A Small Sign of Things Working In Wilton Manors

After having someone who does not live in Wilton Manors whine at me about things that are wrong, I had a situation that proved to me that that sort of negativity is really pointless.

That is why the picture of the stop sign.

You see, living here in Wilton Manors, just like any other place, you get a vastly different view of how things work than someone who is a tourist or has a business.  Tourists look at things and either have almost all positive or all negative views, never terribly accurate.  Businesses have an amplified view of the negatives of a given area, and usually there is one specific issue that set them on the long downward spiral of turning on an area – and again, are never terribly accurate.

We residents are the ones who have to live with the mess of the tourists, and the disruption of the businesses, and generally are the ones that set the rules.  If a city doesn’t work well, it’s probably due to the residents not paying attention.  Eventually those who don’t work get noticed and those politicians get rolled out.

I have a strongly positive impression of City Government here in Wilton Manors.  Being on the Board of Wilton Manors Main Street, I hear many of the complaints of the businesses, and the plans for the future, and sometimes get to hear some news a little before most.  I also get to speak with some of the business owners and some of the City department heads.

Again, after all is said and done, I have a strongly positive impression of City Government here.  After all, how many cities can you “Walk Through” your permitting for building changes and expedite things yourself?  It is possible to get “Personal Service” that a city not much larger than we are cannot hope to give.

I had that driven home to me last night. 

We were out with Mrs Dog for a wander around town before bed.  There’s an intersection near me that needed to have stop signs put on it and the neighbors lobbied for it.  There was some push back from a particular whiny group of people who didn’t see the people flying down that block after they left the bars and after hearing the stories about drunk drivers crashing into trees, the City Commission approved the three way stop sign for that intersection – much to the relief of the residents nearby.

Last night, around 10PM we noticed that one of the signs was down.   People were assuming no sign, no yield, and were back to flying through the intersection at unsafe speeds. 

The suggestion was made to email the Director of Public Services, David Archacki, since we knew him.  Of course, this being the smartphone era, Kevin immediately did so, while walking into a wet palm tree. 

I shrugged and laughed and didn’t think too much about it until this morning’s 6AM dog walk.  When I rounded that corner again, the sign was still down.  You really don’t expect anything to happen at 6AM on a Monday morning, so I walked on home.

At 830 after Kevin left for work, I get a call saying there was a temporary sign out on the corner.  That’s the one you see on the top of this post.

So once again, I’m pleasantly surprised at how efficient things can be here.  Thanks, Dave, we really do appreciate your work.

Puns and One Liner Weekend – So Called Humor – Part 2!

Yep, I promised you yesterday that there would be more puns and one liners.   It was too long a list to post in one batch so the rest of them are here today.

Badump-bump!  Here’s part two!

…I do not enjoy computer jokes .
Not one bit .

I changed my i Pod name to Titanic .
It’s syncing now .

When chemists die…
They barium .

Jokes about German sausage…
Are the wurst .

I know a guy who got addicted to brake fluid .
But said he could stop any time .

How does Moses make his tea ?
Hebrews it .

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went.
Then it dawned on me .

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club,
but I’d never met herbivore .

A guy got arrested for playing the guitar.
For fingering A minor .

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity .
I can’t put it down .

I did a theatrical performance about puns .
It was a play on words .

They told me I had type A blood ,
but it was a Type- O.

A dyslexic man…
Walks into a bra .

PMS jokes aren’t funny.
Period .

Why were the Indians here first ?
They had reservations .

Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory .
I hope there’s no pop quiz .

The Energizer bunny was arrested .
Charged with battery .

I didn’t like my beard at first .
Then it grew on me .

How do you make holy water ?
Boil the hell out of it !

Did you hear about the cross eyed teacher who lost her job?
Because she couldn’t control her pupils ?

When you get a bladder infection,
urine trouble .

What does a clock do when it’s hungry ?
It goes back four seconds .

Puns and One Liner Weekend – So Called Humor

Ok, this weekend, I have a LONG list of one liners for you.   Perfect to hand to a kid, they’ll keep them entertained for a while… and you’ll be hearing them repeated over and over.

Oh and speaking of repeats, since it was SO long a list, I will be doing part two tomorrow. 

So get your Black and White and Read all over newspapery kind of joke fix right here!  
(Yeah that was a lousy one wasn’t it?)

You can thank or blame Kevin for this one!

Let the puns begin!

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger .
Then it hit me !

Broken pencils…
Are pointless .

I tried to catch some fog .
I mist.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary ?
A thesaurus .

England has no kidney bank,
but it does have a Liverpool .

I used to be a banker,
but then I lost interest .

I dropped out of communism class.
Because of lousy Marx .

All the toilets in a New York police station were stolen .
The Police have nothing to go on .

I got a job at a bakery.
Because I kneaded dough .

Haunted French pancakes…
Give me the crepes .

Velcro –
What a rip off !

Cartoonist found dead in home .
Details are sketchy .

Venison for dinner ?
Oh deer !

Earthquake in Washington D.C.
Obviously the government’s Fault .

I used to think I was indecisive,
but now I’m not so sure .

Don’t Break In New Shoes On A Long Dog Walk

When I was skating, I was always prepared for this sort of thing.  You see, I skated 21,000 miles over the time I had been in the sport.  Some of my workouts were more than 50 miles, and 100 Mile Weeks were the rule, not the exception during “Season” – April to November.

I had my bag that had as much as a half gallon of water in it, more snacks than some folks would have in a full meal, the iPod, and surgical tape.  When you’re on the trail for 3 or 4 hours, you had a lot of things to get you where you needed to go.

I could have used that surgical tape today.   That was the thought that had crossed my mind as I ducked under the red arrow that had “ART” written across it in bold white letters.

My morning dog walks can be quite long.  This one was going to be a mile and a half, and I realized it was going to take longer on the clock as I started cutting the route short.

I had broken out a fresh pair of black sneakers for this walk.  The old ones were quite worn through and were sitting in the bedroom, the better part of a mile away. 

By the time I got to City Hall, the dog had gotten so she was pulling me along.  Strange thing to happen when your dog is over 11 years old.  She’s just too well trained to do that as a rule.  I think she thought she was helping me “get up the hill”. 

“Silly Dog.”

I told her that in front of the entrance to the Police reception area of City Hall as I moved on toward the eventual destination. 

She knows me better than I suspect sometimes.  I get glimpses of another dog-life as a guide dog that she could have had when she stops at the stoplight as it’s turning yellow.  As I get to go, she spots a car and blocks me from crossing when the light changes to green as yet another lousy South Florida Driver makes a left turn off Wilton Drive without signals – “Oh, good morning officer, late for duty again?”

Another Gap Mouthed Dog Smile as we trundle over the crosswalk and towards The Gables.

Thinking that “Silly Dog” was a pet name, she looked up, smiled that Gap Mouthed Dog Smile we all know, and squinted her eyes in some cartoonists impression of what a contented dog should look like and then went onwards.

Great looking shoes though.  I’ll try them again when the blister heals.  Anyone have some Moleskin?  I’ll be fishing the old ones out of the trash for a couple days reprieve.

So, what’s the weather like?

I was looking around at some web search statistics earlier.  The amusing thing about it was that in every city I would stumble across at random that had statistics published for web searches, the Weather was in the top ten.

That particular picture is the current radar out of Miami centered just off the shore near my house.

I guess I’m not the only person out there that checks the radar before leaving the house.  I’ve been caught outside way too many times not to do that, and down here, getting caught in the rain can be an entertaining thing.  From just a mild mist, to a downpour that the shower in the bathroom would struggle to keep up with, then to brilliant sunshine all in the span of a minute.

Welcome to Florida, if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes, it may change.

Oh, here’s the same picture for Philadelphia since this was originally a blog that I was writing to chat with my sister and family up there.

How I got that was to go to wunderground.com, add in my zip, or that of Cherry Hill, NJ, and click on the “View/Save this” link at the bottom of the page.  Much faster to go to the link directly than to monkey around with clicks and buttons when you’re half asleep early in the morning.

Tweaking your Android Tablet or Phone for Speed with Cyanogen Mod

All the sudden I have ended up with an Android Phone and an Android Tablet.

I got the phone when I realized my old phone was a year past contract and beginning to fail.  Two more years with T-Mo, actually at this point around 18 months, and the phone was “Free”.  So far, T-Mobile has been good to me, so I’m perfectly OK with that.

A friend in Atlanta was shopping.  Made an impulse purchase of a Nook Color e-book reader and didn’t like it.  He was commiserating with me about it and I suggested he try to load up the full Android operating system.  That was a challenge that took him about three afternoons of “playing around”.  Once it was over, he had the idea of “Ok, now what do I do with Yet-Another-Tablet”.   It ended up on the shelf, then in a box, and now resides in my house.

The reason why he gave it to me was that he has a newer Motorola Xoom that runs much faster.  It’s a much smoother experience because it’s like a V8 to my little Nook’s 4 Cylinders.   The Nook is fine for what I do with it, and it was a nice surprise present.

Lately I had been reading up on the thing.  Seems like the hardware you have in a Nook Color is fine if you’re just reading a book.  I’m using it with the full operating system and not something pared down.  Having loaded Cyanogen Mod 7 on the thing with all the Google Apps, it was doing what everyone seemed to notice, it was a bit laggy.   You’d swipe your finger across the screen and it wasn’t quite as responsive as you’d like.   It felt like someone had slowed it down and I wasn’t sure why.  Start the Browser and a Weather App and it would be almost painful to use.

After poking around under the hood, I noticed that Google Search, Tune In, and a few other programs were running from earlier after having dismissed them.  So to be fair I restarted the machine and noticed that Google Search and Tune In were back. 

If you have an Android Phone or Tablet, you probably have some of these “Widgets” running on your desktops.  iPads have 1 desktop, Androids have multiple, My tablet has six as does the phone.

A Widget is basically a program that runs on the device and on the desktop that does something someone felt was useful.  In the case of Android, they all have Google Search on the desktop and because it is a Widget, It runs constantly.  I got rid of that.  Hold your finger on a Widget for a few seconds and you can move it.  You can also drag it into the trashcan that appears helpfully on the top or bottom of the screen.

Google Search App went into the trash.  It’s still there in my icon list of programs, just not started. 
I did the same thing for the TuneIn Widget and the Clock. 

Sure, search is useful, but I do have a browser for that and in the Post PC Era, we’re all working from the browser anyway.  That’s what Steve Jobs said, and many other “experts” did as well.   I’m repeating them here, if you live in a browser it doesn’t matter what kind of computer you use to get to the web, does it?  That computer can be a clunky desktop, a sleek tablet, or a versatile laptop – it simply doesn’t matter.

So now instead of having all those Widgets blinking at me, I now have a bare desktop that looks like something out of the box when you start Windows or Mac OSX.  A few icons, and a little control strip at the bottom of the screen.

Oh, it runs markedly faster, and markedly cooler.   You see if you aren’t using the software, you don’t need it eating up your battery or your processor. 

So the Helpful Hint is, if you don’t need it, don’t run it.  Drag the Widget off the screen and gain back some speed.  In my case it felt like another half speed on top of what I was doing.   I say felt because I’m not really interested in doing the whole benchmarking thing.

I tried the same thing on the phone, and not everything will drag off.  T-Mobile decided that the LG MyTouch needed all sorts of T-Mobile-centric software.  On a PC we call it Crapware.  I’ll be searching for a way to uninstall that stuff later.  For now, Search is gone as well as a few other pages worth of “Chaff”.

Remember, Touch and Hold brings up your pop-up menu and you can drag that Widget away so it won’t run constantly on your tablet.

Can you wear headsets while driving?

Depends on where you live in the US or Canada.

I always assumed that it was flat out illegal.  Turns out that there are some US States that do not have a prohibition against it.  As I write this with music playing on my headphones, they’re at a volume that you could carry on a complex conversation with me, but I don’t think I’d want to try that while driving. 

On the other hand, I drive a Jeep Wrangler.   Wonderful car but once you get above 55 MPH with the roof off, and I do that every chance I can, hearing the radio or the person in the next seat is a chance thing.  These cars can be noisy, as in teeth rattlingly loud. 

There are many people who wear hearing aids, maybe because they drove a car with their radio habitually too loud.  Boom Cars come to mind.  You know the sort, some clown that removed the back seat of the car just to place Kicker Boxes with giant speakers in them larger than anyone would need in their home.  They crank the music up so loud that they vibrate the license plate on your car next to them at a stop light.  Too bad it won’t stop them from having children.

I could legally buy a pair of seats that have speakers in the head rests.  In fact, if I had a spare $250 it would be worth it because it sometimes is necessary to drive the speed limit on the highway here in Florida, and the Turnpike is 70MPH all the way through the South Florida Sprawl.  Those little speakers next to your ears would be as dangerous as a pair of non sealed headsets or ear buds. 

When I rode my motorcycle, as a rule, I had earplugs in my ear.  Talk about loud!  I guess it’s just lucky I never got caught.

At any rate, turn down the radio, leave the headphones to the passenger since it may shut them up so you can concentrate on your OWN driving, and turn off the cell phone.  It’s not an office, it’s not a beauty parlor, and it’s not a restaurant.  It is a vehicle.  Be safe out there, the life you save may be mine.

If you want to check the list from AAA you can follow this link

In the meantime I think I’ll turn down the music in here.  I can’t hear the birds singing outside.