Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Understanding AT&T Wifi Hotspots (That Don't Really Exist)

attwifi Jacksonville Beaches
Some of you are in the same boat as me. You want the fastest internet because you work from home or have gotten rid of cable. So you might get AT&T's Fiber offering in Jacksonville. It's $80/mo the first year and then $90 a month after that. As a bonus, AT&T claims there will be wifi available to me at all kinds of locations nationwide. That's either not true or mostly in one city. My recent desire to go hang out at the beach and get some work done is a good example of the wifi not existing.

What's Changed After A Year At The Fair

life isn't fair
Last year, I sent a link to one of my articles about the fair to the people at the fair. I got the response from someone who worked there that others who worked there would read the article. As my chance to get reduced (half price) advanced tickets expired, I saw that nothing had been done to make changes or address my opinion. So I guess we're still not going. And neither would most people if they paid attention.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Americans Don't Really Want to Teach in China

china
Since I have twelve years of teaching experience on my various online profiles, I get the "teach in China" recruitment efforts all the time. Actually, you probably get them, too. If you are an American with an employment profile and can breathe, you probably are a candidate to teach in China. But we don't want to do it. Even those who end up doing it don't really want to. So why not bring the kids here to learn in Jacksonville?

ADA Sidewalk Ramp Investment

ada and non ada-ramps
My kids and I were having a discussion about the new sidewalk ramps being installed in our neighborhood. The pros and cons, actually. I know, that's not entirely politically correct to imply there are cons to compliant ramps, but just hear me out.

Sheriffs Live On-Site At Local Synagogues?

The news was discussing the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh and how it relates to Jacksonville when I thought I heard that two of the three main synagogues in Jax have JSO officers who live on-site. Maybe I heard it wrong, or maybe the news meant there's a house right next to these places of worship that's rented out to JSO.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Parents Should Definitely Check For Meth Candy This Halloween

You can make candy look like cigarettes, and you can make medicine look like candy (like Ex-Lax or Pepto). But it takes a devious meth lab tech to make meth into candy and then distribute it to kids. That's the message from local news channels. Sorry, I'm not worried about this, and the normal check of candy should do just fine.

Trick or Treat in East Arlington, Jacksonville, FL

out of candy Jacksonville
It's kind of weird talking to people about trick or treating in Jacksonville. Some people will say all they do is Trunk or Treats. Many will tell you they don't need candy because no one goes in their neighborhoods. And then there's where we live.

Local Business Website: Becky's Alterations

becky's alterations
As a local freelance web designer, I want to align myself with local businesses, so I figured I'd take a look at some of my neighbors on Google Maps.  First stop: Becky's Alterations. Sort of. Google Maps shows it being at the corner of Kernan and McCormick. I assume the business owner doesn't want people showing up at her house, so it kind of makes sense. Call the number to get the real directions, or else you'll end up at the power box with graffiti on it in the photo. Having another address on the website is not a terrible idea, even if I've never had some crazed businessman at my door at 3AM looking for a new website.

becky's alterations jacksonville
As far as Becky's Alterations website is concerned, it's just an older design. I like the fact that there are images of the work. Even some definitions about a foreign subject to me. I like the fact that the price estimates are on the website, too, even if that particular page demonstrates the difficulty in using the website platform used for the site. (I see it's an Open Resty site built on Web.com, which I assume is a DIY offering. You can see on the price page that there are overlapping frames that make it look like it doesn't quite fit properly, which is ironic.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

No German Immersion in JAX

I was hoping that my 10th search might get some results, but there's still no German immersion classes, schools, or anything in Jacksonville. Weirdly specific, you think, me looking into this language here. Let me explain.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

After One Year, We Realize AquaLift Doesn't Work

AquaLift
After I tested out our self-cleaning oven feature on our Whirlpool, I searched for the question, "Why doesn't aqualift work?" One of the first links was to a class action lawsuit, filed in 2016 (and in Florida) by a woman who had purchased her AquaLift oven back in 2014. Basically, she had the same experience as I'd had, which doesn't make me feel good, but it does show that it wasn't my fault (when my wife blames me for not getting the job done). Class action aside, this is my first self-cleaning oven that simply does not work. The photos you see here are basically before and after photos, except for some extra scrubbing that got some of the grease to come off on a sponge.

For All Your Fencing Needs

I saw an ad in one of those coupon magazines that was telling me this particular company was the best for all my fencing needs, but it got me to wondering whether or not that's the accurate description of what the company sells. Not that I went to a prep school back east or anything, but my mind immediately thought about swordplay. Since fencing for yards and such is much newer than fencing for practicing with swords, I have to wonder what the best way to sell either should be.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Amendment 3: I Guess It's OK

I just saw this very professional-looking commercial, reminiscent of one you might see for the new Big Pharma drug. The language of the ad seems to make sense, with all these normal people telling me that people like me want the amendment. And that might be true. At least kind of.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Does Someone's Plans For Lottery Winnings Qualify As News?

I know it's news when the lottery gets big. I can remember back when Wisconsin first got the lottery (was it illegal before?), and the news would get all crazy when the jackpot got to a certain level. Probably $100,000,000. People would travel up to Fond du Lac to buy tickets on the Miracle Mile. In Jacksonville, a seedy convenience store is our miracle store, so that's where the news is parked, and where the lines are long. I suppose that is news. The speculative fantasies of what interviewed locals would do with their winnings, however: not news.

Why Would Governor Scott House State Troopers In His Home?

I saw an ad that contrasted Rick Scott's leadership to that of Bill Nelson. Compelling stuff, but I had to wonder why he's doing one of the activities mentioned: housing state troopers in his own home. The video shows Scott talking to 18 or 19 state troopers in his great hall. So what's the deal with having to share his space with law enforcement officers?

Simon and Garfunkel in Concert! Oh, wait, no

For a few minutes, I was all in. Even though I just saw Paul Simon on a TV show and he looked as old as dirt. Even though he didn't sound much better. Even though the only songs that really matter from Simon and/or Garfunkel are from 1970 or before. Even though the kids have basketball tryouts. I was going to get me two tickets to see Simon and Garfunkel at the Times Union Center.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Reolink Argus 2 For Jacksonville

I had to bite the bullet and order a security camera. No one had broken into my vehicle, and I actually leave it unlocked (though alarmed). I don't leave a key, garage door opener, or gun in the car, so someone burglarizing it will get some Burger King coupons and empty soda cans. Mainly, I wanted to have peace of mind that if someone did molest my vehicle, I'd be able to post a photo of that person on this website (and send it to my neighbors). Since my neighborhood had two vehicle break-ins over the summer, it seemed like a good time to get the camera. I chose the Reolink Argus 2, and it's been about what I expected: good but not great.

A Conversation With Clevon - Making Money Online

You want to make money online. We all do. If you can just record yourself getting hit in the junk by a cute kid standing with a baseball bat next to a kitten, people will share your awesome video, and then...nothing. No money, because you need subscribers, not just one shared video. Sure, you might get some subscribers who hope you'll continue your jackassery, but they'll mostly fall away when you don't have that next hilarious video. Or, you might think, "Hey, I could write this awesome blog about Jacksonville, and everyone will want to read what I have to say." Not even close. Some people will read it, but most will not. You can make a few bucks on Google ads, but it's not a living. So when Clevon, a local man with an idea about creating a unique website wanted to talk, we discussed the possibility of making money online. I figure since I gave him a lot of advice for free, I might as well pass some along to you.

Survey Says East Arlington is Blah

East Arlington
I was looking up something on Trulia when I found a new feature that might be useful to potential buyers in a neighborhood. It's called Neighborhood Features, and it's basically a survey taken by people who live in the area. Trulia also rates neighborhoods, which was useful back when we were looking, but this is more specific about certain aspects of an area that might interest potential buyers. Let's take a look at the East Arlington results, along with my perspective:

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Getting The Constitution Back Into The Classroom


Originally written during Florida Primary Season 2018.

Political ads. Am I right? I can't keep track of who's endorsed which candidate. And I don't care all that much. I'd like to vote for any candidate worth less than a million dollars, but I'm not sure there are any available. Even if I voted for Mickey Mouse, I'd be voting for a Florida millionaire.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rent A Middle-Aged Man In Jacksonville

Young people in Japan are renting men over 40 for $10 an hour. That's not a huge amount, but I could probably be rented for $15 an hour in cash. In Japan, younger people are renting these older men because the middle-aged man is supposed to have relevant life experiences that can help youngfolk figure it out. Let's say you want to rent me for a day. Maybe $100 for the day. I'll show up at your place and give you a piece of my mind.

The NextDoor Business Post Irony

I'm sure the whole point of NextDoor limiting business posts is because the app wants neighbors to pay for advertising. It makes some sense, too, since I have tried to create community-run websites, and it ends up being all work and no money unless it's monetized somehow. But NextDoor taking down a local woman's post about Halloween hats kind of backfired (initially).

YA, AR 7.0 Novel About Sports - Coming Soon

Apparently, there must not be a market for Accelerated Reader novels that are rated at the 7.0 or higher reading level, are about sports, and are in the middle school interest range. I am going to change this, once I get going on my book. I've got page one and an idea.

And Then Blackfinn Ameripub Packer Bar Closes

It looks like the best Packer bar in Jacksonville is no longer with us, and it seems to be more about the company than the Packers. From what I can tell, Blackfinn Ameripub has closed its Brookfield, WI, location, as well as one in Clinton Township. Both of those closings were during the summer of 2018, so the company is probably closing down operations all across the board.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Helicopters In The Air

Here's a good one to be filed under we should be told more by authorities. I was out for a walk with my daughter when we saw a couple of strange occurrences: a police squad car parked along the street that leads into our subdivision and a helicopter flying overhead with a search light. I told my daughter that the police seemed to be looking for someone. Not too long after that, some kid decided to climb up his fence right next to us and scare the living daylights out of both of us. Apparently, the six year-old wanted to escape his back yard, but we thought it might be this person of interest. Problem is, when I checked my neighborhood app later on, there's all kinds of accounts, making it all confusing. In this time, when communication is king, I wonder how someone could know so little about what's happening down the block.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Take 'Em Down JAX -- Hmm, What Could 'Em Be?

Upon hearing there was a Take 'Em Down rally in Jacksonville, I wondered at what all the 'Ems in Jax could possibly be. 'Em is short for Them, in case you weren't sure. In Jacksonville's case 'Em might be short for Confederate monuments, but there are so many other 'Ems. Let's consider what other 'Ems we could be attacking here.

Sticking with the Civil War theme, I'd say street signs and school names could be 'Em. Probably especially school names. Robert E. Lee Generals? This school is 65% African American. I mean, unless it's a belittling thing to Southern generals (like Indians/Warriors/Braves/Redskins), why in the world do we have that happening here? I could maybe see it if Lee was from Jacksonville. Robert E. Femoyer of Jacksonville received the Medal of Honor from the United States of America (WWII), and the name's still Robert E., in case you like that combination. According to my sources, we have at least one Femoyer left in town, but seemingly not a large delegation. (And Femoyer wasn't really from Jax, but he is buried here.) If we don't want war heroes for schools or roads, we could always have Skynyrd Way and Bizkit Avenue. Or Tebow Terrace. 

Super Tire Jacksonville Review: More Like Stupid Tire

Super Tire JAX
Think of the top priorities when it comes to your family. I'd bet that safety is right up there, if not #1. When someone works against you keeping your family safe, you get angry. This is the account of how Super Tire in Jacksonville, Florida, made me angry and, frankly, feel stupid.

Florida's National Guard: Since 1565 - We Went There

I know history is important to Floridians, but this one seems to be a bit of a reach. Our National Guard unit (at least on the license plate) professes that it has been established since 1565. When I saw that, I figured it was referring to some kind of Colonial National Guard in New England. Nope, it's ours, with all of its ups and downs over the years.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Woman Veteran License Plates

I saw a Florida license plate with the phrase “Woman Veteran” written on it, along with a stylized image of a (presumably female) soldier holding a gun at either sunrise or sunset. Background images of flat land dotted with palm trees and cattails would imply Iraq or Florida rather than Afghanistan or Montana. The plate I saw was interesting to me for several reasons.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Your Connection Is Not Secure: OH NO!

your connection is not secure
Let's start with blaming Google a bit on this one. Then the hosting companies. Then you. Your connection is probably plenty secure, so don't worry too much, but if your website is telling most visitors that the connection is not secure, you're losing potential customers. I got a call from a potential client recently with this exact problem, and we're going to be seeing it over and over in the next few months (maybe years).

Monday, October 1, 2018

How To Get Out Of Jury Duty In Jacksonville

I wrote about jury duty a bit over six months ago. At the time, I had a previous commitment, so I delayed my patriotic duty for six months. I figured I'd have to serve the next time. And I was fully prepared to serve with dignity, unlike the last time I had jury duty in Milwaukee.

1000 Pageviews Per Month

Sure, I have a few articles out there with 1000 views per month all on their own, so a website averaging 1,000 pageviews per month for the first year of New Jax Witty  isn't a complete surprise. Actually, the numbers aren't bad considering I barely know anyone in Jacksonville on Facebook, and I don't even like using social media too much to boost my numbers. Of course, if you read an article on this website that interests you, feel free to share it. But that's about as far as I take the social media pyramid.

Xtreme Wings Sports Grill Is Not Quite A Packers Bar

No one ever told me Xtreme Wings was actually going to a bar for Packers fans. I was just kind of hoping it might be, since the bar is fairly close to home and not at all located in the St. Johns Frown Center. It worked for one game, actually, even if it’s not quite a Packer Bar.