Archive for April, 2008

Boycott "Sawgrass Meets The Sky"

From News Channel 13:

A state song many said is racist could be in for an overhaul.
On Thursday, the state Senate voted unanimously to make Jan Hinton’s “Where The Sawgrass Meets The Sky” the official anthem.
It beat out a handful of other tunes in a public contest.
Lawmakers also decided to remove what some call racially insensitive lyrics from the state song “Suwannee River.”
Some senators had tried to do away with the song entirely. Gov. Crist said he’s disappointed.

So the lawmakers decided to not only remove the lyrics from the song, deciding to just change an artist’s music post mortem, and THEN dump it entirely? Why not at least just leave the song alone if you are ditching it.

Yeah, the song could be considered a little dated as it is written from the perspective of an Black American in the old south, but by a white man. It definitely uses some phrasing not acceptable in common parlance today, though it never seemed to bother Ray Charles, both a black man and a Florida native. All in all, the argument is there to change it for sure, but picking a state song for somewhere as awesome as Florida needs some better thought put into it.

I’m having a little issue with total suckitude of “Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky”. It sounds like an awful two bit song played while waiting in line for a ride at EPCOT. In all honesty Jan Hinton, your song blows… hard.

I’m a true son of Florida, born on Orange frickin Avenue, and this Florida native whole heartedly rejects and will never recognize that god awful travesty as my State’s song. Charlie Christ, your spray tan ass was born in Pennsylvania, so I gotta say your opinion has little value for those of us that have to live with the song after you move to DC (which you obviously are itching to do). Take another stab at picking a song, because that thing seriously is an embarrassment.

Add To the Metroblogging Orlando Flickr Photo Pool

As you read down the page, you may notice a small Flickr badge in the right column, showcasing photos taken in and around Orlando.

Did you know you can contribute to that photo pool?

That’s right, the Metroblogging Orlando photo group is open to anyone who has a Flickr account. Simply visit the main page for the group at flickr.com/groups/mb_orlando and click “join this group” on the top right side of the page. Then under your “organize” tab (found at the very top of the page), you’ll find a section to add your photos to groups you’ve joined.

All we ask is that you make sure any photos you donate showcase Orlando and it’s surrounding area. We also would definitely prefer quality over quantity, so please, only the photos you consider to be your best shots.

Any questions or comments about the Flickr group, send them our way. We look forward to seeing how you view Orlando through a camera.

Best Sentinel Lead EVAR?

From 4 Orange County SWAT teams arrest 33 in drug bust:

Apopka-area drug users might find cocaine a little harder to come by after the arrests of suspected dealers.

Well played, Bianca Prieto. Well played.

Dance To The Beat of Your Own Drummer

Picture this… a large group of people get together in a public location, strap on their mp3 players and at a predetermined time, start dancing until their batteries wear out. Every one dances to what they like best, some dressed in costumes, other just jamming out in whatever makes them comfortable. No dress code, no bad DJs – just them and the music they brought in one big outdoor makeshift dance floor.

Orlando Silent Rave 2008It’s called a Silent Rave and the organizers of the Orlando International Fringe Festival announced this week they are holding one in conjunction with the fest on May 24th.

From the press release:

Many forms of “Silent Raving” can be seen at music festivals such as Coachella and Bonaroo. In New York City’s historic Union Square Park thousands gathered with their iPods, portable CD players, and other forms of mp3 players, and danced until their batteries died. People arrived dressed in business clothes, clearly taking a break or perhaps on their way to work, they sparkled in sequins, or they floated around with a pair of wings. The idea of a “Silent Rave” is show that you should not care what others think and just be yourself.

“Silent Rave: Orlando” is able to happen thanks to Beth Marshall, the producer of the Orlando International Fringe Festival. If you want to participate, simply show up at the Fringe Fest grounds at 1001 East Princeton St. on Saturday, May 24th. Then at 5:24pm, hit play on your mp3 player and start dancing.

This sounds like so much fun, I can’t wait to give it a try.

For more information on the event, including tips and graphics you can use to help promote the event, organizers have set up a Facebook page for the Silent Rave. You can also visit the official site for the Orlando International Fringe Festival for more on this and other Fringe events.

Spread the word and I’ll see you there!

Lakeridge Winery To Host Blues Festival

Lakeridge Winery ClermontLike your wine with a side of the blues? Then you’ll want to make a trip out to the Lakeridge Winery in Clermont this weekend for their annual blues festival.

The fest runs Saturday, April 26th, from 10am until 5pm, and Sunday, April 27th, from 11am until 5pm. The Teague Stefan Blues Band will play Saturday from 10am until 1:30pm and on Sunday from 11am until 1:30pm. Both days, “Beautiful Bobby” Blackmon B3 Blues Band takes over from 2pm until 5pm.

Besides the live music, Lakeridge Winery will offer tents selling food, beer and Lakeridge wines by the glass both days. And all of this takes place outside, with the vineyards as a backdrop. Be sure to take one of their free tours of the grounds, as well.

The Lakeridge Winery is located on U.S. Hwy. 27, 3 miles south of Florida’s Turnpike Exit 285 and 6 miles north of Clermont. Admission to the blues fest is $2 per person, with food and drink extra. Parking is free. For more information or driving directions, visit lakeridgewinery.com.

Weather.com says highs in the 80s with almost no chance of rain for both days, so it should be a good weekend for the event. And while there, definitely try the Southern White wine – it’s my favorite.

Summit Charter School Creeps (Allegedly) Steal From Kids

Did anybody else gag up their corn flakes this morning looking at the picture on the front page of the Sentinel, the one of that smug bastard who runs Summit Charter School?

You know, the guy who is accused of taking a fat salary and spending school funds willy-nilly while the educational institution almost went bankrupt?

Man, if ever a dude deserved a punch in the face, it’s him. Turquoise turtleneck and all.

Pets=NOT KIDS

I think it’s time for some tough love, folks.

Apparently, there are nutjobs out there who are raising monkeys like they were kids. They even call them “monkids.” Aw, how cute.

Lori Johnson was lonely and depressed after her youngest son left home in 1992. She yearned for another child to love. So Johnson bought a baby monkey…

At Gemini Springs in DeBary recently, Johnson pushed “Jessy” around in a toy-filled red stroller, a sight that drew attention. “Hey, it’s a real monkey,” hollered one youngster, who did a double take.

Johnson replied with a grin: “That’s not a monkey; that’s my kid.”

Oh, you’re funny, you are. Equating a living, breathing, thinking HUMAN child with your self-indulgent whim to own and raise a freaking MONKEY. And you actually HAVE a real kid? Good gravy.

I notice this all the time–batty women (not usually men) who paste pictures of their pets up in their cubicles at work, maybe Fluffy or Spot sitting on Santa’s lap at Petco, and refer to these animals as their “kids.”

I’m sorry–I have a kid, and I’ve had pets, and PETS ARE NOT KIDS.

I know it’s easy to love a dog, or a cat, or even a monkey–I’ve been there myself. It’s only natural to develop bonds with these animals and I do believe the animals themselves share some sense of feeling and emotion and attachment. (Well, except cats–the only cats I ever knew were attached to their owners as long as the food, water, and litter kept coming. Those are some ruthless-ass beasts.)

BUT THEY’RE NOT HUMAN.

When we get a dog, and it dies, it will be upsetting, and I will be shaken, and “what a shame” and all that. Then I’ll get another dog, and life will go on.

If my daughter were to die, you would be RIPPING OUT PART OF MY SOUL.

So newsflash, people: “Monkids” are NOT KIDS; neither is Fluffy or Spot. Calling them “my kids” is not charming or amusing; it’s creepy and weird.

Damn Dirty Apes*!

Orlando is a MAD HOUSE! A MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADHOUUUUUUUSE!

Police nab wild monkey with banana in west Orlando — OrlandoSentinel.com

*Yes, I realize monkeys are not apes. I think they aren’t, at least.

Thrill Ride, Animal Experience, Roller Coaster, and Laundromat (I Think) at Sea World

So now Sea World’s getting a big new coaster too.

It will be part thrill ride and part animal attraction, a theme that visitors will experience from the time they take their place in line until the time they leave the post-ride area, said Joseph Couceiro, vice president of sales and marketing for SeaWorld’s parent company, Busch Entertainment Corp.

“It’s going to have animal components, marine-life components. It will have a very unique, state-of-the-art ride, a roller coaster if you will, that will provide a sensation of gliding,” Couceiro said. “The combination of the animals and the ride is what makes it special.”

As I’ve said, I’m relatively new to Orlando, so I don’t know if these periods of escalation between our theme park overlords are just cyclical. But it certainly seems as though Universal’s acquisition of Harry Potter is putting the other local players on notice…

…although I get the sense we’re still waiting for another shoe to drop over at the Mouse House–they’ve got that Toy Story Mania ride coming to Hollywood Studios but that’s hardly an E-ticket tentpole attraction. Night Kingdom, anyone?

Martha, My Dear

Can we get a little dishy? Is that, y’know, okay with you? You’re not gonna get all self-righteous and backboney on me, right?

Cause now that Orlando has had a few days to mourn the departure of Wendy Chioji, I think it’s time to address the future, and it is this:

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