Archive for August, 2005

I Wonder if They’ll Keep The Name

Keeping with the pro-independent-retailer theme of my last entry, I must give props to Park Ave. CDs in Winter Park. I’ve been a customer of theirs for well over a decade. Their selection of used CDs, the helpfulness of their staff, and their amazing selection have contributed to their long-time success. After a fantastic run on snooty Park Avenue, the store is moving near Stardust Video and Coffee near Corrinne and Old Winter Park Rd.

The only criticism I could possibly muster for Park Ave CDs is the price of their new releases compared to the megastores…but if you know your money stays in the Central Florida community and supports the “little guy”, it’s worth a few bucks-no? To me, it definitely is. So, gather up those compact discs you haven’t listened to in years and trade them in for some new stuff at Park Ave. CDs! You can easily spend a few hours marveling at the gems in their “used” section. Check www.parkavecds.com for more info on their imminent relocation.

RIP DVDz

Well, another independent video rental establishment has bitten the dust. Last weekend, I realized it had been quite some time since I checked out a “new release” on DVD…so I drove up to my local video store here in Longwood. The place changed their name from “Laser One” to “DVDz”, but even that couldn’t save it. Peering inside, I saw an empty store. Blockbuster claims another victim.

America loves Blockbuster, no doubt. Personally, the place scares the crap out of me. It’s been long-debated whether or not the movies they make available for rental are edited by an outside company that removes “objectionable” scenes. Most people just don’t seem to care. A lot of the movies I enjoy watching don’t even make it to the shelf at the family-friendly corporate video store.

I’m really glad that Stardust Video and Coffee seems to be alive and kicking. I haven’t been to College Park Video in quite some time, but when I drive by the place it seems to still be open for business. How long, though, until the mom-and-pops are gobbled up by the Blue and Yellow Monolith that is Blockbuster?

Greedy greedy City of Orlando!!

If you’ve ever gone to an event at the “O-rena” (sorry, I can’t bear myself to advertise) or the Bobb Carr… you’ve probably had to pay $5 to park. Get ready to fork over $10 now. At least if the city has it’s way that is.

Beginning Oct. 1, the city plans to raise the cost for event parking at city-owned lots and garages around Carr and the T.D. Waterhouse Centre from $5 to $10. City Council expects to decide on the plan Monday.

The brouhaha began after Allen Johnson became Centroplex director a year ago and discovered he had a million-dollar deficit. The shortage doesn’t stem from the arena or Carr, he says, but from the Expo Centre, a small convention center that was long underused until it was converted this summer into the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, a University of Central Florida graduate program.

To help make up the shortfall, Johnson proposed doubling the price of event parking in Centroplex’s surface lots. That cost was $3 when the arena opened in 1989. It rose to $4 in 1991 and $5 in 1994.

Way to go Orlando… solve money problems with making the residents pay more…. good plan. However, what will happen in attendance drops off so dramatically that some of the small art troupes leave and the revenue isn’t changed at all. Brilliant idea.

Go All Stars!!

Ok, so is anyone else cheering on this team of young baseball players?

I am not much of a baseball fan myself, but when you get kids like this playing their hardest and doing a great job so far you just want to congratulate them and be proud of what they’ve accomplished.

Of course it will be wonderful if they win the whole series, but even if they don’t they’ve done an amazing job and should always be proud of themselves.

Calling all cars, be on the lookout for…a ninja.

Like Master Splinter said, it

Puddle of Mud Volleyball

Strong winds blew through Southeast Orange County yesterday. Normally, this would hardly be news-although with our local TV news crews’ ravenous meteorological fetish, it might be. While these forceful gales would usually have blown through an empty field and done minimal harm, yesterday just happened to be a different day.

The March of Dimes had set up for their thirteenth annual Mud Volleyball Tournament, which included the erection of several tents. Rather than being rewarded for their commitment to charity and being well-prepared, the March of Dimes were instead forced to come out of pocket for new tents and scaffolding. Some might see this as a sign that there is no God, but that’s for an entirely different blog.

The radio station I work for has fielded a team, helmed by-gasp-me. There are a whole bunch of Orlando businesses and organizations who are also participating, and the public is welcome to come support this fantastic charitable event tomorrow (Saturday) starting at 9 at Lee Vista Park. Thirsty for more insight on the event? Click on www.mudvb.com and let the learning begin.

In addition to the warm afterglow that benevolence tends to supply, you’ll get to see grown human beings cavorting like swine in some serious mudpits. If you’ve yet to witness the spectacle that is mud volleyball, you’re in for a real treat. Bonus for you testosterone-types: there must be at least 2 chicks playing for each team at all times. Call me SCATman, but there’s something about a muddy female wedgie that makes my pulse race like Mary Hill in a residential zone.

Hope to see you there!

“Fore-lando”…

I came across a list of Florida Golf Tips in this cute little travel guide, they give out at the hotel where I work. I thought I might share them with you.

* Florida’s Bermuda grass grows differently than northern grasses. Do not replace your divots, as the grass will die. Instead, fill divots with sand.

* Play target golf. Many Florida courses make up for short yardage with craftily placed hazards.

* The beautiful white sand in Florida bunkers is softer than northern sand, so put a little more on the blast shot out of the trap.

* Enjoy the wildlife (binoculars are a great idea), but keep your distance from alligators. If ytour ball ends up anywhere near an alligator, you are entitled to a free drop.

With This Ring…

Now I have heard of people getting married at the Magic Kingdom, but at the Titanic attraction on International Drive?? Yep.

“At Titanic-The Experience, the focus is on the grand and glamorous, as well as the poignancy of the fabled story. The full-scale replica of the ship’s Grand Staircase provides an elaborate centerpiece to the event. Guests also enjoy a guided tour of the exhibition, featuring live storytellers in costumes from the period. Cake and champagne in the private Titanic Banquet Room is an option as well.”
*taken from See Orlando-Kissimmee travel guide

(shivers) Now, thats just creepy!

Kids today:..

I saw the craziest thing last night while walking around town.  I was walking down Pine St. about to get to Orange Ave. and people are milling about as usual.  Drunks stumble and wail into the night.

On the corner they are building a huge condo, in case you didn’t know.  Because of the construction they have part of the street blocked off to keep out the rabble from getting hurt and to just generally stay out of the area.  I see a guy working still, late night, right near the entrance to the Matador.  He’s sweeping, it is late, and I’m sure all this guy wants to do is do his job, get home, have a beer, and get some sleep before he has to be at work again early in the morning.

Some roid-raged, drunk white boy comes stumbling out of the bar and decides he wants to cause trouble, so he tries to walk through the area that the guy is working in.  The guy asks him not to because he’s trying to work and it’s not safe.  White boy gets mad, calls him names, and then immediately starts fighting the guy.  There are people around but everyone, including his friends and what I assume to be his dumb little girlfriend, just stand there watching this innocent dude getting the beat down from some drunk dumbass.  Good samaritan law my ass.

Not being the type of person to just watch a stupid incident go down, I walked around the corner, found a police officer, and told him what was happening.  When he got there the white boy acted like the construction worker started it but I told the cop otherwise.  The dude resists, the cop has to get a little rough, and then next thing you know we hear the *click click* of cuffs on the white boy.  He’s yelling curses into the night like an idiot.

What’s wrong with kids today? I’m glad the kid got hauled off to the clink though, he deserved it.

It Had To Be Leu…

Just like so many of you, I have driven by Leu Gardens (where Virginia Drive becomes Corinne) many times over the past decade. I would often proclaim to myself, “ya know, self, it’s been a long time since I’ve taken time out to smell the roses.” Well, as luck would have it…I drove by there a few weeks ago and noticed they were having a storytime for “wee ones”!

So, this past Monday I packed my little monkey into the Passat and headed for the natural splendor that is Leu Gardens. I also noticed on their website that admission is free on Mondays until noon! Granted, it’s hotter than Hades outside…but if you get there early enough, you might be able to last an hour in the sweltering heat. It’s worth it to see the beautiful flowers, butterflies, and fountains.

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