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The Specktator

Public Nuisance

I’m pissed. And it’s not like it’s one thing that has me miffed.

As much as I love Jacksonville, there are so many things that irritate me about the city—and my fellow residents, such as...

1. City streets that change names. My personal favorite is in San Marco where Gulf Life Drive becomes Riverplace Boulevard, changes back to Gulf Life for a block or two, reverts to Riverplace, before turning into Hendricks Avenue which becomes San Jose Boulevard.

2. The misprounciation of "jaguar." The preferred pronunciation, assuming you trust, is "ja-ˌgwär." For those of you not up on diacritical marks, you can listen to the audio pronunciation on their website. Granted, there are other "acceptable" pronunciations—"jag-gyə-ˌwär" and "jag-gwər," but "jag-wire" and "jag-u-wire" are not two of them. 

3. Not knowing how to merge into traffic. I know this isn't specific to Jacksonville, but it's such a common—not to mention, dangerous—aspect of driving in this city that it bears mentioning. (I would, however, like to give a special shout out to the 1-95 North and South/Fuller Warren Bridge area for being a complete nightmare for merging ... and changing lanes ... and not accidentally ending up at the airport.) Instead of griping any further, I will simply encourage you to watch the video "How to Merge Into Traffic."

4. Adding an "s" to names and places where it doesn't belong. Case in point: Lanes Avenue, Wonderwoods Drive, Scott Mills Road or Dunns Avenue; MOJOS, TacoLus or Tavernas. And while we're on the subject, for the love of sibilance, stop with Walmarts, Kmarts, Barnes & Nobles and Victoria's Secrets. Sssssssso annoying.

5. The nickname "Bold New City of the South." Jacksonville gained its new moniker in 1968 when the city and county governments were consolidated. For starters, it wasn't really a "bold" decision considering …   More


First Coast Connect: Around Town Events

In case you missed my ramblings on First Coast Connect this morning (or for events I didn't get to because other people were too chatty), here’s what’s coming up this weekend and beyond—Around Town!

July 11

Craig Morgan, 7 p.m., Mavericks at the Landing

Fusebox Funk, 9 p.m., 1904 Music Hall

July 11-14

Jacksonville Suns, Baseball Grounds

Check out some of the Suns' kooky upcoming promo events. 

July 12

JumpingFish benefit concert with Tom McDermott, 8 p.m., Church of the Good Shepherd

July 12-13

Drew Carey, Comedy Zone

July 12-August 3

"Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson," Players by the Sea


Just announced: Backstreet Boys at the Veterans Memorial Arena, August 26. Tickets go on sale July 12. That's tomorrow, ladies!

Happy 47th birthday to Tonca, the Museum of Science and History's alligator snapping turtle. MOSH hosts a birthday party 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Yours truly rocks the mic on WJCT's First Coast Connect every Thursday around 9:45 a.m. Tune in. Look out.   More


Movember 2013

Ten years ago, 30 Australian friends decided to do something to raise awareness and funding for men's health issues, including testicular cancer, prostate cancer and mental illness. Their bright idea was to start November clean shaven and grow (or attempt to) a moustache (or reasonable fascimile thereof) for 30 days. Serving as walking billboards to promote the cause, they would also raise money in the process.

Today, Movember has more than 1.1 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, their female supporters, around the world, including a local chapter ( To help promote the cause locally, as well as recognize some of the city's most famous moustaches, I am officially announcing the Jacksonville Moustache Hall of Fame. From athletes and attorneys to politicians and a pussy cat, they wear their lip sweaters proudly—and most likely, without even realizing it—supporting the Movember cause year-round, while encouraging others to do the same.

To see the inaugural class of the Jacksonville Moustache Hall of Fame, click on the photo gallery above. And if I missed anyone, let me know if the comments section below.

As for me, I would love to support the Movember cause by growing a moustache of my own but am unable to do so (thanks to the invention of electrolysis). Instead, I have decided not to shave my legs for the entire month of November. I don't think my cats will mind.   More

The Specktator

On the Tweet Beat: Aaron Bean

It's time for another edition of "Tweet Beat." Like a sworn officer of the law, I will patrol the Twitterverse protecting and serving the Tweeters, their followers and the community at large. On today's docket is State Senator Aaron Bean.

• In his Twitter profile (@AaronPBean), he describes himself as: "Senator for Senate District 4, which includes Duval and Nassau Counties. Husband, Father of 3 Sons." Say what you want about him, but Bean is no long-winded politician: He has 41 characters remaining in his profile description.

• Bean currently has 560 Twitter followers, more than twice the number of his District 9 colleague, Senator Audrey Gibson but 17,549,765 fewer than Kim Kardashian.

• He’s following 99 accounts including Gov. Rick Scott, John Thrasher, John Boehner, Jeb Bush, Karl Rove and CNN. His first follow was Florida Senator Rob Bradley.

• According to his Twitter timeline, Bean's first post was May 19, 2011 and referenced his visit to the TIger Academy Charter School.

• Since then, he has posted 164 times, which, according to my calculations, is once every 4.17 days.

• The majority of Bean's Tweets were posted during his senatorial campaign. So basically, his feed is an exhaustive list the annoucements of his supporters including Florida CFO Jeff Atwater, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Nassau County Tax Collector, Florida Retail Association and "Jaguars legend" (and fast food impresario/St. Vincent's Medical Center pitchman) Tony Boselli. 

• Unlike certain other Florida politicians (I'm talking to you, Gov. Rick Scott), Bean's Twitter account is pretty non-controversial—other than the fact that he follows me. 

• I do have one piece of advice for the senator, though: With all do respect, change your header photo to include the entire American flag, not just the stripes. Unless, of course, you want people to think you're standing in front of the flag of Malaysia …   More


Logos a Go-Go ... and a No-No

Clearly, the national media is never, ever, never, ever going to give the Jacksonville Jaguars a break. It’s bad enough the team suffers 24/7 criticism of the coach, players, draft choices, management and fans, but now their uniforms have become the object of national ridicule. recently named the Jags uni the worst—not only in the NFL but also MLB, NBA and NHL.

While I disagree with rankings (the St. Louis Cardinals are the best?), the article did get me thinking about the city’s other sports teams and how their team logos stack up against each other.

That said, I sought out more than 50 people, ranging from graphic designers to lawyers to reality TV junkies who don’t know the difference between a touchdown and a homerun, to participate in a highly unscientific poll ranking the logos of the Axemen, Breeze, Giants, Roller Girls, Sharks and Suns, as well as FSCJ,’s JU’s and UNF’s athletic teams. Which logo was the clear winner and one that participants would be proud to wear and which one begged the question: “Did Stevie Wonder design this?” 

Check the photo gallery above for the winners, losers and comments from the peanut gallery.



Working '9 to 15'

A local grassroots organization hopes to increase the number of women on the Jacksonville City Council in 2015 when nine seats open because of term limits. PBS NewsHour co-anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff introduced the initiative called “9 to 15” at WJCT Studios earlier this month.

According to an article on, Woodruff said many women don’t choose to run because no one asks them or encourages them to run. I immediately thought of Audrey Moran, Nancy Soderberg and Deborah Gianoulis as contenders, but, as I am wont to do, I also came up with some not-so-obvious candidates to run as part of the Outside the Box Party (don’t worry, folks, I will not be throwing my ballcap into the ring). 

1. Ashley Greene: Granted, she's a big Hollywood star now, but the actress best known for playing Alice Cullen is a Jacksonville native, and by 2015 may be ready to pull an Arnold Schwarzenegger and run for political office. Her experience battling with vampires and werewolves, albeit fictional ones, more than qualifies her to handle unruly council members.

2. @kristinbcb: As the first female member of the Bold City Brigade, she has proven she can go toe-to-toe with the guys and, as a rabid Jaguars supporter, she has tenacity, loyalty and vision. And based on her Twitter post, she's not afraid to drop an "F" bomb which would make the minutes far more interesting to read.

3. The Dancing Lady in 5 Points: Few know her name but anyone who travels through 5 Points at lunchtime knows her moves. Kind of like a sign spinner without a sign, she promotes Larry's Giant Subs by getting her groove on with enough enthusiasm and sheer joy, she could make the most curmudgeonly member (you know who you are) crack a smile. Not to mention, she knows a thing or two about hams and turkeys. 

4. Rep. Corrine Brown: Of course, she would never step down from her fat paycheck and geting to hang with President Obama on Air …   More


Quarterback Options

As much as I am thrilled Tim Tebow has been signed by the New England Patriots (I like the kid; sue me), I'm slightly disappointed he's employed.

Since his departure from the New York Jets, I have been compiling a list of careers he could pursue that have nothing to do with his abilities on the football field—or lack thereof, depending on which side of the white picket fence you're on. At the rate he's going, though (playing for three different teams in four years), he may want to keep these suggestions in close proximity to his vision board.

Aside from Tebow's obvious options as motivational speaker and ESPN mascot, he has so many talents and interests that the job market is as broad as his sweat-glistening chest.

Check the photo gallery above for my top 10 picks.   More


First Coast Connect: Around Town Events

In case you missed my ramblings on First Coast Connect on WJCT this morning, here’s what’s coming up this weekend and beyond—Around Town!

Thursday, August 29

Fantasia, 8 p.m., Florida Theatre

Thursday, August 29

A Decade With Donna, 6 p.m., Alhambra Theatre and Dining

Thursday, August 29-Saturday, August 31

Charlie Murphy, Comedy Zone

Thursday, August 29-Saturday, August 31 and Thursday, September 5-Saturday, August 7

"As You Like it," Theatre Jacksonville

Friday, August 30

Duval Mic Skillz Freestyle Battle, 9 p.m., Burro Bar 

Saturday, August 31

Red, White and Brew Tasting, 4 p.m., W90+, Jacksonville Beach

Saturday, August 31

Big Country, 7 p.m., Brewster's Roc Bar

Sunday, September 1

Rounds at the Grounds, 5 p.m., Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville

Wednesday, September 4

World Premiere of One Spark Documentary, 7:45 p.m., Hemming Plaza 


Eat Up Downtown has been extended through Sunday, September 1 offering $15, $25 and $35 menus at 13 Downtown restaurants. 

And it's the final week to vote in the ASPCA Rachael Ray 100K Challenge. Forty-nine shelters, including the Jacksonville Humane Society, are participating. To vote, visit the 100K Challenge Facebook page.

Yours truly rocks the mic on WJCT's First Coast Connect every Thursday around 9:45 a.m. Tune in. Look out.   More

The Specktator

Spring Weather Report

The first printed reference to April showers bringing May flowers dates back to 1860 in a collection songs, ballads and short poems edited by Thomas Wright: “Aprell sylver showers so sweet, Can make May flowers to sprynge.” As it turns out, April showers can bring a host of other benefits besides ushering in the arrival of calla lilies, daffodils, lilacs and peonies.

Higher aquifer levels. The Floridan aquifer provides billions of gallons of water each year to Jacksonville. The water that comes from underground aquifers, however, is limited and must be refreshed by rainfall. Of course aquifer levels could also be helped by obsessive car washers putting down their hoses (note to my neighbor: It doesn’t matter how shiny it is, it’s still a Ford Fiesta.)

Adorable footwear. Typically, the only folks seen walking around in rubber boots are firefighters, janitors and the cast of "Deadliest Catch," but just the slightest sprinkle also gives fashionistas an excuse to slip on splash boots (even the name is adorable!) decorated with polka dots, flowers or lady bugs. 

Abundance of mushrooms. Moisture disperses the spread of mushroom spores which makes them sprout and spread, which is great news for fans of the morel, portobella and cremini. Not so much for mycophobics, however.

Crime reduction. A major study conducted by the Daily Record and Standard Mail found that reported crimes decreased by nearly 25 percent on the rainest days. Violent crime, in particular, fell almost 45 percent. The report did not specify the effect of rain on splash boot pilfering.

Better fishing. When the weather is warm, rain affects the temperature on the water surface which tends to bring fish up. Anglers, especially those using top water lures, swear fishing just after a healthy rain fall is one of the best times to drop their bait.

Changes in pollen count. Allergy suffers may experience some relief with increased rain washing pollen …   More


Celebrate November

More so than most months, November has an abundance of holidays (one might even say “a cornucopia,” if one were clever enough to make the connection between the word and Thanksgiving, which just so happens to be in November).

Veterans Day is November 11, and the first day of Hanukkah falls on the 27th in 2013. November is recognized as “national awareness month” for lung cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, epilepsy, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and pancreatic cancer, as well as the month of Sadie Hawkins Day and Black Friday. And who can forget, November 30 marks the end of hurricane season. Allegedly.

What you may not know is November also boasts a number of lesser-known holidays like Name Your PC Day, World Sponge Month, National Fig Week, Fill Our Staplers Day and National Bundt Pan Day.

While I don’t typically celebrate traditional holidays, I do have an affinity for these unusual ones. So in keeping with November also being the month of Election Day, I’m putting it to the readers of "Folio Weekly" to decide what holiday I should celebrate this month. 

The candidates are (in no particular order):

1. Cookie Monster Day: I will visit as many bakeries as possible, eating nothing but cookies all day—while wearing Cookie Monster gear (don't tell Oscar).

2. International Drum (Percussion) Month: I will take a lesson from a highly-respected instructor for as long as he will tolerate my lack of rhythm and/or coordination.

3. America Recycles Day: I will police the streets of my neighborhood (Riverside/Avondale) picking up garbage and recycling what is recyclable and properly disposing of what is not recyclable, as well as cataloging my collection of trash.

4. International Aura Awareness Day:  I will travel to the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp and have my aura read—whatever that means.

5. World Toilet Day: I will work to raise awareness of the global sanitation challenge ... from my home office temporarily set up …   More