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Thursday January 31, 2008


Come on, she’s CUTE!! This kitty made it half way across the country recently after being packed in a suitcase accidentally and checked into luggage on a plane leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Then the wrong person got the luggage! Anyway, she’s fine.


Tuesday May 16, 2006

The thing about the alligators

sign: We Sell Smoked Alligator Original or Hot
Image by Frances Nash

Now don’t get any ideas – this isn’t going to be one of those we’ve been eating them for decades, it’s a wonder they haven’t started eating us sooner type of things. But what’s really going on with all these alligator attacks? Look. Gators have brains the size of a pea. They’re running on some ancient-ass instinctual behavior, and they’re designed to live in the swamp, not in a lake by some dumb UDB-pushing cookie-cutter development (actually, human beings aren’t designed to live like that, either, but I don’t want to digress). What’s more, they’re cold blooded, kind of like a solar panel – the warmer it is, the more energy they have to move around, and the more they have to eat.

But of course the alligators aren’t the problem – the problem is people. Remember the guy from Grizzly Man? He thought he was going to be friends with bears, and ended up getting his brain snacked on by a grizzly while his girlfriend watched. Well, that’s the same thing that’s happening for our whole species with the alligators. The solution is simple: stay the hell away from the gators, and especially don’t feed them. (When gators get used to being around people (and esp. if they associate us with food), the possibility of taking a bite out of our ass becomes to look pretty attractive to a hungry one.)

The problem with this approach is that everyone has to do it for it to work. Good luck there. Also, all the alligators that have already gotten used to people are not going to un-learn shit. So my alternate suggestion is to watch your ass. Forget the zig-zag running thing – it’s a myth (alligators don’t chase people). The key is to just stay the hell away from them. If you’re attacked, pound the crap out of their snout and eyes. Yikes. All that and more in this fun video:


Wednesday June 8, 2005

Taxi Boat

By now, everyone’s heard about the Cuban refugees on the taxi-cab converted to a boat. Here’s the picture nobody else seems to have. These guys are, like, super-jealous.


Monday January 7, 2008

Homestead farmers market

farmers market

We stumbled on a completely amazing farmers’ market down in Homestead this weekend. It’s just off the intersection of US-1 and SW 244 Street. The market is in this big building with open sides, and an adjacent swapshop-type area is adjacent, where you can get your share of discount car audio and designer knockoffs. There are also junk food vendors and pony rides, but the farmers market is the main attraction.

farmers market

Ultra-plump produce reigns large and small, everyday and exotic. To example the latter, how about green garbanzo beans still in their husks? Everything was bristling with flavor, and of course it was amazingly cheap.

farmers market

Florida plum tomatoes. Not pictured: the biggest mountain of bananas I’ve seen in my life.

farmers market

This being homestead, Mexican-oriented stuff was abundant. Here are some half-dozen+ different dried peppers. Also — did I mention there was a little nursery section? Chad bought an Epazote plant, which apparently is extremely difficult to find.

farmers market

Mysterious powders and dried plants hang from the rafters. Note the cartwheel pasta, available freshly fried elsewhere on the premises. No idea what the orange stuff is.

farmers market

Oh, and if you’re ever in need of a 50 pound bag of carrots, they’ve like totally got you covered.

Update: Do all farmers markets in Florida stink?


Tuesday June 6, 2006

“The Ethics Commission found that through 1999 and 2000, only 36 officials in every municipality in Miami-Dade, 12 of them elected, reported gifts of $25 or more.” Government officials are required to disclose significant gifts they receive, but they’re either getting very few gifts or choosing not to disclose them.


Monday September 26, 2005


This is a pretty brief handling of what we regard as a major incident. A boatfull of Cuban immigrants was intercepted three miles off the coast of Florida. This is a millitary unit, the Coast Guard, intercepting a group of hopeless refugees in the ocean, with the intent of arresting them and returning them to the place they are fleeing from. The Cubans got within a mile of shore before the Coast Guard conqured them. This is desperate stuff: if they make it on to shore, they get to stay. If the don’t, they get hauled back. So the struggle is pretty intense, but of course the Coast Guard guys win (they have the hardware).

Is this how we want to be running our immigration pollicy? But wait . . . it gets better: check out this woman, a Haitian who escaped when her life was in danger (um . . . anti-Aristide mobs were going around her neighborhood killing people) back in 1992. She pasted her photo into a passport she bought on the black market and escaped to the US, where she’s lived (and raised two sons) for the past 13 years. Now, becasuse of some mistake in a law designed to allow people to stay, she’s being deported.

Can we, as a nation, please sit down and figure this shit out? This is an embarrasement.


Thursday November 1, 2007

At ArtsJournal, Glenn Weiss has an excellent report on Britto in Miami, including pictures of all the public art pieces, the perfume and liquor bottles, the cars, and the 2006 superbowl halftime pre-game show. Also lots of interesting insights, including the comparisons to Peter Max and Dale Chihuly, and this: “As Britto may have learned . . . printing art on anything – cups, T-shirts, fishing rods – has a positive effect on distribution of the imagery. The goal of the marketing is to familiarize a broad audience with the imagery and its appreciation by the rich and famous.”


Thursday January 17, 2008

Some current estimates on the cost of the Metrorail expansion: $57 million+ for planning/consulting, $290 million+ for construction of a line between the intermodal center and Earlington Heights, $2 billion+ for a northern extension into Broward and the east/west line.


Wednesday February 1, 2006

Puppies used to smuggle drugs

Ever since the fiberglass plaintains, I’ve kept an eye on the DEA drug-bust brag site. Today I was sorry: these soulless bastards surgically implanted heroin into puppies to smuggle it into the US from Columbia. Three kilograms worth of liquid heroin, in plastic baggies, were found distributed among six puppies (that’s about a pount each) in 2005; the investigation has only now wrapped up, which is why the information is being released.

Three of the puppies (mostly Labrador Retrivers) died after the packets were removed. It’s almost like they were trying to be evil on purpose, right? I mean, puppies. The mind boggles.


Monday June 26, 2006

I don’t think anyone seriously believes that these were real terrorists. We used to have agents and confidential informants creating drug deals in Liberty City. Now it looks like they are creating homegrown cells.”—David Markus, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers


Monday February 4, 2008

Saturday’s Bal Harbor beach access protest: story, video, photos. Whadya know — the beach access walkway is to be re-opened “within a few days.”


Friday November 2, 2007

Sleepless night weekend


Sorry, Flavorpill, your new site blows. Please bring back the old layout, which was much more useful!!





Wednesday March 26, 2008

In 1988, John Dorschner wrote a long piece for Tropic, the Miami Herald’s now-defunct Sunday magazine. He pretended to be writing in 2008, looking back over the last 20 years. Henry Gomez dug up a copy of the magazine, and compared the predictions with what actually happened, in a 4-part series of posts. There is some very dramatic stuff here that never happened (e.g. Mariel II, 1998), but Dorschner gets a lot of stuff right. Too bad Babalu’s italicized blockquotes are so hard to read.


Monday August 27, 2007

Frances Nash rides the Metromover. “‘Please stand clear of the door,’ says the robot voice, as if we’re going to the Magic Kingdom to visit Mickey Mouse. The boys get off and a homeless-looking dude waddles on board. He tries to sell me some palm leaves twisted into roses and grasshoppers. I pretend that I don’t speak English, but he won’t take the hint.”


Wednesday June 28, 2006

This is more the hasty squirting backseat passion of Prom Night.” Dave Barry gets edited. The piece is here.


Tuesday October 31, 2006

Opening at Tigertail

Attention underemployed art(s) kids: my friends at Tigertail Productions are looking for a Project Coordinator. Sounds like a perfect opportunity for someone who has only administrative experience and wants to make an interest in the arts into a career:

Applicant must have strong office skills and be computer proficient on a Macintosh platform (Word and Excel at a minimum, Photoshop, iMovie and HTML and web skills a plus). Bilingual in Spanish strongly preferred (multilingual in other languages a plus, excellent spoken and written business English an absolute must). This person needs familiarity with and enthusiasm for the arts, culture and the diverse communities of Miami. The position is 3 – 4 days per week, 9 am – 5 pm, but schedule can be flexible.

Sounds like something I’d have jumped at a few years ago. E-mail Tigertail’s associate director, Robert Rosenberg (robert ·AT· tigertail ·DOT· org) to apply or get the complete info.


Friday May 4, 2007

This Herald article about how the Midtown area is starting to look like a real, walkable city, looked interesting but it was too long and tedious to read. Luckily, Duran was nice enough to pull out the interesting bits. I think I agree that calling it “Midtown” is annoying.


Friday March 9, 2007

Calle Ocho Weekend



Thursday August 2, 2007

“You’d think I would have 5-10 therapists in my phone (or in 3 out of 5 spaces in my T-Mobile MyFaves™), since I’m a nutcase, but I eschew traditional therapy and prefer to self medicate with German pornography and dull razors.” — God loves Lackner.


Tuesday January 22, 2008

Villa Serena

Villa Serena, built in 1913 and just added to the Miami Register of Historic Places. Photo by, and full story at, Miami Memories.


Tuesday May 3, 2005

"It may be legal, but ethically, it stinks."

That’s a quote this morning from County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, talking about a study (here’s a bug-me-not link for the Herald) conducted recently at FIU, which apparently was looking at the public’s perception of a move by him to create a “Strong Mayor,” and weaken the county commission and county manager.

It may be technically true, Carlos, but it sure makes you sound like an ass.


Wednesday November 28, 2007

Tonight and Saturday:

Slave house tours

See the Miami Hidden History website for more info.


Wednesday December 12, 2007

Miami Beach in the 1950s.


Thursday January 10, 2008

Circa 28 Saturdays and Lolo part ways.


Tuesday February 5, 2008

Oh, hey people: Steve’s site, Klotz as in Blood is DOWN. Some sort of DNS problem. I’m working on it. Update: Back up! Beer for me!


Sunday September 25, 2005

Don't call me AFLAK!

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

Emerging from the house the other morning I encounter a puddle of watery shit on the sidewalk large enough to warrant a lifeguard. This can mean one of two things: canvassing politicians, or muscovy ducks. Insofar as there’s no impending election, I figure it’s the ducks.

Everybody in south Florida knows about muscovy ducks.
With their distended asses, greasy-looking feathers, and hideously mottled bare-red faces, their eerie resemblance to victims of radiation poisoning is unsettling. The males, which can grow to 15 pounds, emit a hissing noise when confronted, and while they can actually fly, it’s with all the grace of Rosie O’Donnell skateboarding.

But it’s their tendency to shit all over creation that is most irritating. Traveling in packs of 3 or 4, they slowly waddle down the sidewalk, shit pouring from their feathered butts every step of the way. Green, milky, and semi-solid—imagine a bowl of mildewed grits—it’s a source of salmonella and E-Coli bacteria, as well as a revolting and slippery obstacle to put a bare foot into.

I’m told that Caribbean people eat these things. When I mentioned this to a Bahamian acquaintance, he stared at me in horror. “Dat duck dere?!” he asked, pointing in disbelief.

Even though they’re non-native to south Florida, it’s illegal to slaughter them, presumably for the same reason that you can’t kill tourists, even in season. You can chase them, as I have, waving a baseball bat and screaming epithets, when I found them eating from the food bowls I leave for the cats (and merrily shitting all over the carport). But that bends the animal lovers out of shape, and frankly, the ducks don’t seem to really care: they shoot me a dirty look, waggle their tail feathers..and shit.

I thought about putting poison out, but that might end up inside some neighborhood kid, and I’d have a lot of explaining to do to its parents. Besides, with my luck, the damn duck would drop dead somewhere I can’t reach it, and rot. I hate it when that happens.

If they were bums—oh, I’m sorry, “residentially-challenged persons”—I could call the city and have them removed. If they were dogs, cats, or alligators, I summon animal control. But this feathered pestilence? Is there such a thing as DuckBusters?

[See all Articles by Steve]


Wednesday February 13, 2008

You can learn to drive: Part 5 (dealing with bicycles)

bike in traffic

So there you are, driving merrily along, minding your own business, and suddenly there’s a cyclist in the road in front of you. The lane is narrow, the street is busy, and dude is like two feet out from your lane’s right line, and he’s not moving over to let you pass. Wtf??

Well, you know what I’m going to say, but hear me out anyway. I’ve been at this situation from both sides, so I understand your frustration. The first thing to realize — and believe me it is a realization that is very far from universal — is that cyclists have as much right to the road as cars do. We’re not blocking traffic, we are traffic, as the Critical Mass folks say.

Okay, so here’s the law: The cyclist can be as far out into the lane as he feels he or she feels necessary. That means out of the way of parked cars who’s doors can fly open unexpectedly, out of any road debris potholes, and in the case of narrow lanes, just out in the middle of the lane. If you can’t without giving the bike a few feet of space, don’t. (Update: Commenters indicate that 3 feet is the legal minimum!) I know it’s frustrating sitting there with a row of cars behind you, but trust me: the cyclist isn’t any happier about it then you, and he’ll give you a chance to pass as soon as possible. Note that honking just shows you’re an ignorant moron, and in my case at least will make me move farther over into the lane before you try squeezing by and killing me. (Which, btw, thank you to everyone’ who’s passed without killing me — I really appreciate it!)

Four way stops: Yes, cyclists often run four-way stops. Yes, there are situations where you have to stay stopped for a couple of extra seconds, but trust me, it’s better for everyone this way. Imagine you get to the stop sign a little after a stopped bicycle; now you’re waiting much longer, because these things take a while to get up to speed. If you’ve come to a complete stop, and the bicycle is a few car-lengths away from the intersection, go ahead. Otherwise, exercise a little patience. Momentum is a beautiful thing.

Stop lights: Kind of a similar situation; bikes sometimes run red lights. When they cut it a little too close, a gentle tap on your brake is considered more polite then a honk of the horn. Oh, speaking of horn honking — do NOT honk at a bicycle to let them know you’re behind them and getting ready to pass. This is annoying, and may require the bike to move further out into the lane, so as to prevent someone clearly clueless from passing too close. Urban cycling is exiting enough without drivers going out of their way to make it more stressful. If you’re waiting to turn and a bicycle is passing, sit patiently — no inching up, please.

Special note to cell phone users: Look, sorry, but you swerve all over the road, ok? I know you don’t notice it, but that’s because you’re on the phone. If you’re trying to pass a bicycle and you’re on the phone, give the bike lots and lots of space to leave room for your swerving. Be extra careful. If you’re not going to hang up, at least stop talking. Thank you to everyone who hasn’t killed me yet!


Monday December 17, 2007

Can’t say I’ve ever given a thought to the plastic-wrapped plates of food that most restaurants on Lincoln Road display for would-be diners. Looks like the Miami Beach Commission has noticed, though, and decided to outlaw the practice on the grounds that it’s déclassé.


Wednesday November 7, 2007

The new CEO of the Carnival Center, Lawrence Wilker, will also act as Artistic Director. This is a good thing — it’s important for the chief of the organization to be intimate with the actual programming. By the way, Target Globebeat, which brought in the Center’s opening last year, will take the form this year of monthly free outdoor performances by local groups on the second Saturday of every month.


Thursday December 27, 2007

En vivo y en directo tracks 30+ reactions to the SotP closing, about as good a tribute as I can think of. Comments here.