Thursday, December 28

An Annotated List of Jax Meetups

I told my wife that she should look into a meetup in order to do something outside of the house. I have MABL baseball, and I will also eventually do my own meetup group of some sort. I also actually enjoy watching the kids play sports, so that kind of counts. When I looked into the local Jax groups that meet, I thought it might be useful to list them for others out there who do not want to waste time searching on Meetup. Then again, that's the single purpose of the website, so my list and comments might not help a whole lot, but I think it might be fun for me to vent a bit, since I've been a little frustrated for the past few years when it comes to these groups. I just got started with Meetups again in November, so I have not attended any actual meetings as of this writing, but I was a dedicated member of one group in Milwaukee, so I intend to join one of these and make it a thing in my life.

Tuesday, December 26

Hot Attraction: Blow Up Slides

Florida's sun can be unrelenting. If you are planning on renting a giant slide like the one pictured here, you will need to figure out how to deal with the sun. The tree in this photo had little effect on the slide, and it's obviously higher than the adjacent building. Therefore, when my kids went down this slide after noon, it had been heating up all day, and the slide itself actually left burn marks on the kids.

Sunday, December 24

Luminaries: A New Old Christmas Tradition in Florida

When we exited our Christmas Eve church service this year, the walkways were lined with paper bags with candles inside. One of the other church members identified the objects as luminaries, but I was interested in the birth of this Christmas tradition. It was not something we saw in Wisconsin, and not something we noticed in Kansas, so I wondered how the tradition got started.

Tuesday, December 19

Baseball Field Fiasco


I thought it was just a fluke when I showed up to Woodstock Park and it looked like a farm field fit for a concert rather than a baseball diamond. I figured the field had been out of the rotation for a while, and maybe the person in charge of the field needed to get back in mid-season form. But it was also kind of a known concern. I'd been told going in to bring my own chair for the dugout. But that was the worst experience at the worst field, so no biggie.

Monday, December 18

Uses For Amazon Locker

Amazon Locker Jax

I saw my first Amazon Locker at a Speedway on Merril by the 295, and I was wondering what these electronic lockers are for. Instead of looking it up, let's just take some guesses at it, shall we?

Funny News Stories in Jacksonville, Florida

I was searching for this website by using terms that had to do with funny news stories in Jax, but then I realized that I'd never really claimed that my own articles would be all that humorous. I'm not saying my writing isn't hilarious, but most people who write stories don't try to convince others their writing is entertaining... it's usually a natural discovery. Furthermore, I don't even try to be all that comical all the time, but even then, our brand of news is better than reading a newspaper with all those facts and ink.

Apparently, Artesians Helped Build The Navy's Newest Ship

I'm not sure who Artesians are, but they played a role in building the newest ship that will be stationed at Mayport. Perhaps they are people from Artesia, California. It's a town in southern Los Angeles county of about 17,000 people. However, there is no shipyard in Artesia. Artesia, New Mexico, also does not build ships, but the oil and gas industry is big there, and the USS Little Rock probably uses a lot of fuel.







Thursday, December 14

Here's Why A Certified Teacher Probably Won't Be A Substitute In Jacksonville

I don't think I'm currently licensed in Wisconsin as a teacher anymore. However, I'm not entirely sure, since Governor Scott Walker wanted to make my teaching license a lifetime one, partially as a result of the teacher shortage in my home state (caused by the policies of Scott Walker, but the that's a long story). Either way, I have a degree, a teacher certification, and nearly double the college credits of most people with a Bachelor's degree. But I don't think I'll be signing up to substitute teach in Jacksonville any time soon.

Monday, December 11

Suing School Over Not Hearing About An Injury?

A local news story goes something like this: girl is injured in gym class; girl gets ice for her wrist; girl shows up at home hours later; wrist is broken; mom gets upset.

Tuesday, December 5

I AM For Real, Mostly

Someone reading New Jax Witty, and maybe even perusing some of my other content online, might ask whether this is all for real. Am I just some crotchety, uppity, cynical jerk who thinks everyone else is wrong all the time? Am I some recluse who hates the world? Do I think I'm better than everyone else? Do I dislike Jacksonville? The short answer is NO. I just have ideas, sometimes good ones, and I can't stop writing.

Why Rome, Italy, and The Villages, FL, Are Similar, And Why It Matters

Ah, Rome. I was there back in 1999, and it was a treasured three days. The architecture, the art, the history, and the awful smell of air pollution. And what city in the United States reminds me the most of Rome? It's The Villages, Florida.

Monday, December 4

Pit Sisters: Really?

I've made my argument against pit bulls. I don't like the dogs, and I don't like them living near me. Kind of like alligators. And just like I would not really want to see an alligator center that rehabilitates and releases gators, an organization that rehabs pit bulls that have actually been in fights seems like a bad idea.

Sunday, December 3

Make Sure You Have a Working License Plate Light

I've seen plenty of cars with fog lights burned out, and a decent number with headlights out. Maybe fewer with brake lights out, but you get the picture. There's always a percentage of people with some kind of light out. I'm here to remind you about one little light that probably doesn't have a warning when it's out but will get you pulled over just as quickly by police officers looking to pull you over: the license plate light.

Friday, December 1

A Culver's For Kernan and McCormick in Jax

I've written about how we don't need another gas station on Kernan and McCormick. I've even suggested a few options that would be local destinations, closed at a decent time. The best of these options is a Culver's.

Democracy Dies In Darkness at Jacksonville.com

I read a lot of news online. I'm not unique, either. People are always reading their news feeds for weather, traffic, sports, and other interests. I'd like to know the local news, too, especially since I'm trying to write about my experiences here. The problem is that Jacksonville.com wants me to answer a survey of six or fewer questions. Therefore, I won't read the article.

I Wonder Why Alleys Don't Exist in Jax

A street in Jax - No driveway and no alley
I can't say definitively that there are no alleys in Jacksonville, but I spent nearly 15 minutes on Google Maps looking for any sign of these driveway/roads that were a staple in Milwaukee, and I could not find any sign of them. Not in the "urban core," not in San Marco, and not in any other part of town that reminded me of the higher population density areas of my hometown. This quick search led me to wonder whether or not alleys exist at all in the area, but it also got me to wondering about the purpose and existence of alleys or alleyways.

Thursday, November 30

What Does it Mean When an Adult Has "The Mind of a Teen"?

I really hope the police find the woman from the area who has gone missing. What I have wondered about is the description of her as having the mind of a teen. What does that mean, exactly? When I was a teen, I was basically a freshman in high school. I was with my friends when we walked around and THEY made some bad decisions, like stealing hood ornaments off cars. I thought it was kind of goofy and irresponsible, and I suppose I was guilty by association, but that's the extent to which we were incapable of appropriate decision-making.

Tuesday, November 28

Note to Jax Drivers: Turn Signals Serve a Purpose

Turn signals, flashers, turn indicators, directionals, signal lamps--whatever you call them, they do serve an actual purpose, so I am pleading with Jacksonville drivers to use your turn signals. The primary purpose of these lights on vehicles is TO LET OTHERS KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GOING. It's wonderful that you already know where you're going, and that's actually half the battle for me as I get used to such situations as Atlantic Blvd becoming Arlington Expy, which crosses Arlington Rd which crosses Atlantic Blvd. If you're lost, like I am half the time, then I understand, but for those of you who just don't feel like letting the rest of us know your intentions, please reconsider.

Jacksonville Actors and Actresses, Let's Help Each Other

I'm always trying to come up with new ways to sell my stories. I've written two movies, a musical play, and I'm still working on a novel. Maybe I'll never make it big, but I do know that connections help. I've looked into the local Jax writing and film scene on Meetup, and I've come up fairly empty so far, so I figured I'd put this post out there.

Monday, November 27

FEMA Going Door to Door After Hurricane in JAX

Someone was complaining on the Nextdoor site about FEMA workers going door to door. She said there's no way FEMA does that. Then some other people weighed in, both for and against. It does not appear anyone bothered to visit the FEMA website, which clearly stated there were Disaster Survivor Teams walking neighborhoods in Jacksonville.

Tuesday, November 21

Vocal Minorities And Newscasts


I found this cool book about human psychology that talked about vocal minorities. The authors argued that fringe groups were able to get heard and get changes made because they were basically loud, which made people in the center (politically) believe those groups were an important part of decision-making. Recent events at UNF have once again proved this theory.

Monday, November 20

How NOT to Handle Customer Complaints: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits

This is a fairly simple customer service story. Just in case any of you are business owners in the Jacksonville area, I wanted to share it with you so that you could see how badly you can look when you decide to worry more about who might be trying to take advantage of you rather than how your customer feels about the experience at your store, as in you taking advantage of him.

Boom Goes The Dynamite: Why Bad Newscasts Are Fun

I'm not going to call out anyone specifically in Jacksonville. I know one newscaster I watch misspeaks more than any mainstream newscaster I've seen, but I grew up in Milwaukee's market, ranked #35, and then moved to KC, ranked #33. Jacksonville just broke into the top 50, so it makes sense that the newscasters would be more like I would have seen while traveling to places like Norfolk, Harrisburg, Grand Rapids, Birmingham, Greensboro, Albuquerque, Louisville, New Orleans, or Memphis. Newscasters who were dynamic and precise went to bigger markets from Milwaukee. It's a minor league kind of thing, with the stars often leaving markets like MKE for Chicago.

Saturday, November 18

Seeing a Broken-Down Penske Truck Reminded Me: Don't Rent From Penske

I recently wrote an article about why renting from Penske cost a lot more in the long run. While Penske's competitors both rented me trucks that were older and had AC units that crapped out on the trip, Penske alone made me pay for a truck that leaked in during a rain storm, which ended up costing a lot more in the long run, especially since the company has ignored complaints.

Friday, November 17

Emissions Testing Coming Back to Jax

No, I'm kidding. At least I'm pretty sure we're safe around here, but I thought it would be interesting to revisit the program in order to discuss one of the ways Milwaukee is disappointing compared to the other places I've lived because of this one issue: the emissions test.

Birds As Pets In Jax

OK, I don't know if bird ownership is higher in Florida than any other state. One website called that information a premium statistic and wanted me to buy it. No, not that important to me. The only reason I ask is because I just saw one of my neighbors walking by with what appeared to be something in between a parakeet and a parrot on her shoulder.

Will Jacksonville TV and News Be Affected By New FCC Rules?

The new FCC rules relax some rules for local stations. From what I can tell, the two that might affect Jacksonville the most would be these:
Common ownership of two of the top four TV stations in the same market, subject to a “case-by-case” review by the FCC.
and
Common ownership of a newspaper and a broadcast station in the same market

Wednesday, November 15

A 37 Year-Old Nazi at UNF Has Some Options

I don't want to antagonize any Nazis, especially those with assault rifles. That's certainly not the intent of this article. I just wanted to remind all prospective college students, especially ones in their 30s, that colleges do offer courses online, and that might be a better fit for you.

I went back for my Masters in my mid-20s. To be honest, college life was not for me at that point. Going out to frat parties, drinking hard liquor from a beer bong, dancing on video in dorm rooms, and generally not remembering weekends had lost the appeal. Don't get me wrong, I met my wife there, so I understand the desire for an older man to be on a college campus, but online dating sites are more efficient today than back then

Tuesday, November 14

Here's Why I Didn't Take My Family To The Fair This Year

Crime and perception of crime are basically the same thing to an outsider. Since I don't know the area near Duval's Fairgrounds, when I hear that shootings are happening within earshot of the fair and fights inside, I don't bring my family. After using Google Streetview and getting a better feel for the area, I now understand that the reason for my apprehension is slightly unfounded, but I'm still not sure for next year, since we all have the right to avoid becoming victims.

Not That I'm Looking For a Life Coach, But What's The Deal With Transform Your Life Today?

My sister is a life coach, so if I needed one, I'd ask her. I built her a life-coaching website that she has yet to use, and I decided to see how the local versions stack up. Well, the FIRST life coach website listed by Google for me has a website, almost.

Monday, November 13

Is YIMBY Right For JAX?

When it comes to housing and economic development, NIMBY is often the word used. It means Not In My Back Yard, and you've probably felt this way at some point. I was surprised to see that another city that's experiencing growing pains is embracing something called YIMBY, or Yes In My Back Yard.

What Kind of Driving Should We Expect From JSO?

Today at around 11:40am, I saw two Jacksonville Sheriff vehicles either responding to a crime or committing ones, but I'm not really sure how to figure it out. I was on Monument Road, nearly to McCormick, and a JSO vehicle pulled up alongside my car very quickly, nearly hitting the car in the left lane. Then the officer tailgated the driver in front of him until that driver pulled into my lane. I figured the officer was responding to a call, an assumption seemingly confirmed by another JSO vehicle heading west on McCormick towards Monument about two minutes later. The second police car had lights on but not the siren, so maybe both of these cars were responding silently to a break-in or something.

Sunday, November 12

Flag Etiquette Lessons With Lenny

I stand and cover my heart for the pledge and the anthem. I think it's stupid to do otherwise. The US Constitution protects the right for a lot of people to do a lot of stupid things. I am a Constitutional Conservative, so I respect the wisdom of our Founders.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said this about flag etiquette, and it got me a bit worried.

Thursday, November 9

Brian Jaeger Named Jacksonville, Florida, Poet Laureate

I know, you're not really supposed to give yourself titles, but it's a way to get your name out there. Like if you were the King of Used Cars something like that. Since no one else seems to have claimed the title of Jacksonville, Florida, Poet Laureate, I'll take it. Thanks.

Niche Websites and Evergreen Content

I keep telling myself that it's going to work out. I know what I'm supposed to do to get noticed online, I know how to get Google to index my articles, and I know how to write. There are glimmers of awesomeness, but nothing has really taken off like I'd hoped. If you're thinking about a website for a business, take some advice from someone who has certainly been there and done that.

Jacksonville Wins Library of the Year -- What's That Mean?

The Florida Library Association has presented Jacksonville's Public Library with the Library of the Year award, so I wanted to see what that meant. Here's the Jax library take on it:
Among more than 800 public, academic, school, and special libraries, Jacksonville Public Library was named Library of the Year this year by the Florida Library Association for demonstrating outstanding service to the community.
I wanted to see who has won this award in the past. Yes, I'm sure it's spread around, but 800 libraries IS a lot of competition, so it's a fairly big deal.

Wednesday, November 8

Are We Missing Out On Better Tomorrows?

I was thinking about the last two articles I wrote, and I realized that I needed a puff piece. I needed a "Better Tomorrows" kind of article. That's the saying one of the newscasters (Jerry Taff) in Milwaukee had when I was growing up. He usually said it right after the nightly puff story, and maybe it left all of us with a little more hope.

Ex-Military, PTSD, and Guns

This past week led me to consider who should have guns, assuming we want to limit the ownership to some degree. I assume most of us would agree that a man who killed over two dozen people at a church in Texas should not have had a gun, since his history included anger problems as a result of PTSD. It would appear that Jax has many current and former military residing in the area, so I know this is a topic of concern for the community.

Time to Offend Pit Bull Owners: Get Rid of Your Dogs

I wrote a post on Nextdoor this summer that mentioned my fear of Pit Bulls. I grew up in a big city with some pit bull problems, mostly in suspect neighborhoods. The truth is that I never saw one or visited any homes with one. I just knew I didn't like them because of stories I'd heard from other kids at school or on the news. Scary stories.

Tuesday, November 7

Trying to Understand Jacksonville's House Tax Exemptions

So we own a house. We filled out the form to ask for the Homestead Exemptions, which basically seem to reduce the taxable amount of the house by $25,000 to start (as long as it's our primary residence). That's cool. But there are some other exemptions (and taxes) that take a bit more to understand, particularly if you're new to Jax.

Sunday, November 5

Jiffy Lube Atlantic Beach - Google Got This One Wrong

I spent an extra ten minutes in my car just to drive all the way to Atlantic Beach in order to specifically choose the local Jiffy Lube with the best reviews. Guess those reviewers got it wrong.
There was one car in a bay when I got here, twenty minutes ago. I had time to write another article before I even started this one, and so far all that has happened is my car has been moved so that a pickup truck could move in front of me in line.

Can We Build Our Way Out Of Traffic Congestion in Jacksonville?

One of the more interesting college classes I ever took was Urban Planning 141, taught for a semester by Mayor John O. Norquist of Milwaukee. One class that seems to apply to Jacksonville was a debate between the former county supervisor and a train guru, wherein the two argued whether or not you could build your way out of traffic with roads.

Friday, November 3

I Think "Car Burglar" is an Official Career in Jacksonville

I'm not going to totally criticize our city's army of gainfully employed car burglars too much. I think there are other jobs that are nearly as dishonest, some of which are legal, like mortgage insurance sellers and internet cafe owners. It's just that I always assumed car burglars perhaps had other jobs, as well, and it was more of a part-time gig. (Unlike Cat Burglars, who target wealthy people and seem to do well in films.) However, I get the distinct impression that Car Burglar is  a full-time, third-shift job in Jax.

Thursday, November 2

Lovin These Jax Car Ads

I'm not in the market to purchase a car, but I am intrigued by a few of the local car commercials in the Jacksonville area. I think the ads are funny for different reasons, but I wonder how effective they are.

Never Seen The Price is Right?

As I sat way too long at the Atlantic Beach Jiffy Lube location (I only chose it because of decent Google reviews), the TV was tuned to The Price is Right. That's not unusual, since the show has been a mainstay for decades. I used to watch it daily when I was in kindergarten and before. Then I'd catch it over the summer sometimes. And it got popular with college kids as Bob Barker got older. What surprised me today was a woman obviously in her 60s or 70s who said this: I've never seen this show before. It's pretty entertaining.

Monday, October 30

Local Haunts - A New Jaxperience

I was stuck with a weekend lineup that did not interest me, so I tuned into Local Haunts, mostly because of the cheesiest intro ever. It's a local Jax version of Ghost Hunters or the like. Steve Christian and Pamela Theresa are the stars of this show, and it's something. Steve is the tech guy and Pamela Theresa is the medium, meaning she can communicate with spirits without gear. The rest of the crew fits well into the stereotype of what a paranormal investigation team might resemble. What I mean is they seem legit in some way, like they LARP hard on non-investigation weekends. Or work as zombie or UFO-abductee extras in local college films.

Tuesday, October 24

Cell Towers That Look Like Giant Trees Look Like Cell Towers Dressed Up As Giant Trees

cell tower that looks like a tree

When I got off the #10 bus the other day, I looked up over some apartments and saw what looked a little like an artificial Christmas tree trying to cover a cell tower. I'd never seen this before. Generally, cell towers look like cell towers. This one looked like a cell tower, too, but like it was wearing a disguise. A bad disguise, really. It's not blending in with the other trees because it's three times taller. And it looks like it's mostly dead. Then there's the giant nest on top. I suppose it might be aesthetically pleasing from a mile away, but for the people who live right next door, this doesn't really do the trick.

Monday, October 23

Time to Find Out: What Are People From Jacksonville Called?

I've been making assumptions about the name of people from Jacksonville, but I have yet to look it up. In fact, I will wait until I offer my best guesses before I actually look for the real answer. I know I am now a Floridian (which means I need to drive around shirtless more often), but I'm still trying to figure out my city and county name for myself.

Saturday, October 21

Is It Legal To Shoot My BB Gun In My Back Yard In Jacksonville?

I took my son to a Cub Scouts New Cub Shooting Sports event because he was a new Cub Scout to the area. I'll post more about that in another article, and maybe I'll save you some heartache. The experience got me to wondering if I could set up a target in my back yard rather than waiting for an hour and fifteen minutes to shoot five arrows and a few BBs. However, even after doing some research, I'm still not sure whether or not BB guns are legal in JAX.

Thursday, October 19

What's With The Fog Lights, Jacksonville?

I wrote a decent article last year about why you don't need to drive around with fog lights on all the time. But that was back in Kansas/Missouri, where I estimated around 10% usage of fog lights for no reason. I estimate upwards of 20% of Jacksonvilleans use fog lights all the time, at least over here in Arlington. In fact, my estimates tend to be 20-30%, based on the scientific method of counting cars when I drive down the street.

Wednesday, October 18

Action News JAX Busy Mom Ad Should Bother Us

Arielle Nixon
I'm all for good-looking moms who want to take care of themselves. That's not my issue with the Action News JAX ad. The problem is that the ad depicts an alternate reality that is not obtainable by most of us. Let's take a look at the ad storyboard and break it down for analysis.

Monday, October 16

Fall Family Fun: Amazing Grace Crop Maze Review

If you live in Arlington, the options for fall festivities on anything resembling a farm seem to be limited to an hour's drive. That's not a huge deal, but since we figured this might be our last year convincing the kids they want to participate in some of the activities, we wanted to make it one of the more interactive attractions. That left it between Amazing Grace and Conner's A-Maize-Ing Acres. The main reason we chose Amazing Grace was the slightly lower price, teacher discount, and the fact that we were a little uncomfortable with the Redneck Olympics at Conner's. Overall, it was a decent (and pricey) outing that was a little less than expected.

Saturday, October 14

Historical Places - Mosquito County, Florida

I love it when people are literal in naming of places. Obvious names, like Steep Canyon, are more fun than British aristocratic names, like any number of Jamestowns. Even modern desires to somehow connect with ye olde England leads to stupid modern subdivision and cookie-cutter home names like The Kensington.

Monday, October 9

Brooklyn Cyclones Fitted Cap in Blue With White and Red Logo

Sorry, I don't have this hat available for you to purchase. That's what I was trying to do in order to play with the Bold City Cyclones of the Jacksonville MABL/MSBL. But it's not as easy as you might think to find some other city's obscure minor league team when you can barely find your own city's obscure minor league team gear at any stores.

X102.9 is Jacksonville's Alternative, Kinda -- And Now It's 106.5

I have to admit I listen to X102.9 in Jacksonville. The station goes out of its way to claim to be alternative. I like that. I listened to true alternative stations in Milwaukee and Kansas City, so I was hoping for a little more of that. X102.9 is kinda like those stations, but not quite. I knew this for sure when one of my son's fellow fourth-graders said this when we gave him a ride: "102nine; I love that station."

PO Problems: Dishwasher Disconnect

If you have a previous owner, then you have problems. Here's one of ours: the dishwasher disconnect.

Our inspector ran the dishwasher. I told him we wanted to make sure it was working, since the last house we'd bought and had inspected was lacking electricity to the kitchen. That was odd, but this house was newer and in a fancier neighborhood, so we did not expect anything odd at all when it came to the dishwasher.

Friday, October 6

Are There Any Rare Books at The Jacksonville Public Library?

I was doing research on local history, and I figured maybe the library would have some books for me. I was kind of right, maybe. I found a rare books page https://www.jaxpubliclibrary.org/rare-books-manuscripts . It seems to list a few books, but only a few. And all the links are dead. No pdf versions of the books or image galleries.

Tuesday, October 3

The Sketchy History of Fort Caroline

I took the tour of Fort Caroline with my kids' school. It was an interesting tour, but I wondered a bit at some of the history being taught, so I researched it on my own. Basically, it's a time of sketchy history, and probably the best accounts are buried in France or Spain, but I figured I'd weigh in on some what I learned.

Sandalwood Teacher Web Pages Make Me Wonder If That's The Place For My Kids

When I was teaching, I had possibly the best Language Arts (English) high school teacher website ever created: menofalls.com. It's gone now, but here's another one I created simultaneously for our department https://sites.google.com/site/brianjaegerenglish/ and another one I created so that I could use the computers the school district was implementing: https://sites.google.com/site/brianjaegerteachingpage/welcome 

Sunday, October 1

Did Jacksonville Never Have Ice Hockey Before?

I saw this ad that I clicked on that was about the Jacksonville Icemen. The website seemed to be mostly about the legacy beginning, leading me to believe this is the initial year of the team.

This assumption was confirmed after some searching, though the city did have a hockey team named the Lizard Kings for about five years. After reading a bit about the history of the ECHL, I have to wonder a bit about this whole minor league hockey thing.

Friday, September 29

If You Don't Like Players Kneeling, Read Before Burning

I'm not going to weigh in on the debate as to whether players for the Jaguars should kneel, stand awkwardly with arms locked, or stay in the locker room during the National Anthem.

Thursday, September 28

Jacksonville Needs a Menards

I am from Wisconsin, home of the most coupon-using folks in the country. It's no wonder Kohl's is based in that state. Deals, rewards, "cash" and never a full-price item in the store. Menard's is the home improvement version of Kohl's, and we need one here in Jacksonville.

Monday, September 25

David Boynton Parkway - Monument Road

Driving along Monument Road in Jacksonville, I had seen the sign a few times. I finally decided to look him up, thinking maybe Pappy Boynton was the same as David Boynton. Apparently, George "Pappy" Boyington, one of my childhood heroes from watching reruns of Black Sheep Squadron, is not the namesake for the portion of Monument north of McCormick.
The parkway is also not named after the semi-famous Hawaiian who was
"a leading expert on the natural history of the Hawaiian island of Kauai" (Wikipedia).

Saturday, September 23

Merrill McCormick Wonderwood What? One Road, Many Names

For about twelve miles from the St. Johns River to the Atlantic Ocean, a continuous road in Jacksonville changes names about as often is possible. In fact, I'll go ahead and wager it's the most changed street name in the country over a dozen miles. (As a side note, I'm wondering why St. Johns does not have an apostrophe, as it's not like there are multiple St. Johns. Or that Johns was John's name.) Anyhow, to the many-named road.

Friday, September 22

Helping Hands on Kernan And Why Some People Stop

I have always stopped for others in distress. I have yet to get mugged. On the other hand, I have yet to get paid in a Rolex like one guy I know. But I don't stop to help people in the hopes that they've got cash for me. I stop because I'd hope one of them will someday stop for my wife or kids when they are in need. So far, I've gotten to see some of the ups and downs of Jacksonville when it comes to stopping to help others.

Wednesday, September 20

Reality Theft: The Perception of Burglaries in Jacksonville

I get weekly offers from ADT, SafeTouch, Xfinity, and more, for security system installation and monitoring. My house came equipped with an alarm. I see SafeTouch ads every day when I watch my two hours of TV. I've even had the ADT guys show up at my house and ask if it was the cost or the fact that I'm not interested in protecting my family that kept me from buying their product. I told him I wasn't interested in protecting my family. But, in reality, I am interested in it. I'm not interested in scare tactics and negative perceptions dictating how I live, so are we safe here in Jacksonville? I used FBI crime statistics to see, and it's not really as bleak as those security salesmen might lead you to believe.

Tuesday, September 19

Jacksonville's Not Part of the Panhandle

This wasn't an obvious answer this morning as we discussed it. Technically, Florida does not look like a pan, so calling one part a panhandle is a little difficult to imagine. If we imagine Florida as a vacuum cleaner, does the handle stay the same? Or, if it's a fishing net, would the handle be the entire frame (all the way across)?

Monday, September 18

If There Aren't Any Panthers in North Carolina or Jaguars in North Florida, Then Why?

I get the Dolphins, Rays, Buccaneers, Marlins, Hurricanes, and even Seminoles (I thought they were all in Oklahoma, but there are still some in Florida). There's Heat, daily Lightning, and Magic at the theme parks. And Panthers. All of it's here, but not Jaguars. Conversely, North Carolina has no actual Panthers.

Sunday, September 17

I'm Not Blaming Armada For This...

I don't know enough about the situation to blame anyone, so this is not an article complaining about Jacksonville Armada, only it kind of is. Here's the deal, or lack of deal: my kid plays soccer on a co-ed grade 5-8 team that plays against other such teams. These are private schools, most of which without their own fields. We're not ritzy schools with big-time donors, so we use public parks. However, the arrangement we had for the use of Ed Austin Park has dissolved under Armada rule.

Saturday, September 16

Jacksonville's GIS Map Needs This Feature

My house did not flood during Hurricane Irma. We were in Evacuation Zone 1, and we got out of the area. However, that's not enough for me. I want to know if my housing investment is safe, and the best way to do it is to have more information about the flooding that did occur, possibly as an added layer on Jacksonville's fairly nice GIS mapping system.

Friday, September 15

More Evidence You Don't Want a Gas Station in Your Hood

I tried to write to developers and the city about a gas station at Kernan and McCormick in Jacksonville. Nobody responded, including my representatives in the city council, the developer who owns the property, and the builder who owns the adjacent property. I posted my letters and concerns on my other websites. Here's one of the articles.

A Newbie Experiences a Hurricane: Irma 2017

I remember when we were looking for possible locations to live, I had a list of worst-case scenarios. One was lack of water, having grown up in the Midwest right next to Lake Michigan. Florida has plenty of water, so no problem there. Lots and lots of water, in fact. I also didn't want earthquakes. That's not a problem. Hurricanes were on the list, too, but everyone kept saying Jacksonville almost always missed the big storm. The 100-year stats seemed to back that up.

Wednesday, September 13

Historical Flood Risk and Costs

I am sure 2017 will put Florida and Jacksonville back on top when it comes to flood risk and cost, but I thought it was interesting to see the historical data. Here's the top 30 as of 2016 with the total number of claims closed with FEMA payment and the total amount.

What's an Internet Cafe, By The Way?

I know nobody wants them in their neighborhood. I know there's possibly been some abuse of the law when it comes to them, including some significant charges against a local lawyer. But I just don't get what an internet cafe is in the first place. Or why anyone would want to go there. Then again, I don't get gambling in general, so a non-gambling version of gambling makes even less sense. These places are also called LAN cafes, gaming cafes, or cyber cafe.

Sunday, September 3

Superheroes From Florida

I was reading about Moxie Girl, a superhero from right here in Jacksonville, who gets her powers from her afro-puff hair style, and it got me to thinking. First, I have really thick hair, and I wondered what it would look like if I let it keep growing. I'd probably have the power to mop up oil spills with it. Next, I wondered about the local superheroes.

Saturday, September 2

Giant Pickup Trucks in Jacksonville

You've seen them. You might even own one. Giant pickup trucks. They are all over the place in Jacksonville, and I kind of wonder what the appeal might be. Actually, I saw one today and realized the appeal, since the guy who owned it was kind of a little fella, but the babe in the passenger seat was a real looker. I guess that's the point: if women in Jacksonville go for giant pickup trucks, then that's why there are so many around.

Friday, September 1

JAX Churches and Schools, Your Websites Need Help

I'm new to Jacksonville, but I can tell that it suffers from some of the same problems with website design that I've seen in the Midwest. Basically, you've got some really good and exorbitantly expensive websites for some churches and schools. Then you have the rest.

Ga-ga Ball is Sweeping Over Jacksonville

ga ga jax
I have no evidence that Ga-ga (or Ga-ga Ball as my kids call it) is actually being played by thousands of kids in Jacksonville. I do know my kids play it at their school, so I decided to find out why. After researching the game, I can honestly say I still don't have a clue why it's the game of choice.

Thursday, August 31

Do Little Kids Roll in the Grass in Jax?

I know there's some saying about red and dead or yellow and fellow, and I'll have to review it before a storm surge sends snakes into my yard. Right now, I just say, "See a snake, walk away." I think that should suffice most of the time. What I really wonder is whether little kids roll around in the grass like my kids did when they were toddlers.

Jacksonville, FL - The Worst Drinking Water?

You've probably seen the top 10 list of cities with the worst drinking water. Like the list that says Floridians are the worst drivers, this list is also flawed. Here's my explanation on my family blog.

Website Design in Jacksonville, Florida

Let's be honest: this website isn't all that great. It was easy to create using Blogger, but it has limitations. If you have a small business in Jacksonville, you might want to check out a newly-relocated business called Passive Ninja Web Design.

Passive Ninja works quickly to build or rebuild your website. All the major elements are part of the design:
  • Mobile-friendly websites
  • Integrated Google Map
  • https security
  • Easy to update
  • Inviting design
Oh, and it's cheap. Not as cheap as a secretary setting up a Blogger website, but pretty cheap, starting at $500. 

Smart ASSet ASSessment of Florida Drivers is Half-ASS

We all like quick answers and someone else to analyze data for us. This includes the folks at local news networks, most of whom picked up the Smart Asset analysis of our country's worst drivers. If Florida news outlets want to know why some politicians get away with calling their reporting Fake News, then this is a classic example. Because this really is Fake News. Let's see why.

Wednesday, August 30

Welcome to New JAX Witty

Welcome to our website! Our goal at New Jax Witty is to provide articles of interest to people in Jacksonville, Florida. However, we are writing from a Midwestern perspective, having lived in Milwaukee, WI, and Lenexa (KC), Kansas. Having traveled to 46 of the lower 48 states also plays a role in how we see JAX. We'll add some reviews, advice, and legitimate research to go along with some back-handed comments. Think of us as Jacksonville's mother-in-law. This should be fun.