Month: November 2002


Gobble Gobble

Turkey Day….

Just what am I thankful for? Just what is there to be thankful for?

For starters, having readers like you actually viewing my web page. Hello, how are you? 🙂

I’m thankful for electronics and for the mesh of the electronic and the biologic that gives me a chance to hear again.

I’m thankful that George Dubya Bush hasn’t blown us all to hell yet – though I don’t think it will be much longer if the fool gets to remain in charge for a while.

I’m thankful for the internet….

For Sarah Marie….

For Target Corporation and giving a guy who can’t hear that well a chance to do a job on the sales floor.

Speaking of Target, I’m thankful I still have use of my legs, feet and arms after getting worn out pushing, shoving and lifting stuff and putting them on to shelves.

I’m thankful for Jon Gruden, for the Glazer family proving that they aren’t as incompetent as they are shrewd, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneer sand 9-2 as of this writing….

For the Tampa Bay Lightning proving me wrong and starting off very hot this season. I am very thankful for that.

For Lou Pinella Coming back to TB to coach the Devil Rays who play like Deviled Eggs.

For the Beatles and Sony Music not suing my ass, and for the fans who supported me while they threatened… I am most certainly thankful for this.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone 😀

Nothing to see here, please disperse

The Dodger Boy is back again with yet another epic tale of sausages having their way with your intestines….

Yes, it’s another journal entry. Feel free to move on to the new web page that actually provides content besides my daily life…..


What? You’re still here? Shame on you! :smile

So I have a full work week in front of me — which is sort of cool and sort of bothersome… Bothersome because Bill quit Target in a hissy fit and I feel like I am getting —

Getting ahead of myself with negative thoughts. BAD BAD BAD. I want to have this job and I need this job and I need something to do every day instead of sitting at home on my ass in front of the computer, waiting for Bill to tell me another story about his niece Jillian and her life sus-far, or about his dog Bradley becoming Ernie-the-Hound-dog’s bitch….

Then again, I could also write. I started working on a story again that I started pre-9-11…. 9-10-01 to be exact. I had plans to finish it the next day but you know how that went…

I also had thoughts about a cool concept business that I do not have the capital to start up. I like the concept that I pieced together but I don’t know if it would work or not. Basically it’s a charter van that drives between downtown Tampa and a fixed location (locations? plural?) in Pinellas County. It can be used to commute to downtown Tampa or as a way to get to St. Pete Times Forum and other venues nearby. I figure it can be hired out by retirement homes and local associations (or schools?) to shuttle people around to fixed areas too….

At a flat cost compared to a Cab, though.

Meanwhile, I want to make note that Tampa/St. Pete is the second worst metro region for Pedestrians in the US of A…. How many times have I found this out to be the truth in person? :sad

Wall Off Wal-Mart!

Last night I finally got a good night of sleep after tossing and turning all weekend and getting up early. Nice refreshing change back to the norm – me sleeping in….

I went downstairs and I read the newspapers like usual and one of the top stories in the local “North Pinellas Times” section of the St. Petersburg Times simply enraged me. I ought to find something normal to get pissed off about, because politics and business (especially here in Florida) will be the end of me…

You see, Wal-Mart is proposing a new Supercenter along the bank of Lake Tarpon, which is entirely ridiculous. Where the building would be is not more than 10 miles from another Supercenter, nor is it 2 miles from a current Wal-Mart location….

The story’s headline? “Wal-Mart proposal includes traffic signal”…

You mean to tell me that a building that 1) adds to sprawl in North Pinellas, 2) hurts the environment, 3) Paves over a wooded RV Park and D) is useless, should make me feel more comfortable because they would add a TRAFFIC SIGNAL at their entrance point? Give me an f’n break!

I ended up going all out this morning over this – I emailed the stories writer with a complaint that he did not include the information that the proposed store rests only a few thousand feet from another Wal-Mart. I also went out and emailed my County Commissioners expressing displeasure over the proposal which now rests in their hands:


My name is John Fontana and I’m a Pinellas County resident in North
Pinellas County. What I read in the newspaper today disturbed me and it
also made mention that the County Commission controlled the outcome of this
planned development – so I am emailing you in order to voice my displeasure
and concerns about what has been proposed.

Walk Mart Corporation and Wilder Corp development have proposed a
Supercenter to be built adjacent to Lake Tarpon and U.S. 19 south of
Klosterman Road. While Wilder Corp argues about how the region suffers from
a lack of shopping (which has been their public argument since attempting to
build a Target and Lowe’s Home Improvement center on the property), it does
not seem to take into consideration why people oppose it and why residents
do not like the proposed.

For starters, Wal-Mart has both a Supercenter and a standard Wal-Mart store
within driving distance of the proposed location. It is not a problem for
any resident to drive from Klosterman or points around the area to either
Alderman Road or Oldsmar where the locations of Wal-Mart’s stores are. The
proposed construction also adds more apartments to an already over-saturated
market here in North Pinellas. Innisbrook Resort gutted it’s property to
add hundreds of apartments within the last 5 years, and other Apartment
options surround the area…. Adding a new set of apartments would not just
drive down opposing apartment complexes value, but just continue to add
clutter to the sprawling North Pinellas area.

Another problem with this proposal is environmental impact. Wilder Corp’s
plans would gut it’s wooded RV park and pave over the spot… It would also
disturb the Lake Tarpon ecosystem due to rain run-off that would end up in
the lake from the parking from both the proposed Wal-Mart and also the
proposed apartment’s.

What is to become of the Wal-Mart that is currently located at Alderman Road
and U.S. 19? Would it be vacated and left to be an empty and ugly “box”?
Don’t we already have enough of these in the Bay Area and Pinellas County by
carpet-bagging developers? How much development are we going to allow to
tarnish Lake Tarpon? How many green-spots in Pinellas County are left to be
paved over with additional suburban sprawl? Is Wilder Corp’s vow to pay for
a traffic signal at US 19 and Cypress Pointe supposed to put my mind at ease
that my tax-payer dollars will not be spent on this? If that is the case,
it doesn’t. This development should be stopped in it’s tracks. There are
other uses for the property that are more sound than the current proposal.

That was sent to four of seven County Commissioners… I only pray they don’t just file this away and ignore the complaint.

I’m so sick of backing up and giving ground to large, ominous corporations…. I’ve done it with Sony and Apple Corp LTD…. I’ve bowed to the Corporate structure by getting a minimal job with Target Corp…. What’s next? I have to name my first born Microsoft Fontana in order to get to use Windows XP 2.0? Or have UPC codes tattooed to my skin in order to be able to purchase items from a specific company? Will I have to move because someone wants to build a gas station on my property and the County uses some hidden law to evict me? I want to fight it, I want to lobby against it, I want to protest it… And yet I can’t find many like-minded people near me.

Pray For me and to hell with US 19!

One thing I am proud of with this site is being able to come on here and leave one rant each time I leave a journal entry. For those of you still reading my journal you’ll know I was bummed out after the Beatle Lyrics fallout and didn’t quite know what I would do with the web space at hand. I did turn it into your venerable Stonegauge… but there’s still more that can be covered in the future and I hope I can do that….

Anyway, lets get to the rant now shall we? :smile

You hear me complain politics all the time, at times you hear me moan about Tampa and/or Tampa Bay… If I haven’t, well you should be thankful. One thing that irked me the other day while thinking about stuff is the biggest special-interest group in the area. It’s not a company, it’s not a person… It’s a roadway.

US 19 is the worst 30 mile stretch of roadway in Florida and arguably the US. It’s a volume of 80 thousand + cars and trucks a day driving in stop-and-go conditions from the county line to the tip of Pinellas County. Half the people who drive it are trying to commute south, the other half are trying to make minor neighborhood trips.

Why is US 19 a special interest group? The Businesses along it….. Commissioners of Pinellas County do a lot of planning specifically for businesses that are along the corridor. The roadway would be best if it was a freeway with limited access…..

But that would not make the businesses or the consumers happy, now would it?

So Pinellas County gets money from the state, and the National Government in order to “improve” the roadway with minor bits of glam – an overpass here, sidewalks there, streetlights. It still never helps the problems that pop up – the Highway cannot have open access like it does, Pedestrian Overpasses are needed, more flyovers in both directions to help traffic flow….

But why would they do THAT? It wouldn’t help businesses directly. It wouldn’t fill coffers at Election time. It’s political bullshit I’ve been viewing for the past 5 years from a political level and it sucks.

Median breaks, a continuous right hand turn lane, more traffic lights… It’s just adding to the problems while avoiding the solutions.

Segway to where?

This time last year, or just about this time last year, there was an invention that got people (myself) really interested in just what the hell it was. It was an invention that had been talked about a year previously and people actively pondered just what it was – up until it was revealed just what it was.

It was a scooter – the Segway was born.

The reaction to the unveiling of the Segway HT was a mixed bag from some people after hearing such hype as “It will revolutionize life” and “people will build cities around it” from types such as Steve Jobs and the creator of Amazon . ‘It’s a scooter? That’s it?” “Man, that actually makes sense… what an idea…”

The Segway was designed specifically for urban living and work conditions – you don’t need an SUV to go to the corner convenience store for a pack of cigarettes. You don’t want to walk 15 blocks to the proper subway station to catch a ride uptown… You don’t want to walk the 2 and a half miles from your house to shopping in the hot hot sun and yet you don’t want to pay extra fees for parking.

That’s where Segway came in.

Do we REALLY need cars in our major cities (New York, San Francisco are the first two towns I think of)? And yet how much do we need to depend on something that works much like our own two feet?

I’m in suburbia and I STILL want one of these things. I am not allowed to drive and can use a mode of transportation that is both powered and faster than my slow amble. I need to commute to work (2 miles away) shopping (2 miles or more – depending on where I go), and other places by myself. I want independence. As someone who doesn’t have a license and can’t get one, the Segway would provide a good deal of help. Of course, a bike could arguably do the same job….

That’s the argument for and against Segway…. We have bikes and mopeds and skateboards and golf carts that were made for certain modes of transportation. The Segway is going to cost a pretty penny for pedestrians and they need an original way of saying “This is what you want and not the other stuff.”

OK that’s my rant…. Even though it doesn’t seem to have a point :tongue

My brother Andrew has his friend over today – someone I used to be good friends with but fell out of favor with over the years. I always used to wonder what this guy did on Sunday’s because he was never available for stuff. Football. Lots and lots of football, it seems because he’s been glued to our set since 1 :tongue.

Then again, I usually am like that :wink

Reunion to Work

I won’t even get into the election stuff but I will say “Open Mouth, insert foot” with how I handled the situation with my hearsay :mad . Very non progressive. Very disenfranchising.

But that’s not the big story in my life – the big story is WORK. W-O-R-K WORK. Sitting here now away from the action, I sorta dread going back, but while I am there, everything goes great and smoothly with a few minor bruises from my razor blade.

Yes, John the box cutter, the shelf stacker, the stock boy….

Wednesday was my first day and that went rather smooth. Everyone was very outgoing and helpful except the guests of course, but that’s to be expected.

It’s good to be among the real again on a regular basis. I honestly could have kept going past my quitting time today but I’m still dependent on others with transportation so it’s best I leave only modestly late and not hours late.

Today wasn’t as productive as as yesterday was because I got lost with a lot of things I was supposed to be stacking AND my legs are like – gone. Entirely. My thighs are tight and sort of weak, my knees can’t bend, my hamstrings are sore. This is what I get for not being able to hit the bike on a normal basis like I used to.

How come a lot of people in international places are getting on to Beatle Lyrics still? Or are able to access my old registered email address for the site? Odd.

Election results are in…

*Grumble, Grumble* Stupid Republicans…:mad

*Grumble, Grumble* Stupid, stupid Democrats…:mad:rolleyes