Tropical Storm Fay Decides to Stay

We're hunkered down for Tropical Storm Fay, which has stalled over Daytona Beach and is sending massive amounts of rain to the Jacksonville area. The weather buoy on the St. Augustine Beach pier reported wind gusts as high as 49 mph in the middle of the night. I pride myself on being the first person to evacuate Florida under threat of hurricane, but Fay wasn't predicted to become a category 1 hurricane until there was no time to flee, so we rode it out. The storm has stayed too close to shore ... (read more)

Being in the Minority is No Party

TPM Cafe contributor Bill Bishop answers an interesting question: What happens to political minorities in communities with large political majorities? They shut up. At book club or in church, they cut short any conversation bordering on politics. A woman in Washington State, a Democrat, told me that as her county grew increasingly Republican, she began to feel "like a second-class citizen, not entitled to have opinions." I interviewed Democrats in one Texas Hill Country town (80% Republican) ... (read more)

States Bank Millions in Unclaimed Child Support

The state of Florida is hanging on to $31 million in unclaimed child support payments, citing an inability to find the recipients: Shireena Adams has gotten $15 in child support over the 11 years she's raised her granddaughter, creating more than a little financial strain. "I'm thinking about giving up my car. Most the time it just sits there because I don't have enough money for gas and insurance is expensive," said the 61-year-old whose severe arthritis has her living in an Indiana apartment ... (read more)

Girl Scout Robbers Angry Over Arrest

A couple of teen girls in Boynton Beach, Fl., may be the worst criminals in the world. They allegedly mugged a pair of Girl Scouts on Wednesday for $167 in cookie money, drove off, then returned to the scene later to taunt the scout and talk to a TV reporter. Meet the teens: "We went through all that effort to get it, we got all these charges and we had to give the money back," one of the teens told TV station WPBF. "I'm kind of pissed." As if this story weren't already surreal enough, WPBF's ... (read more)

Lee Padgett, the Blogger to Be Named Later

I'm pretty thick-skinned when it comes to criticism, because in eight years of blogging I've made the occasional gigantic mistake that sends my credibility crashing through the guardrails into a ravine like Toonces the Driving Cat. But a recent cheap shot by Paul McNamara, editor and blogger for Network World, has stuck with me: Cadenhead is a former newspaperman ... who appears to have forgotten a lot about the journalism business. (By the way, I worked for 20 years as a local newspaper editor ... (read more)

Putting a Blogger's Identity on the Record

Network World blogger Paul McNamara covers the St. Augustine Record's attempt to out a local blogger, calling me a "former newspaperman ... who appears to have forgotten a lot about the journalism business." The Record, believing Padgett to be part of an organized political group out to unseat Rich, not merely a lonely pamphleteer voicing his displeasure with a public official, decided that making public Padgett's identity was the right to do. They were correct. While there may be a long-held ... (read more)

Newspaper Asks Public to Identify Local Blogger

A Florida newspaper appears to have hit an all-time low in the relationship between bloggers and the media. The St. Augustine Record is asking the public to help expose the identity of a local blogger who recently started a site critical of county politicians. This evening, the paper's home page has a grainy surveillance photo of a man accompanied by this text: Who is this man? Believed to be connected to a politically charged but anonymously-run Web site targeting the character of members of ... (read more)

UDRP Response Filed to Save Wargames.Com

My attorney Wade Duchene has filed our response to the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution (UDRP) complaint made by MGM Studios over Wargames.Com. We're getting closer to the day where a panel of three arbitrators decides whether to give the domain to MGM, which owns a trademark registered in 2003 for the 1983 film WarGames. UDRP arbitration is an increasingly popular tool for intellectual property lawyers trying to acquire domains for clients, as MGM's firm is attempting here. If they lose, ... (read more)

Filing a Mickey Mouse Lawsuit

My seven-year-old son's a huge fan of Mickeyroni & Cheese, boxed Mickey Mouse pasta sold at Disney World that occasionally makes it to the local Disney outlet store. (The combination of rehydrated Vermont cheddar cheese, 1.5 tablespoons of milk and semolina pasta shaped like a rodent's head is pretty good.) When he heard yesterday that Disney has discontinued the product, my son announced that he was going to sue the company to force them to continue making it. My wife replied that "you should ... (read more)

Five Things About My Secret Nude Past

I've been tagged with the five things you don't know about me virus, so here's my list: 1. In 1988 I spent two weeks at a nudist campground in Orlando, though I was tricked into going by my future mother- and father-in-law, who said we were going to DisneyWorld. 2. People play contact sports in nudist camps, including basketball, which was a surprise to me because of the threat of reaching-in fouls. 3. When elderly male nudists play shuffleboard, they still wear knee-high black socks tucked in ... (read more)