Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The battle of the Orange

Wouldn't it be great if Florida and Illinois squared off in a Jan. 1 bowl game?

I mean, Here's Ron Zook, fired from Florida. Versus Urban (Jesus Christ) Meyer at Florida. Zook's replacement.

If you remember, Meyer won a national championship last year. Largely using Ron Zook's recruits. This year, with most of Zook's recruits gone, Meyer's been struggling a bit. Lost three already. With more on the horizon. Accepted excuse: Well, he's using mostly underclassmen. But that's why Zook was fired. He couldn't win with mostly underclassmen. Either.

Meanwhile, Zook went to Illinois. Recruited a whole bunch of blue chippers. Turned a pathetic program around. And is winning again. Turns out he can coach after all. And win. With underclassmen.

How could a bowl promoter resist?

I'm pretty sure Florida would resist. Nothing to gain and everything to lose it they lose. And they're pretty sure they would lose. They know they can't compete with Zook.

I can't wait.

And so it goes.

This is news?

Raise your hand if this surprises you:
WASHINGTON - Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative.
In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were "not involved" in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame.
"There was one problem. It was not true," McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."
Personally, I'm shocked SHOCKED I SAY at the information. Who knew?

Along the same lines, just who do you think is really behind this:
WASHINGTON - In their latest tussle with the White House on the Iraq war, two leading House Democrats said Tuesday the Pentagon was using scare tactics to try to goad Congress into passing another war spending bill.

Am I the only one to see presidential (and vice presidential) fingerprints all over this?

Same old BushandCheany. Lying, deceiving, passing off false information as fact. Just adds to the evidence that this is the most corrupt presidency in the history of the U.S.

But we already knew that, didn't we?

And so it goes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Everything I know...

When we first moved here (almost a year ago now) I knew nothing about the Naples/Southwest Florida area. Nothing.

So I set out to learn.

First I tried the paper and the local electronic media. Nada. Zip. They can report the news, but they can't and don't generally tell what the people are thinking.

I searched the blogosphere. Nada. (If there IS a local blogosphere, I sure can't find it...)

Then I found it. Right back in the newspaper. But not on the front page or the local front.

If you want to now about a community, check out your paper's letters to the editor. The Naples Daily News runs a TON of letters daily.

And if you read all of them, you'll find out a LOT about an area.

For instance: There a LOT of conservatives here. There are a lot of very wealthy people here (but I repeat myself). There are a LOT of people with a lot of time on their hands.

And there are a LOT of people here with the urge to complain while having not much to complain about. In reality, there isn't much to complain about down here in paradise - or its suburbs.

A few observations:

*- If your major concern in life is loud leaf blowers, you have no major concerns in life.

*- If your major concern is that the city just painted the street outside your house and the white paint is too bright (!), you have no major concerns. And no life.

*- The old folks in Old Naples, the richest, most conservative tight-assed area of downtown Naples, does not know or believe there is life after 11 p.m., and they damn sure want it kept that way. Music in a bar after 10:30? The nerve. No way! Attracting people under age 75 to downtown? But they're so LOUD! Destroys the nature of the community (think rest home).

*- Not allowing planes to land at the Naples Airport after 10:30 p.m. is stupid. What? Pilots should land at Ft. Myers and wait until you've had enough sleep and then finish their trip?

*- People who consider George W. Bush an idiot, a liar, and a manipulative and manipulated moron are not traitors. They're just looking critically at one of the most corrupt administrations in the history of the U.S.

*- People who support abortion on demand are not baby killers. In fact, given the situation too many babies are born into, they probably care more about babies than you do. Or have you adopted your 10 or 12 unwanted babies this year? An unwanted, unloved baby is much sadder and more destructive to society than a few grams of unwanted tissue.

*- If opening public meetings with prayer is OK because you aren't endorsing any one religion, then at the next Naples City Council meeting, I want someone to kill a chicken and pass around some ganja. And next week we can sacrifice a virgin. (What's that you say? It's only OK if it's YOUR particular religion? I see.)

*- They're not closing the Vanderbilt library because they hate you. They're closing the library because you aren't willing to pay for it. What's that? You'll pay for yours; let them close that one over there? Oh, I see.

*- Complaining about 'illegals' around here is simply a coded form of racism. Don't kid yourself. Or me. It's not the illegals you're worried about, it's all those spicks and beaners and wetbacks, isn't it? And you really don't want them to go; you just want them to shut up about the cost of housing and living conditions while they manicure your lawn and do about a hundred other jobs that no one else around here is gonna do. And if you think they're taking jobs from 'real' Americans, when was the last time you saw 'leaf blower operator' or 'lawn manicurist' 'street sweeper' on a 'real' American's resume? And God Bless America.

*- All those beaners and spicks and wetbacks had damned sure better learn to speak English and God Bless America. How? ESL classes, of course. What? We had to cancel those classes to give you old rich bas***ds some tax relief? Too bad. Jesus spoke English; why can't they?

. *- Signing your letters "God Bless America' does not make you more patriotic than I am. But it does make you look sillier. You think god's gonna bless the U.S. more than any other country? Oh, yeah, I forgot, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, PA., right?

And so it goes.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The drive to survive

I used to believe that Illinois drivers were the stupidist, most inconsiderate and generally worst drivers in the hemisphere.

Then I moved to Florida.

To quote every teenaged girl in America, O M G!

If you've never driven here, you cannot imagine the levels of stupidity you can see every day on the roads in Southwest Florida.

Let me explain.

First, you must take into account the demographics here. About 70 percent of the population is retired. WAY WAY retired.

Most of the rest of the folks are real estate agents.

Consider: Old retired folks' (ORF) reactions are slow. Many of them recognize that fact. So, to be safe, ORFs drive slow. Very slow. Old retired folks also don't have any place urgent to go. The cocktail hour at the club will wait for them. (There's plenty of evidence of that). So they drive slower.

For some reason, ORFs are usually looking for some place they can't remember the location of. So they drive even slower, looking intently. In the left lane. ORFs LOVE the left lane.

Most major streets and highways in the area are six-lane thoroughfares, most with large, heavily landscaped boulevards dividing the lanes with periodic cuts to allow for left turns and U-turns (which are legal here just about everywhere).

When an ORF decides he/she must turn left, said ORF immediately moves into the left lane. The passing lane. AT LEAST 5 MILES BEFORE THEY TURN. Just to be sure. So, there you have it, an ORF putting down the road in the left/passing lane at 35 mph. In a 55 mph zone.

There are at least a couple more ORF tricks that get me. The habit of breaking at a green light, presumable because 'You never know, it just MIGHT turn red any minute without warning.'

And the best: On a busy thoroughfare, with traffic moving along at 45 mph or 55 mph, some kind ol' ORF in the left lane will STOP (STOP!) to allow a driver headed in the other direction to turn into their lane. The rest of the traffic behind them also had been moving 45mph or 55 mph. 10 or 15 driver following the kind soul are all jamming HARD on their breaks while this kind ol' ORF is being nice and polite to the left turner. Rear-end accidents abound around here.

Then, beyond the ORF, there's the busy real estate agent (BREA). BREAs apparently troll up and down major streets looking for customers. All the while, they have their cell phones attached to their ear. Paying little of no attention to their driving. They'll go along happily at 10-15 mph below the speed limit, occasionally and randomly weaving from lane to lane, suddenly notice they're going slow and speed up to 10 or 15 mph above the speed limit.

Or, they'll suddenly and unexpectedly notice that, yes, they have been driving for some time oblivious to surrounding traffic, and break for no apparent reason.

At a red light, they BREAs are the ones who have to be honked at to remind them that the light's been green for 30 second now. At which point they take off at the speed of light, aimlessly wandering between lanes as they carry on oh-so-important phone conversations. (Since no one around here's actually selling or buying property - except us - God only knows what they're talking about).

There are a few other driving categories to mention (like the lane-changing late maniac (LCLM), the oblivious phone-obsessed teenaged girls OPATAG), bullet proof teenaged boys (BPTAB) and the ever dangerous oh-so-cautious and law-abiding Hispanic (OSCLAH), but they'll have to be the subject of another blog.

As a person who must drive 35 minutes each way to and from work daily, I encounter many of these critters. And of course, as a driver, I'm totally law-abiding and blameless. Of course.


The point is, Illinois folks, if you want the title of stupidest, most inconsiderate drivers back, you'd better start working.

These Floridians (and the tourists) have got a BIG lead on you.

And so it goes.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Blogger's bustafugged

Ain't it wonderful? I had to revert to an old style template because it seems that the new templates in the new improved Blogger don't allow comments.

And so it goes.