Tuesday, July 25

Are Wealthy Gen-Zers the Most Annoying People on Earth?

I meet a lot of wealthy people. Most of them are just like you and me, just bigly richer. Some of them like to tell me they're no conspiracy theorists but there's a podcast I ought to listen to. That's not even terribly annoying. But Gen-Z rich kids might be tops on the list of annoying.

I just read that only 35% of Gen Z always tip at a sit-down restaurant. That's mean and annoying. I'd say about 20% of Gen Z tip when using Uber Lyft. Probably less. But the fact that they are fine buying daily $10 drinks at Starbucks while not tipping waitresses at real restaurants isn't all that makes Gen-Z annoying.

They check out in a way that makes them seem like they don't care. And maybe they don't. But, honestly, I'd rather deal with a checked-out Gen Zero than one who wants to talk. Especially a rich one.

I heard one conversation where wealthy mommy, who had just taken Bryce on a skiing trip, suggested they go to the Caribbean next month. But Bryce didn't like the available waves for surfing or whatnot, so he wanted a different island. I've noticed that most Gen-Zeros who live in Ponte Vedra know absolutely nothing about Jacksonville, as if they live in a bubble or something. (They do.) Sometimes, it's just the constant repetition of a given word, like the Lacrosse team boys who kept saying everything was so sick. Or was it lit? Or fire? Or epic? Or legit, boss, tight? I don't know, but when three teenage boys keep saying the same word over and over, I was so not amped.   

But one conversation took the cake when it came to annoying Gen Z kids. Mom, Daughter, and BFF got a ride from me. Daughter says she has a pleasant natural odor and does not require deodorant. Both girls are so happy they thrived while on an exotic vacation. BFF had a life-plan to marry rich, send her kids to a high-end private school, and vacation in the Hamptons. I thought she was kidding, but I'm sure now she wasn't. They all congratulated themselves on BFF"s mom who is so magnanimous to take off work as a doctor to be a volunteer nurse at their ritzy summer camp. And their siblings had ridiculous nicknames, one based on a an animal, that is probably terribly cute for the family but surely won't be his name when he takes over for daddy as CEO. Daughter also drops the f-bomb every other sentence with no negative reaction from Mommy, who seems to enjoy it, meaning the family is probably nouveau-riche and from the East Coast, possibly Boston (the birthplace of swearing). BFF had an interest in a mutual acquaintance to be her future sugar-husband (Carlton, perhaps), though Mommy pointed out he had a girlfriend, to which BFF said he'd just dumped the ex because she wasn't a 10. Maybe BFF was a Boston 10 (I didn't get a great look), but I just couldn't imagine she was a 10 in very many zip codes. Plus, I couldn't imagine any girl trying to be a 10 for a guy who claims he deserves only a 10. Whatever, I'm sure they'll be happy.

Honesty, the conversation was just teens sounding rich and dumb until they spent a full 10 minutes talking about some social media star they both really liked who had gotten a nose job and now feels so much more confident and how pretty she was now (maybe a 10?) and who she was dating and what her career was and how old she is now and her sister and just so much nothing that I began imagining the situation I was in as one of those depictions of your own personal hell: stuck driving rich teen girls around and having to hear them discuss just about anything, hoping they won't talk at all. Just like Carlton will be thinking a few months into the marriage, wishing he'd stuck with that 9. 

The Best Auto Jumpstarter I've Owned

This Autowit Super Capacitor is better than all the other chargers and jumpstarters I have owned. And I have used plenty because I've owned diesels in Wisconsin winters along with older vehicles with electronic gremlins. 

Basically, a super capacitor takes power that still exists in the battery in order to concentrate it for a jump. Or it takes that power from another battery (even a cell phone charging brick). In my experience with the device, it has always worked to start my 1986 Bertone that probably needs new wiring. It also worked to start a friend's Mitsubishi stuck in a parking lot. All with the volts (or is it amps?) in the batteries themselves. 

Even if I had to use another battery because my own is too dead, it's still not potentially wrecking the two cars involved in the jump. Charge it at one battery and then hook it up to the other.

Also, unlike battery jumpers, there is no battery. The battery-powered jumpstarters I've used end up with a dead battery in a couple of years, often before they even are useful. This super capacitor is supposed to be able to work forever, since it's not dependent on a battery of its own. 

It doesn't need to be plugged in or prepped in any way. Just leave it in the trunk until needed. And it works. However, it's not instant, meaning it takes about 5 minutes to get all the juice together--remember, it's not an actual battery.

I honestly own three, but I'll probably be buying a fourth. I want every car I own to have one of these. I know, it's over $100 and you might never need it. But it's so much better than $20 jumper cables or $50 jumper batteries or $100 battery chargers. 

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Tuesday, July 18

Three Challenges to Commercial Development in Jacksonville

A newsy source wrote about the opportunities and challenges for new development in Jacksonville. I've always heard people say there's a lot of potential here, but I've never read much about the challenges, so I was intrigued by the three problems identified by one outside developer looking to succeed in Jax.
1. Legacy developers
This is the old boys club, and I guess those of us who get frustrated by the same old folks always getting their way aren't alone. Outside developers also see it. The good news is that outsiders with deep pockets can actually tell local legacy families to go sit in a corner. I would be amused if I got to see this happen, but it probably won't be televised. Also, those outside developers are probably just as seedy, so I guess it's not a big win for the little guy.

2. Military presence
I thought that the military was unilaterally loved by everyone in Jacksonville, but the fact that the biggest employer in town is the military apparently is a challenge to commercial developers. I suppose Jacksonville doesn't have the same need for office space and the federal government would own or purchase all the property it needs for its purposes.

3. Downtown
It's kind of ironic that outside developers (who probably want to build the hell out of every inch of land south of the JTB) are complaining about our crappy downtown. Please, old boys club, outside developers, and city government, help to get a handle on downtown. About a million of us are underwhelmed, as are any tourists who show up. Maybe visit a dozen cities that have better downtowns and then start making changes everything based on how much better it could be. Really, any dozen cities of similar size would do the trick.

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