Georgia folks say Floridians are atrocious drivers. New Yorkers claim that New Jersey motorists are roadway terrorists. In California they declare that Nevadans cause more accidents, and Nevada residents label Arizonians as more dangerous than a roadrunner dodging a coyote.
There is much debate over which state produces the most dangerous, inconsiderate and irresponsible motorists. It’s no secret that turn signals are largely unused in Florida, and we question why some citizens insist on driving in left highway lanes at 20 miles under the speed limit.
CarInsuranceComparison.com, a website that compares automobile insurance companies, names Montana as having the absolute worst drivers in the nation. That can be partially blamed on the fact that up until the early 1970s highways there had no posted speed limits.
Every year or two I stop for a few minutes and ask myself: What is the meaning of life? Half an hour later I give up, and go on to another puzzling question: What is the real meaning of some of the expressions we use?
Such as “at the end of the day.” We say it, or hear it, all the time. “At the end of the day, what matters is this, or that, or whatever.” But no one ever says exactly when the end of the day occurs. At 5 p.m., quitting time? At midnight? At bedtime? When your favorite tavern closes? In our confusing world, precision counts. When I get to be king, I will issue an edict that pins down the exact moment that the day ends.
A similar expression is “the bottom line.” You can substitute that phrase for “at the end of the day” and no one will ever notice.
If you want to publicize a community event in our newspapers, you should make sure the announcement gets to us before the day of the event.
About 90 percent of our readers understand that. Most of the late announcements we get come from another planet, where public relations people and henchmen for politicians have no clue about our deadlines - especially for our print publications.
Sorry to come across as being smarmy and crotchety. A chorus of maniacal mockingbirds woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep on the morning of the day I wrote this, even with all my windows shut. Reason #100 why you shouldn’t plant oak trees.
Genealogy is the study of family history. Some experts believe that the earliest genealogists lived in Ethiopian caves around 214,000 years ago. Here’s how it may have happened:
On a slow Thursday two sets of cave-dwellers got to arguing about whose grandmother had killed the 6-toed didactyl that had invaded the family reunion 80 years earlier.
“It was our grandma!” shouted the Ergolols. “No, it was ours!” responded the Pufarks. Before an internecine slaughter began, cooler heads prevailed and suggested a joint committee to research the question of who done what to whom and when.
While observing the discussion on the proposed Planned Development Zoning Ordinance at the recent City Commission workshop (May 5), it became apparent that there is uncertainty about the value of having a PD district in our city and/or the necessity for allowing the residents to express their opinion via referendum on increasing height and density in the restricted PD areas.
The city staff and the LPA deliberated the PD issue over a period in excess of 18 months. The result was a unanimous decision to forward the recommended PD to the commission for consideration. I would like to take a couple of minutes of your time to explain why I believe the PD is vital to the future of Treasure Island.
The purpose of utilizing a Planned Development district is to guide new development by placing an emphasis upon a more flexible regulatory process as compared to forcing compliance to rigid development regulations common to traditional zoning districts. The PD process allows city officials and developers to jointly plan and design a project in such a way as to provide benefits to the community not otherwise provided by simply following a set of one-size-fits-all development regulations.
On Monday (May 4), former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced her entry into the 2016 GOP presidential primary. Fiorina skipped the standard ballroom announcement and went straight to people’s computer screens to announce her decision, and then she followed up with interviews on TV news and comedy shows. It was a smart move, as she is a quick wit. When comedian Seth Meyers ribbed the Silicon Valley veteran for not buying carlyfiorina.org, Fiorina one-upped him by announcing she had just bought sethmeyers.org. And: “Actually, it was really cheap, Seth.”
I don’t think I’ve ever felt that I had as much in common with a candidate as I did when Fiorina ran to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer of California in 2010. That sounds ridiculous when you consider her barrier-breaking career. Fiorina became the first woman to head a Fortune 20 corporation in 1999. I am a lowly newspaper columnist. But we both started out working as secretaries. After college, our careers did not take a straight path. Unlike the case with stiff career pols - think John Kerry or Gavin Newsom - you do not imagine Fiorina running for high-school student council president while mapping out a strategy to win the White House. Ambition came later to her. Now it is in full force.
She is running for the White House at age 60 even though she never has won an election and she lost to Boxer by 10 points. Like a startup that never has made a profit, Fiorina is shooting for the moon.
I may soon become a Filipino. Here’s why: there’s a rumor that the major Internet companies will soon grant Filipino citizenship to any computer user who attempts to get a problem solved and ends up talking to a technician in the Philippines.
After this happens at least 700 times, the user legally becomes a Filipino, while also retaining American citizenship. This arrangement will guarantee cut-rates in all Filipino hotels, resorts, museums and casinos.
I can hardly wait. I’ve been speaking with Filipino computer technicians as long as I can remember. I haven’t kept exact track, but I’d guess I must have reached the 500 mark by now. Every time I’m connected to an American technician, I’m surprised.
When Hillary Clinton threw her hat in the ring last month there were shock waves across the nation.
If this brash, distrustful political hack from yesteryear is the best the Democratic party can offer up as potential presidential fabric then we’re in trouble.
I don’t care if a Democrat or a Republication is elected next year to lead this once great nation that has been so abused and manipulated by the Obama Administration. I, as millions of others, do care that the current crop of professional politicians in Washington have done more to bamboozle progress, social and economic stability than any others in history.
We have books, plays, movies and solemn discussion groups dedicated to the major human concerns. These include money, fame, sex, achievement, sports, politics, fashion, health, climate change and food. But when is the last time you heard of joy being ranked as worthy of much attention?
I found myself thinking of joy the other day when I found my missing wallet. For several frantic hours I had pictured the jail cell I would occupy after a high official, such as a traffic cop, asked me for my driver’s license and I was unable to provide it, because it had been stolen or displaced. Or the hospital that tossed me out of its emergency room because I could not present my Medicare and Medigap membership cards.
But then I found my wallet, and also found joy. I could once again prove that I was a live human American qualified to drive a car, receive medical care, get money from an ATM, and not be exported to the Guantanamo prison to await trial for whatever charge the feds might dream up. Days later, my spirit is still shivering with pleasure from the after-effects of that one joyful moment.
Have you noticed that everyone in the top tier of Republican presidential candidates - Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush - has gone on record against a small New Deal-era crony agency called the Export-Import Bank of the United States? In fact, Sen. Rubio recently came out with all guns blazing against the bank, arguing that it picks winners and losers and shouldn’t be reauthorized once its charter expires June 30. Maybe their commitment to end Ex-Im cronyism and corruption will rub off on their colleagues.
There are several reasons one might want to let the bank expire. First, the Ex-Im Bank exemplifies the kind of government program that benefits well-connected companies by harming unseen victims. Over 60 percent of its activities benefit 10 large and politically connected companies - including Boeing, General Electric and Caterpillar.
Ex-Im credit subsidies have the economic effect of redistributing jobs and prosperity away from the 98 percent of unsubsidized firms, employers and workers and toward large corporations that do not lack for financing opportunities. This means that the bank does not actually increase the net dollar amount of exports.
Ceilidhs, traditional Gaelic social gatherings Ceilidhs, traditional Gaelic social gatherings, are held every Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Scottish American Society of Dunedin, 917 Louden Ave.
The cost is $3 and $5 for nonmembers. The social club is dedicated to the preservation of Scottish culture, offering Scottish country dancing, line dancing, holiday dinners and parties.
Friday Night Dinners LARGO – Friday Night Dinners are served 5 to 8 p.m., with music by Karaoke DJ Bill Johnson, 7 to 11 p.m., at American Legion Post 119, at 130 First Ave. SW. in Largo. The cost is $7.25 and includes shrimp, four-piece chicken and all-you-can-eat fried fish served with rolls, french fries and coleslaw.
Purse auction SEMINOLE – The GFWC Seminole Junior Woman’s Club will host a purse auction Friday, May 29, at Lake Seminole Square, 8333 Seminole Blvd. The auction begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Money raised during this live auction of new and gently used purses will help support the SJWC’s “Share Our Spirit” food drive, clothes for kids, items for local veterans and other programs. Cash and checks will be accepted for purses purchased at the auction.
Refreshments will be provided.
Call 902-1360 for more information.
Sunset Market LARGO – Sunset Market is open every Friday through May, 3 to 7 p.m., in Largo Central Park’s parking lot No. 1, at southwest corner of East Bay and Central Park drives.
Vendors will offer vegetables, fruits, raw local honey, herbal teas and wild-caught seafood as well as organic body products, essential oils, arts and crafts. The focus will be on produce and organic products with about 40 percent of the market dedicated to art and craft vendors.
The market offers several ways for commercial business to advertise as well as two free spaces per market reserved for nonprofit entities.
U16 Lady Santos soccer registration SEMINOLE – Seminole Youth Athletic Association’s newly formed U16 girls Lady Santos team will hold tryouts at the SYAA complex, 12100 90th Ave., Wednesdays, May 20 and 27, and Fridays, May 22 and 29, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Attendance is required at a minimum of two tryouts to make the team. Players are also required to check in 20 minutes prior to the start of each tryout.
Players must bring shin guards, cleats and plenty of water to drink.
West Coast Swing dance lessons SEMINOLE – Free West Coast Swing dance lessons are offered on Fridays, 6 p.m., at Crystal Blue Ballroom, 10527 Park Blvd. N.
Lessons are free for anyone under the age of 30.
Call Renee at 698-0171 for more information.
Garden Club of St. Petersburg plant auction ST. PETERSBURG – A plant auction fundraiser will take place Saturday, May 30, noon, at the Garden Club of St. Petersburg, 500 Sunset Drive S.
The public is welcome to attend. Hosted by the Night Bloomers Circle of the club, this live and silent auction will feature show quality and specimen plants. Proceeds will support the club’s community projects.
Santa’s Angels luau party REDINGTON BEACH – Santa’s Angels plans a luau party Saturday, May 30, 6:30 to 10 p.m., at Friendship Park, 164th Avenue and Second Street.
Tickets to the event are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
The purpose of the event is to raise money that can be used to pay for Christmas gifts and food baskets that Santa’s Angels distributes during the Christmas season.
Volunteers who adopt a child are given $50 to shop for the child. If they take two children, they get $100. Volunteers can also deliver the gifts to the families along with a bountiful food basket supplied by Santa’s Angels.
Last year Santa’s Angels delivered gifts to 286 children and food baskets to 81 families.
The children are selected by Directions for Living, Pinellas County Guardian ad Litem, Rosie’s Playschool, Boley Centers, and Fairmont Park Children’s Initiative.
The luau party will have pit roasted pigs and turkeys, along with the trimmings.
There will be wine, beer, and a margarita bar. Music will be provided by Encore.
Saturday Night Dinners LARGO – Saturday Night Dinners are served 5 to 8 p.m., with music by various artists weekly, 7 to 11 p.m., at American Legion Post 119, at 130 First Ave. SW. in Largo. The cost is $7.25 and includes bacon-wrapped filet mignon served with a house salad, baked potato and rolls.