Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Hallowe'en!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rick Scott for Governor

Now, before all ye Alex Stink . . . er Sink . . . fans get all upset with me, let me assure you this was the toughest pick to make this election cycle. That's why it's the last one I'm featuring in a post in the dryer.

Mostly, because there was so much mud slinging.

By both candidates, admittedly.

At the end of the day, though, more mud sticks to Sink.

The most effective ad of the season were the ones showing old tape of Stink . . . I mean Sink . . . endorsing the ObamaNation's economic policies and stealth scare plans.

In light of her record as a typical Tallahassee politician who is constantly trying to find scapegoats for her own missteps and failures, I have to go with the anti-politician. It's just that type of year . . .

I hope ye socks will join me in voting for Rick Scott for Governor of Florida.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Silent Auction Nov 4th - List of items up for bid

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Go Magic!

I know, I know. The rest of ye socks are focusing on the World Series and your favorite college football team.

In this little corner of heaven, today marks the beginning of the NBA regular season.

And, for the Orlando Magic that includes kicking things off in style at their new arena downtown.

Yours truly will be there in spirit, but still prefers the comfort and convenience of ye olde couch.

Go Magic!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Yours truly got into a doozy of a car accident this afternoon, at the corner of Wallace and Hansel for ye socks familiar with the roadways in this little corner of heaven.

The good news is both drivers walked away from it.

The bad news is ye olde Blazer may be totaled.

Anyway, I discovered the true value of good insurance. State Farm is treating me well (and responding quickly). They've already got the wreckage towed and put me in a nice rental.

Now, we just have to sit back and wait to see what the adjuster says . . .

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This year's easiest decision

Yours truly has been a fan of Marco Rubio for quite some time, since he was Florida's Speaker of the House.

Since that time, he has matured into a political force of national stature and is running to become our state's next United States Senator.

As has been noted (ad nauseum?) in this and other outlets, he was thumping our illustrious governor in the Republican primary.

Charlie Crist wouldn't take the hint, so is now running as an "independent." In truth, anyone who has lived in this little corner of heaven for any length of time knows that he is nothing more than an "opportunist." His record of flitting about from one elective office to another is the stuff of legend. He has no clear vision, except to continue drawing a government salary.

Kendrick Meek, the Democrat in the race, stands by his liberal convictions. I actually respect him for that. They just don't resonate in 2010.

I encourage all of ye socks who are registered to vote in Florida to join me in supporting Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Dan Webster for Congress

In 2008, a lot of folks rode the coattails of "hope and change" into high public office.

In the years since, they've demonstrated why they shouldn't be there.

No one exemplifies this more than the incumbent in Florida's 8th Congressional District.

Alan Grayson is nothing more than a purveyor of "fear and loathing," who deals in polemics and hyperbole rather than thoughtful solutions to our country's many problems.

In no way does he truly represent the people of Central Florida.

Dan Webster, on the other hand, offers a record of leadership in the state legislature. He is thoughtful and urbane. And he knows how to work with people of all political stripes to craft meaningful legislation and get it enacted.

Grayson cannot run on his record. Instead he has spent the last few months attempting to paint Webster as a member of the Taliban and misdirecting blame for the area's expensive toll roads. Sadly, we've grown used to this sort of outrageous behavior from our Congressman in this little corner of heaven.

Hopefully, most voters will be able to see beyond all of Grayson's red herrings and elect the better man.

The better man is Dan Webster. And I encourage you to vote for him if you live in Florida's 8th Congressional District.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

It just dawned on me . . .

Yours truly sprang out of bed this morning with unusual vigor, none of the funk that has typified Sundays around this little corner of heaven recently.

At first, I couldn't figure out exactly why.

Then, I remembered that this was a bye-week for my beloved Gators.

It's so much easier to get going when you don't have a loss hanging over your head!

Now, I just need to fear the old blue and orange mantra, "There's always next week!"


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Uncle Bill!

But, should a man of your advanced years be consuming so much Starbuck's coffee?!?!

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Adam Putnam for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture

Today, yours truly had an opportunity to meet and talk with Adam Putnam, candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner.

I found Adam to be well-versed on all the issues facing agriculture in our state--especially as they impact our overall economy--and believe he will do an outstanding job as Florida's next Agriculture Commissioner and as a voting member of Florida's cabinet.

Adam is from an agriculture family with deep roots in Florida (almost as deep as my own!), is a strong supporter of private property rights, and has been endorsed by:

* The Agriculture Community. He has been endorsed by all agricultural organizations that make endorsements in statewide races, including 24 county Farm Bureaus.

* The Small Business Community, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Retail Federation, and more.

* The Sportsmen Community, including the National Rifle Association, United Sportsmen of Florida, United Waterfowlers of Florida, and more.

* The Law Enforcement & Firefighter Community, including 37 County Sheriffs, Police Benevolent Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Florida Professional Firefighters Association, and more.

I encourage you to join me in casting your vote for Adam Putnam in the coming general election!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Remember Third Thursdays at Chick-fil-A!

Just a quick reminder to ye socks that both South Orlando locations of Chick-fil-A will be donating all proceeds from sales made between 5pm and 8pm this and every "Third Thursday" to Pine Castle Pioneer Days.

Make sure to tell your order-taker that you are a Pioneer Days supporter so we get credit for your sales!

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Say it ain't so, NPR!

National Public Radio will be much poorer for firing news analyst Juan Williams today.

Apparently, they didn't like some remarks he made recently during an appearance on FoxNews.

Ye socks may recall NPR as the same network who keeps Nina Totenberg on the air after she wished AIDS on the grandchildren of a conservative senator.

It's a shame when some of the most vocal advocates for freedom of speech are only so vocal when it is convenient and gibes with their own political agenda.

I wish Mr. Williams success wherever he lands following this dismissal. He's sure to get better ratings than anyone he leaves behind at NPR.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Teresa Jacobs for Orange County Mayor

Ye socks will recall how frustrated yours truly was with the very crowded field of candidates that assembled to succeed Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty earlier this year.

But, after the August primary, the field was narrowed to just two: current commissioner Bill Segal and former commissioner Teresa Jacobs.

It has been quite easy to compare and contrast these two candidates.

Both have well-documented histories in this little corner of heaven.

If the decision had to be made on demeanor alone, however, I don't see how anyone could vote for Mr. Segal.

In a recent public forum, he sat with arms crossed in what could only be interpreted as a defensive posture. Answering voters' questions, he was more than happy to rattle off how many boards and task forces he belongs to or has belonged to in the past. But, his own ideas are half-baked--particularly when it comes to cutting county employees' healthcare costs and property taxes.

When it comes to jobs, Segal made it clear that his approach as county mayor would be to act as the area's chief salesman. He would pimp out our great natural resources and public amenities to draw new businesses to the area.

At the same forum, Jacobs actively engaged each voter's question. She was leaning forward, looking each person in the eye. And, believe it or not, she actually remembered to use their names as she detailed both her experience and her vision.

Beyond body language, I really liked her answer to the question of improving the local jobs market. Rather than following the tired old formula of selling-out to outsiders, she put more emphasis on utilizing the tremendous resources we already have on hand and encouraging the LOCAL entrepreneurial spirit.

After mulling over this race for the last several months, I can now whole-heartedly endorse Teresa Jacobs for Orange County Mayor.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Pam Bondi for Florida Attorney General

Both major candidates in the race to become Florida's next attorney general have demonstrated their prosecutorial skills.

Each of them have contributed to making our state a safer place by putting criminals behind bars.

But, Dan Gelber has vowed to pull Florida out of the ongoing lawsuit to thwart ObamaCare. He supports the government takeover of our nation's healthcare system.

Pam Bondi, on the other hand, has promised to keep up the fight on behalf of the majority of people in this state--indeed, the majority across the nation--who recoil at the costs to personal liberty.

Our attorney general is not simply the state's "top cop," he (or she!) must also be willing to stand up to federal infringements on state sovereignty.

On that basis, I strongly endorse Pam Bondi for Florida Attorney General.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

My new Sunday t-shirt

This may become a staple of ye olde weekend wardrobe around this little corner of heaven if the guys up in Gainesville don't get their act together!!



Saturday, October 16, 2010

One day of blog silence for Dad on his birthday

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Time's up on that tax extension!

A reminder to ye socks who filed for an extension on your personal federal income tax returns:

Time to pay the piper!

After all, we have stimulus plans to pay for and bail-outs to cover.

And, if that ticks you off, remember in November!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Still learning to zip my lip

But, I think I'm making progress.

Still, it's sometimes difficult to decide when you can make a difference by speaking-out, and when you should just keep your mouth shut.

This morning, a discussion about Martin Luther really offended my sensibilities.

Ten years or so ago, I'm sure my reaction would have been different. Today, though, I managed to remain silent.

It wasn't easy.

In fact, it was a struggle.

But, now I'm glad discretion won out.

Sometimes speaking truth (even if it's only your own), isn't necessarily productive. Besides, truth has a tendancy of revealing itself in much more profound ways than yours truly could ever articulate.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I can have this cake and eat it, too!

Ye socks who know me well, know I'm always looking for a convenient justification for birthday cake consumption.

So, I proclaimed today my "half-birthday," since it's been six whole months since my real birthday and I have to wait another six whole months til my next one.

Thought I had that worked out real well til some smart aleck whose birthday is March 31st asked how their half-birthday should be calculated since there is no September 31st on the calendar.

I suppose one could count off 182.5 days from 3/31 and figure it out that way.

Or, better yet, claim BOTH September 30th AND October 1st!

But, quit bothering me about such things. I'm trying to eat some cake over here!!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Retain Justice Polston

Ok, I promise this will be the last post on merit retention this election cycle!

But, Justice Ricky Polston of the Florida Supreme Court is worthy of retention.

Though technically born across the state line in Alabama (ick!), he grew up on a small family farm here in Florida.

As a young man, he earned a degree in accounting from that institution that shall never be named in this blog. He later went back to the same place (a glutton for punishment?!) to earn a law degree.

As an attorney, he defended the state against suits filed to ban the "Choose Life" license plates ye socks may have seen on vehicles cruising around this little corner of heaven.

He has also publicly defended the state's school voucher program.

Privately, he and his wife raised four children before adopting six more from the state's foster care program.

He brings a lot to the bench.

Vote YES to retain Polston.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Columbus Day . . . well, sort of . . .

It's kinda hard to get into the spirit of this holiday anyway.

It's even harder when you know that the REAL Columbus Day is October 12th (tomorrow).

But, I guess it's more convenient for all the bankers and federal government workers when holidays fall on a Monday or a Friday.

If the rest of us schlubs--at least those of us lucky enough to have jobs any more--still have to show up to work today, I think it would be nice for all those bankers and bureaucrats to deliver us some Italian food for lunch or something . . .

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nothing but plant food, I assure you

As further evidence of his lack of knowledge on the subject of numerology, yours truly submits the confused look he gave the clerk at Publix this morning when she told him to "enjoy your 10-10-10."

After all, I don't recall EVER buying fertilizer in my grocery store.

At least not intentionally.

Then it dawned on me she was referring to the date on today's calendar, as if it held some special significance.

In subsequent conversations with several folks during the course of the day, I have been told that it's supposed to be lucky and that a bunch of people have been planning momentous occasions to occur today. (Weddings, birth inducements, etc.)

Seems kinda ridiculous to me . . . especially since 11-11-11 is basically around the corner!

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Gators fail to rebound

Did any of ye socks notice last Saturday how yours truly posted some boring endorsement for a state supreme court merit retention instead of commenting on his beloved Gators?

Well, there was a reason for that.

I mean, I had a sinking feeling for several days leading up to the big match-up against Alabama.

That's right, I'll admit it retroactively. I kinda knew they were going to clean our clocks.

But, I had high hopes of a rebound this week against LSU.

Even in the sports world, the whole hopey changey thing ain't working out very well . . .

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Friday, October 08, 2010

Elect Greg Reynolds in State House District 36

The revolving door of candidates at our regular Friday breakfast roundtable ushered-in Greg Reynolds this morning.

Reynolds is seeking to unseat the incumbent Scott Randolph in Florida's state house district #36, which encompasses downtown Orlando and many points north (including College Park).

Randolph, it would appear, is only half-heartedly holding on to his seat in the legislature. He indicated his willingness to leave Tallahassee to complete Mildred Fernandez's term on the Orange County Commission earlier this year, but that idea went over like a lead balloon.

Reynolds, on the other hand, actually wants the seat. This is probably why he is being endorsed by folks on both sides of the political aisle, including both of our beautiful city's former mayors: Glenda Hood (a Republican) and Bill Frederick (a Democrat).

Given the opportunity to speak with Reynolds over coffee this morning, I found him to be very up-to-date on the issues facing both our district and state. As a member of the majority party in the legislature, his ideas for handling those issues would receive much more attention than anything Mr. Randolph might propose.

It doesn't hurt that Reynolds is also a sixth generation Floridian.

If you live in the 36th district, I encourage you to cast your ballot for Greg Reynolds as your next state representative.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Retain the Chief

Florida's state supreme court is led by Chief Justice Charles T. Canady, who is up for a merit retention vote this year.

Canady is a native Floridian who earned a law degree from Yale University.

He returned to this little corner of heaven to establish his law practice and quickly entered the political arena . . . as a Democrat, no less.

Unfortunately, as many conservative Democrats would eventually discover, the national party left him a long time before he felt compelled to switch his registration.

He ran for U.S. Congress as a Republican in 1992, and won narrowly. In DC, he distinguished himself as a leading opponent of partial-birth abortions.

After a self-imposed term limit, Canady returned to Florida and served as general counsel to Governor Jeb Bush for a time before accepting a judicial appointment.

He was named Chief Justice by our current illustrious governor in 2008, but don't hold that against him. He deserves retention.

Vot YES to retain Chief Justice Charles T. Canady on the November ballot.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Pioneer Days general planning session

As a reminder, Pine Castle Pioneer Days holds its general planning session on the first Wednesday of every month.

So, yep, it's that time again!

If you want to get involved in planning the next festival, show up at 3pm today at Belle Isle City Hall (1600 Nela Avenue).

Or, you can visit the festival website at:

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Exercise your discretion in considering Labarga

Justice Jorge Labarga is another candidate for the state supreme court that our illustrious governor placed on the bench ahead of more qualified jurists.

In fact, he helped him pad his resume during the process by appointing him to a seat on the 4th District Court of Appeal . . . where he served for ONE WHOLE DAY!

Labarga may be better remembered for his role in the disputed 2000 presidential election when, as a Palm Beach County judge he rejected the idea of a re-vote down there.

But attorneys who had to defend their clients against criminal charges in his courtroom remember him better for being overly anxious to crank thru his cases. Speed trumped justice in Labarga's courtroom.

A case in point was the first degree murder charge against one Mark Barrow. Despite requests to the contrary, Labarga would not allow the jury access to transcripts of testimony during their deliberations. Re-reads take too much time, he explained.

It is true the question of re-reads are completely up to the discretion of each judge. But, an appeals court subsequently slammed Labarga for proclaiming a blanket policy in lieu of actually exercising the discretion on a case-by-case basis.

Did I mention said slam was issued by the same 4th DCA on which Labarga had served for that very lengthy term of JUST ONE DAY?!

Since making the move up to Tallahassee, Justice Labarga has further distinguished himself by siding with the previously profiled Justice Perry to throw judicial roadblocks in the way of those trying to exempt Florida from ObamaCare.

Yeah, this guy is a real winner. Not.

Vote NO on retaining Labarga.

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Monday, October 04, 2010

Dump Judge Perry

One of the first things Governor Charlie Crist did last year after literally embracing The ObamaNation's agenda at a pro-stimulus rally was to appoint a Democrat to the state supreme court.

Said Democrat is James Perry, who lives in nearby Longwood but is a native of North Carolina and passed the bar in neighboring Georgia before moving to this little corner of heaven.

Perry was suggested to Crist as a candidate for the high court by the Orlando NAACP.

Since taking his seat on the bench up in Tallahassee, Justice Perry has distinguished himself by throwing judicial roadblocks in the way of ongoing efforts to exempt Florida from ObamaCare.

Way to go, Charlie!

The bad news is, while we know Crist is leaving Tallahassee in January, in this case the results of his maladministration will linger unless the voters of the state VOTE NO on the question of Perry's merit retention.

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Vote Yes on 8!

In all the recent excitement about circuit court judge retention, it seems yours truly overlooked one of the state constitutional amendments that will appear on the November ballot in this little corner of heaven.

Amendment 8 seeks to eliminate the hard caps on class sizes that were imposed on our public schools this year.

The proponents of the caps had a noble intent of improving teacher-to-student ratios. But, as is so often the case, good intentions have led us down a road to . . . well, you know.

No one likes these caps. Students are being denied elective courses. Teachers are being shuffled like so many cards in a deck. Administrators can't balance their budgets for this new house of cards. And, property owners are being asked to pay more taxes to make up the deficits for all of this.

Even the two major candidates running to become our next governor agree on this one.

The hard caps are bad.

Vote YES ON 8 to get rid of them. Give educators the flexibility to structure their classrooms to best serve our children. And, give taxpayers a break in the process.

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Retain Judge Torpy . . . while you still can

Yet another judge ye socks in this little corner of heaven shall be asked to consider for merit retention on the November ballot is Vincent Torpy.

Judge Torpy is a graduate of the University of Central Florida. Though he earned his law degree from another institution which shall forever go nameless in this blog, he worked as a police officer and established a law practice over in Brevard County. Before he was elevated to the bench, he returned to UCF as an adjunct law professor. So, he knows a little something about law and order.

Torpy's name was recently on the short list of candidates our illustrious governor was asked to consider for nomination to the Florida Supreme Court. Unfortunately, as is his way, he decided to go in another direction.

It is likely Governor Q-Tip's successor (whoever that may be!) won't make that mistake. In the mean time, vote yes to retain Judge Vincent Torpy on our 5th District Court of Appeals.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Retain Monaco

In the ongoing effort to weed thru the records of the judges currently sitting on the 5th District Court of Appeals, yours truly can see no reason not to retain Chief Judge David A. Monaco.

The Delaware native earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt and is a Gator law school grad. He is also a Navy veteran.

I admire his tough sentencing in one case I discovered, involving an horrific case of domestic violence. He threw the book at the perp, giving him MORE than the 25 year maximum because he was an habitual offender.

Judges like Monaco keep creeps off the street. He merits retention.

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