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Thursday March 16, 2006

"Klotz as in Blood"

When I started doing this blog almost a year ago, I had the idea that it would become a community affair, with a number of contributors. Steve Klotz, of course, was the first on board, and has been writing regularly here almost every week. We’ve sometimes disagreed about what constitutes “Miami-relevant” content, and I’ve often encouraged Steve to start a separate blog for some of the stuff that doesn’t fit here (then there was the case of the “dissapearing Islamic cartoon post,” but I’ll leave that for him to tell).

Well, he’s finally gotten it together, and here is ‘Klotz’ as in ‘Blood’. It looks like he’s having fun, too: five posts in the last three days. Hopefully, after Steve gets settled in at his new digs, he’ll continue to contribute here occasionally. Go Steve!

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Wednesday January 3, 2007

“I’ve lived in much better places than south Florida, and worked in many more, but I moved here 21 years ago and I’ve never been happier. While this will never be home, this is where I’m staying. I like it, in part because of all its faults. In fact, I love it.” Steve Klotz gets all sloppy all over Miami. (I meant to link this last year but for some reason it stayed in ‘draft’ mode.)

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Monday July 9, 2007

“It’s not like I’m irresponsible about sunstroke, bleeding to death, or skin cancer, though. E.g., I know now that when it’s 92 degrees with matching humidity, it’s vital to remain hydrated: drink liquids! That’s why I always take breaks every 40 minutes or so to pound a cold beer.” — Steve Klotz mows his lawn.

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Thursday March 8, 2007

“Meanwhile, Buffalo Barf hoists himself up and staggers to the men’s room to dump his fetid stew, only to return to his corner and repeat his rosaries. The horrid stench works its way through the refrigerated waiting room.” Steve Klotz visits the Memorial Hospital in Hollywood.

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Wednesday September 7, 2005

Bob Denver

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

Three vital facts you didn’t know about Bob Denver, who passed away Wednesday at the age of 70:

1.) The “G” in Maynard G. Krebs stands for “Walter.”

2.) Gilligan’s first name is “Willy.”

3.) President George W. Bush once cited Gilligan as “my role model.”

Okay, I made that last one up. Maybe.

[See all Articles by Steve]

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Thursday April 13, 2006

Let’s test this out: Steve Klotz rolls his eyes at the latest name change of what I still call ‘Joe Robbie.’

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Tuesday November 8, 2005

I met the Devil in Miami

Originally inspired by sites such as LAist.com and Metroblogging.com, Critical Miami arose from the lack a Miami-blog. These days, Miami blogs are a dime a dozen (many wondrful), yet we soldier on.

Contribute
Critical Miami is looking for contributors. We are currently getting about 40,000 page views per month. Want your work read? Submit something to our blog (your blog). You see what we post: it doesn’t have to be earth-shattering; just interesting and specific to our neck of the woods. Got something to share you loved or hated? A cool photo? A question? A suggestion for an article? Write it up and send it in.

Staff
Alesh Houdek, editor [e-mail]
Steve Klotz, contributing editor [e-mail]
Veronica Fernandes, foreign correspondent [e-mail]

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Wednesday April 19, 2006

Miami Transit and Overtown USA with some first-hand reporting and reflection on the traffic mess created during the recent closure of Biscayne Blvd. Herald on same, with a little more about the crane accident, which left one man dead and another injured (they were father and son, by the way). Update: Steve Klotz with a related traffic situation…

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Monday April 11, 2005

Critical Miami

Critical Miami is modeled on blogs like LAist.com, but it’s not run by a corporation. We’re doing it ourselves.

Your Help Needed
All of the content on this site is written by regular folks who have something they care about. Please contribute. Send e-mail with your stuff. Or send suggestions for articles. The blog will include brief items about local events, places, and ideas, with emphasis on current and actionable items.

Current meaning it’s good if there’s a reason we’re writing about something right now. Actionable means we like stuff-to-do type of articles. Short is fine (100-500 words is perfect). Digital photos that go with your text are great.

Amazing things you have seen, done, plan to do, have been pissed off or delighted by, or random thoughts, so long as they are local and current somehow.

Check the following for ideas/inspiration—>

londonist.com
gothamist.com
metroblogging.com
boingboing.net
smorgasblog.com
blogging.la
laist.com

Staff
Alesh Houdek, editor [e-mail]
Steve Klotz, contributing editor [e-mail]
Veronica Fernandes, foreign correspondent [e-mail]

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Saturday November 5, 2005

Dania Beach rocks

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

Earlier this week, angry residents in Dania Beach hurled bottles, eggs, and rocks at crews repairing downed power lines. An FPL Field Apologist called to the scene remarked, “Seems an odd way to expedite repair service. These people just went bat shit. Maybe we should let ‘em sit in their caves like the Australopithians they are.”

One resident, asked why he was stoning repair crews, reportedly said, “Can’t reach Juno Beach from here;” apparently a reference to FPL’s corporate offices.

Yesterday, City Manager Ivan Pato said he would withhold Dania Beach’s payment of close to $50,000 to FPL as a symbolic gesture. “Forty percent of this city is still without power,” he fumed. And all through south Florida, stories about poor repairs, unanswered requests for inspections, and complete disregard for customer concerns by FPL are piling up.

This would be a wonderful stick for a political candidate to use to beat the drum of his own campaign. FPL has been buttfucking Florida customers for years, protected by a paid-off legislature and a nauseatingly greedy board of directors, hiding behind fabricated press releases making excuses (Avian obesity? Pole Canker?); writing lines, not repairing them.

Contact your congresscritter and demand action.

[See all Articles by Steve]

Update: FPL is going to try to charge us for power we didn’t get.

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Tuesday September 13, 2005

Useless Air, at your surface

[Posting has been slow lately due to various medical and circumstantial reasons. Meanwhile, please accept this latest rant by Steve Klotz, who might consider sharing what this has to do with Miami.]

You gotta fly from Miami to Philadelphia. You just do, okay? So you visit USAir.com to see your options. You figure, a quick look at a city’s major carrier is a good place to start. Right?

You fool.

Key in the days and preferred times of your departure and return, then press Enter. A lovely selection of flights appears (in no discernible order), complete with time of departure and return, number of stops (if any), and that ever-useful code that tells you what kind of aircraft. Incredibly, what does not appear is the flight number and the ticket price. You can obtain this valuable information (and more) by clicking on a little Information icon. But if there are 25 flight options, you’ll need to do this 25 times.

Soooo, go back to the home page and specify that you want to inquire by price. Re-enter your cities of departure and return, and your choice of dates. Again, you get a list by price…...but—deja vu!—you do NOT get flight numbers or times! You can open the next screen and get this information one flight at a time, as before.

This is so broken. Who designed this? Albanians? FEMA? Screw this crap. USAir has been a Mickey Mouse operation for decades, ever since they changed their name from Allegheny Airlines (the mountain range into which they were fond of crashing their passenger jets). Over the years I’ve fought with these sour bastards over missing luggage, misprinted tickets, late arrivals, slow service, food poisoning, articles stolen from baggage, and more. Their flight attendants and service personnel are the nastiest, least helpful, and overtly hostile to passengers since Air Uganda staffed its craft with cannibals. In fact, years before 911, I sent them a note complaining that “On USAir, the terrorists are the stewardesses” (they did not respond). Who’s surprised they can’t operate their own goddam website?

So next time I try CheapFlights.com, and ironically, the best flight is USAir. Reluctantly, I book it, then just for shits and giggles I go to USAir.com and look for the flight. Glory Oskie, It’s not there! I send an e-mail on their own cumbersome pain-in-the-ass response form (which comes back undeliverable the first two times), asking USAir how I can confirm the flight, seats, receipt, print a boarding pass, etc. when the flight doesn’t come up on their own website. Six days later I get an inadequate response packed with apologies but short on data. (I was told my seat assignment was a strapado in the aircraft’s underbelly, along with the non-perishable baggage.) And they won’t give me a receipt. They don’t address the issue of the flight not appearing on their own website.
USAir has filed for bankruptcy twice and is not expected to survive a third. Meanwhile, Air Uganda is doing fine. If you fly, request the vegetarian meal (aui@airugandaintl.com).

[See all Articles by Steve]

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Monday November 7, 2005

Aaaarrrgh!

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

“A cruise ship owned by a Miami-based Carnival subsidiary was attacked by pirates off the coast of Africa.” Miami Herald, Sunday

No, they didn’t have scabbards, parrots, and peg legs, although they might as well have. This was not your father’s pirate ship. They had machine guns and rocket-grenades, and they actually tried to board the luxury liner from a pair of 25-foot inflatable rafts, but that wasn’t enough. A spokesman for the company pointed out that crew members are trained to “stop intruders” from gaining access to ships.

“After all,” she noted, “many of our ships originate in the Port of Miami, where some of the rudest, most aggressive passengers in the world swarm like fruit flies. If our crews keep those people in line—what’s the big deal about armed, murderous pirates?”

The identity of the pirates has not been established. One crew member, pointing out that the attack came before dawn, suggested they might have been Japanese, but this nauseating racist speculation could not be confirmed.

The battle lasted about 10 minutes. Passengers, mostly Americans and many from Miami, were relocated to a central ballroom, away from danger. Nobody was injured, but Morris Greenstein, 112, from Miami Shores, complained loudly about missing his breakfast seating. “Pirates, Shmirates!! I take these cruises for the food, like everybody else,” he said, angrily. “Why the hell else would you get on a ship like this? They couldn’t spare a cook and a baker and setup the buffet line? Miserable bastard sonsofbitches! Where’s my food? I want my food! Where the hell’s my goddam food?”

Out of danger, the ship’s captain ordered complimentary Captain Morgan’s Rum for everybody interested, but at 7 am, only the crew indulged. The current location of the ship is not available.

[See all Articles by Steve]

Update: Holy smokes! Some news outlets are now reporting that a weird sonic weapon was used by the ship to fight off the pirates.

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Friday July 15, 2005

Service with a Smile

An occasional series on hurricane season
[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

Called my contact Boob at FPL (Florida Plunder and Loot) to see how the power company’s hurricane program was faring in this record-setting storm season.

“We’re extremely proud of our team and our record,” he enthused. “Dennis gave us opportunities to really strut our stuff.

“Any power company can have shut-offs and break-downs in the teeth of a storm—hell, at FPL, we write the book on that every year!—but with Dennis cruising up the Gulf and striking the Panhandle, we managed to have major blackouts as far away as northern Broward, Port St. Lucie, and even a few thousand in Duval—Jacksonville! They were out for hours, because we could tell ‘em our people were all committed to those storm victims up in Escambia.”

Great work, Boob. Any injuries?

A few losers got fricasseed when they stepped on downed lines, but, not our people. We never go out in the rain, you know. Customers can wait: what’s their choice? Go to the competition? Ha ha!

“So far this storm season, in the state of Florida alone we’ve clocked well over 23,000 interruptions in power, many on perfectly clear days with no ostensible cause. Broward had one just last night, in fact: no wind, no rain, no traffic accident, nothing except a 22 minute outage that screwed up the alarm clocks, computers, coffee makers, and security systems in entire neighborhoods. That puts us ‘way ahead of last year’s mark at this time.

And just think—it’s not even August!”

I thank him and ring off. Gotta admire a guy with such pride and enthusiasm for his job, y’know? Good thing he deploys his powers in the service of Good, not Evil.
Maybe I’ll send complimentary note about him to his boss.

[See all Articles by Steve]

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