Archive for July, 2006

Magic News


The Magic made a great move and brought back Nick Anderson, the team’s inaugural draft pick and possibly the franchise’s most important player in history. The link is to a Sentinel sports blog, so read it quick before the entry changes.

Also a nice statement here on the Magic’s official site.

To the Orlando Magic brass: OK, guys, when are you retiring Nick’s jersey? Above all others, it deserves to be the first one in the rafters. Let’s welcome him back the right way!

(Photo is one of the free wallpapers on the Orlando Magic official website…and they’ve got zillions, folks, so you can download free pics of your favorite players to your heart’s content.)

The Evans High School Mess

Welcome to Pine Hills, where Evans High School is under siege. There’s talk about moving the whole school, and that’s apparently scaring the heck out of the city of Ocoee, who would become the new host for kids from the other side of the tracks.

I have a friend who refers to Evans as “historic.” I tried to find the age of the school online, but I could only find a reference to alumnus Darryl Dawkins being drafted into the NBA in 1975. So we’re talking at least 30 years old. Riding by the campus last week, it looks it. The whole school is a somewhat ramshackle collection of buildings–the trademark round shape that I believe is shared by West Orange and Apopka, plus square, boxy additions jutting out like arms. The tan-colored paint on the main building is chipping and the chain-link fence is starting to list. Sorry I don’t have a photo for you…only a guarantee that yes, this place could use a little sprucing up.

I did graduate from a local high school. Evans did not have a great reputation with us because even then, in the dark ages before the FCAT, the students had horrible scores on their standardized tests. Some of my favorite people were transfers from Evans. They were mostly black and Hispanic. Evans is predominantly black–as is Pine Hills, so it only makes sense–so race is immediately coming into play in these “move the school to Ocoee” discussions.

B2K, again again.

I’ll be over here all day (and night) folks. Stop in and taste the drivel.

P.S. You can still SPONSOR up to 48 hours after the event. Thanks to those happy few that threw some dollars my way. The kiddies appreciate it.

This is the last time I’ll mention it I promise.

Rollercoaster Bias

I’m not even going to get upset. I’m just going to ask why the Sentinel has this article jammed waaaaay in the back of the front section while Disney warranted a major headline every time.

Disney had more park guests killed this year, yes, but isn’t ANY ride-related death news right now? Are they the only theme park(s) who are allowed to look bad in the press? It almost comes off like a bias toward Busch Gardens. Let’s not kid ourselves–Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a local theme park. This deserved more prominent coverage than it got.

In case you’re wondering, this short staff report is considered the follow-up story. Seems that heart problems were to blame again. As a casual observer, I sure would like to see a death and injury total like we did for Disney…I bet it would be enlightening, and might even make Disney look better by comparison if we can see how often this happens in a “regular” amusement park.

Ahoy Mateys!! Permission to come aboard!

tn_flying%20dutchman.jpgI know many Central Florida residents are into cruising. Many of you undoubtably will also cruise on Disney from time to time. Well Disney did an ingenious thing and parked the Flying Dutchman ship featured in Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest at their private island – Castaway Cay.

So if any of you are planning a cruise on Disney in the next few months, you’ll get to see this fascinating ship up close and personal. Here’s a picture of her parked at their private island. I’ll be there in two weeks, so I can’t wait to take my own pics of her.

I understand that at the moment she’s parked right next to the pier where the Wonder and Magic berth, but you can’t snorkel up to her. Which is a bummer, because wouldn’t that be fun to snorkel around this ship?!?! But my cabin is on the starboard side of the ship so I’ll be able to look out my window and see her! ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!

BlogOrlando Un-Conference

A conference about blogging! Why not! After all… we are the second largest convention complex!

But a conference …. ahem… an un-conference about blogging sounds interesting. Blogging is growing in size and popularity on an exponential level and it just makes sense that people will gather to talk about it.

Blog Orlando will take place September 22-24 at Rollins College. For more information – click HERE

The Mighty Hunter

Go ahead. Ask. “What are you doing up at 2:41 in the morning, Juile?”

Good…freakin’…QUESTION! I woke up not long ago because my cell phone was chirping too loudly about its dying battery. As I was sleepily lumbering through the place, trying to find the stupid thing, I was interrupted by the insanely annoying sound of something BUZZING. Loud buzzing, in fact. It sounded like a personal light aircraft ready to take off from my bathroom floor.

I flicked on the light to discover (surprise!) one of the most beloved of all our Florida creatures, a palm bug.

Enzian Theater: Adult Entertainment

interior.jpgLet me just say, I love the Enzian Theater. My wife and I became members last year and I have been totally digging it. No, I’m not much for the smell of cloves and goth apparel, nor do I think Post Modern Avante Garde German cinema is entertaining. However, I do appreciate getting to see some films you just can’t find in the big theaters.

The last three I’ve seen have been Tsotsi, a spectacular South African film that I had to run out and buy the soundtrack for, Joyeux Noël, an excellent WWI era story based on true events, and A Scanner Darkly, which had some great art direction and a peformance by Robert Downey Jr. that I thought stole the show. What also appeals to me is another aspect of the Enzian that you also just can’t get in the big megaplexes: A quality enjoyable movie going experience.

I go to the regular theaters often enough and I swear, everytime I leave I am just pissed off. People arrive late, they talk through the film, teenagers talk back to the movie itself, and just generally you get the idea that you are the only ones that actually came to the movies to, well… watch the damn movie! And god help you if you actually ask an usher to do their job. No 17 year old skinny kid wants to tell some belligerent grown adult or cute tipsy 20 year old girl they need to settle down or leave, not for minimum wage at least. So basically the assholes have the run of the place and the movie going experience is utter crap. For all you sobbing movie execs, this by the way, not internet piracy, is the reason people go to the movies less. The experience flat out sucks, and for $10 a head none the less.

At the Enzian I can call ahead and reserve a comfortable table with plush armed chairs. I can dine on fairly good food brought to me by wait staff, even good beers in a glass! If people arrive late, they DON’T get in (what a concept.) If you are loud and disruptive, they ask you to leave. To them the experience is as important as the movie, and it pays off in spades for the best movie going experience you will ever have. And the icing on the cake is that cost of the tickets and food is pretty much comparable to what you’d pay at the big theaters for crappier food and a crappier experience.

That’s why I love our Enzian Theater. Another reason to like Orlando.

Another Writing Blog

Lake County’s own mystery-writing Bob Morris has started his own blog, Surrounded on Three Sides, just as he travels to Trinidad to research his next novel. (See, Bob is smarter than me. He’s writing about somewhere warm and tropical where people WANT to be. I’m writing about tragedy that takes place in the dead of Canadian winter. They say there’s always something to be learned from more experienced novelists…)

Anyway, check out Bob’s web presence, especially if you want more info/excerpts for the already-released “Jamaica Me Dead” and “Bahamarama,” along with the forthcoming “Bermuda Schwartz.” He’s had book-release events around town before–which included beer and Bahama Breeze, if I’m not mistaken–so keep your eye on his website if you’re a fan. He promised to blog tales of island “exploits” during his Trinidad stay in the last Scribbles newsletter.

Remember, all Florida writers are to be loved and supported! (Including Metrobloggers of course…)

Unwelcome Pool Guests


OK, has anyone had this happen to them? Seems like the housing developments and the extra rain this summer is driving more and more reptilian guests into the pools of my friends and family…

Actually, if I were smart, I’d have a camera to photograph my friends’ faces when they head out onto their lovely lanais on a moonlit night with a margarita in one hand and then all of a sudden: “SNAKE! SNAKE! SNAKE! SOMEBODY CATCH IT, QUICK!!” Snakes are not festive. They sorta ruin everything. Although I worry about them a lot…won’t the chlorine hurt the little guys? I’m not even convinced that chlorine is safe for humans, let alone a poor innocent scaly thing that doesn’t weigh a full pound.

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