Tuesday, July 30

One Giant Leap for Local Teachers

hello moon
Florida teachers should be riding the 50th Anniversary of the space program fervor. Space travel is pretty cool, whether it happened a half-century ago or last week. Kids are interested in us going back to the moon and even to Mars. Good teachers use interest and enthusiasm to help teach kids, so take that giant leap, whether you're teaching elementary school, middle school, or high school.

Monday, July 29

Get Your Equifax Cash

equifax data breach website
I knew my wife had been part of the Equifax data breach because she left me in charge of trying to shore up her accounts. And she changed all her passwords to combinations that could not be remembered by human brains. So I knew we'd be filing a claim with Equifax online. I just didn't realize I'd be filing two, so that might be something most of us need to consider.

Sunday, July 28

Keeping My Sprint Kickstart After T-Mobile Merger

I know I'm not the only one out there with a legacy (year-old) Sprint Kickstart plan. I get two accounts of "unlimited" data and Sprint's blah network for $38 a month total. I think it was $15 per line plus taxes and fees. That's not a lot of money for two mostly reliable phones that can use as much (throttled) data as I want, so I want to keep it.

Friday, July 26

Opendoor Self-Tour Insanity

opendoor self tour insanity
I just drove past a new construction or fully-flipped home with a sign that said you can just walk right on in and tour the house. In Jacksonville! That's why I had to call it Self-Tour Insanity rather than instantly.


Fine, maybe in Charlotte or Indianapolis, you can just tell folks to download the app, use the (digital?) key, and tour the beautiful home in a civilized manner. But in Florida in general and Jacksonville in particular, self-touring of homes might require a little more security.

Florida's Lost City of Travertine

I was perusing old Florida newspapers when I came across a 1927 article that mentioned Jacksonville. In the article, it was implied that "travertin" could be found only in Italy and Florida. However, I can't find any modern evidence that this stone was ever found in Florida at all.

Thursday, July 25

Jacksonville 1901 Fire Highlights Poor Mattress Material Choice, Rich History of Property Theft



spanish moss mattress material
I saw an article about the great fire of 1901 in Jacksonville, and I was surprised by two primary takeaways: the highly flammable material that caught fire was being used for mattresses and Jacksonville residents used the opportunity to steal from one another.

Request a Quote Option for Jacksonville Businesses

Passive Ninja Web Design JacksonvilleHere's an interesting one, especially since I'm a web designer. Google My Business now allows businesses to turn on messaging, which allows customers to click on a "Request a Quote" button without ever going to the website. It's "Get a Quote" in mobile. For some local Jacksonville businesses (I've seen your websites), this might be an awesome alternative to hiring a professional like me. But it's kind of odd for me to use it, right?

Wednesday, July 24

Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice as a Play Will Have Flaws

pride and prejudice jax
Before my wife and I watched the Northeast Florida Conservatory's version of Pride and Prejudice, I knew it would have to be a bit of a disappointment. We'd just discussed how the Keira Knightly (Joe Wright-directed) version was a slight disappointment, even if it was the most beautifully-filmed version of the story ever. Even the 1995 BBC version had it's problems...think Mr. Darcy and aquatics. The point is that nothing will ever match the original novel, and we were prepared for that. However, it's still important to note in a review of a play why the disappointment happens.

29% of Americans Will Be Millionaires?

millionaires everywhere
I thought it was a bit of a reach for 29% of Americans surveyed to say they were going to become millionaires, but I saw some stats that seem to almost back it up. I am a firm believer that some people can attain the American Dream, even if I don't have a huge amount of faith it will happen to me. Here are some numbers that might keep your own hope alive:

Record Your Kids Being Excellent

new neighbor welcome packs
I recall being in a fast food restaurant recently when a kid was being a real nuisance. To be honest, I don't remember exactly what he was doing, but it was loud and stupid. Therefore, his parents grabbed their phones and began recording the shinanigans, and I was thinking the only thing that could be worse would be for them the share that video with the world. Of course, that's exactly what they did. To recap, instead of disciplining the kid, the parents encouraged inappropriate behavior because it made good video. That's dangerous. People wanting instant fame through their own or their kids' idiotic actions is an unfortunate side effect of America today, and it really can be dangerous, sometimes.

Tuesday, July 23

Northeast Florida Real Estate Agents: What You're Missing

east arlington jacksonvilleWhile there are a few local real estate agents / realtors who blog about areas they like to sell in Northeast Florida, it seems that there may not be time or desire to create the evergreen content necessary to become established in one area. Now, I totally believe any person who can write 150 positive words about an outdated property she's trying to sell could easily write about the nice-ities of living in Nocatee, but it's not necessarily part of the job description, so you don't do it. But you really, really should.

Jeff Glauser's New Website

Consultant. Writer. Trainer. Branding Expert. Virtual COO.
Jeff Glauser is a local consultant, writer, trainer, branding expert, and virtual COO. I met him at a local business group, and we hit it off because we have some similar interests and abilities. At first, you might think that another freelancer with similar abilities would be intimidating, but we both saw it as an opportunity to employ each other's talents in a meaningful way. He'd never totally built his own website, and I'd never been paid much for all my consulting, writing, and training that I'd done as part of my website building. Plus, I wanted to learn more about what it takes to be a branding expert and virtual COO.

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

duval public schools getting old
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 bag homeless 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?

car in orange park driveway
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



ahh, hidden hills
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.

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