Month: August 2008


FL-09: Roll over, play dead

Dear Rep. Gus Bilirakis:

Congratulations! From the looks of things, Democrats have once again conceded your home base of Palm Harbor and Pinellas County. During this primary season, I have gotten more mailers (2) from you than from the three Democratic primary challengers (none). No signage was put up, no canvasing took place, no interest in GOTV efforts, no intention to help down ballot candidates in turning out voters. Are you listening John Dicks?

It happens annually – my district race turns into a farce where no one presents themselves (tactically or politically) as worthy congressmen. Oh, this includes you Gus, but you’re the incumbent. It says volumes if others don’t present themselves as a better choice than yourself – let alone their primary opponents.


Zoinks! Old web humor and The Truth About Scooby-Doo”

So I travel to an old Links page on this site while doing a cleanup in aisle three (just ordering things, changing others around, etc). This links page hadn’t been changed since well before I switched the site to MT and then, ultimately, WordPress.

And what do I find but a gem of the past. The Truth about Scooby Doo! A gem that’s become rather trivial after the major motion picture was released that both celebrated and mocked the cartoon series.

It’s sophomoric at best. The comedy isn’t as biting now as when I originally read this… But it’s still a little chuckle.

A fifth of “Entourage”

(editors note, a lot of the questions that I have still remain unanswered from last season. I gotta wonder if they will be covered this time around. Some of those questions are re-hashed here)

Lets Blog it Out! went ahead and reported several weeks ago (to much rejoicing from this writer) that Entourage, season Five, kicks off on September 7th. With that in mind, I gotta wonder just what is in store for the Boys this time around?

Season 4 and 1/2 didn’t exactly wow me from the start to the end — the faux documentary a-la The Office that chronicled the filming of Medellin just seemed blah. The whole Anna Faris thing was just too out-there (even though Eric having a career is important). But here we are with Season #5 and let me throw out some questions going into the new season:

  1. Is Johnny Drama still tied to his French connection? — Going at it on the Riviera at Cannes was manifique! for the most hard-luck member of the group. My question is, was it really love and how will it play out in season Five? Or was it just another promiscuous-yet-embellished encounter for Mr. John Chase?
  2. What will partake in the war over the Medellin edit? — So Harvey now owns Medellin after purchasing it for a buck… I would think that the edit will cause warfare between director Billy Walsh, the cast (Vinny, Johnny particularly), the producer (Eric), Harvey and the guy that oversees and contributes to all the anarchy: Ari Gold. This is the most obvious driving force going into Season Five…
  3. Eric’s relationship status: will the sap stud again? — Eric and Sloan are kaput as we learned post-Medellin (and I am not going to be surprised when Seth Green ends up revealed as Sloan’s new beau). The question is, will the serious man hook up in a relationship again? One of my questions from last season still stands as well with Eric: Will Tori come into play again?
  4. What’s the deal with Vincent Chase’s career? — Vinny has had one big hit. One. His passion project (Queens Boulevard) was buried, his creative lsut (Medellin) tanked at Canes and he is hurting financially without a payday. He’s living in Johnny’s condo last time we saw him and though he has another project lined up — he may have lost it after everyone saw how much of a dud Medellin’s current version is.
  5. Will Turtle get back in the music Biz? — I keep overlooking Turtle. Where Turtle goes, so goes the group… If he doesn’t have a story line besides the “Day f—ers” again this time around, fans are in trouble)
  6. Will they unveil Mrs. Ari’s name? Or Turtle’s? — Technically, Mrs. Ari’s name has already been revealed in a previous episode (Terrance addressed her by a name in season 3) but the name “Mrs. Ari” persisted, making the issue still in doubt. Unless they are going to bring her up by the name Terrance (Malcom McDowell’s character) used, they might as well throw us a curve ball and have her named something ridiculous — thus ensuing the nickname game. Meanwhile, Turtle and more backstory is still missing. Big chance to cover that (huge!) in relation to the revelation of his name.

So many questions, so little time (these HBO seasons just don’t last that long). Will we get some answers or do we have to wait even longer?

Fay-zed out

OK, it was cute leading up to the week how worked up people were getting about the storm. It was a tad annoying being told Armageddon was upon us and we had to be prepared, but it was cute in it’s anxiety breeding ways.

But here we are, Friday, and Fay still hasn’t left the state of Florida. Oh, she’s finally over the ocean again but technically? She’s still here… I mean, those are Florida waters.

And I must say: as a 20 year resident of Florida, following the likes of storms both tropical, non-tropical, frontal, and just standard summer storms… I have never seen a storm take such an abrupt, hard turn before:

Fay -- on Radar -- from Monday (August 18) thru Firday (August 22)

Fay -- on Radar -- from Monday (August 18) thru Firday (August 22)

I'll give Fay this…

I’ll give the ongoing weather caused by Tropical Annoyance Storm Fay this credit: It paints one damn beautiful picture…

going to "wars"

I’ve got a few minutes here while waitng for technical support to get back to me on a plugin issue with some software, so I’m doing my normal Wednesday web-surfing rounds while I wait and I come across the always enjoyable Penny Arcade (10 years of Tycho and Gabe! All rejoice!) and their latest comic and it gets me to thinking…

One thing I hated about the Star Wars prequels was the defining of the Force, or the defining of Storm Troopers (they were all clones!) and other rationalizations that killed the mysticism of the original trilogy. Conversely, it’s the pop culture references to Star Wars and inane in-depth discussion that I love. I mean, Clerks? Randall and Dante musing about the construction and destruction of the 2nd Death Star? INSANELY Funny in it’s inanity.

There are other places that don’t immediately come to mind regarding Star Wars and inanities about the how and other side stories that never get to the forefront of the story. One of the classics that I can think of is this image:

…and of course Penny Arcade’s latest comic seems like another great example… Though it goes a bit beyond just Star Wars: It’s the story about henchmen’s families. You see guys getting offed here and there… But we don’t care about them. That doesn’t mean other’s don’t.


Creatively loaf your way and vote for the Best of the Bay

If you’re a Tampa Bay area resident, you might want to partake in Creative Loafing’s annual “Best of the Bay” awards before voting ends on Wednesday. It gives you the opportunity to vote on best restaurants, best clubs, best TV personalities… worst politicians, favorite players for the three Major League sports teams in town…

Not sure when the results will show up… But take some time and mark a ballot with your personal faves from around the area.

Dice it up

Anyone tried Dicewars yet? Strategy! Flash! Dice!

Uninspiring: Let Me In

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything rhyme-based. In fact, despite all the hurt and emptiness — I haven’t been inspired to write shit. Usually the hurt, the pain, the anguish, the longing… It all drives me to write. It (or usually the source of everything inside) becomes a muse. I’ve had some great muses in my time (I’m talking people here, not instances of anguish) where the longing was what drove me to scrawl out lines of internal conflict and what not. Three above the others. And one trumps all.

It’s odd, though, that Current Source has inspired almost nothing for me. Here and there? Yeah. But nothing profound… The only poem that I had written was months old.

While I like the rhyme and the declaration — which goes beyond the obvious call for someone to drop their emotional wall and let someone “in” — it was foreshadowing of sorts. A warning sign I kept ignoring.

Read More

They're not even trying any more

Anyone else getting hit with massive amounts of spam labeled “ Top 10” or some such? How about being blasted the last 12 hours with another Phishing attempt from someone posing as MSNBC?

Let me first make this clear — you don’t have to be signed up for either site for these malicious emails to be sent to you. They aren’t news pieces, they are attempts to get your interest and lead you to fake web sites. So, no, you weren’t signed up for things without asking.

That being said, I just guffawed looking at this headline: BREAKING NEWS: NASDAQ index gains 720 points overnight upon war announcement

Uh, newsflash: NASDAQ doesn’t do shit overnight. Unless you are in Asia. In that case, why send out an email in English with that title? Because the English speaking world (most of it) who follow MSNBC are awake during NASDAQ trading.

But I digress. I find humor in this… But I’ve also given it more attention than it deserves.

what to do, what to do…?

So, the contract for my Blackberry 8700g and my Tmobile account comes up for renewal at the end of September. For two years I’ve been pretty much happy with what I’ve gotten (sans a few aggravating moments here and there). I’m wondering if I should simply renew? Renew and replace my blackberry with another model? Or perchance I should jump ship?

My blackberry is worn, the trackwheel is functional but barely — and tends to stick when scrolling through web pages or my menu. Real pain in the ass to deal with if I am trying to browse the web or just navigate applications on the Blackberry desktop menu. Then you have the fact there is no camera built in like just about every other cell phone or handheld out there and it seems just a little to antiquated.

So if I upgraded the Blackberry and Kept T-Mobile, I’d likely switch from the 8700g to the Curve. The interface seems straightforward like the 8700 and what not. No big learning curve (no pun intended). There’s a built in camera and what not. Bells! Whistles! But not bleeding edge.

The other alternative is for me to let the contract expire and go with another carrier with another device. Of course, the IT device right now is the iPhone and only one carrier has it — American Telephone and Telegraph. Unlike T-mobile, AT&T doesn’t straight out offer people in circumstances like myself a data-only package. No, in most cases you have to buy a standard package with the iPhone even if your hearing does not leave you capable of utilizing the phone itself on the device.

AT&T does offer data only, deaf packages for the iPhone but you have to jump through hoops in order to get it. I don’t even want to try to figure out the swing-time it will take for someone in the offices to read over signed documents, proving my deafness, and then approve the data only plan. It’s certainly not user friendly (or enabling) to only offer the application to those seeking them for phone use alone. Some people — even the hearing — would like a convenient, mobile means of surfing the web, texting and utilizing mobile media… All while not paying out the rear end for a laptop that is too bulky to utilize for simple mobile applications.

So as it stands at the moment, T-Mobile looks like it’ll be getting my business again by default. Anyone else have suggestions?

Novelty! Yay novelty!

I’m trying to get the WP-Cumulus tag cloud to show up. It already shows up in the sidebar but… Well… I’m trying to get it in the content body of the front page (and elsewhere) so… Wish me luck?

Update: As you can see, this nifty, fantastic, rootin’ tootin’ tag cloud is working.

Astra logical

That being said, I’m tired of waiting for Trillian Astra to go to Beta or the official release. Tired of reading the development blog that updates too slowly and only talks about the technobable in developing Astra which goes beyond the average user (which I am)… And of course, I’m tired of Trillian 3 Pro. I’m ready for an upgrade.

This was originally due last year and at this rate will not be out until next year… Please, get it done. Get it done, gentlemen.

posted September 7th, 2007 by me.

Here we are now on August 11th, 2008 — just a few weeks shy of a year to the day of the original post I made about development of Trillian Astra.

I realize it’s a labor of love, more than profit, for the Trillian team and my impatience may not exactly warm the hearts and minds of said developers. But I worry, I worry greatly, about the future of Trillian if they are still fine tuning the software and can’t update their web site front page to remove a warning that was posted in March for a previous prototype build of Astra.

Two years in the making now… All while the major clients of various varieties (my blog software, WordPress; Firefox, multiple others) have been upgraded several times over that span. Of course, those are also open source and have a huge viral development team. Trillian is less viral and more product, sans the major development team.

I still ask to get it done, please. I have Digsby installed on my computer but it doesn’t do much for me. Trillian 3 Pro remains the standard. The outdated, unstable standard at that.

Photoshop! Yay Photoshop!

And now for something completely different!

So, I saw Superbad sometime last year and didn’t quite enjoy it. Was I too old for it? Out of the target age group and all that? Maybe. Maybe it was just stupid, with the inability to connect to the two main characters and their dilemmas?

Whatever the case, there was one character in the movie that I could support, someone who I could sympathize with and whose anecdotes were all that saved the movie for me – they were more interesting and slapstick than those of Jonah Hill and Michael Cera’s characters.

I’m talking about Fogell. AKA McLovin.

Whatever the case, the fact is I also love Worth 1000’s occasional Mate-a-Movie contests (along with several other re-occurring contests on the site, but that’s besides the point). Which leads me to post the following Will-Smith-turned-Christopher-Mintz-Plasse vehicle:

Some things don't change

I have kept a memento album since sometime in the late 1990’s. Just a photo album with newspaper scraps, pictures of friends and loved ones, and letters/post cards from people that I’ve communicated with in the past. Not letters as in email print outs, but actual letters. You know, those that were hand written at one point in the distant past? Yeah, those things… Hard to believe we did stuff besides typing, isn’t it? Sentimentality is so over-rated…

But I went into this album today with the specific intention of taking out and tucking away a few pictures I’d taken close to ten years ago (within a year or two) and a handful of letters as well from that same time frame. I’ll just say that they were all of the same subject. That person has been chronicled here in vagueness and obtuseness.

But going through the letters — marred with the inconsistency of not knowing what I had originally sent (which had led to these response letters) as well as the letters themselves rambling in vagueness. I found one passage of one particular letter (written on loose leaf paper as they all were, and dated 8/06 and likely from 1998 ) that just left me smiling and nodding for all the wrong reasons:

Dear John —

Today is a day I shall always remember. I took a wonderful, if not so secret thing and brutally destroyed it. I’m disgusted. I have new understanding of several things Sorry so obtuse but I don’t wan to talk any more about it

Why do I take satisfaction in this? What kind of sick asshole am I to do such a thing? A ten+ year old letter, stated rather obtusely, about destroying something beautiful?

Answer: I hadn’t said it felt like someone died for nothing, people. This letter may be an echo of a person that I knew in the past, based on different events and different circumstances along with different consequences, but to me? It’s the only remorse that I will see in the present from that person.

We’ve all taken something beautiful and destroyed it – a keepsake, a plant, perhaps a relationship of the friendly or intimate variety — at one point or another in our lives. I know I’m guilty of this in the past with people and things, but I take some solace in knowing that at one point in time, there was expressed grief and remorse by certain people. Grief and remorse that I can’t quite see them express or have linger in their head or heart today over recent events.

I miss Java Jungle

How many people out there have a neighborhood haunt? Someone where everyone knows your name, like the song says? Someplace you can go out to and just be yourself… Unwind, maybe socialize a little… have your mind run it’s gamut and get some social stimulation?

I’m not talking about a bar, where the object tends to be to get smashed or deal with those who are smashed… I’m also not talking about a restaurant where it’s awkward to hang around, watching everyone else eat with nothing going on besides food…

It was a little earlier this week I had been conversing with my friend Bill about his need to get out to a neighborhood place on the norm just for the sake of meeting people… He’s isolated where he’s living now much like I’m isolated in my current situation. Yet I used to have a place to socialize every so often… It might have been a Thursday, Friday or Saturday Night… but it was my chance to go out and enjoy myself by just enjoying my surroundings.

Before Starbucks ever appeared in the greater Tampa Bay metro region, there was a little coffee shop just across the street from my place in Palm Harbor called Java Jungle. It’d been open a few years before I finally got the courage to go inside… I began my love for Espresso there as well. With nightly music and even the rumble of different drink-dispensing machinery against the bar where I normally sat, it was my little place of escape for a few hours a week where I could be me.

I met a bunch of interesting people during that itme, a lot of casual friends at that… I got to know the staff but not as well as I had liked. My hearing was so horrid at the time that being social was a pain in the ass… but it was also a necessity for my sanity.

And I spent many a night there simply scrawling in black-and-white Meade notebooks, writing down ambling verses of rhymes and poems — some of which are on this very website.

The problem is, the Jungle is gone. Long gone. And while I have no qualms about Starbucks (and rather enjoy their coffee), it’s not a neighborhood coffee shop when all of the closest locations are situated for mass appeal on US 19 with drive through windows (to get COFFEE??!?) and next to BBQ restaurants.

And so I get to reminisce about the days of yore and the evenings spent sipping coffee and musing with the guys and girls of the Jungle and what was… and what’s missing from my current day to day: a place of escape.

No Boltsmag is not Dead

Just FYI for people who are being redirected here while searching for the other site. It’s an issue I am only starting to deal with now.

Six years ago today…

The St. Petersburg Times gave me my closeup (as Cecil B. DeMille was not available)

Cane and Able

Before and after a major back operation in 2003, I had been using a walker due to the fact my balance and my gait were so far out of wack that I needed to lean on something or I couldn’t remain upright… Or I just couldn’t get from point A to point B.

In May or 2004 — about six months after surgery — I switched from walking with a walker to walking with a cane. I quickly adjusted to life with another assistant device always clutched in my hand. I had just finished up with physical therapy, and I had been hoping I’d be past the need for anything to help me out.

So now it’s August 2008… Just days away from an anniversary of another major operation. Instead of marking the occasion with downer stories and worries and what not, I made a little choice during the day on Friday that’s effected my entire weekend and maybe my day-to-day life from now on.

I haven’t used my cane.

I own a pair of folding canes — one for the yard, the other for general use. I also have a solid wood one. All of them are scattered around the house, but out in obvious places as just-in-case reminders. The thing is, I haven’t needed them. I haven’t wanted them. I haven’t sought them. After 4 years of using them, I’m long overdue to take a liberating step without assistance. And that’s what I’ve done. Neighborhood walks, shopping walks, etc. It’s been a challenge but also a boost to my own self confidence in my physical ability.

It’s a small thing, really… And if i were sitting there reading this blog post, I’d be bummed out at the topic in the first place. But this isn’t supposed to be a post about tearing down as so much building up. A long overdue buildup. We’ll see how long this lasts.

"It's Your Store" – almost no more

The Shoppes at Boot Ranch started to be constructed around the time I moved into Palm Harbor 19 years ago. The first major tennent was a mid-west food chain named Jewel Osco… The plaza was still under construction and by the time it was finished, there would be a Target and a Eckerd Drug store as well.

By the time I was in middle school — I think seventh grade (circa 1992) — Jewel Osco was being sold to another supermarket chain that had a bigger presence in Florida: Idaho-based Albertsons.


And so it went for 17 years. I’ve shopped at this location from time to time, I’ve worked at this location and made a bunch of friends (and lost a few along the way)… There have been highs and lows… But the standard that has been maintained is that Albertsons was around and I had a history there. I have nostalgia hit me often at this location.

But this morning I ventured to Albertsons to do some shopping and what I encountered was just plain sad. Of course, it’s already known that Publix bought Albertsons locations throughout Florida and the new location in Boot Ranch would and will serve Publix well and dandy compared to their antiquated store across the street in East Lake Woodlands…

But to see Albertsons on the way out was painful. 10-20 percent off signs were up on every aisle, the meat racks were bare, and the store was not receiving shipments from certain grocers or companies any more it seemed. I mean, how many supermarkets do you go into and find the Little Debbie snack rack completely empty?

Of course, other racks remained full because of poor decisions by whoever made them initially — why were George Foreman grilles on sale in a supermarket? Or Hummingbird feeders/food? Their boxes were worn down from sitting on racks for extended periods of time with no one actually purchasing the items. This was the case for a lot of things in this store and I would not be surprised if any of these items I am thinking of (mostly small appliances) had been on the shelves since I worked at the store 12 years ago.

Certain bulk racks had been taken down near the entrance and the store seemed void while filled. Yes, it was a Sunday morning at a supermarket but for one reason or another, this location never drew in the teeming masses that Publix draws in across the street and elsewhere in Palm Harbor.

I really wish I had brought my camera when I was at the store. I don’t know what Publix plans for the location. A renovation? Or just a retrofit? I really hope they don’t rebuild the building, but I could honestly see it happening with how aged and infrastructure is.

I ache with nostalgia, thinking of bagging groceries inside that store and hauling shopping carts in the parking lot back into the building from October 1995 until December 1996. There are good and bad memories that come to mind, along with current troubles in my head and heart that also have roots at that store. But in the end, I bow to the hand of commerce and progress. I hope I get to the store again before it closes and changes to Publix… But that remains to be seen if it shall happen.


I’ve been taking a sabbatical from my Blackberry 8700g for the last few weeks… Mostly because of how screwed up things got via ill communication.

That’s not to put down the Blackberry. No sir, it’s more along the lines of the statement I made a few months ago that SMS/TXT messages are the devil. If someone wants to get in touch with me via txt… well, shit, find a better way to do it (one with context). Hell, I have a phone number — leave a voice mail.

The fact is, if people really want to get in touch with me — they’ll do it. Too many ways to do it with better context than stupid txt messages.

Coming up on three weeks… Life without it just reminds me about that feeling someone died.