Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

For Doing Absolutely Nothing I Won A $50K Car, Trips, & More! Or Did I?

Enter To Win, Just Ahead Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Sky, Clouds and Sunburst.The other day at our house someone named Alex representing “The Notification Center” called and left a message saying that he had “excellent news” for me.


On the recording he said I “had been selected in an official contest – that I or someone else may have entered in my name” – and I had won either a “$50,000 home makeover or $25,000 in cash” but I needed to call 888-207-3176, extension 224 and ask for Alex to claim my winnings.


With visions of a backyard swimming pool and a round-the-world trip dancing in my head, I excitedly did as I was instructed and called the number but was connected to a lady named Lauren, not Alex. She informed me that my name was “pulled” and I had indeed “made the final round and could win either a new vehicle worth $50,000, $25,000 in cash, or a $25,000 shopping spree.” She volunteered that she wasn’t selling anything – not “time shares or travel club memberships.” The home makeover that Alex told me about in his message wasn’t mentioned, and not wanting to appear greedy I didn’t bring it up.


But the goodies were piling up. Lauren added that since I was married, not over the age of 75 and because she was confident that I could pay the taxes on all my loot, that I had also raked in a $100 dinner card, a round trip airfare for two anywhere we wanted to go or a cruise on one of a selection of cruise lines to a variety of locations. To pick up all these goodies my wife and I merely had to travel to 9454 Phillips Highway, Suite #1, 32256 in Jacksonville on Wednesday or Thursday at 3 or 7 pm, fill out a survey, and take a look at something called “Direct Buy Warehouse,” to see all the other stuff we could pick up if we were shopping spree winners. The whole thing wouldn’t take more than 1-1½ hours of our time she said.


Lauren said I wasn’t under any obligation and while there I would pick up a key to see if it was the one that unlocked a box holding the really big prizes. She said I had “a really good chance of winning” and gave me the claim number of ECM1985 and her cell phone number 315/623-0796 telling me, when I asked, that she was in Constantia, NY.


“Darn,” I said, “as excited as I am about all this,” I told Lauren that I was unable to make it since I practice my trick sleeping technique on those days and sadly hung up the phone. However, I’m sure that anyone reading this can take my place next week or later by giving Lauren a call and you’re welcome to use my claim number. If she answers the phone I bet you’re a winner, and the least you can do is buy me a cold beer for steering you toward this bonanza. Good luck.


Facebook Fix: Facebook should dedicate a separate section to those folks who obsessively post photos of their kids, grandkids and pets, particularly cats, as I am sure there might be people out there who actually want to look at them, but I’m not one of them, as they remind me of my corporate traveling days when I would get stuck sitting next to a granny from Peoria, who just happened to have several family photo albums stashed in her carry-on that she insisted I look through with her, making those instances one of the only times I ever pushed the “call” button to request what were then called “stewardesses” for assistance. However, as a matter of full disclosure, I did post a photo of me and grandson Luke a few weeks ago, but that was an exception because Luke is a really cool kid.


“Shut Up!” He Explained: In a recent speech in Minneapolis President Obama said if everybody would just shut up and do what he says, everything would work out just fine. Well, he didn’t say it in those exact words, but couched it saying “Republicans don’t do anything, except block me and call me names. If they were more interested in growing the economy for you and the issues that you are talking about instead of trying to mess with me, we would be doing a lot better.”

Oh, and while the President was in Minneapolis for the speech and another fundraiser, he took time to have a cheeseburger with a local citizen as part of a new White House program to “empathize” with average folks, a item that the Democratic Party propaganda arm National Public Radio (NPR) deemed to be so newsworthy it was the lead story on its hourly news report recently despite Iraq crumbling, the IRS hearings, the VA mess, the Southern border fiasco, the Supreme Court ruling 9-0 against him on recess appointments, the worst economic news in six years, and so on.

Instead of jumping on the Jimmy Carter “woe is me” train this president needs to take a closer look at the polls that show most Americans don’t like his policies, don’t see him as honest and don’t believe he can lead effectively. The New York Post’s Michael Goodwin summed it up best when he said it isn’t just Republicans who can see “we’re long past the point where the wheels come off, or even the moment where the car ends up in the ditch. Something approaching a national crack-up now appears inevitable. Recent events suggest it is coming sooner rather than later.”


Thinking Out Loud: The Atlanta Braves cut loose second baseman Dan Uggla but still have to pay him $19 million on his guaranteed contract. What’s up with that? If I’m forced to pay you $19 million you don’t go home and sit in a Lazy Boy. You sell hot dogs and programs at the stadium, mow the grass, line the field, paint my house, wash my car, etc. I’m not sure which is the biggest waste of money, Uggla, who wears a baseball uniform and can no longer play the game or Hillary Clinton, who gets $14 million for a book she didn’t write and nobody wants to read? *** The term “Mayday” a distress call for ships and airplanes in trouble comes from the French “M’aidez”, which means “help me” and is pronounced “mayday.” *** The third restaurant that goes into a space is usually the one that succeeds, says business consultant Jeff Furman. *** I’ve never paid attention but the next time I’m on the beach or at Sandy Bottoms I’ll count them as I recently read a book where wave watcher Annette Archer says every seventh wave is a big one. *** A national comedian whose name I can’t recall says Barack Obama won because he ran against John McCain and Mitt Romney and had he run unopposed he would have lost. *** AmeliaIsland resident and not the governor, Rick Scott, reminded me thatAl Sharpton says he’s a reverend, and an ordained minister but he’s never heard him talk about God or religion. Me either. *** Did you know that Florida is the number one tourist destination in the world? Not just in the US or the Western Hemisphere, but the entire world, according to author Lynn Waddell in her book “Fringe Florida.” More than 87 million folks visit here each year, not counting the 19 million residents who annually wander the state on vacation she says.*** Chelsea Clinton is making speeches that go into the Clinton Foundation coffers and is commanding, as The NY Times’ Amy Chozick reported, up to $75,000 per appearance. Chozick wrote: “Ms. Clinton’s speeches focus on causes like eradicating waterborne diseases. (‘I’m obsessed with diarrhea’ is a favorite line.’)” *** How many times have you received a Facebook message requesting you watch a video that says: “This will leave you amazed; you won’t believe what you see; you’ll be shocked; the audience was astounded; etc., etc. etc.? I skip these as fast as they arrive and the only things I’m amazed about is that folks I thought were relatively bright keep posting this crap. *** In case you’ve been wondering, women’s cole slaw wrestling got its start in 1985 during Daytona Beach’s Bike Week.


Have They Gone Mad Department: Despite the fact that he settled out of court with families that accused him of pedophilia; that his sister Tonya said he was a pedophile and his overall strangeness, the Gary Indiana Community School Board has agreed to name a school after the late entertainer Michael Jackson. That’s comparable to the University of Florida naming the Women’s Study Department after Ted Bundy.


How Would We Handle Busloads of Illegal Aliens? What would the City of Fernandina Beach and Nassau County do if busloads of illegal alien children from El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, etc. were suddenly dumped here unexpectedly and we were told to feed, house, educate and care for them? Sound preposterous? Well, it isn’t because it’s happening all around the country as the Obama administration is dumping – without any advance warning – thousands of these illegal aliens coming across the Mexican border on unsuspecting communities across the country whose services are already strained to the breaking point. Lynn, Massachusetts is one of many examples. Lynn, a blue collar industrial town about 10 miles North of Boston, was recently invaded by hundreds of illegal alien children and their families and are stressing every service the municipality offers from schools to trash collection and the feds aren’t contributing a dime, it’s all on the local tax payer. And many of these illegals aren’t kids but adults, some 20 years of age and older and none of them speak a word of English. How would we react if 400 or so of these folks were suddenly dropped off courtesy of President Obama onto Amelia Island? We’re not heartless people but it is obvious that our county and city budget would be overwhelmed in order to accommodate the flow. The best thing that can happen is for the feds to turn them around at the border and transport them back to their home countries, showing the populations there that they have no right to come here illegally and they will be sent back. Otherwise we turn the buses back at Shave Bridge or figure out how to accommodate a very unfortunate situation.


Things I Wish I’d Said: “Television enables you to be entertained in your home by people you wouldn’t have in your home.” – David Frost.


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: A number of folks have encouraged me to try Ahan Thai, a restaurant which opened in mid-June at 474360 East SR 200 (A1A) just past Old Nassauville Road replacing a Thai eatery in the same location. All those who have tried it tell me it is excellent and offers a variety of very tasty traditional Thai foods as well as a selection of beers, and wine. Call ‘em at 904/321-0255. The “Bucketz” empty as I’ve heard that the oyster bar by that name just West of the Shave Bridge has already closed and the site turned over to some folks from Jacksonville whose plans have yet to be revealed. My occasional luncheon companion Cal Atwood tells me that according to TV Guide the Shrimp Festival’s Gumbo Shack, sponsored annually by the Amelia Island Museum of History, will be featured on the Food Networks’ new series “Eating America” August 4 at 9 pm including an interview by gumbo recipe creator and cook Stuart Davis. The only problem being that the gumbo isn’t available but once a year at the Shrimp Fest unless folks are keeping something from me. Zach Raszkin, who headed up the kitchen at Gourmet Gourmet, has moved downtown and now keeps his fans’ appetites satisfied at Le Clos that romantic and cozy French restaurant at 20 South 2nd Street. Call ‘em at 904/261-8100. Speaking of Zach, his dad Steve, of Wines by Steve tells me that Zach’s specialty meatballs are selling faster than $2.00 bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1945 at his spacious new location in Palmetto Walk , 5174 First Coast Highway which features a wine tasting this evening and every Friday beginning at 5 pm. This evening is the new location’s official ribbon cutting starting at 4:30 with tasting after. Call ‘em at 904/5571506. Speaking of Gourmet Gourmet, its new Executive Chef James Edwards will conduct a $50 person special wine pairing meal Wednesday, July 30 that features a first course of snow crab cocktail with a citrus beurre blanc dipping sauce paired with a Valdo Prosecco; a second course of chevre, walnut and pear salad with a special homemade citrus vinaigrette dressing, all paired with Dry Creek Chenin Blanc; and for the main course a surf and turf, with local grouper pan seared sitting atop a petite filet in a red wine demi glace, served with whipped potatoes and a garden vegetable medley, along with Bele Glos “Dairyman” Pionot Noir; and for dessert a Creme Brulee with Bouchaine Bouche D’Or. Sommelier Liz Bundy, of Transatlantic Wine and Spirit, selected the pairings and will be on hand to pour the four ounce servings and explain why they were paired to each course. At $50 a person this will sell out fast so call 904/261-8973 for your reservation as soon as you finish reading this if you want a seat. Saturday, August 16 from noon – 9 pm the dunes will be alive with the sound of tunes, at Main Beach when the Dunes & Tunes Arts & Music Festival event takes place with a varied mix of musical groups (beginning at 3 pm) all day and evening and events including a sand sculpting contest (beginning at noon), all sponsored by Sweetwater Brewing and Budweiser, so there will be plenty of cold beers taps open (beginning at 3 pm). The music consists of an eclectic mix of rock, funk, jazz, reggae and blues, hip hop, and something called “island-infused drum n’ bass gospel ninja soul.”

  • Comment (6)
  • Hey Dave,
    Maybe you have brought this up but I thought I might comment on the Not so Great Tailgate Cookoff this year. For many residents, the shrimp festival or possibly the blues festival is the highlight of the year for them but for my wife and I, as well I’m sure many others, the cookoff has always been our go-to event of the year.
    At first glance one my suspect the new $5 admission charge would be my complant but to be honest, we would havegladly paid $10 for the entertainment we have enjoyed the past couple of years.
    In past years, it has been a great mix of local and regional bands(Where is Jimmy Parrish?) culminating with a well-known, over-the hill, previous nationally known band such as Little River Band or the lead singer for Boston. Yes, they were slightly worn but put on a good performance and brought back great memories.
    This year, they still have a local and regional flavor but close Friday with The Swingin Medallions whom I know are popular but they play every year at the Shrimp
    Festival. A little more work and imagination please. Rocket-Fly, who has always been a crowd favorite and certainly a closing act, have been delegated to 10:45 Saturday morning and then the day ends with a band named the Bama Gamblers who might very well be good but not quite The Little River Band. Plus, it ends at 4:45 rather then the nice 7P-9P concert we used to enjoy. I guess change is constant. Just sometimes, I wish it were for the better.

  • Entertaining as always my friend! Your Lynn Mass. story peaked my interest as something that possibly happen here, so I did some reading. I thought you might find this interesting. I did!

    “In Massachusetts, Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy said the new students have been entering her city’s school system in large numbers for at least two years — 65 from Guatemala in 2012 and another 130 last year — and stretch district resources because they require special attention to address their limited education and English.

    “I don’t want to give the impression that we in Lynn are anti-immigrant,” the mayor said in an interview. “This is strictly an issue of economics. … Our budget and our community are going to implode.”

    She also has suggested that some of the students look older than they say and shouldn’t be allowed in the public school system, a charge that has drawn national media attention to the city of over 90,000 residents.

    The claims are baseless, said immigrant advocates, dozens of whom rallied Tuesday in front of Lynn City Hall to denounce the administration.

    The mayor continues to point to an “isolated incident” to support claims that many of the new students are older than their records suggest, said Juan Gonzalez, a local Guatemalan community leader and pastor. “They’re still talking about these two kids from two years ago,” he said.

    Lynn Public Schools Superintendent Catherine Latham promised to provide proof of the apparently overage students last week, but then declined Monday on advice of legal counsel.

    Kennedy maintained the issue is still prevalent, even as she acknowledged she’s never seen the students in question firsthand.

    “This is very much a real problem for me as it is for the people in the border states,” said Kennedy.

    Immigrant advocates, though, complain the mayor has been more interested in finding a scapegoat for the city’s budget challenges than real solutions to the district’s growing student population, which also includes resettled refugees and immigrants from other continents.

    “These are the sorts of rumors and fear-mongering that, unfortunately, happen up here,” said Jay McManus, director of the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts. “These kids don’t have anybody defending them. It’s a cheap way to score political points.”

    Lynn high school students also disputed the mayor’s assertions. They said the new arrivals are largely isolated from the rest of the school body and, occasionally, subject to teasing.

    Lorena Lopez, an 18-year-old junior at Lynn English High School, said she drew on experience to help some of them adjust. Lopez herself crossed the border without her family almost four years ago and has reunited with her mother, an immigrant who has been living for years in Massachusetts illegally.

    “The first day in school, I was scared. I didn’t speak any English. The teacher spoke to me and I didn’t understand anything,” Lopez said recently. “It’s a barrier. But it’s not something that can stop you from achieving what you want.”

    Besides Lynn, immigrant advocates in New Bedford in southern Massachusetts and Chelsea, another Boston-area city, have reported a steady stream of school-age immigrants from Central America. Precise figures were unavailable, but federal authorities say 773 — the majority from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — had been discharged to family, friends or sponsors in Massachusetts as of June 30.

    Gov. Deval Patrick has offered two possible sites to house young people after they are caught crossing the border illegally.

    Those children are supposed to remain in holding facilities while they are being processed for deportation, reunification with family or asylum under federal law. But they can also be placed with family or other sponsors elsewhere in the country, pending the outcome of their immigration proceedings.”

  • “How Would We Handle Busloads of Illegal Aliens”
    President has violated his oath of office by allowing this and Congress in ignoring their duties by not impeaching him. It is still unlawful to aid, in any way, illegal immigrants. Go after the people who house them, or provide services for them.


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