Tag Archives: florida

Stimulating idiocy

The St. Petersburg Times took local area governments to task on their requests for economic stimulus project funds. Most of them were low key, beautification projects that would neither create jobs nor serve a purpose.

I want to know if the TECO Line Streetcar is on this list of projects. I don’t mean the quarter-of-a-mile extension. I mean funding to complete this sucker so it runs through downtown to the north.

Seriously, Tampa doesn’t seriously link it’s new residential units in the Channelside district to central downtown. it hasn’t linked it’s new downtown condos with the entertainment district to the east. How do you do that, stimulate foot traffic in all markets AND potentially stimulate the retail sector? Extend that street car.

That or you can try to get a windfall of cash to do ornate bullshit that shows no vision, no ingenuity, and no long term planning. That’s the usual in Florida…

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Filed under Politics, Tampa Bay, Traffic

Eighty-One. Bah, Humbug.

The high for December 24th

The high for December 24th

81 degrees in Pinellas County, Florida on Christmas Eve. There are millions of Americans that have endured the cold of the late fall and the first few days of Winter with sub-freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and all the weather that marks the season (and the problems they cause).

I get eighty-one degrees… And I’m not in the seasonal mood one bit because of it.

I don’t mean to play the Grinch, or make those up north jealous and play out like I’m ungrateful for having temperate weather as we pass the winter solstice… But I don’t get into the seasonal spirit any more seeing green trees around me (where trees won’t finish shedding leaves until February/March and grow them right back again). In fact it makes Christmas displays feel like Las Vegas light shows instead of the true time of the holiday that I know. It’s easier to tell the season by looking at store displays than with the weather outside.

In Florida you get two seasons: Spring and Summer. Oh, it gets chilly once in a while but every Spring has it’s cold days. And while some may want to defend the fact that it’s winter right now, even in Florida, I must ask how many places consider winter a growing season? In the northern hemisphere, I mean…

Eighty-one degrees… On Christmas eve. I’m sitting here with the grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence mentality. 20 years ago I was jealous of my father being in Florida while we froze our buns off in New York. Right now, I’d rather endure the seasonal shift to cold — because not only would it ring in the time of year better, but it’d make me more appreciative of the warmth of summer. It’s hard to do that when your average temperature is 90 degrees with a sixty percent humidity for most of the year.

Maybe the new year will afford me the chance to escape Tampa Bay. I’d take it, but I don’t think that’s in the cards.


Filed under Personal, Tampa Bay, weather

Florida, go forth and vote

And make a habit out of it – we got at least two more this year.

While we’re at it — lemme tip my cap to Casey over at St. Petersblog:


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Filed under Personal, Politics

Dry and true

So there has been rain in the Tampa Bay area the last few days, yay rain…

…Whoopty friggin’ do.

Anyone in Pinellas County that wants to think we’re in the clear with drought conditions need only look at the official Pinellas county rain gauge on their web site. It feels sick and cruel that the tally through today (July 2nd) is 10.59 inches of rain for the year.

2007 is half way finished and we’re only about one fifth of the way to the average rainfall total (Clearwater, Florida’s average yearly rainfall total is 49 inches according to Florida Living Network. The St. Pete Chamber of Commerce lists the city of St. Petersburg’s annual rainfall total at 48+ Inches).

We haven’t hit the Fourth of July yet, nor the peak of the hurricane season (two sub-tropical storms and only a bit of rain from both) and I’m fearing how our water outlook will come November.

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Filed under Personal, Tampa Bay

Where the hell did the Reilly's go?

First and foremost to anyone who knows me and actually visits Stonegauge from time to time to see what’s on my mind or what else I am up to… I’ve stayed off here a lot lately because I’ve been bored with it a bit — Boltsmag gives me a topic to focus on while Stonegauge asks me to focus on me and my life is rather boring.

Oh yeah, and the fact I don’t want to bitch about personal things knowing people know this is my personal blog.

But I gotta bitch today because I’m looking for an old family friend… Or friends more like it.

In 1984..? I think that was it… I moved into a house in Blue Point, New York with my family… Nice ranch place with cedar shingles and brick accents. There was a nursery next door and it was a quaint, small town on Long Island… There’s a plethora of details about Blue Point or that house but none are pertinant to this tory besidse what I want to talk about.

One afternoon after moving in, I was inside doing one thing or another and my brothers were out back — giggling and acting really weird by the back fence. I went to investigate what was going on and I found out they were making a fuss about a girl (and her friend) in the next yard. Mike and Andy were acting anti-social in one way or another and I thought “What’s the big deal?” and started up conversation with the girls… This was the begining of a great neighborly friendship between the Fontana family and the Reilly Family.

The girl in question was Shannon. Shannon H. Reilly if I do so recall her middle initial. She was about the same age as my older brother and went to Blue Point elementary school (while me and my older brother were attending Sylvain Avenue Elementary in nearby Bayport)… Shannon was basically the fourth child of my parents while me and my brothers became children of Shannon’s parents. We really were interchangable children and would spend time playing at each others houses all the time (except when I got tugged into some type of disagreement between my older brother and Shannon). I believe her parents names were Mary “Mussy” Reilly and Rich.

Shannon would later have a little brother, Brian, who became the fifth partner in crime. Of course, Brian would be too young for most of the -adventures that we’d undertake but he was none the less part of the equation when we did something.

At any rate, I moved away from New York to the Tampa Bay area in January 1989. The Reilly’s were there to send us off. They’d later take a trip from their home in New York to Florida and make sure to stop to see us along the way.

But time and distance made things fade. We did end up visiting the Reilly’s after they moved to Massachusetts during the 1990’s (not far from Foxboro if I do so recall) … But after that I can’t recall much of anything – news or what not – of the Reilly family. I did not see Shannon at that mid-1990’s get together because she was still in New York, finishing school while staying with relatives. I do remember Brian was playing offensive line in football but… eh.

I wanna know whatever happened to Shannon? I want to knwo what’s up with the Reilly family and I hope everything is ok. It’s a shot in the dark trying to write a blog entry about them — but after I did research on various platforms trying to find them and failed… I thought this was at least worth a shot….

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Filed under Personal

Change in Seasons

It would seem the higher elevations are starting to have snowfall… Yes, Winter is forthcoming and fall is here…

Now if it would only get cooler outside in Florida 🙁

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Filed under Personal

Bigotry against Hearing Impaired: Performance Computer Group of Tampa

What decade do we live in? The 1950’s or the 2000’s?

I’ve got a laptop computer I basically can’t use not because it’s not in working order but because it doesn’t have the capablity to do what I need it to do and thus it makes the machine expendable. I’ve been looking for a way to move the laptop without losing a ton of money on the deal.

I looked on the Tampa Tribune‘s website and through their classified ads in an effort to look through the Laptop market and see if anyone was trying to purchase laptop computers in Tampa. I found www.tampanotebooks.com which is operated by Performance Computer Group. They’ve got a shop on Dale Maybry and they say that they buy used laptops – working or not.

I figured to call them up and see how much I could get for my machine… A phone call isn’t such a painful thing after all. Even if it is Voice Carry Over through the Florida Telecommunications Relay Service.

So I called up Performance Computer Group of Tampa — three ring slater a man picks up and the text that comes across my TDD phone reads thus:

“Uh, we don’t do any Relay calls. OK, thank you.”


Some people don’t get what a Relay call is… It’s when someone deaf is calling you through a carry over service. It is not an excuse for you to treat a caller like a complete piece of shit. I’ve dealt with that from Bright House Customer Service and Capital One customer service as well. Usually I call back and get a representative that isn’t such a moron.

But in this case? The company just lost my business and came off like he was against the Relay system to begin with. “Why bother? Just some deaf clown trying to hassel me.”


Filed under Personal, Tampa Bay

Tampa Rail — off the deep end

I used to frequent Tampa Rail on the norm to read about someoen lobbying for mass transit in Tampa and in Florida in general….

But as I cited in another blog post a few weeks ago, Dave Pinero – the site owner, has been weak in trying to press his issue during a hellacious time in Tampa where traffic deaths are up and gas prices have skyrocketed.

He really went off the deep end, however, comparing Tampa’s urban planners to Nazis.

With his piece-of-shit “Battle blog” software, it’s impossible to link directly to the article in question where David decides to try sensationalism in an attempt to win supporters for his cause… Adding the Swastika to the rant in order to underline his point.

You don’t help your cause by goign fringe in yoru argument, David. You alienate yoru base and you turn off those you want to bring into your cause. Nazi comparisons? That’s just plain weak on your part, and a reason this blogger no longer supports Tampa Rail’s efforts — because sensationalism isn’t an effort, it’s a distraction to the real issues.

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Filed under Politics

Arbor Day and the Old Oak Tree

You know I just posted about wanting to plant something on April 29th….

It seems the City of Clearwater is giving away trees for residents (and this will likely be repeated depending on where you live):

On TampaBayEntertainment.com:

If You Plant Them, They Will Grow! – As the summer sun beams down on Clearwater, the thought of sitting in the shade of an old oak tree becomes appealing. Clearwater residents are invited to receive two free trees per household, plant them and watch them grow! Come to the Public Service Complex, 1650 N. Arcturas Ave. on Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Trees will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis and proof of residency is required. The tree giveaway is part of the city’s Arbor Day celebration. Patrick Keough and Gary Zippier with the Florida Division of Forestry will present the prestigious Tree City USA flag to Clearwater. City staff will answer questions relating to maintaining and watering the new trees. Call 562-4950 with questions

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Filed under Personal

If you want something done

I feel real weird sometimes when I accomplsih things for myself and by myself. Especially when it isn’t somethign that I have an official say over. Calling over cable problems a few weeks ago while my father ignored the problem and tried tos et up a phone line was one example of it. Today was another example of it.

For months – maybe longer – there’s been a lingering problem in the front of my yard – the water gutter has been cracking. Not just cracking but raising to such a degree it stops water from flowing down the gutter and to the drain. I’ve talked to my parents aobut it a few times and they have shrugged mostly at the problem. “Yeah, we need to get that fixed…. But what am I supposed to do about it?”

That attitude is something I’ve taken with me in life and being disabled to one degree or another, that attitude does not help me accomplish things I need to accomplish or SHOULD accomplish.

So Wednesday, before another bout of rain that we have had a good deal of here in Florida so far this year, I emailed the county about the problem. I expected to be ignored or hav emy problem lost in beauracracy and red tape.

Maybe it still will be but this morning it looked like somethign was actually going to be done.

First off, I get an email from someone with the North County Operatiosn center here in Pinellas. Standard wordplay with my complain being forwarded to appropriate parties and la-de-da. I thought this was proof of red-tape in the making.

…Up until someone showed up at the door a few hours later, asking for me.

A woman with the highway department had shown up and had talked to me briefly about the problem, I showed her the drain and how the water was being blocked by the rising concrete, which was being demonstrated while rain fell around us. SHe told me that they woudl be able to make the repair within a month and they woudl be in touch.

That’s mroe action on the problem in 24 hours than anyone in this family has had, besides talk, in several years.

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Filed under Personal