Monthly Archives: June 2014

Florida stinks

Yeah, so don’t go getting your panties in a wad before you let me explain. This isn’t a stab at the University of Florida Gators. If you’re a regular reader of my irregular blog, then you already know we visited The Swamp last October and had a grand time (even though my Hogs got beat). I still don’t want to lose to the Gators, but their fans were dang nice to us.

And this isn’t about how hot it is here. I got that a bunch when I moved here…but that question just revealed to me that the question-asker didn’t know much about Mississippi. It’s “hotter” there. The actual temperature may be a little higher here, but the humidity is higher in Mississippi—or at least it feels like it. But that might have to do with the fact that it’s nearly always windy here in Orlando, but in Mississippi, when it’s a hunert degrees and the wind ain’t blowin’—it’s dang hot. Much hotter than anything I’ve felt here.

And it isn’t about the crowds and traffic. It’s crowded here and there’s a lot of rudeness going on. I blame it on the over-saturation of rude Yankees but I have no scientific (census) data to back that up. Could be that there’s just so many people on vacation and they’re all worked up and in a hurry to get to their next touristy spot. It reminds me a lot of Los Angeles here in that the population is spread out and not tall, like, say, a New York City. I definitely do not like the traffic. I do my very best to avoid it at all costs. So, while anyone who knows me knows that I’m definitely not a fan of either, it’s not those things.

No, what I mean is that there is an actual stinky smell here. It’s not all over, but in patches. I notice it every now and again when driving. My initial reaction when passing these spots is that I’m passing the poopy-lakes…but I’m not convinced that is the case. After more than a single nostril-full whiff, it’s stinky, but not sewage stinky.

My theory—at this point—is that because this central Florida area is the home of thousands of tiny bodies of water (they call a lot of them “lakes” when we’d call them “ponds” back home) and those bodies of water are often filled with stale water…sometimes that stale water gets to smelling a bit rancid…and so…it stinks.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it…unless someone gives me a better explanation.

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No Cellphone? Yeah, what of it?

I do not own a cellphone.

There, I said it.

I realize that puts me in the overwhelming minority of Americans, but I’m really okay with that. I can’t tell you, though, the number of shocked and surprised looks I get when this information comes forward. Many react like I’ve told them I don’t own shoes and they simply can’t comprehend what I’ve just said. Of course, it isn’t unusual that folks can’t comprehend what I say. “I” sometimes can’t comprehend what I say.

It’s not that I’ve never had one, I have. Twice.

The first time I owned a cellphone I enjoyed it. It was during those brief months when I worked selling academic furniture (yeah, I know—long story THERE, too!) and traveled the states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas. I wasn’t usually gone for more than a couple of days, but I spend considerable time on the road and it was good to have to speak with university representatives, my bosses, and—of course—my family.

This was in the days before the smartphones (that’s one word, right?) and so my biggest concern was actually getting a signal. The “can you hear me now” commercial often applied to my experience. This would have been 2005, nearly ten years ago now.

After that job disappeared, the phone went with it. No, “I” paid for it—but I didn’t see a need for it once I stopped traveling.

Fast forward to 2011 when I took a job in Orlando, Fl., but still owned a home (and a family!) in Oxford, Ms. So, I got another one so that I could keep my family posted during my drive/commute and while I was away. The first year of my employment saw me a week here, week there, etc., so there was a lot of driving. On top of that, eldest child reaches the age where “everybody else has a cellphone, I should too,” wah wah wah. And when she started driving, the idea sounded a lot better.

Fast forward once again just slightly to 2012 when the entire family decides to get on “a plan.” Yep, they sold it to us that way. So, we all got smartphones except for the youngest. Except, this time, I didn’t really see a need for it. We kept them for several months until the entire family finally joined me in Orlando and the provider we had did not(and still does not, I think) service the area. So we got out. But the family wanted a new “plan” in Orlando.

Except I opted out.

Yep. S’true. While I found the smartphone a fun gadget, I didn’t really “need” it (what I needed was to sell my house in Oxford—but that’s another story!) and so I was having a real hard time justifying the expense.

The only time I really regret the decision is when wifey sends me to the grocery store and I find myself staring at product labels. Only then would I really like to have a phone.

Maybe I should try to get one of those Obama phone?

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Filed under Columns