Friday, February 22, 2019

Retiree Guide to JAX

Neptune Beach sunrise
Jacksonville just made the Top 10 in some list of places to retire. The only problem is that the city isn't really in the Top 1000 for people who are actually looking to retire, so maybe it's time New Jax Witty works on putting together a local guide for folks who no longer have to work.

A Funny Story From Our First Spelling Bee

My son participated in his first spelling bee this year, making it to the finals of his school and then filling in for the champ at the Duval County written spelling bee, which he did well enough on to get to be one of the 26 finalists. That's pretty cool, and it's further than I ever got in a spelling bee, even though I was pretty good at spelling. Just not in front of people. The event itself was an interesting experience, and one that's as much a lesson for parents as the kids. Problem is that not all the parents learn the lesson, apparently.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Church of God the Mother at UNF

UNF sent out an email regarding at least one of the churches that shows up on campus to talk to students. I don't attend UNF, so I don't actually know much about the situation. But I went to college, and there were sometimes churches represented near the Union, and there were sometimes heated debates. I never got involved myself, and I was only approached one time, so I'm not taking a stand on Christians on Campus or Socialists or Republicans or White Nationalists. So I'm cool with anyone except Nihilists or The Eagles showing up on campus to discuss whatever with Millennials. I'm just wondering about the name "Church of God the Mother."

Arlington Renewal: Reality Check

I'm all for reviving and renewing Arlington, as long as it's not going to wake up all cranky on us. I have enough experience in urban planning (as a college student and connoisseur) to be able to predict a few major concerns with renewing Arlington, whether or not some hot-shot Miami developer says it's going to happen. And I don't have millions of dollars or years of experience in the neighborhood. Just sense.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Grammar Police Issue Warrant for Pablo Creek Library

I don't expect a whole lot out of the general public when it comes to grammar. I kind of think that the English language is generally a stupid language. We could do so much better, but we're not going to change to Esperanto in the near future, so we just have to deal with it. Like I said, I can understand when someone at the local gas station calls it the Ladie's Room or Lady's Room or Mens' Room. I can look past it when someone in marketing says, "A winner must claim there prize immediately." Errors, all of them, but those are just normal, everyday people. I'm an English teacher, so I see all the mistakes; I just don't tend to give them much thought. However, when I see some questionable grammar at the local public library, that's when it's time to put on the old badge.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Gunshots, Babies Crying, and Screaming - Jacksonville

It's my first mayoral race here in Jacksonville, but I assume it will be a fun one. Two candidates who don't like one another. Anna Brosche's attack ad seems to be a metaphor for her distaste for Lenny Curry, but a lot of people also called the ad itself distasteful. If it was for a local ice cream shop, I'd totally agree, but when we're talking politics, then you can use the gunshots, crying babies, and screaming without crossing the line. Fear is the top emotion for local news, home security sales, and political ads.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

An "Interesting" Résumé Means Good Luck

I got one of those weeding-out phone interviews recently. (I'm kind of looking for a job.) The interview was a lot like the ones I got right after I got laid off as a teacher of twelve years back in Wisconsin. Even though I've had an added several years of experience (not teaching) in addition to my years as a teacher, I still apparently have an "interesting" résumé. I know this means I won't be likely to get a call for a real, in-person interview, since the only people who appreciate interesting résumés are those who don't work in HR. If you also have an interesting résumé, I feel for you, and I'd hire you if I could.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Adverstising on Zillow For Free?

hijacked Zillow listingsI was looking up the highest crime area of Arlington when I came across a strange phenomenon on many of the homes near the high-crime apartments. Someone had claimed the homes on Bert Rd. and added the following:
This property is never For sale or rent sun and Jerome Harrison Wilson and Emma kim-tashis Harrison Landlord Owner contact me at 904....

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The $5,000 St. Augustine Trash Bin

St. Augustine wants to replace garbage cans with garbage/recycling cans. In theory, I like the idea, since I did the same thing in my kitchen. I know that my $60 kitchen garbage can isn't commercial-grade, and it's probably a bit smaller than what's needed, but for $5,000 a pop, I'm hoping some local artisans are building 16th century vintage trash cans. Wait, there were no garbage cans when St. Augustine was founded. So we can do whatever we want.

Giveaway! Florida Drug and Alcohol Course & Permit Exam

This contest is currently OPEN until 2-28-2019

If you are a parent of a soon-to-be driver or a kid who's looking to get a license, I've got a giveaway that's perfect for you. I have been authorized to offer Aceable's (Florida-valid) combined Drug and Alcohol Course & Permit Exam (valued at $48 online; on sale for less right now) as a giveaway for New Jax Witty readers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

What Can You Get For $5 and Some Potato Chips in Jax?

Sometimes, police officers must have a hard time believing the stories they hear, even if the admission is so ridiculous that it must be true. This is one of those stories. A woman was shot at a gas station by a man who fled on foot. Those are both fairly typical events in greater Jacksonville. The assumption would be that she'd been mugged. Or targeted for some reason. Uh, not exactly. Actually, the woman had been paid $5 and some Pringles to provide a service for the man. He then shot her and took the $5 back. No word on the chips.

Free Offer to Federal Employees

I was trying to come up with what I could do to help local government employees to manage not having a paycheck right now. I made it my business goal to help others so that they might want to help me someday. While that hasn't worked out all that well for me, I'm still going to give it another try. I've seen all the suggestions that include selling items or starting a side business, and that got me to thinking how I could help those of you who need it right now.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Doctors and Hospitals You Should Never Visit

I wish I could give you the right advice on this one, but I can't. I saw an ad for Morgan and Morgan wherein John Morgan basically says that he's old enough to say what he wants, and that there are doctors and hospitals he'd never use. Honestly, I'd really like to have that list. Wouldn't you?

Nocatee Fees: CDD and HOA


Nocatee Farmers Market
We spent our first day in the Nocatee area of St. Johns / Duval in order to check out the farmers market. While there were only three actual farmers at the market (two produce and one dairy), it was still interesting to see the planned community. In fact, our kids were quick to suggest their grandparents look into the area, since it has a certain feel that's similar to some of the retiree planned communities in Florida but without the stigma of being just for old fogies. But what about those fees and cost of getting in?

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Renting Near Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedtert

I know, this might seem out of place on a blog about Jacksonville, but there's a chance someone out there knows someone who's looking for a good place to rent or buy in Milwaukee right next to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (MCW and Froedtert) for a residency or fellowship.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Neighborly Tattling Or Not

The neighbor kids tend to play in our front lawn a little bit. Not a big deal. The other day, however, one of our Christmas decorations was destroyed. I asked my own kids if they had been in front at all (they hadn't), which was confirmed when I watched some surveillance video. I know the neighbor kids broke the decoration (even if it's just out of view), and the neighbor kids know, but it's still more complicated than all that.

After More Than A Year, I Realize There's A Skyway in JAX

JAX Skyway Map
Sorry, city leaders. I just didn't know there was a vibrant Skyway automated monorail in town. I kind of thought it was either an idea that had never been made or something that was closed down. Although I still have not seen this in person, I went to several websites to confirm that it does exist. My goal, in the next year-and-a-half, is to find a reason to ride this free people-mover.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

I Almost Sent A Pretend Gun To School

I'd say it's mostly good that I have made it a point to protect my kids from the scary news of mass shootings at schools, murders in Jacksonville, and guns in general. But there's a negative, I suppose, if you're naive when it comes to guns. I've been there more than once in my life, and I almost sent my daughter down that road because of my own naivety.

Freelancer Nightmare: Unpaid Work

I'm busy getting some websites off the host so I can make room for more. A couple of the websites were done as actual jobs that never received pay. I figure a website takes me at least 10 hours to complete, even in the pre-production form. The two websites here would represent 20 hours of actual, sitting in front of the computer work, along with another few hours of research and contact with the clients. Let's say 25 hours, at least. I'm cheap, as far as high-end web design goes, but these two sites were set at about $1,000 each, so it's a couple of decent checks not coming my way.

Who IS a Journalist?

I was looking up someone who edits a local news-ish website and magazine that's mostly a fancy blog with a lot of paid ads that purport to be articles when I saw the person had a Muckrack profile. After clicking through a little, I realized that I, too, would like to have a profile that puts all my writing together in one place. But then I read the "strict" requirements of being verified. Very ouch, I'm not technically a journalist. But then again, who is?