We Enjoyed the Space Shuttle a Lot

This picture was taken on Saturday in Titusville, Florida. If you look closely, you'll see the space shuttle not taking off in the background as thousands of people watch with excited anticipation along the banks of the Indian River, 19 miles across the water from the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. I'm standing in a field on U.S. 1 just south of the Miracle City Mall, which the Unofficial Space Shuttle Launch Guide recommends as one of the best places to not see the shuttle take ... (read more)

Jacksonville's Year-Old Blogging Community (Est. 1998)

Today's Florida Times-Union has a front-page feature on the Jacksonville blogging community. I've been following local weblogs for seven years, so I was curious to see how many of our long-time bloggers were profiled. Answer: None. The story treats Joey Marchy's Urban Jacksonville as if it was the area's first blog: Approaching its first anniversary, this is possibly the oldest ongoing blog in Jacksonville. The piece missed all of the well-established Jacksonville bloggers who've been ... (read more)

Your Illegal Alien is My Undocumented Immigrant

I'm not a journalist, but I play one on the Drudge Retort. Because I have the good fortune to live in an age where any idiot can break the news, I've been writing headlines and making story selections for the past couple years for an audience that's hitting 80,000 daily pageviews, helping me rationalize why I dumped my comp sci major in college, earned a bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of North Texas and then became a programmer and computer book author anyway. (Just when I ... (read more)

Hey, Kids! Comics!

During a recent road trip the kids and I stormed two geek stores: Lone Star Comics in Dallas and Cosmic Cat Comics in Tallahassee. This is a foolish thing to do, because I have poor impulse control and my sons have a serious Yu-Gi-Oh jones. The clerk at Lone Star was exceptionally friendly, digging up free comics for the kids and teaching them how to slam Pogs, which are undergoing an attempted revival. We did $80 damage at Lone Star on cards, comics, manga and a $13 box that contained three ... (read more)A Florida company has received an $112,500 fine for violating the state's do-not-call list:A lawsuit filed in 2003 accused Fort Lauderdale-based Sports Authority Florida, a chain of sporting goods stores, of making 77 calls to state residents on the list and playing a pre-recorded message to many of the consumers who answered the calls. Under Florida law, it is a separate offense for a telemarketer to play a pre-recorded message when a consumer answers his or her phone.I wasn't aware Florida ... (read more)

Are You Ready for Some Football?

I've begun following FC Dallas, the Major League Soccer team originally known as the Dallas Burn, as part of my embrace of all things soccer in the run up to the World Cup. My friend Wade Duchene has been after me for years to start following international football, which he discovered while stationed overseas during the first Gulf War, and I run a sports community weblog that has attracted a bunch of Premiership fans. Resistance was futile. Soccer in Great Britain is as huge as any pro sport ... (read more)

Watch Out for the Guns

The Jacksonville Barracudas hockey team has been run the last several years by Ron Duguay, the former New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings player. Duguay was a '70s heartthrob who skated without a helmet, relying on big hair to protect his head. In a story about Duguay stepping down from the team, the Florida Times-Union included a photo of Duguay in his office, where he hung a bare-chested poster of himself showing off Ron Burgundy-like guns and a total eclipse of the hair. If you'd like Ron ... (read more)

The World's Most Beloved Coroner

I chaperoned a field trip this week to a high school production of The Wizard of Oz, which was fun because kids love getting out of school to see plays. This one had winged attack monkeys roaming the audience, the Wicked Witch singing Michael Jackson's "Bad" and a climactic scene involving water guns. At the end, they brought a surprise guest on stage: Meinhardt Raabe, the 90-year-old who played the Coroner in the movie. Raabe, who lives in a retirement community south of Jacksonville, may ... (read more)

The Dodgers Will Never Forget Hiroshima

I attended Sunday's spring training game between the Dodgers and Nationals at Vero Beach, the first time I've seen a game at the legendary Dodgertown. There are no bad seats, the atmosphere is completely laid back and you're right on top of the players. I sat so close to Eric Gagne warming up along the third base line I could've made a beer run for him. The history of Dodgertown dates back to the years the team played in Brooklyn, and I found a very unexpected relic from those days in the ... (read more)

A Case of Sticker Shock

I was driving behind a new-looking Hyundai Sonata on State Road 312 in St. Augustine yesterday when I spotted a simple black sticker along the top edge of the car's window: ANAL INTRUDER Anyone care to venture a guess as to what the driver was trying to convey with this sticker? I was so surprised I nearly rear-ended him. ... (read more)