• Government Officials Across US to Follow Samsung Lead, Offer Pizza

    National, state, and local governments are paying close attention to Samsung's handling of its Note 7 debacle, taking notes on how to handle dissatisfied customers and employees. The consumer electronics giant that developed exploding phones has sent pizza to all of the stores in South Korea that have to take Read More
  • Top Response to Corey Feldman's Song Performance: I Thought He Was Dead

    Nearly defining irony, the top-rated response to Americans viewing the Corey Feldman song performance in September of 2016 was, "I thought he was dead." Obviously, the second response, and the one that has become the focus of social media, was, "That was weird." While it is possible Corey Feldman died Read More
  • Romper Article Fully Explains Hillary's Loss

    Saturday Night Live's Colin Jost joked that Tinder's move to make 37 gender identity options available was why Hillary lost the election. A Romper article made the argument, in majestically ivory towerish tones, that it's unfair to blame the results of the election on "a hurting, marginalized community with a Read More
  • Christian Blogger is Sexy - That's Why we Care

    Christian Blogger is Sexy - That's Why we Care

    I didn’t read the babe’s blog, but I guess she’s probably decent looking, or else no one would have cared that she was going to stop wearing yoga pants or spandex or whatever. Am I right? If some 300 pounder or some crack addict wanted to find Christ and stop Read More
  • Milwaukee Gun Buyback Program Scrapped; Bullet-proof Vests to be Offered Instead

    Milwaukee Gun Buyback Program Scrapped; Bullet-proof Vests to be Offered Instead

    The Milwaukee Gun Buyback Program has done little to stop violent crimes in the city, so some in the community are suggesting alternatives that may result in a safer city without having to pay people to go and steal guns. The program has paid up to $150 for handguns and Read More
  • Food Stamp Challenge to Stamp Out Debt

    Food Stamp Challenge to Stamp Out Debt

    At first, the idea of the Food Stamp Challenge was for Americans to see what it’s like to live in poverty and spend a mere one dollar per meal, but organizers of the effort are now touting their challenge as a way for Americans spend less on food and pay Read More
  • Scott Walker’s New College Plan to Halt Wisconsin's Brain Drain

    Scott Walker’s New College Plan to Halt Wisconsin's Brain Drain

    New College Plan To Reflect Walker's Own College Career The new three-year Walker Degree to be offered at state colleges and universities is part of Scott Walker’s plan to bolster Wisconsin’s already elite standing as a top college state. The plan, expected to provide employers with a considerable increase in Read More
  • Jesus Sues Jagermeister for Logo Infringement

    Mere days after the company that owns Jagermeister liqueur accused the Milwaukee Bucks of using a deer logo too similar in design to its own deer head, Jesus of Nazareth has joined the dispute by claiming Jagermeister 's logo is not without fault. According to Jesus, "I said unto the Read More
  • Proof of Out of State Protesters in Madison

    Proof of Out of State Protesters in Madison

    Whether it's 2011 or 2015, unions appear to bring protesters from outside of Wisconsin to Madison to attempt to intimidate Scott Walker. Governor Scott Walker has said that out of state protesters now outnumber those from Wisconsin who are protesting the bill that would kill their unions. Real Wisconsin News Read More
  • I Like the Way Alex Molinaroli Says F-You To The World

    I Like the Way Alex Molinaroli Says F-You To The World

    As an independently wealthy business consultant, I can tell you how good it feels to tell others to go f-themselves. Like if someone doesn’t detail my BMW properly when it gets washed. However, there are some situations when I want to go tell a client to f-off, but I just Read More
  • Milwaukee County to House, Reform Juvenile Criminals Downtown

    Milwaukee County currently pays nearly $300 per day for juvenile delinquents housed at the Copper Lake Girls School and the Lincoln Hills School for Boys. The locations present problems for family visits and have been under scrutiny for alleged indiscretions. County Executive Chris Abele has made the decision to move Read More
  • Lemurs Claim Ryan Braun as One of Their Own

    Lemurs Claim Ryan Braun as One of Their Own

    Quick, name five lemurs who have played professional sports! Stumped? Well you are not alone. Lemurs have a long history in professional sports (Pete Sampras, for example), but many see them as inferior to their more human counterparts. This is why lemurs across the globe are celebrating Ryan Braun as Read More
  • Did Foxconn Outfox and Outcon Wisconsin’s Scott Walker?

    Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has been excited about the Foxconn deal for Wisconsin, though he did avoid talking about it after the signing. Wisconsin residents are asking whether it's a good deal for the state to add Foxconn to its payroll. In fact, the state will be paying new employees Read More
  • A Real Wisconsin Parents Guide to Controlling Your Kids

    A Real Wisconsin Parents Guide to Controlling Your Kids

    Parents today are faced with a choice—allow your kids to figure things out for themselves, or control their every move. If parents allow kids to be on their own, this freedom will result in pregnancy, drug addiction, and jail time. While some parents are comfortable with allowing their children to Read More
  • H-V-A-C Not H-VAC

    I had a customer the other day say H-Vac instead of H-V-A-C. What a moron! Those of us in the industry know that it's right to say each individual letter in the word, and it makes a difference. If I was an H-Vac guy, I'd be selling vacuum cleaners, but Read More
  • Menomonee Falls High School to Change Mascot from Indians to Indians

    High schools in Wisconsin have been able to retain their Native American mascots under the rule of Scott Walker, but Menomonee Falls has decided to go ahead and change the high school mascot without any nudging from the state. While it might first appear that the school is keeping the Read More
  • Donald Trump: What We Say Versus What We Mean

    What we say and what we mean about Donald Trump. These words apply to both liberal and conservative, friend and foe. Probably even offspring and wives. What we say: He’s a successful businessman What we mean: He runs companies into the ground yet stays rich. He fails time and again Read More
  • Young Conservative Parents Pay Homage to Trump and Company With Naming Rights

    Conservative Parents have traditionally used traditional names for their children, even as some of them make valiant efforts to be as unique as artsy, liberal parents. While there have been spikes in names like George, Barbara, and Nancy within the past few decades, imaginative conservatives have chosen Reagan as a Read More
  • Typical White American Male Response to Melania Trump

    Melania Trump tends to take a backseat to Donald Trump, and it's for good reason. While she is seen as a gorgeous "businesswoman" by most Trump supporters, even then most die-hard Trump Train riders can't help but think she's "kind of retarded" when she speaks. In fact, when Mrs. Trump Read More
  • Hiter to Run for Office in Washington County

    Hiter to Run for Office in Washington County

    Aldous Hiter, a long time Washington County resident, will run for a position as a county supervisor in the upcoming election. His hopes are that, despite his name bearing a resemblance to Aldoph Hitler, he will be elected nonetheless, since he plans on running as a Republican. Hiter said, "I Read More
  • West Allis

    West Allis to Give Up

    The city of West Allis, after years of trying really hard, has decided to give up. The city has been ridiculed by others for some time, and though giving up never seemed to be an option before, it recently read an article about why people give up that made all Read More
  • Real Wisconsin News Offers Our Thoughts and Prayers

    Real Wisconsin News has made it official policy to extend our thoughts and prayers to you at this difficult time. We know you are suffering, and we realize that a real discussion might help you to cope with how you feel, but we would rather offer thoughts and prayers. The Read More
  • Hillary Clinton Touched Me Inappropriately

    While at a hotel in Philadelphia several weeks ago, I was surprised by Hillary Clinton. She was not the robot I’d come to expect.. As I rode the elevator next to her, I couldn’t help but glance her way. Though she seemed weak from her apparent pneumonia and her face Read More
  • New Pica Diet Sweeping the Nation

    New Pica Diet Sweeping the Nation

    America is buzzing about the new diet sensation long thought to be only an eating disorder: Pica. The diet allows people to eat anything they want, as long as the food is made up of non-nutritive substances. As an added bonus, the food is inexpensive and commonly found around the Read More
  • Betsy DeVos Answers 10 Questions from Education Week

    Education Week offered ten questions that it assumed Betsy DeVos, incoming education secretary, would not answer. However, Real Wisconsin News has obtained the following answers from the Trump appointee (in bold). You've been a strong advocate for charters. Nationally, only about 6% of students attend these schools. Leaving aside the Read More
  • Canadian Scientists to Clone Jesus

    Canadian Scientists to Clone Jesus

    DNA from Tomb in Jerusalem Raided to Clone Messiah What if God was one of us, and not just an annoying refrain from a Joan Osborne song? What if we could harness the DNA of God, and maybe make our own a little better for the effort? What if we Read More
  • More Secure Schools Coming Our Way

    More Secure Schools Coming Our Way

    Plans for new schools will be adopted all over the nation in response to President Trump’s suggestion that they be more secure. The new schools will ensure that students are able to learn without fear of being targeted by fellow students with assault rifles. These schools will be able to Read More
  • President-Elect Donald Trump Says Most Female Leaders Would Not be His First Choice

    President-Elect Donald Trump Says Most Female Leaders Would Not be His First Choice

    Donald Trump won America over by telling it like it is, and the fact is that most female heads of state are not beautiful women. Trump has been reluctant to give specifics, but based on past criticism of women, it would make sense that only two female leaders would make Read More
  • News Never Covered by Failing, Fake News Media Outlets

    The following is a list of news items not covered by media outlets and brought to our attention by the White House. Bowling Green, May 2011 What happened: In the first major terrorist cover up by the media as directed by terrorist supporter in chief Barack Hussein Obamadan, two Iraqi Read More
  • Wisconsin's Own Ke-Ke Watson Wins Race Card Player of The Decade

    All Other Nominees to Call Their Lawyers Kewaunda “Ke-Ke” Watson of Germantown has Won the Society of Unified Entities’ Race Card Playa of the Decade Award for her “consistent and successful use of the race card in reaching her own personal goals.” Every ten years, thousands of African Americans, mostly Read More
  • Pussy Grabbing Sweeping Nation’s High Schools

    After Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky by getting blow jobs, male students across the country began using The Slick Willie argument with their female classmates, and fellatio became a part of the normal high school rite of passage in the late 90s (to the dismay Read More
  • Say Hello To Our Little Friend

    Real Wisconsin News is real good, but if you're looking for real news that's not in Wisconsin, not fake, and not actually news, then New Jax Witty is our little friend in Jacksonville, Florida. The news is in the form of researched opinion. And it has nothing to do with Read More
  • Economist Explains School Business Model

    A leading economist has released a synopsis of how public schools need to follow a business model in a new book. Chapter One discusses teachers as managers and students as labor, with Parents functioning as the board of directors, and taxpayers acting as customers, while State/Fed government are upper management. Read More
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Jacksonville News

New Jax Witty

Articles, reviews, advice, and legitimate research to go along with some back-handed comments. Think of us as Jacksonville's mother-in-law.
  • Only Way to Avoid The Reverse Mortgage Disaster
    I've seen several news articles about the pitfalls of reverse mortgages. I also saw that we've set up a fund to help people when they get stuck with a reverse mortgage here in Florida. But the simple answer that most older people don't want to hear is that there's only one way to avoid disaster with a reverse mortgage: don't get one.

    The ad that inspired this reverse mortgage article claims that Americans have trillions of dollars just sitting there, not being used. The problem is that a reverse mortgage isn't using that money, either. It's using the house that's worth that money as collateral for a LOAN. It's a loan that needs to be paid off when your house is sold. You can make mistakes and end up losing your house.

    The better advice for anyone already retiredor looking to retire is to sell. I know, you love your house, all the stuff in it, the neighbors you wave at, the same big box retail down the road, and all the stuff in the house. It's basic economics: if you own something outright worth $500,000, sell it for $500,000 and rent a nice condo for 20 years. If you take out a reverse mortgage, then you can get $250,000 towards a condo for 10 years, still pay property taxes and insurance on the house, and continue to maintain it so that in a decade, you'll make enough money to pay off your reverse mortgage loan. New AC, new roof, new driveway? That would all eat into the profit on selling your house that you'll need to cover all the interest on the loan. Don't pay a bank for the right to live in a house for your entire life. Avoid reverse mortgages at all costs.
  • Rental Bikes Aren't Exactly For The Homeless
    Local news was down in St. Augustine covering the newly-proposed use of some kind of bike-share rental system. Since it's standard operating procedure, a homeless man was interviewed about the program. He said something to the effect that it would be good to have options for someone like him who can't afford a bike. FYI local news and homeless people: bike rental programs are not really created for the homeless.

    Since I don't claim to know the biking habits of the typical homeless individual, I'm going to assume it involves getting to a place and then back home. Home being a structure in a field outside of town, not where you'd be able to return the bike for credit. My understanding would be that these folks would need the bike to get to and from "work," each and every day. Based on a similar rental system I found online, the 24-hour rental is $24. Alternatively, an annual pass is $80. The problem is that the trips can only be 60 minutes each. Assuming the homeless camp is close enough to downtown, this might work as a way to get around once in St. Augustine. Not a bad yearly price to not have to worry about bike maintenance, anyhow. If you're homeless already, and now you can get as many maintenance-free trips on a bike as you can use each day, then $80 for the year isn't bad at all.

    But wait, there's less. The yearly pass will need to be paid for with a credit card with a fob mailed to an address. So even if these ride share bikes makes sense to homeless people, it might not be something that can be purchased without the help of someone with credit and an address. It might seem like a lot of people would volunteer to do this, but any extra time or any damage would be billed to the credit card, so I certainly wouldn't volunteer my credit in the hopes that someone else will always return the bike in time (or at all). The Cincinnati bike share, for example, charges $1,200 for a bike that is not returned.

    I have a $1,000 bike. At least someone paid $1,000 for it back in 1986. I picked it up amidst college moving day garbage at UW-Milwaukee back in 1999. It was already worth $0 at that point. I've used some tape to hold it together, but it's still worth about $0. Since I'm probably not the only person in the area with a worthless bike, I'm thinking a bike donation for the homeless might make more sense than saying they should be using tourist bikes. That's not to say that bike shares don't have a place in St. Augustine, just that it might be meant for rich tourists instead of homeless interviewees.
  • Bored Cashier is a Marketing Opportunity
    Most of the times that I've been to car dealerships, I don't really notice the cashiers until it's time to pay. The dealership I went to recently to get an oil change, however, had a cashier right in the waiting room (which was also the location of the service and parts desk). Efficient placement that should probably lead to employees working hard, since they are in front of each other and customers. For this particular cashier, however, it was 90% texting in her chair along with 10% taking payments/other work, and it's a missed marketing opportunity.

    Before we venture too deeply into the car dealership cashier job description, I will make an observation: most car dealership employees are men; most cashiers at car dealerships are hot, youngish women. Being hot is seemingly part of the job of a car dealership cashier. I'm good with some eye candy: back when I worked on the dock at The Boston Store (high-end retail), there was all kinds of pretty girls on the floor, especially in women's fashion areas. But our cashiers were expected to fold clothes or bother customers when not working the cash register. Where I was on the dock, it was the standard, "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean." I know, not everyone follows the rules all the time, but that's the idea. 

    Our lovely cashier at the local car place, in the two hours I was there, received a few packages, could not help find some packages that had been lost, and checked out fewer than ten customers. In fact, when I was being checked out, my service rep did all the work instead of the cashier, so she stood there and watched. 

    I started to think that a bored cashier at a car service department could be marketing gold. She's already pretty, probably has lots of social media followers, and would rather be communicating with "friends" than being forced to sit there without a phone. She could be like the bored Maytag repair man, representing the fact that these cars don't even need repairs. Maybe selfies with a browser open to the current inventory. She probably has over 1,000 followers on more than one social media account.

    Actually, I'd probably just do that with her: have her post about the cars, in her own voice. "OMG this pickup would make any guy a hottie!" I'd give her a list of current automobiles for sale, and then have her talk them up, focusing on all the cool features that would be da bomb. I'd probably set her up with a blog, like the one you're reading, and just tell her to have fun talking about why the cars are so swell, or whatever term the kids are using these days. Sure, some fashion and makeup advice would also be fine. 

    Or, if you want to keep it to the service department, she could take selfies with the other employees and then add short bios about the guys that will be working on the cars. Basically, it would be like her friends are working hard at fixing cars rather than some guys we never see back in the service area. 

    Something, anything. In fact, she's probably bored because she has to sit there and post/read all day long. The shift probably seems like forever, even if she's checking out Lily's Instagram or Hailey's vlog. Those girls are so fake, anyway, and their parents don't make them work while they're in college.
  • Sunpass, with more states coming soon...
    Here's the text from the Sunpass website that's probably been on the website for the past several years (since mid 2018 for sure):
    SunPass transponders also work in Georgia and North Carolina with more states coming soon.
    I am not entirely sure why the toll systems in the US have decided not to follow the federal law requiring them to achieve interoperabilty. I assume Sunpass (with all its problems) does not meet the minimum standards set forth by the EZPass group. It's a set of rules that does not allow for fraud, so it's not in tune to Florida business practices.

    While we wait for our Sunpasses to be more useful, EZPass has built the following alliances:
    Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority
    Burlington County Bridge Commission
    Delaware Department of Transportation
    Delaware River and Bay Authority
    Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission
    Delaware River Port Authority
    Illinois State Toll Highway Authority
    Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, LLC
    Massachusetts Department of Transportation
    Maryland Transportation Authority
    Maine Turnpike Authority
    Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels
    Niagara Falls Bridge Commission
    New Hampshire Department of Transportation
    Central Florida Expressway
    New Jersey Turnpike Authority
    New York State Bridges Authority
    New York State Thruway Authority
    Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission
    Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
    The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
    Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority
    Skyway Concession Company
    South Jersey Transportation Authority
    Virginia Department of Transportation (Serves as the primary agency for the 9 independent toll agencies within the State of Virginia)
    West Virginia Parkway Authority
    North Carolina Turnpike Authority
    Kentucky Public Transportaion Infrastructure Authority
    Thousand Islands Bridge Authority
    I probably don't have to create a huge list as to why Sunpass is awful. The preceding list is enough for me. Actually, any pass that is not part of some kind of national toll pass group is a problem in my book. If all the entities that are part of EZPass can agree on a system, then the others need to figure out a way to join. There's also the issue of Sunpass mismanagement and possible favoritism in government contracts, but that's just Florida politics.

    Actually, the Central Florida Expressway IS part of the EZPass group. I have no idea why. The passes that are rotting on their own in America include those in Florida, Georgia, Texas, California, Oklahoma, and Kansas. I had a K-Tag in Kansas, and it was pretty stupid, like the Sunpass. Of course, Florida, Texas, and California all probably think they are too good for some kind of national system, and we'd assume it's bureaucracy in California and fraud in Texas and Florida.

    Sunpass lets us use the transponders in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. That's fine for people who don't travel much, but I'll be heading through Illinois again, and it's just stupid to have a useless pass that has all the technology needed to pay my tolls there. My family was also considering a trip to the Northeast at some point, and Sunpass would again leave us hanging.

    The Peach Pass allows people to use the pass in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina, so it's about as useless as the Sunpass. It also has a website that doesn't work in Chrome (video). If you have a website that doesn't work, let me know. I build ones that work.

    So Is There A Good Toll Pass For Floridians?

    The North Carolina pass, for some reason, allows Peach Passes and Sunpasses, but it's also part of EZPass system. If I'm right, and I think I am, everyone in Florida should get a North Carolina pass. Here's the email I sent to the folks at NC Quick Pass:
    I live in Florida. I would rather have a pass that works everywhere than the Sunpass. Your pass is supposed to work in Florida in the sunpass areas, as well as Georgia. And I assume it works throughout the Northeast through to Illinois as part of the EZPass. My question is whether or not a North Carolina pass would work for all of that. If so, doesn't it make sense for Florida drivers to get the NC pass instead of our own, which only works in three states? Is there a reason to have a Florida pass instead?
    I didn't want to wait for a response, since I am sure I'm right, so I called to see how quickly I could get a NCQuickPass with EZPass included. 5-7 business days. If you're making this call right before a trip, then it might not work. However, if you have the good sense to plan your trip ahead of time, then the NC Quick Pass is a better all-around option for people in Florida than the Sunpass. That's sad.

  • I Did Not Know My AC is Obsolete
    As I walk around my Jacksonville neighborhood filled with homes built in 2003 and 2004, I see that most of the AC (heat pump) units are original. They look like mine, complete with rust on the top. But it's more than the rust that makes these obsolete, and you probably better save up for the upcoming expense yourself if you have an AC unit that is over ten years old.

    While it's true that air conditioners and heat pumps are built to last 10-15 years, the problem is that if you have a problem with your pre-2010 unit after 2019, then it will be too expensive to fix. The freon used in the units changed in 2010, and it will be too expensive to fix old units starting in 2020. Great news for local HVAC guys but not great news for homeowners.

    Apparently, there's a way to upgrade your old freon to the new coolant, kind of like how old cars can get upgraded to a newer R-134a system. The problem for me is that I would now have a new coolant setup in a 15-year-old air conditioning unit. I'm not sure if that's a good investment.
    I guess my plan is to get the unit serviced sometime before the January curoff, hoping that if there's a small freon leak that topping it off will get me by. Then I'll have to plan that the next time I call an HVAC guy, I will be replacing the units. So one more item I get to save up for.
  • I Hate to Disappoint Home Invaders, But...
    A home invasion down in Eagle Landing (Oak Leaf Plantation) netted $140,000 that the owner had hidden in the attic. Three home invaders and a gun. Scary stuff.  I'm here to tell anyone planning a home invasion not to bother with my home. Apparently, the man whose home was invaded flaunted money on social media. Maybe he was one of those make money fast gurus. I'm not, so no money here, home invaders.

    Starting with the attic (house and garage), I have plastic containers filled with old clothes and some old books that my wife told me to throw away. There's a grinder that blows circuit breakers, and a torch light that stopped working. Also, my bowling balls. And an old computer monitor. Total value? Maybe $15.

    The rest of the house is pretty typical. I like my TV, but it only cost me around $500 new about a decade ago. XBox 360, anyone? Several Windows XP laptops, perhaps? So on and so forth.

    We have some cars in the garage, I suppose, but most criminals don't bother with home invasions to steal cars. Apparently, they just go to local Jax dealerships to steal them. I have a nice freezer in the garage, too, filled with fairly healthy food that my wife bought at Trader Joe's and Earth Fare.

    I'm not trying to trivialize home invasions. What I'm saying is that most people are like me, and most potential home invaders know this. It might be worth the time and effort to break in when I'm not home in order to rummage through the whole house and eat some leftovers/microwave some gnocchi from Trader Joe's. But you'd have to get past my two cameras and door with an added interior bolt that cannot be kicked in. Just to enjoy some frozen noodles.

    I assume the assailants in most home invasions have a reason to target specific homes. Some people might own a business that deals in a lot of cash. Probably legal most of the time. The news said that people in the area are scared because it could have happened to anyone in the neighborhood. I mean, really? If it's true there's $100,000+ sitting in the attics of all the homes in Oak Leaf Plantation, there would be daily home invasions. I'm not lying. The average BANK robbery in 2015 only netted $4,000, according to the FBI.

    If everyone in Oak Leaf Plantation has that kind of money sitting around in attics, you'd have Oceans Eleven heists, complete with con men, tech gurus, and immigrant acrobats. Plus, carloads of thugs would be lined up outside the neighborhood. Local gangs, Miami gangs, Atlanta gangs. Probably gangs from Chicago would show up.

    Basically, our HOMES are probably worth around $140,000 in cash to most of us, assuming the bank owns the rest, even in fancy-pants Oak Leaf Plantation. Unless home invaders are going to break in and make you list your home for sale in order to then steal your profit, you don't have a lot to worry about. And home invaders, this is not me coming up with a new game plan for you.
  • $4 Wednesday At AMC Explained
    The local news "reported" on AMC Theater's $4 Wednesday for the summer. When I searched for the program, I noticed a lot of local news channels had also picked up the "story." I'm glad marketing using local news channels is alive and well, but because it's TV news, there was little explanation. I had to search all around to figure it out. At least, I think I have it figured out, and if anyone from AMC wants to contact me to confirm, feel free.

    Actually, I texted someone I know who works at AMC in order to confirm my findings. She did not know the answer. That's never a good sign. Then again, when I worked at Boston Store, I didn't know whether or not someone's coupon was good for use on Ralph Lauren, so I always had to walk over to ask Anya. If Anya was not working, I didn't really care if the coupon worked.

    Back to the $4 movies at AMC this summer. It's called Summer Movie Camp. You get a movie and a Kids Pack. That's $4 plus tax. A Kids Pack includes tiny versions of soda, popcorn, and a snack. I assume a snack in movieland is a small package of candy.

    But there's a huge catch to this. One, it's only at participating theaters. Even though a Jacksonville news channel promoted this camp, here's the official list of Florida AMC theaters that are supposedly participating:
    AMC CLASSIC Centro Ybor
    AMC CLASSIC New Smyrna
    AMC CLASSIC Palm Harbor
    AMC CLASSIC Pensacola
    AMC CLASSIC West Melbourne

    I don't think any of these theaters are very close to me. I guess Yulee's 30 miles away, but I don't think there's another reason on earth to go to Yulee, so I probably won't go there. Still, pretty silly to waste a news segment on an ad for AMC when only a handful of theaters in our state are part of the deal.

    But wait, there's more. Actually, less. It's not ALL PG or G movies. Nope. Here's the list of films you can choose to see for your four bucks, once you make the trek up to Yulee:
    The House With a Clock of Walls
    How to Train Your Dragon (not the original)
    Wonder Park
    Teen Titans Go to the Movies
    Peter Rabbit
    Hotel Transylvania 3
    The Lego Movie 2

    So it's a list of movies that Sony made that did OK or not well and aren't even really in theaters anymore.

    That's it. 9 Old movies. Last night's popcorn. 6 Florida theaters. And a spot on our local channel to promote the whole non-deal. Oh, and one sad son who wanted to see A Dog's Journey but was told by his old man that it wasn't going to happen. Maybe we can pretend Yulee is Jacksonville and Peter Rabbit is a dog.

  • Doctors Should Read This, But They Probably Won't
    I had a doctor's appointment for my daughter today. The doctor was annoyed that we did not fill a prescription. I was annoyed that the doctor did not call my wife back when we had questions about filling the prescription. But I was also annoyed about the signage and marketing campaign that was being waged in the waiting room and appointment rooms that surrounded me.

    When a patient walks into this particular doctor's office (and it's not unlike others I've seen), littered all around the room are signs telling people that they need to pay money now, regardless of insurance. And you'll owe if you're a no-show. Lots of sticky notes about money. These signs make the place feel sleazy, like a no-tell motel. It makes me feel like I'm being accused of something or seen as a lower class citizen just for walking in.

    Another sign I saw in my doctor's office was one that said the doctor serves people up to age 64. Medicare is 65. What I assume from this note is that my doctor does not want to take the lower rates offered by Medicare or Medicaid. Of course, when I see that, I really hope for a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system so that patients (rather than doctors or insurers) are given the choice. I am sure it would not be legal to post a note that says you'll treat whites, blacks, and Asians, but not Latinos. Sure, it might make sense for an OB to only treat women, but this is way different. The age note seemed to be more about money than anything else. 

    The signs always get on my nerves a little, but the ads. Holy cripes! Some offices will be playing a newsy program on TV produced by a drug company. This office just had several colorful ads on the walls, along with a touchscreen electronic video ad in the patient rooms. Those rooms actually had several poster ads in addition to the video ones. All told, I saw around 20 pharma ads while at the doctor's office.

    All of the ads want me to ask my doctor about the product. I assume that means the doctor has been sold on it, since the ad is right there in the room with me. So will my doctor give me an informed, rational explanation as to why this drug is necessary? I can't really be sure when I see all those ads. 

    So this doctor had given us a prescription last time that we did not fill. My wife had the following concerns:
    Would it be forever? Was there an alternative or generic? Was it safe for a kid with listed side effects? Why was it through Caremark? 

    She probably had more questions, but the doctor's office never called her back to address her concerns. We decided to skip the prescription because I told my wife the doctor's office was like a giant pharmaceutical ad and the doctor didn't bother to even answer her questions. 

    I feel that if you're a doctor (a job that puts you in the top 10% of earners in our country), you have all kinds of signs about payments, and you have all kinds of drug ads, you are very concerned about money. Probably more concerned about money than my kid's health. If, on top of that, you don't return phone calls, it's pretty much a given.

    So I'm sorry I didn't follow doctor's orders. Another doctor even suggested a different treatment, which cemented my opinion our kid's doc had stock in the pharma company. But if I had $50,000 in yearly disposable income, it would be invested in Big Pharma, too.

    After our follow-up appointment, my wife called in order to get her questions answered. The doctor was still a bit snippy about the whole thing, and it was implied that our home remedy method suggested by another doctor could work a bit if our insurance wouldn't cover the prescription.  Again, someone living on an oceanfront property probably doesn't have to worry about whether or not insurance covers prescriptions, so why should anyone else?

    My wife then called the number we'd been given for the prescription. Our insurance company had already denied the claim back when the original order had been sent, but Caremark was still willing to fill the order. For $600! Uh, no. For a new product with a litany of side effects and, potentially, a home version that could do the same job. That is the definition of a racket, doctors. And that's why so many Americans have finally had enough of the health care industrial complex. 
  • Arielle Nixon Leaves Action News Jax
    New Jax Witty has gotten a lot of hits recently that include the name Arielle Nixon and the term Action News Jax. That's because she has not been on the TV screen for some time. And there's a new blonde in her place. What's weird, though, is that there was never the normal farewell (not that I saw or read), even though it's apparent she's gone. (Spoiler Alert - I found out as I was writing this, so skip to the quote below if you don't want to read my whole post).

    Is there a scandal? I don't know. Sorry. You can look Arielle up on the court and local news websites to see that she has not been accused of anything crazy in the past few months. Still, most amicable divorces of this nature would result in some kind of goodbyes and her profile page staying on the website for a few days--the farewell from her previous job is still online.

    It was kind of weird that I saw "Arielle" had retweeted a weather report on the same day that I found that her profile had been deleted from the Action News Jax website. I assume this means someone was given her Twitter profile to maintain during the transition. Still, kind of odd. Here's the cached website page in case you need to see Arielle's face one more time. And if you're still following her on Twitter now (and there are probably lots of you), it's kind of a catfishing thing at this point, unless she is still accessing it and liking weather stories. 

    Back in Milwaukee, I used to read a section of the newspaper that was dedicated to the local news and radio personalities and shows, but that was a decade ago. Maybe people don't care about that kind of stuff here and now. Generally, when newscasters left MKE, it was for a larger market or because they'd been passed over for promotion to a better time slot. Arielle might have been getting sick of showing up for work at 4am. Or heading to Atlanta.

    I think the governor's wife used to read the news a while back. There's always a chance that love was over the airwaves, too. Of course, the story is probably out there by now, since I looked for the answer to my own concerns over a week before writing this. I could find whether she'd gotten citations from the law and her political affiliation, but not whether or not she quit, got canned, or left for a gig in another city.

    As I was writing this post, I finally found the one place that seems to have explained Arielle's departure. Actually, it was probably posted in several small posts, but I don't like or follow, so whatever. You don't either, or else you would not have read this whole article about something you already knew.

    Here's what Arielle said about two weeks before I noticed she was gone on Instagram:
    Friday was my last day at Action News Jax and on TV. Thank you so so much for your support over the years. I’ve accepted a position outside of the broadcast industry. It’s cliche, but it really is a very bittersweet ending. I’m excited for my newest adventure! I hope you’ll wish me luck.
    I guess I always thought the pinnacle of a career in meteorology would be getting on TV, honestly. I've known plenty of science-types that would not be a good fit in front of a camera. Maybe she's pursuing her dream to be a storm chaser or to spend a decade living in Antarctica. She didn't say in her Instagram post. If you know the answer, let the world know.

    Actually, the fact that I wrote this post (because I'd seen a lot of searches for the answer), and the fact that I did some research to find the answer, and the fact that I found other answers totally unrelated to her leaving the station, probably is reason enough for her to move on. I'm not sure I'd want all of my readers knowing all that same stuff about me.

    Read about Corey here.
    And my poem for Arielle here

    Action News JAX Busy Mom Ad Should Bother Us

  • Youth Basketball and Volleyball Skills Camps in East Arlington, Intracoastal, Arlington, etc.
    You might be looking for a basketball or volleyball skills camp for your kids, or you might be looking how to post the camp your school or organization is putting on. I've got some resources for you either way.

    Looking for a Camp
    If you're looking for a skills camp for your kids, you can check out the websites of local churches and schools. Those might have listings. If they are updated with news. Remember that not all camps submit their ads to all the calendar listing websites out there, so it might pay to look close to home.

    For 2019 check out the Grace Basketballand Volleyball Camps. Grace is conveniently located at Kernan and McCormick in East Arlington. Convenient if it's near you.

    Whatever Google Ad shows up on this page might also help you to find the basketball or volleyball camp you're looking for (that's supposed to be what Google Ads do).

    Running a Camp
    Let's say you're putting on a basketball and/or volleyball camp, and you want exposure. The first thing to do would be to think like someone searching for a camp. They are not really going to show up at your website or drive into your school parking lot. They are going to search using terms like "Jacksonville East Arlington Intracoastal basketball camp." What will come up is a website that has a bunch of camps listed, probably fun4firstcoastkids.com and jax4kids.com. Maybe even this post. Unlike my site, which is just a blog, the Firstcoastkids and jax4kids sites have a way for you to list your camp. You should do that, since parents not associated with your organization will be looking for camps there. Here's a linkto posting your camp. And another. You can pay extra for advertising or just get your camp listed for when parents search. For example, I searched for basketball camps and East Arlington (where I live) and got no camps at all, yet I know there are some here. When I expanded it to include Arlington and Intracoastal, I got two hits. Still not a lot of competition.

    I received a camp invite in the mail with a PDF of the camp. You could also create a Google Doc and then update the same (shared) document every year. You can link to it from your website once that way, and the information would always be for the current year. Sure, you should write a new article each year, but the document that explains the camp can be the same forever, with changing dates each year. Even if you don't use Google Docs for the information, using Google Forms can be useful for the signup, but there are other free tools for that, too. If camps are a big business for your organization, then there are some nice paid tools that my Midwest Quarterback Camps client used.

    If you're running a soccercamp, football camp, or baseball camp, use the same resources. Remember to pretend you are someone searching for the camp, not someone who already knows all about it. The websites I linked allow you to choose location, including:
    Arlington, Beaches/Mayport, Downtown/Riverfront/Southbank, East Arlington, Intracoastal, Nocatee, Northside/Airport, Ponte Vedra Beach, Riverside/Ortega, San Marco, Southside/Mandarin, St. Johns Town Center, Orange Park/Westside, Mobile
    Be nice and only post to the area where people would really drive to for your camp.

    If you want a website that can at least allow you to add your own content or want to understand how useful Google Docs can be for organizations, contact me.
    More about me. 

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