Thursday, November 29, 2018

Male Fashion and Lifestyle Blogging

Glenn Robinson jersey
I wanted to see what other Jacksonville bloggers write about. It's mostly running, momming, and fashion/lifestyle. Real estate, art, and food are in there, too, but those end up being fashion and lifestyle, as well. Spellcheck doesn't think momming is a word, but mommying is really more of a helicopter mom thing. Another time we'll get into it. Also, almost all local bloggers are women. Men are too busy driving their big pickup trucks around town. I started to thinking that maybe what we need is a guy fashion and lifestyle blog. Or one about pickups. But I don't own a pickup. So fashion it is.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

We're Taking Local News To The Next Level

There's an ad for a local morning news show that ends with the declaration, "We're taking local news to the next level." It's one of those statements that sounds pretty cool, like "We have nothing to fear but fear itself," but the meaning is actually just as unclear. Almost as vague as commercials I see during the news, like "It's huge," or "Don't settle for less than you deserve." But you have to think about them, and most people don't bother doing that when it comes to catch phrases. I realize it's supposed to be a metaphor, but news it literal, so that's how I'll look at it to try to understand the tagline.

A Porsche Cayenne For My HOA

I'm still debating how I feel about this one. A few weeks back, I saw a Porsche Cayenne with my HOA advertising written all over it. Kingdom Management. I don't have anything too bad to say about the company, unlike those who have rated it on Google. More than likely, those folks ran into the wrath of not paying HOA fees or getting caught parking an RV in the side yard. Then I got my yearly HOA bill, and I thought about that Cayenne again, wondering about the purpose of it and how Kingdom Management manages its own budget.

How Does Brucelli Sell Online?

Brucelli JAX
As a web designer and small business owner, I'm always interested in ways to promote my brand. As a concerned consumer, I'm worried about my credit cards or bank accounts being assaulted by digital thieves. I was able to consider both when I stopped by the Brucelli marketing website today.

Alignable For Local Businesses: Three Cities In

I got an initial invitation to Alignable from a former student when I was still living in Wisconsin. The idea seemed like a good one and came at the right time, since I'd recently been laid off. I was also trying to take my career in a new direction. But Alignable has been a bit of a disappointment in a long line of time-consuming disappointments when it comes to running my own business.

2017-2018 Grace Lutheran - Jacksonville JV Basketball

Grace Lutheran Jacksonville JV Girls Basketball 2017-2018
I had all these photos I took of my kids playing basketball for Grace Lutheran here in Jacksonville, but I never posted them to my main blog, so I figured I'd add them here. I am currently purging my Flickr albums because my free storage got nixed. Neither of my kids are tall, but they both work hard. Coaches did a great job getting kids a chance to play and gain experience. If you're looking for a private school in the East Arlignton/Intracoastal East/Arlington/Mayport area of Jacksonville, then check out Grace.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Kernan Forest DR Horton Stucco Problems

stucco on DR Horton house in Kernan Forest, Jacksonville, FL
I typed the above search phrase into Google and didn't come up with much. I did this for two reasons: our house has a couple of replacement windows, and a house down the block just had a window replaced. That doesn't seem too odd on the surface, but stucco problems are below the surface. They're also, when you find them, probably beyond the time frame for litigation. So do homes in Kernan Forest / Jacksonville have problems that are the result of shoddy construction back in 2003-2005 (and before), or is this all just normal wear and tear? And if there are problems, should previous owners and inspectors be expected to know?

The Catastrophe of Success

I was watching a Kirk Douglas interview by Dick Cavett from a few decades ago on the Decades Channel, and Douglas was discussing a Tennessee Williams quote about the catastrophe of success. Kirk's own story was that he had been saddened when he returned to New York and got a suite on the 25th floor of a hotel overlooking Central Park. He had reached the success he'd hoped to achieve, yet it wasn't enough. Douglas's advice was to always have the next goal ready. Of course, catastrophe of success is a fancy way of saying resting on your laurels, but the truth for those of us who have never fully realized our potential is that life becomes more of a catastrophe of near success, and that's probably even worse than getting there and feeling empty.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

100mph = Dangerous

1986 Bertone X 1/9I saw on the news tonight that 300-some people have been caught speeding at over 100mph in the past year or two. I wonder how many people regularly travel at speeds of over 100mph. Probably more than 300, since speed traps aren't everywhere. Anyhow, it's wrong to speed, even if I think speeding in certain situations is worse than others.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

I Guess I'm Still Tutoring; Getting Paid Might Be Nice

I get about one call per month from people looking for a tutor, generally in the Milwaukee area. Most people leave messages and then I pretty much ignore them. I'm not really going to try to do some long distance tutoring with people who probably need some in-person help. However, tonight I did a little free tutoring, just because I felt like it.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Is Nest The Best For JAX HVAC?

When I was told I needed a new thermostat, the recommendation was for a Honeywell 9000 series unit. And I was perfectly prepared to spend $155 per thermostat. However, my HVAC guy also mentioned the Nest, in the, "If you want to spend the extra cash" kind of way. I didn't. But since he never mentioned the Sensi by Emerson, which seems to be the budget version of the higher-end, smart, DIY thermostats, I had a decision to make, and since it was Black Friday week, that decision got clearer as I read more about the deals.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

$700,000 Missing From St. Johns Sheriff's Office And Neighbors Didn't Notice

A naughty employee has been accused of stealing $700,000 from the St. Johns Sheriff's Office. And her neighbors didn't notice any crazy spending. What gives? If you stole $700,000, wouldn't all your neighbors know about it? Mine sure would.

PO Problems - Heat Pump MIA

Honeywell thermostat that can work with heat pump
I've talked about the fact that the previous owners of my house never had their dishwasher hooked up to drain, meaning it never worked for their 13 years in this house. I also wrote about the neighbor's weird air conditioner that ran in the winter, eventually concluding it was a heat pump. But I would have never imagined that I also have a heat pump, one that I believed was possibly never connected by the original installer. After talking to McGowan's Heating & Air (original installer), I've got it figured out. Read the whole article to see how that worked.

Guest Blogging: Should I?

I got an intriguing offer today in my email. It was for guest blogging. I think I've gotten similar emails before, but I always assumed someone was trying to scam me. When I looked into it further, however, I understand the concept of guest blogging. What I'm not sure about is whether or not to participate in some way.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bigdealsbox.com - The Scam I Almost Bought (Also Bigdealsmall)

bigdealsbox.com
I was looking for a place to buy a specific item, so I searched for that item online. This method has worked in the past in order to get the best price. However, as I was about to order from bigdealsbox.com, I got suspicious, so I looked up the site. A search of "Is bigdealsbox.com safe" just got me safes offered by the site. Luckily, I refined my search to "Is bigdealsbox a safe website," and here's the Reddit I found.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Florida Should Not Be The Laughing Stock Because of Election

I've seen it on local and national news. People are trying to cast Florida as a laughing stock because we had insanely close elections. But if you really think about it, we should not be ridiculed in Florida for close elections or recounts. Not even for all the posturing and lawsuits. Sure, you could argue that the actual candidates for whom we voted might open us up to mockery, but the fact that we had a close election should really be celebrated.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Profiles in Courage: Shawn Hall

Shawn Hall, according to the news accounts, single-handedly stopped an out-of-control ride at the Duval County Fair. He looks to be a big guy, so I can believe he stopped the ride. (Also, if a ride can be stopped by one person, it might not be the sturdiest ride in the world.) When I looked up his NFL career, just to check out his stats, I could not find him. Maybe he changed the name he normally uses so that fans don't recognize him. This article wasn't going to be about the NFL career of Shawn Hall, but I just wanted to see how big he really was. Anyhow, I want to return to the news interview. What caught my eye in the interview? Malibu!

Keeping Kids Safe: Home and Road

Maybe you're new to Jacksonville, new to parenting, or new to watching someone else's kids. There are some rules, but I don't think many people stress these rules until something bad happens and you get blamed. Or you don't get blamed because you're the victim. I'm going to throw a few scenarios out there to illustrate how keeping your kids safe might be easier than you think.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Just In Case You Want Your Shower Water to Taste Better

Jacksonville doesn't have terrible water, but I don't like the taste of it, or smell of it. Since I have a refrigerator with a water filter, I don't have to deal with the sulfur, pharmaceuticals, and whatever else sneaks into the Jax water supply. But that's a totally different review. This one is all about shower water, and most of us don't drink it, so why get a shower filter? Well, if you want slightly less hardness without a water softener, this might help a little.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Instead of Recount, Let's Do A Revote

I know it's not the law and it's not going to happen, but it's kind of interesting to note that we just approved voting rights to an extra 1.5 million voters in Florida ON the day that we had one of the most important votes in the last 50 years (I'm totally making that up...I am not a political analyst). It seemed important.

37,799 Photos is 36,799 Over My New Flickr Limit

flickr limits
I have some work to do before January. I've been using Flickr's free version that promised me 1TB of storage since 2007. I went along with Flickr when it wanted me to install an auto-uploader on my desktop. I installed it on my phones as a secondary (full size) backup to Google Photos. I even half-heartedly believed the whole SmugMug and Flickr better together company line. I know, a business needs to make money, and storing my photos for free isn't making Flickr (now SmugMug) any money, so I get to try to figure out how to store nearly 40,000 photos that I already have stored in several places. But Flickr does not make it easy.

I Want to Build My Own Website But Don't Know Where to Start

I get people who ask me all the time about websites for business or churches. That's probably because I work as a church and small business website builder, but also because people love free advice. Once you determine the purpose of your website, then it's not all that hard to build it. Here are some quick tips.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Rick Scott's 10 Point Plan

I was watching Rick Scott declare victory as our next senator from Florida, and he said that no one in the press read his Ten Point Plan. I'm not in the press, and I guess I'm reading it a bit late, but after having read it, I'd like to wish Senator Scott the best of luck with his list. I'm not saying the ideas are bad, but I'm also not saying any of them will happen while he's in Washington. In fact, he probably won't even suggest most of them, but we can take a look in a few years. For now, I'll just go through the list with my opinion on each point.

82% of Jacksonvillians Good With Spanking

If I ever run for mayor of Jacksonville, I have officially found my platform. I've watched the news for over a year since I've moved to the area, and the issue that has united people who watch the news and bother to take the news survey more than any other issue is whether or not to spank your kids. As of when I saw the results, and unless there was some left-wing hacker who changed them, I'd say it's the most unifying issue in the history of TV news polls.

Blurred Out Racial Slur Is Kinda Funny

You're going to have to stay with me here. I am not a racial slur kind of guy. Not at all. I grew up going to schools with 80%+ African American populations (and I'm white), so I know better. But whenever people decide to do stupid stuff, there's all kinds of irony, which is funny, as long as you're not too outraged to look for it. Let's look.

Grace Lutheran School Jacksonville Tuition

If you have kids and you live in Jacksonville, Florida, then you are considering private school. It's really that simple around here. I built the website for Grace Lutheran School in Jax, and I reminded the folks that one of the top searches is for the name of a school (Grace Lutheran School) and the word "tuition." People just want to know how much it's going to cost, but I totally understand the concept of selling what it offers rather than just giving out the numbers.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Halloween Candy Buyback - A Mom Blog Win

My wife has a journalism degree. I don't, which means I don't understand certain elements of "getting the story." Basically, I can search online and use resources readily available in order to write something. When I had trouble imagining how a local mom blogger could have found all the local places to turn in Halloween candy to be used for distribution to the military, she really couldn't help me figure it out. Some dentists offer cash per pound, and others don't, if that matters to you.

Friday, November 2, 2018

FBI Most Wanted in Jacksonville

It's not all that surprising that a man on FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted has been through Jacksonville. We're on I-95, and that makes our city a pit stop for criminals traveling up and down the East Coast. Even though there's no definitive evidence the man in the photo is in Jacksonville right now, it's probably a good idea to get his photo out there because he's been here before.

Cause and Effect: Walmart and Riffraff

A nice lady from St. Johns County was being interviewed on the news about the big shopping center going in near her house. She wasn't all that excited about the traffic, but she specifically didn't like the idea of a Walmart going in. She said Walmarts bring in the riffraff. No, not Riff Raff the rapper from Houston. She meant the type of people: disreputable or the lowest class. (OK, Riff Raff might qualify.) So the question here is whether Walmarts bring riffraff to an area or if Walmarts in an area simply provide a place for the riffraff that already exists to congregate.

Saving Hundreds in Repairs: Lincoln MKZ, Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan

If you have a Lincoln MKZ, Ford Fusion, or Mercury Milan from the 2006 to 2012, you're going to need to make the door handle repair at some point. Somehow, Ford managed to make every piece of the door handle out of plastic, so it will eventually fail. You'll want to blame your wife for yanking too hard on the handle, but when you look at the construction, you'll realize it was not her fault. However, you'll probably avoid the all-metal replacement that costs several times more because your car already has over 150,000 miles and isn't worth the upgrade. I'll recommend the Amazon overseas version of the door handle for your money-saving needs.


The one in the above link is for the driver door. That's the most likely to break unless you have kids. Our kids semi-broke both rear door handles, but they can deal until I decide to order those. If you bust the driver's side handle, you can still get out of the car by using the lock button and some force. Or open the window and pull the handle from the outside.