park.  And I was looking right at it when it happened.

I could see it through the screen doors in the back of the house.  It looked like a typical Florida summer thunderstorm one moment, than anything but the next.  The view to the east of my home vanished, and tree branches and other objects went flying all over the place.  My landlord’s cat Harry came running out of the back room into the living room with a yelp.

“Whoa!  Look at that, Harry!” I yelled, more amazed at what was happening than scared.

When the storm died down at about 1pm, I got on my slippers and walked (or sloshed, since there was standing water all over the place) around the house, picking up all the loose branches and lawn furniture that went flying every which way.  The back room of the house had a little bit of standing water too, but that seems to happen once or twice a summer. Routine to pick that up.

Kudos to the city of Pinellas Park and their tree pick-up department, as they got quickly to work collecting the fallen trees and branches.  And there were some that I didn’t catch on my Blackberry camera. I didn’t want to be too much of a looky Lou.

A few miles away, it didn’t even rain at all.  That’s our weather for you.

The Lawn Spy Report

Ameripride Lawn Services doing what they do best: blocking both sides of the road so no one can pass.  May 17, 2013.
Ameripride Lawn Services doing what they do best: blocking both sides of the road so no one can pass. May 17, 2013.

If it’s Friday where I live, it’s the day to cut the lawn.  It’s 9:30 in the morning, and I already hear them at work.

Not that I have a voice in it, but I think my complex gives these people who run our services a little too much power.  In the picture noted above, Ameripride Lawn Service vehicles were blocking BOTH sides of a neighboring street where I live.

Due to the Tropical Storm we received a couple of weeks ago, Ameripride got thrown off their usual schedule of doing our lawns on Friday.  Usually, Saturday is the make up date (yep, if mother nature comes calling we pay the price for it, like we control the weather around here), but for some reason they came the following Wednesday.  Now usually from the first time I hear them until the last time I hear them, the process takes four hours give or take.  That day, for some reason, it took them eight and a half hours.

If that’s all their was to this story, I wouldn’t be posting.

Ameripride blocking a neighboring driveway, June 13, 2013.
Ameripride blocking a neighboring driveway, June 13, 2013.

They come back the next afternoon at 5pm, and totally block the driveway of a neighbor across the way from me.

Ameripride: why do we have to ask your permission to use our roads and our driveways?

I would take this to the management of our complex, but for all I know they could be in collusion with the Ameripride cartel.  So I think I’ll show everyone and let you all draw your own conclusions.

The Spurs Choke One Up

The last time I saw a choke job this bad in a Game 6, a certain team from Boston had a World Series in their hands in 1986.

If the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat last night, they would have been the NBA champions.  They had a five point lead with a little less than 30 seconds to go.  Lebron James of the Heat hits a three pointer, cutting the lead to two.  They quickly foul the Spurs, hoping they would miss at one least one free throw so that the Heat could hit another basket to either tie the game or win.  Sure enough, the Spurs only make one free throw.

The Heat go into a frantic rush to get as close to the three point line as they can.  Lebron misses a three, but Chris Bosh gets the rebound of his life.  Ray Allen hits a three point basket from the corner, and the game is tied.

Miami takes the lead into overtime, and the Spurs blow two chances to extend the game further, giving Miami the win and a series tie at three games apiece.

Does anyone remember when the NHL season ended in April and the NBA season was over by Memorial Day?  It will be June 20th before the NBA champions are found, and the NHL season (thanks mainly to a players strike) may not be decided until at least June 22nd.

I barely watch college basketball anymore thanks to an NFL season that doesn’t end until February.  All the sports make their seasons as long as possible to ooze every buck out of Joe Sportsfan.  I miss the simpler and (seemingly) more orderly days when one sports season didn’t bleed into another.

Just the way I see it…

The Devil Came Up To Boston

Saw this yesterday, and I thought it was brilliant.  This is a “kind of sort of” remake of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels band, a country song released in 1979.

The language is a little gritty, just like the people of New England, which I mean in a good way.

Winds Of Discontent

A family member tells me that something is going to happen very shortly.

45 minutes go by.

I ask the family member why hasn’t that something happened yet.

I get yelled at.

I point out that if the family member hadn’t have said anything, I wouldn’t have been upset.

I get critized at.

For once, I yell back…

We’ll see how this goes.

Did We Ever Recover From 2008?

I don’t usually blog on Saturdays, but I have a little bit of spare time today.

Had one of those “streams of consciousness” strike me last night on Facebook.  It all began with one of those memes you see on Mr. Zuckerberg’s site, about how burgers cost 99 cents at some fast food joints, and how if you want a healthy salad, it’s nearly $5 most places.

The same is so for drinks.  You can go to your local “7-Eleven” and get a Big Gulp for 99 cents, but the much more healthier water costs more.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Some cities and counties have ordinances that makes it difficult at best to grow your own food.  Why is that?

Then another thought hit my noggin.  Is the economic recovery an illusion?

Where I live in Pinellas County, Florida, ridership on the local transit system, PSTA, has been setting records recently almost on a monthly basis.  Did these people get sudden urges not to pollute the air with their automobiles?  A safe guess is probably not.  They ride the bus because owning automobiles isn’t economically feasible as it once was.

The same argument applies to the Tampa Bay Rays.  Even when they play rival clubs like Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, as I have noted a month and a half go, attendance is off.  My next door neighbor was a Rays season ticket holder, and isn’t one anymore.  Local fans foolishly believe that putting up a new stadium in Tampa or in eastern Pinellas County will solve the problem, and it won’t.  So the Rays will move to some other metropolis in ten years or less.  That’s my sad and bold prediction.

And you wonder why the government watches us from on high, and says they do not?