Friday, July 19

If You Have to Ask How Much Fortress Garage Suites Cost...

fortress garage suite
That's right, you can't afford one. If you have to ask, I mean. But they do (or will) exist in Jacksonville. 13 of 30 are sold at the location I saw near Beach and I-295.

If you don't have to ask, they start at about $170,000. People who are in the market for a garage suite more than likely own a home valued at 10x the garage price, as well as cars valued at more than my home's value. But they are real people, too, and they are totally normal once you get to know them.

Quick, Now is Our Chance to Kill Public Schools

Jacksonville entered into one of the most liberal educational experiments of any city when the city basically became the county. While I am not sure forced busing was ever associated with the move, it's still fairly unique as an attempt to bring all the awesomeness of the suburban schools into the city schools. Problem is that the suburbs are now, basically, in other counties (St. Johns and Clay), and that's where all the Duval educational hope has run to. What if, instead of throwing $2 billion into Duval Public Schools, we step back and see how we can do it all different once again? I'm wondering what our unique version of public schools might be today.

Tuesday, July 16

Duval or DuVal or du Val?

Duval County Florida
I was just on an insurance website that listed DuVal as the county we're in. Some people go by DuWhatever, while others use DuSomething. Still others are du Frenchplace. So, I wonder what the deal is with Duval.

Saturday, July 13

Recyclable Plastic Bags as Beds

Plastic bags CAN be recycled, probably even in Georgia. That's where a Girl Scout troop decided to save recyclable plastic bags from the landfill in order to build homeless beds. I'm wondering whether it's a good activity or not. I want it to be, really, but I have my reservations. My wife says it's me being cynical, but I just like to make sure the feel-good stories really make me feel good.

Wednesday, July 10

Orange Park Wants to Limit Cars in Driveways?

When I was driving around Jacksonville to find a place to live, I always crossed off the neighborhoods with several cars parked in the front lawn. In my mind, front lawns are not made for parking cars in a civilized society. But Orange Park, at least according to the news, wants to pass a law that kicks cars out of front lawns AND driveways. That would be going a bit too far, especially around here. That said, there should be some accepted rules about parking cars that should help property values, though I don't see much hope in enforcing most of the rules, even in hoods with an HOA.

Wednesday, July 3

Vacation to Asheville - Watch For Gas Gouging

We were visiting the Biltmore in Asheville when I ended up at a gas station that seemed impossible. At first, I felt lucky that a Shell was right there, since our AAA gas discount has been giving me $.15 a gallon recently. But after I ended up putting $20 into the car, I realized I'd been totally scammed, right in the open.

Monday, July 1

The Hidden Cost of a Hidden Hills Upgrade

I took my daughter to a party in Hidden Hills. Nice neighborhood and homes, along with a security guard. So what does the convenience of being in a fancy hood near the Beaches and downtown cost? And what are the hidden costs of Hidden Hills? Just in case we decide to move on up, I decided to do some research.

Thursday, June 13

Only Way to Avoid The Reverse Mortgage Disaster

I've seen several news articles about the pitfalls of reverse mortgages. I also saw that we've set up a fund to help people when they get stuck with a reverse mortgage here in Florida. But the simple answer that most older people don't want to hear is that there's only one way to avoid disaster with a reverse mortgage: don't get one.

Wednesday, June 12

Rental Bikes Aren't Exactly For The Homeless

Local news was down in St. Augustine covering the newly-proposed use of some kind of bike-share rental system. Since it's standard operating procedure, a homeless man was interviewed about the program. He said something to the effect that it would be good to have options for someone like him who can't afford a bike. FYI local news and homeless people: bike rental programs are not really created for the homeless.

Tuesday, June 11

Bored Cashier is a Marketing Opportunity

Most of the times that I've been to car dealerships, I don't really notice the cashiers until it's time to pay. The dealership I went to recently to get an oil change, however, had a cashier right in the waiting room (which was also the location of the service and parts desk). Efficient placement that should probably lead to employees working hard, since they are in front of each other and customers. For this particular cashier, however, it was 90% texting in her chair along with 10% taking payments/other work, and it's a missed marketing opportunity.

Friday, June 7

Sunpass, with more states coming soon...

Sunpass and KTag
Here's the text from the Sunpass website that's probably been on the website for the past several years (since mid 2018 for sure):
SunPass transponders also work in Georgia and North Carolina with more states coming soon.
I am not entirely sure why the toll systems in the US have decided not to follow the federal law requiring them to achieve interoperabilty. I assume Sunpass (with all its problems) does not meet the minimum standards set forth by the EZPass group. It's a set of rules that does not allow for fraud, so it's not in tune to Florida business practices.

Thursday, June 6

I Did Not Know My AC is Obsolete

Obsolete AC
As I walk around my Jacksonville neighborhood filled with homes built in 2003 and 2004, I see that most of the AC (heat pump) units are original. They look like mine, complete with rust on the top. But it's more than the rust that makes these obsolete, and you probably better save up for the upcoming expense yourself if you have an AC unit that is over ten years old.

I Hate to Disappoint Home Invaders, But...

A home invasion down in Eagle Landing (Oak Leaf Plantation) netted $140,000 that the owner had hidden in the attic. Three home invaders and a gun. Scary stuff.  I'm here to tell anyone planning a home invasion not to bother with my home. Apparently, the man whose home was invaded flaunted money on social media. Maybe he was one of those make money fast gurus. I'm not, so no money here, home invaders.

Wednesday, June 5

$4 Wednesday At AMC Explained

The local news "reported" on AMC Theater's $4 Wednesday for the summer. When I searched for the program, I noticed a lot of local news channels had also picked up the "story." I'm glad marketing using local news channels is alive and well, but because it's TV news, there was little explanation. I had to search all around to figure it out. At least, I think I have it figured out, and if anyone from AMC wants to contact me to confirm, feel free.

Doctors Should Read This, But They Probably Won't

I had a doctor's appointment for my daughter today. The doctor was annoyed that we did not fill a prescription. I was annoyed that the doctor did not call my wife back when we had questions about filling the prescription. But I was also annoyed about the signage and marketing campaign that was being waged in the waiting room and appointment rooms that surrounded me.

Monday, June 3

Arielle Nixon Leaves Action News Jax

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:qzbPOgyl45UJ:https://www.actionnewsjax.com/station/personalities/arielle-nixon/31754931+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-b-1-d
New Jax Witty has gotten a lot of hits recently that include the name Arielle Nixon and the term Action News Jax. That's because she has not been on the TV screen for some time. And there's a new blonde in her place. What's weird, though, is that there was never the normal farewell (not that I saw or read), even though it's apparent she's gone. (Spoiler Alert - I found out as I was writing this, so skip to the quote below if you don't want to read my whole post).

Youth Basketball and Volleyball Skills Camps in East Arlington, Intracoastal, Arlington, etc.

You might be looking for a basketball or volleyball skills camp for your kids, or you might be looking how to post the camp your school or organization is putting on. I've got some resources for you either way.

Sunday, June 2

AAA Drive, Allstate Drivewise, Progressive Snapshot, And So On

I wrote the main article on how to beat Progressive Snapshot. Now the other companies are doing the same thing, probably because Progressive actually saves itself money in identifying risky drivers. Sure, some of us do OK and get a discount, but the goal of these devices is really for all insurance companies to be allowed into our cars in order to spy on us and determine our rates based on very real statistics.

Friday, May 31

WTF is this? absolutely no credit

Every single teacher on earth has probably wanted to write it on a paper, and most do pass the message on in some way. However, the Florida teacher who wrote it probably should have just thought it. "WTF is this? absolutely no credit."

Thursday, May 30

Non-lol Moment: Sewer Main Line

Sewer Main Line
I was reading through the posts in my Nextdoor app, and I saw this one that seemed to use an odd lol moment:

I need a plumber to re-pipe from the street to my house. Someone who does a good job and reasonably priced (inexpensive) lol.

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how lol fits into this request for a recommendation. Maybe we have to dig deeper into the text. To me, it's a TSS (total sh!t storm, not that's so sweet) or WTF situation.

Pennies From Heaven AKA Welfare for Writers

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