Archive for July, 2005

This Day in Central Florida History…

I heard a neat tidbit on Channel 13 news today during their ‘This Day in Central Florida History’ segment.

On July 31st, 1962 Wesley Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida.

After moving to the Bronx, his family came back and Snipes graduated from Jones High School. We all know what happened after that.

I remember when I was attending Colonial High School, our biggest ‘celebrity graduate’ was Delta Burke. I wonder what she’s up to these days?

A Newfound Love of Golf

Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants, today it’s open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.
Dave Barry

Took my youngest brother to the driving range yesterday, it was his first time doing anything golf related with the exception of mini-golf so I took him to a place me and Christine frequent, Econ Golf and Baseball. It’s a nice little place, inexpensive and I can golf in my Guinness T-shirt and shorts. Stuffy it aint, I’ve seen folks driving golf balls in flip flops. Me and the wife frequent the place because I need practice, although I’ve gotten really good at carrying the clubs in their funny bag and look really spiffy with the one glove on…sadly everything else kind of falls flat after that.
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Orlando is getting Ritzy…..

Doesn’t it seem like we’re really becoming a MAJOR city?? The addition of upscale shopping at both Florida Mall and Millenia plus the beautiful Ritz Carlton on John Young and Central Florida Parkway, makes us in league with larger more metropolitan cities to be sure. We’re still a long way from LA or Chicago and in my opinion we still could use a whole lot more in the cultural offering, but it’s nice to see that we continue to add new luxury properties.

In the same article I was also reading that our Convention Center is the nation’s SECOND largest!! Does that surprise anyone besides myself? I know it’s big… but the second largest?!?!

Did You Know What Happened In Orlando Back In 1926??

Okay, I’m at the library downtown, bored and it’s my day off and well I won’t see the boyfriend until later tonight and my friend is at work until really late tonight so I cruised the geneology section to see if I might find something interesting to read. (Okay, I know I had the word and in their alot, sue me… I’m not an Grammar teacher).

Anyways… I came across this book and it was filled about important events, purchases and deaths in Orlando from 1926 to 1940. I wrote a bunch down and will share some with you from 1926. Only good ones, nothing boring. I promise.

1. March 1926 The Good Humor Ice Cream Company was granted permission by the city to manufactor and distribute from trucks an ice cream sucker, much to the delight of the younger generation. The Good Humor man soon became a national institution.

Want more….. click below for the rest!! You know you want too!!
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Attention Target Guests…

The new Target store on Goldenrod and University Blvd. opened secretly last Wednesday but the grand opening was Sunday. I went to check it out last night and well. It’s Target. Sure, they had their special sales cause they just opened but, it’s still Target. Which I love don’t get me wrong.

Speaking of Target… the one on E. Colonial Drive next to the Fashion Square Mall is having a HUGE clearnace sale on clothes and other products. I had a field day in the store yesturday buying all kinds of stuff, could it be partly cause I work there. HELL YA!! * If you see a gal wearing a name tag reading Jennifer say hi it’s me!!

Orlando’s Friendly Smiles…

While doing my usual day off morning routine (going to Lake Eola before it gets too hot). I decided to try alittle experiment while sitting on a park bench. I was going to see if Orlando was as friendly as I had hoped it would be.

Figuring that out would be easy. I would say “Hi”, “Hello” and or “Good Morning” to fellow residents walking on the sidewalk around the lake. I kept track of all I spoke to and weither or not I got a response back. (Ya, I know I was bored.) It started out great. Everyone smiled. Or replied the same back as I called out to them. Now I did get a few “Oh my god, she’s talking to me, I must look the other way looks” and got no response.

One elderly man took my “Good Morning” as an offer to come sit next to me on the park bench and start a conversation with me. Now I couldn’t very well have ignored him, that would be rude, let alone I would fail at my own test. So we talked about the weather and I petted his old dog, than as quickly as they came to sit next to me, they were off for cooler air.

So after 23 minutes the results were:
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I Guess Rover Likes Aged Beef

Another week, another story about a Pit Bull attack. I’m so sick of hearing the inbred morons who own these dogs saying things like “it ain’t the dog, it’s the way he’s brought up.” Okay, a Pit Bull raised with love and compassion might be a little less likely to maul/attack/kill its owner’s kid…but there’s no getting around the fact that these dogs are savage beasts? I know, I know…other dogs attack people, too. However, the bad reputation attached to Pit Bulls is well-deserved.

If you have this breed of dog in a house with a kid, you’re a reckless idiot who deserves to get your child taken away from you. There’s no telling when a Pit Bull is going to snap because it hasn’t been fed, it sees a child as a threat, or it simply decides it wants a taste of some human flesh. I believe the city of Denver starting rounding up these dogs last week to get them off the streets. I love this idea. No one needs to own such a savage beast as a pet.

Downtown Beating

Courtesy of my job, I get to hang out in downtown Orlando at Big Belly Brewery for nickel beer on Wednesday nights. I almost always park in the same place, that garage underneath I-4 near Church Street. Maybe it’s due to the beer, but I never really feel all that unsafe while walking to my car. That is, until I read this story online today.

While I am a friendly guy, I usually find it best to ignore other people while walking to my car late at night. Anyone who wants to get your attention is doing so to either panhandle from you, start an altercation with you, or-God forbid-sexually assault you. It sucks out loud that people can’t be trusted anymore, but I’d much rather be safe than sorry.

This kid who got jumped last night (just an hour or so after I left the same building) did nothing to egg these hoodlums on. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and could have paid for it with his life. Downtown Orlando is slowly becoming a great place to hang out once again, and incidents like this can do nothing but harm its image. I hope OPD steps it up and starts to show a strong presence during the week as they do on weekends.

Schools, eminent domain and growth

Florida, and particularly Orlando, seems to be growing faster than anybody could have ever anticipated. And our schools are really feeling the strain. I know my daughter was part of a “relief school” opening in Ocoee back in 2000, and within two years that school needed it’s own relief school.

And everyone’s seen the housing prices just skyrocket in the last 8-10 months and new developments are springing up all over Orlando. Overall there is a shortage of houses in Orlando. Which is hard to believe because most school are bursting at the seams.

One such school is Gotha Middle. My mom teaches there and she opened this school quite a few years ago and it’s now 900 students over it’s maximum. Portables are a way of life there as in almost all schools nowadays.

I was reading an article today about very upset homeowners and community members because of Orange County’s fight to annex some additional land for the school. And while I understand to a degree the community frustration, I am more mindful of the fact that my daughter spent her 5th grade year in a portable and will probably do so again in another year.

I think we’d all agree it’s not the ideal teaching environment. It’s not that portables are inappropriate, but everytime there’s a severe weather system, they have to leave the portables and go inside until the storm passes. Nothing is perfect, I realize. And short term solutions have to be found. But that’s just it… annexing land would be part of a LONG term solution and these families are fighting against that happening.

I guess it’s probably part of that as long as it’s not in MY backyard mentality I have. I mean it’s easy for me to sit here and question those homeowner’s attitudes, because it’s not happening to me. And if I understand correctly, one of the things that would be ousted with the annexation is an Aquatics center. I’m sure this is very upsetting for the families that have come to rely on this facility for swim lessons and the like.

As current residents of Orlando, we have to decide where our priorities truly reside. I know recently Osceola county was proposing an impact fee on all new housing construction and I think it was like $10,000 per house. If I remember correctly, a lot of people were very upset by this fee and worried it would slow new housing developments.

I have to say that I’m all for the fee IF that fee goes towards road improvements and school allocations. I know it’s a good thing to be growing like we are, but we have to stop and consider the growing pains we’re already in and how much worse it is likely to get if we don’t starting doing something NOW to plan for such explosive growth going forward.

I’m sorry people are upset about their Aquatics center and I would like to think that with better planning, less of that would have to be done in the future. But as is a common theme of my posts… children make up 30% of our population, but they are 100% of our future.

Curves

I used to work on my feet 8-10 hours a day. I didn’t have to work out because I got enough of one every day. For the last 2 1/2 years, I’ve been a desk jockey. And I’ve noticed that I’m putting on a few more pounds than ever before. Also I’m approaching 40 and I know that has a lot to do with it too.

So for a few months I’ve been debating my options. I actually went and purchased a bicycle earlier this summer in the hopes that having one in the garage along with the kids each having one would spur me to more activity. It still sits there. We have a very sophisticated and MASSIVE weight machine in the garage. It also just sits there. I was trying to walk in the evening after dinner… but that gets forgotten too often.

So Monday I headed out to Curves. I have several family memebers and a few friends who are going to these “women only” fitness centers. Even my grandmother goes!

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got there, but it is very simplistic in nature. The idea is to combine aerobic type exercise with weight training in a circuit style training — alternating both uppper and lower body workouts within the 30 minutes.

I’m not saying this is right for everybody, but it sure seems like a good fit for me. I’m located about 3 miles from one, and I like the flexibility of payment options. I also love the 30 minute duration with no set time to be there (unlike an aerobic class) and I’m looking forward to getting more fit… and more healthy.

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