American Dreaming With Dan Brubus

Keep driving your SUVs, people, because we’re about make history! I knew my Lord and savior Jesus Christ was on my side when I decided against going to Miami to take a job with a competitor. “Yeah, the weather sucks here,” I reasoned, “and the girls aren’t nearly as hot, but I can afford a Brookfield mansion for less than a million bucks, and still have enough left over to stock my garage.” Anyhow, the great weather is about to come to me, so I’ll be retiring at about 55 with more money in the bank than you’ll make in a lifetime, and beautiful weather, as well. What do we have to thank for all this? Global warming, of course.

 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released new data that predict numerous climatological events for Wisconsin, created by our own addiction to oil, in which I have invested heavily. Here are some of those “catastrophic” events.


Temperatures in Wisconsin will rise by about five degrees by 2039. Maybe ten degrees by 2100. Yipee! Buried ships and interesting geological features will be exposed by dropping Great Lakes water levels. Surface temperatures of Midwestern lakes could reach 86 degrees. That’s pretty nice for a jump in the old lake after a day on my yacht.


For all you hippies, growing seasons and forests will increase. You can maybe grow your own marijuana. Heat waves will increase by 25%, so those 86 degree lakes will feel nice and cool
Up to one-third of the worthless plant and animal species may be doomed to extinction—it’ll be like a science experiment in our freakin backyards.


Basically, if you maintain the right attitude, not much is really going to happen with this whole global warming thing. American consumerism is what drives the entire global economy, and we cannot slow down for some tree-hugging Scandanavian socialists who want us to sign
treaties that cut pollution. Honestly, the EU can cut all the emissions they want, and we’ll still let the lazy chain-smokers come along on our economic ride. And China and India just better back off with their nuclear weapons and outrageous pollution—since when do they have the right to do that? Luckily, we’ve got it all together here in America, and now we can look forward to more pleasant weather, as well.

0
0
0
s2smodern

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.
  • How Long Does Google Take To Update Streetview After Taking Photos?
    19 Days and Counting

    We've all used Google Maps, and most of us have used the little yellow guy to access Google Streetview. In this mode, Google tells you when the images were taken. I'd never really questioned how long Google takes to get that new image onto the Google Maps website. Luckily, I have the data I need in order to figure it out for my own neighborhood.




    I have a camera that records each vehicle that passes my house. I don't normally look at the images, but I just happened to be testing the system recently. I saw a Google Streetview vehicle passing my house within the recorded images, and the timestamp means that I can accurately determine how long it takes Google to update one specific street (as long as I visit the site every single day to check on the progress). Even if it takes me a few days to figure it out, we'll get a good ballpark estimate.

    The Google vehicle passed my house on April 29th, 2019, which you can see in the image. A Monday at 10:53AM. As I begin this article (May 18th - 19 days), the streetview for my block has yet to be changed, but I'll update right here at the first sign of a change _______________________.

    It's actually odd that my block needs a new streetview, since the last one was done in December of 2018. The one before that had been March of  2011. So why was the Google car in the neighborhood again? Maybe it's because some areas of my neighborhood are still stuck in 2011. Perhaps the new images didn't all get uploaded properly in 2018, so I was seeing a do-over. I actually hope Google uses the new-new images, since my lawn had some disease issues in December of 2018. Come to think of it, since home-selling websites use Streetview, I wonder if there's a way to request a certain version or a retake for after your cousin moves his RV out of your driveway.
  • Roadside Knife Stand - Only in Florida
    My wife was driving through central Florida when she got to see something that surprised her, even though she's now lived in Florida for a couple of years: a roadside knife stand. I have to admit, I was even a little taken aback. My first question for her was whether or not she took a photo of the stand, which she did not. I'd seen oranges and other edibles before. Nuts, watermelons, etc. Shrimp, even. And you'll see people set up yard sales right out to the street, maybe with antiques (or just old junk). There was a place along Locust in Milwaukee where you could pick up a used appliance right from the sidewalk, which was a little odd, but you can apparently get cutlery along a state highway in Florida.




    My understanding is that anyone who sets up on public property along the road would need some kind of a permit to sell. Even the homeless in Jacksonville are supposed to have a permit to ask for money. I will assume that this guy had said permit from the local jurisdiction. If he didn't, I would not think that a knife stand would last very long along a state highway. Unless, of course, he was the off-duty local sheriff.

    If this man had been selling fruit instead of blades, he would have fallen under the Florida Cottage Food Law, which allows him to sell with:
    no license, inspection, or training from the ag department.
    That's good for up to $50,000 in Florida, and I am sure if you can make a little more than that in cash, no one's going to notice.

    I found some information about roadside fireworks stands and roadside flower stands in Florida, but knife stands were not really addressed. Probably because no one ever thought someone would sell knives along a highway in our state. However, I think that just about anything will be attempted at some point in Florida, so there probably does need to be some kind of regulation as to what can and cannot be sold along the roads. Like guns, exotic animals, and probably fireworks (which are basically illegal to shoot off anywhere in Florida). 

    The best bet is to resist your temptation to stop and check out the inventory. When no one stops at your (hopefully) illegal roadside stand, then you don't set it up too often in the Florida sun.
  • Wish-Cycling in Jacksonville
    Those of us who recycle hope that the world in a better place because of it. I know that it costs money to recycle, but I figure it's better to spend money on that some other government programs. Yes, I'm guilty of wanting recycling to fix our garbage problem, but I'm also probably guilty of wish-cycling every once in a while. Wish-cycling is when you wish something that's not recyclable could be, so you chuck it in the recycling bin, only to mess up the recycling machines and cost taxpayers even more money.




    We have a fairly good recycling program in Jacksonville, mostly because you don't have to sort the items or take off labels. You can go onto the city's website for the whole list of what can be recycled. But this article is about us wishing more could be thrown in the yellow-topped recycling containers, so I'm going to go through the list of non-recyclable items that people wish-cycle.


    • Any #4 Plastics (LDPE), Includes items such as cling (Saran) wrap, sandwich bags, plastic garbage or grocery bags 
    Mostly, that's the plastic grocery bags. We have a separate container in the garage to take to Target once a month. Grocery stores should have these recycling bins, but they will screw up the machines we use, so don't throw them in the curbside bin.
    • Any #6 Plastics (Polystyrene), Includes items such as all types of Styrofoam, packing peanuts, plastic cutlery, hangers, and medicine bottles  
    Guilty! I am pretty sure I've thrown plastic forks and medicine bottles in the recycling bin. But this one also makes me ask why they are not made of another kind of plastic.
    • Aerosol cans
    These really do seem like they should be able to be recycled.
    • Shredded paper
     I'd read this one before, so I have not tried it, but I also don't understand why.
    • Weapons
    I suppose a shiv made out of an aluminum can or recyclable plastic is OK. Since the weapons will be pulled out of the system, it's best to toss your incriminating weapon in the landfill or river.
    • Batteries
    Remember that normal alkaline batteries just go in the garbage can. Cell phone and other nasty batteries are supposed to be recycled at special collection centers that no one knows about or uses.
    • Fireworks or flares
    Sure, there's probably some paper on these, but there would also be gun powder or whatever flammable chemical is used in flares.
    • Needles
    Again, there are special places to take your needles. Also, I don't know where.
    • Cables or wires
    You can get real money at a recycling center if you have enough wire. My cousin used to pick electrical wiring up and haul it in for cash. Just don't break into your neighbor's house and pull out all the wiring.
    • Rubber
    This one should probably read rubber and rubbers. Did you know that about half the rubber in a tire is natural (from a tree) and half of it is made from oil. So we use oil to fuel and lubricate our cars, for our tires, and in asphalt roads (5%). None of which is recyclable for 10 million years.
    • Glass that is not clear, brown or green
    I never even think about this one. If it's a glass container, I toss it in. I also do not know of anything at the grocery store that comes in other colors than these.

    • Food or yard waste
     Jacksonville should be OK here, since there's a separate yard waste pickup each week. And food is good for the landfills.

    • Any recyclable product contaminated with food cannot be recycled.
     I guess I always assume there's a little bit of leeway here. I do rinse my containers, but if there's a tiny bit of Coke left in the bottle or a smudge of grape jelly in the jar, can't it still get recycled?

    And what about lids? I'd read somewhere that you need to remove all caps and lids, but that information isn't on the site. Actually, under the Glass section, it says "Green, brown or clear bottles and jars (discard lids with garbage)." I have always tossed these mostly metal lids in. And there's no mention of plastic container lids.


  • Bringing a Shank to a Knife Robbery
    I've seen plenty of news reports of people robbing retail locations with guns, and there have even been some with knives, but I was surprised to see a news report of an attempted shank robbery. The word shank is a slang term for a shiv, which is a makeshift knife. (I am not sure why the news used the term "shank.") I've seen enough films with prison settings to know that shivs are commonly used in prison, since knives and guns are not readily available. However, both guns and knives are everywhere in non-jailhouse Florida, so I wonder why someone would use a shiv in an attempted robbery.




    Money
    OK, so the guy obviously needed money, so he probably didn't have enough money for a new gun or fancy knife. That makes sense, but most of us could just head into the kitchen to get a real knife. He could have even done a dine-and-dash at a local restaurant to get at least a butter knife. Thrift stores might even have knife sets at bargain prices, which would have been a good investment. Or a roadside knife stand. Obviously, if you want a gun, you just have to walk down a random block and check the glove compartments of each unlocked car. But you can also just put your finger or shiv inside a pocket and pretend.

    Safety
    I guess it's possible that the shiv robber didn't want a firearm because guns can be dangerous. They are also traceable. Really sharp knives can probably cut through clothing, so a semi-sharp shiv might be more portable. And if you use a knife from your nice kitchen knife set and then toss it in the bushes, the empty slot might be incriminating, but you can toss your shiv in the woods and most people will just think it's some kind of construction debris.

    Spontaneity
    More than likely, the robbery attempt did not involve a lot of planning. From what I can tell, most robberies in Jacksonville lack planning, but this one might be more spur-of-the-moment than most. I assume the man walked by the store, had a great idea, and then looked around for the means to the end. He might have even used some construction debris he found in the parking lot. Or some mangled lawnmower parts sitting in the trunk of his car.

    Lack of Commitment
    The would-be robber didn't get any money with his shiv, since the worker ran away. But he also didn't walk to another store and try again, so I figure he probably learned pretty quickly that shivs work better in prison settings (where he'll probably end up, since he was caught on video). What I really hope is that this man realizes that crime doesn't pay, unless you run a really good scam.
  • MKE DNC House Rental
    I suppose if the Super Bowl ever returns to Jacksonville, Airbnb will blow up. It's probably better than building a bunch of hotels that will only get used once. I am not sure how the cruise ship thing went. Anyhow, the Democratic National Convention is coming to Milwaukee just after my one-year lease will run out, so the plan right now is to rent my house out for the event, as long as it makes sense.

    The big number being thrown around is $1,000 a night, but I've seen listings already approaching $2,000 per night. It probably depends on the length of stay, too. Since my house is an actual rental, I'm fine with two weeks, which would be perfect for a family or group of fanatical Democrats making their a first trip to Wisconsin. There really is a lot to see, so I assume most renters want more than the two-night, three-day whirlwind tour. In fact, the city will shine much brighter before and after most of the people have gone.



    I told my wife that renting our place here in East Arlington would make sense for the Players' Tournament, but that's a whole different ballgame, I assume. I saw similar homes to ours for around $300 a night for the weekend. Enough to go on your own mini-vacation, anyhow. But the DNC, Superbowl, RNC, and other national events provide good opportunities to do a little better than a weekend in Tampa. As a side note, could you imagine the DNC in Miami in July? 100 degrees and 100% humidity.

    If you are going to the DNC in Milwaukee from Jacksonville, that would be a dream scenario, since we could meet face-to-face even before the convention. Let me know if you're interested. Right now, I'd be happy with a 14-night rental at $1,000 a night. Here's a link to the house. It's a straight shot down Wisconsin Avenue (or I-94) to downtown. Maybe 15 minutes. 30 minutes on the bus, which runs along Wisconsin. What's better is that you're not STUCK in downtown all of your other days in Milwaukee, and this place will be right next to the Zoo Interchange, which means you can get anywhere worth going in 20-30 minutes.

    I'll do a bigger write-up and adjust the pricing as we get closer to the DNC. The photos show furniture that won't be there, but there would be three upstairs bedrooms and two in the finished basement. We'll say up to two people in each bedroom for a total of 10 guests. Or your whole local news crew. No-crime neighborhood, etc.
  • Maybe I Need To Give More
    A couple of months ago, it was decided I should get a new job outside of the house. I have done some pretty good work at home, but the money has not exactly followed the hours of investment. Basically, I've been trying to do a lot of good by building inexpensive websites for churchesand non-profits. But those folks don't find me, and I can't afford the time and advertising to find them, so I'll probably have to leave it to swanky salesmen and overpriced web builders.




    Then I got two jobs in a week. Then one went away. And another one. These are long stories, and I'll explain at some point, but one probably disappeared because I was honest about my skills. While I've read that half of millennials think it's cool to lie on a resume, I don't, which means when I get recruited for something in which I have limited experience, I tell the employer. I was hired and then let go, probably because I had been honest. The other one was an employer who hired me for a future job and then (apparently) found a better fit before the job began, and before we signed a contract. Anyhow, no new job right now.

    So, my main failings are that I am honest and want to give to others. Since I live in Florida, that should make me a unique potential employee. My wife decided to ask for some advice from a friend of hers who is connected in Jacksonville, and one piece of advice was to get out and volunteer. Also, she suggested interviewing local business people at companies where I might want to work, but the volunteering one is the idea I kind of jumped on. Why not, really? I've already given a lot of myself, so maybe if I get out there and do the same thing with other people, I'll meet others who think the same way. So I'll create a network of people who are also giving, possibly honest, and who might possibly be giving back because they live in mansions. I'm kidding. They probably have mundane jobs that pay the bills, like I want to have.

    Unfortunately, the (two) Meetups I found that are about volunteering seem to either focus on feeding the needy or paying money for a cause. I tried a brand-new one that is about designing for good, and maybe that will lead to something more interesting. If not, there are plenty of get-rich-quick business Meetups in the area I can join, which are probably great places to start a career in scamming others. 
  • Famous YouTubers From Jax
    The sun. The sand. The outdoor living. Shirtless guys stealing stuff. Jacksonville should be a great place to create YouTube videos and become a famous YouTuber. That's what my kids want out of life, and it's been accomplished by one couple from the area, but the content might surprise you.




    In an area where the weather is bearable most of the time, our most famous YouTube stars record hours of videos of themselves playing video games. Since the game is Minecraft, I assume there is also a lot of prep work, like building worlds or whatever. My wife and I think it's sad our kids spend hours watching these videos, but I also have to remind her that it's any artist's dream to actually sell content online, whether it's the video game, videos, or videos of playing video games.

    From what I can perceive from the distance I keep, I believe the couple plays Minecraft in a humorous way, possibly behaving irreverently as part of the schtick. Kids take their Minecrafting seriously, so I can see the draw.

    I was going to research more local Youtube celebrities, but then I figured it would be a waste of my time, since it's unlikely I'm interested in any DIY makeup videos from local teen sensations. My kids say there are a lot of famous family Youtubers from Utah, which is kind of not related to this article. I guess I assume a local Jax family vlog might not be quite as wholesome as those from Utah, but I can't prove that. 

    If you are a famous Youtube performer from Jacksonville, feel free to reach out to me so that I can add you to this post. I cannot promise I will subscribe or watch any of your videos, but I'll link to your awesome Youtube channel. 
  • Mistletoe on my Only Tree
    Boo from church told me mistletoe might be pretty at Christmas, but it'll ruin your trees. He also said that I'd have to trim back to the fork in the branch before the mistletoe, and after trimming my only tree down to nearly nothing, I'd have maybe a fifty-fifty chance of it surviving. It's kind of depressing moving from a house with 20+ mature trees to one with a single, sick tree, but I guess that's what I have. 




    I looked up medicines and whatnot, but the best solutions were to cut and sometimes wrap the mistletoe for some relief. The weird part is that mistletoe wants the tree to live, since the tree is what keeps the parasite alive. I went back ten years on Google Streetview on my house and found that the tree was already infected back then, which also means trees can live for some time with the infestation. The tree looked pretty bad back then, so I guess I'll just let it die on its own, unless the HOA decides it's an eyesore in the back yard. 

    If you get mistletoe and can take action early on, I'm sure there's a chance you can save the tree, or at least it might look like a healthier tree than my single, lonely tree. I assume that if you have a bunch of trees, it's probably best just to cut one down so that others don't get hit. If nothing else, I'll try to remember to cut some mistletoe off the tree this Christmas so I can enjoy the tree a bit more. Actually, I added a ninja zip line thing for the kids to the tree, so it still serves a purpose, even if it's half dead.
  • Real World AAA Membership Benefits
    I had written an article at one point that argued why BP Motorclub was so bad, but there's really no point to saying ill of the dead. The real question isn't which auto club is best. The question is whether you have AAAor you don't. There's no real competition for most of us, so what does a real world with AAA look like?




    First off, there's no way you are going to save all the money AAA claims you will save in a year, but that doesn't really make it less valuable. After the first year of promotions, we're at $90 a year for two people. As opposed to the promotional literature, which says we can save $326 per member per year, I'd say we're solidly saving $30 a year, combined. Maybe up to $50 if we travel a little more. Still, that's not terrible.

    I'm not including towing or AAA roadside assistance as part of the savings. That's what I am paying for, so if I use it, then that's why I paid. If I save $50 a year on other discounts, then I am paying $40 a year for two people to get free roadside help. That's OK in my book.

    While I might actually be happier to only pay $20 for both of us and not get any of the other discounts, I understand the power in pooling my money together with old men driving Buicks that never break down. AAA Dollars are not all that easy to earn (I made $16 off renewal in about one year, but that was before Gate was dropped as a place to get AAA cash for fill-ups. Now, I get $.05 off per gallon at Shell, which has better gas, but does not give actual pretend cash rewards.

    I guess you could get the AAA credit card if you really want the AAA money. I will be happy if I have basic towing for about $30 a year per person after some other discounts we use. If you're traveling a lot, hotels might get you $10 a night, so make sure you ask. Some museums and other tourist attractions have been a few bucks cheaper, too. The UPS Store was a surprise one for me, and it saved me about $1. Just annoy people and ask. Or watch for little stickers.

    If you live in the middle of nowhere or have a really crappy car, then you might need a higher level of coverage. Most of us are good with the Classic (cheap) version of the card. If you know you have all the scenarios covered, AAA might not be your thing. However, if you worry about the unexpected, travel a bit, and generally want to be covered in case something happens on the road, then the only real option is AAA.


  • Retro Fitness and Single Moms
    I feel bad for the employees of Retro Fitness who lost their jobs suddenly. I was surprised when the news framed the story as affecting single moms, but then they backed the statement up by interviewing two single moms who had worked there. While I'm sure Retro Fitness didn't only hire single moms, it almost seems that way based on 100% of former employees interviewed being in that situation and the newscaster calling attention to it. I wonder if Retro Fitness offered some kind of special benefits to single moms.




    My wife used to like going to the gym because there was free childcare as part of her membership. It was actually a pretty good deal, even if she just hung out in the hot tub for an hour. I assume Retro Fitness may have had some kind of child care on site, which might have influenced the decisions of some people who wanted to work near their children.

    Working at a gym is also a good place to meet a guy who likes to look at himself in a mirror. If I was a single mom, I might want to work in a fitness center rather than a greasy spoon restaurant or the library, since those aren't necessarily places where hot guys hang out.

    I'm sure that the reality is that there aren't any more single moms at what used to be Retro Fitness as anywhere else. The news kind of created a perception that single moms work there in order to create sympathy for people who need the paycheck. Viewers are probably more likely to feel concern for single moms than for a convicted felons. However, since there are about 1.5 million felons in Florida AND around 1.5 million single moms, that means your odd of working with either one is about the same. (I'm not sure how many of the felons are still incarcerated, and I'm not sure how many single moms are also convicted felons, but you get the idea.)

Donate to Scott Walker Without a Trace

Donate using PayPal
Amount:
Note:
and

Designed by Passive Ninja