Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Now There's More Than One Way To Get Your Trivia On In Springfield

Starting tonight at 6:30, 9th & Main will be hosting a weekly trivia night. Sure, the time seems weird, but it is currently the best night available and 9th & Main also has to accommodate its Wednesday karaoke that starts at 8:30 (which I've heard is becoming quite the hit).

Hopefully this new trivia event will not compete with the well-established Tuesday night Trivia that Shantytown has been hosting for the past year or so. However, Shantytown trivia regular, Kate Medill, will be taking the reins at 9th & Main as trivia mistress. Not to worry, though. The current queen of quizzical questions, Donna (can't remember last name) has signed on to the additional trivia night and has promised to be competing in tonight's inaugural event.

I don't know yet if 9th & Main will offer the same $20.00 bar tab to the winners as Shantytown does.

As for an update on the Shantytown trivia, the last tournament ended two weeks ago (go Average Bears, thank you, thank you and Kate and Dave and sometimes John thanks you), beating out the stiff competition of Spork, Danger Meat, Trivia Squid, and a varying cast of come and goers. The next tournament at Shanty will kick off sometime around the first of July. There will be an award ceremony next Tuesday for the previous tournament (potluck dinner) and the non-competative (my ass) fun-for-all trivia will continue throughout this month.

So grab some friends, meet new ones, put your brain cap on, and grab some trivia, whether it be at Shanty on Tuesdays (at 8:00) or 9th & Main on Wednesdays.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Derailing the Straight Talk Express -- Exposing The Lies -- Swaying The Misinformed

I have friends who have told me they would vote for McCain over Obama, but Hillary over both. Seeing as how Hillary's campaign is turning into nothing but a bad memory, I think it very important to arm myself with every tool available to counter the "McCain's not such a bad guy and isn't he really a pretty centrist straight shooter anyway" blindspeak.

Hopefully the below is one such tool. Circulate as necessary. Upload it to your ipod or iphone or whatever to show at the next family gathering to your confused 18 year old cousin, your vacant 89 year old grandmother (or grandfather) or your recently laid off 45 year old uncle when you catch any one of them stumbling over their misplaced reasoning for why they think, but are not sure, they want to support McCain.

Monday, May 26, 2008

First Coast DPC(TM) Meet And Greet

Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 6 pm

First Coast DPC (TM) May Meet and Greet at Tastings 1515 Prudential Drive Jacksonville, FL 32207
Phone: 904-346-0605 When: May 29, 2008 at 6 pm

The Jacksonville Chapter of the Democratic Professionals Council (DPC) would like to invite you to our monthly social, to be held at Tastings on the Southbank.

The DPC seeks to re-engage and strengthen Jacksonville area professionals with the Democratic Party. With the upcoming 2008 Presidential election, as well as a host of other local, state, and federal races, now is a great time to get out and network with your fellow Democrats.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Tastings, it is a wine sampling bar that also boasts a great beer selection and appetizers.

We encourage you to visit our website at for more information and sign up to receive regular event invitations and announcements. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our event coordinators: contact Adrienne Cartegena at or Jennifer Mills at

Want To Go Green? Clear Your Savings, Up Your Credit Limit and Bring Your First Born -- Oh, And Don't Forget To Bend Over

Wondering what's next on the "gettin f**ked in the pocketbook" horizon? We're there already with gas, groceries, energy, popcorn (yes, as in movie popcorn) and just about every other day to day consumer necessity.

By now everyone is wondering how best to cut back, to save, to get ahead, to go green, conserve, to do one's part, all to make rent or mortgage or, god forbid, feed the kids, or start playing the responsible earth steward.


Well, the auto dealers have now jumped on the bandwagon to get a piece of the "rape the public's pocketbook" bandwagon.

See link below. It's disgusting yet hardly surprising that corporate capitalism (I know, some call it simple economics -- I call it the simple greed) continues at its best in this every man for himself, survival of the fittest, social darwinistic, dog eat dog, screw 'em all world.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Times Union Offers A Solution To Republicans As They Struggle For Votes And Relevancy In This Year's Election: Become A Democrat

Ever concerned with the future of the GOP, the Times Union editors have written a sort of "how to" opinion piece to get the off base, out of touch Republicans back in good with the middle class (Apparently the GOP has given up on appealing to the lower class.)

As we all know, America isn't so enamored these days by the current president, and in case there was any doubt or questions, the TU leads off its manifesto with a master of the obvious statement: "It's no secret: President Bush is unpopular." (Okay, maybe it is still a secret in the White House.)

So what can the Republicans do to salvage its plummeting popularity in this country? To answer this question, the TU turns to GOP apologist and former party propagandist David Frum. The TU also turns to Newt Gingrich, who has the audacity to suggest another Contract On America (since the first one was such a hit that it helped kill the GOP revolution in just 12 short years).

So what do these intellectual amoebas know now that they haven't bothered to share with the administration?

First, trim back the federal bureaucracy. Not a bad idea. How about trimming it back to the level it was before GW created the Department of Homeland Security, a move that saw the biggest jump in federal expansion since World War II and bloated the federal government to record size.

Second, military spending should be assessed for waste. Wow, this shouldn't even be its own pointed topic. But with the corruption of the Halliburtons and the disappearing of billions of contract dollars in Iraq, yeah, maybe someone in the GOP should start paying attention to wasteful spending.

Third, corporate welfare . . . should be reined in. Again, really? You mean, in order to draw favors from the middle class, the Republicans are going to have to stop giving away money in the form of tax free and other bogus incentives, or maybe even start making the oil gas companies pay the billions in royalties it owes the government instead of letting these companies skate on improper exemptions?

Other suggestions the TU makes in an attempt to make the GOP appear human to the rest of the world include embracing cleaner energy sources, promoting competition in the health industry, and controlling outlandish earmarks.

Taking in all of these suggestions, doesn't it sound like the cure for the Republican failures is to have them embrace Democratic ideals? Sounds that way to me.

Want to be popular? Save the environment.

Want credibility with 99% of Americans? Stop giving away money to the defense contractors and oil companies.

Want to appear compassionate to the tens of millions without health insurance? Start addressing the problems in the insurance and health care industry.

Thanks, TU. I hope all your faithful readers will embrace the Democratic philosophies you have espoused in your editorial and will vote this year (and forever) for the one party that truly resonates and makes social, environmental and economic sense to the rest of the country.

Monday, May 19, 2008

9th & Main -- Always Something New -- Pun Intended

I didn't realize it was meant to be self-deprecating. I first saw the sign on the corner of 8th and Silver, facing north west on a vacant lot about three weeks ago advertsing 9th & Main with the slogan "always something new."

I thought to my self as I drove past, rolling my eyes, "No shit, you geniuses. That's the problem, isnt' it? No one knows what to expect from 9th & Main anymore, and so people have just stopped showing up."

Most by now who are even remotely in tune with Springfield, specifically, and downtown, generally, know the successes and failures, and lately the failures, that have come to personify 9th & Main's less than glorious existence.

Briefly (and I'm really simplifying this), it was a hit some years ago in the form of Henrietta's. Then it did okay as Nosh. Then it started hitting bumps and fits and coughs and sputters and I swear not even a scorecard, two maps and a pie chart could assist in keeping track of the myriad of handlers and management who foolishly sought their fortunes under the hallowed roof that once served as a Firestone station.

A year and a half ago 9th & Main appeared to have potential again. The lunches were doing okay and I always looked forward to the Friday family dinner out, with Ed Cotton playing in the background and my daughter running back and forth between the pool and foosball tables.

Then the inconsistency hit. The meals were tanking, the service ceased to exist and there was always a question of whether the restaurant would even be open on a given day at a given time. So we stopped going.

All the above to say that there may be new life, really new life, being pumped into 9th & Main again. Forgetting the vanity driven, pro se litigation and other management versus ownership issues that have gone on this past year, underneath the current structure there is a tireless, flowering effort that could bring stability, consistency, quality and overall enjoyment back to 9th & Main.

I approached the rumor of a re-born 9th & Main with intense skepticism and downright cynicism. But after enjoying a last stop night cap there two weeks ago, and standing out front with my visiting friend lamenting the end of the evening, I found myself soon caught up in conversation with Tory Aunspach, manager (for lack of a better word) of the "always something new" 9th & Main.

Now, mind you, this is not meant to be a fluff piece about Tory, or a jab at any of the past incarnations, or even a lovefest over the future of Springfield. This is merely the telling of a story of a local (me) who, along with his neighbors and scores of others, just want to see 9th & Main do and be something that we can come to rely on. We don't care about the in-fighting, the bickering, the gossip or the mudflinging. We just want to be able to enjoy all that 9th & Main has to offer.

After getting the quicky background on what has been the last six months of Tory's life, I realized it was well worth it to make further inquiries into Tory's attempts to do what no one else has been able to do since the days of Henrietta's.

So I met with Tory a week ago to hear the pitch, to be wooed, convinced, awed, whatever. Like I said, I was approaching this with a level cynicism that could not be placated by mere words.

Tory definitely had his approach ready. He'd thought it through. He knew exactly what he wanted to tell me as if he were reading from a memorized script. In fact, I later learned that he had posted the exact same sentiment of energy and hope on jaxoutloud in an attempt to reach out to all those he could to express and explain the "new" 9th & Main and how its future can amount to nothing but success.

I left my conversation with Tory knowing that I'd write something eventually. But I didn't want to write a repeat of what he'd told me and the whole jaxoutloud community. It wasn't enough to add that the kaoroke crowd present that night in the bar area was clearly faithful evidence of a newish local tradition.

So I went back the next night with a friend. It was a benefit with (I think) five bands scheduled. I looked around, played some ping pong, and got a sense of communal enjoyment and relaxation. When I left that night, I felt sure I'd be back one day very soon.

It turned out the "one day soon" was the next night for dinner. Okay, so there was no live performance. But the kids were having a blast, my daughter proving that she's only years away from mastering Miss Pac Man and billiards. The food was just as I remembered it, Tory having made a pledge to return to the days of the simple, inexpensive menu (and the well drinks for happy hour were only $2.25!).

I was feeling better. Tory's words were manifesting in my mind from talk to reality. What was there to do but return yet again the following night, with more friends in tow, to celebrate the passing of my youth as I turned 39? Another great night was had as hundreds of people filled the restaurant, the bar and the music hall for a Mass Appeal celebration and poetry jam.

In a word or two, Tory has a passion about what he's doing and about the survival of 9th & Main. He has a seriousness about the food, the atmosphere, the mindset and the vision that could put this establishment back on the social map. He's reaching out to the neighborhood (having put his money where his bed is by taking up residence in Springfield) and made it to last week's SPAR meeting to make his pitch.

To conclude, in my continued, albeit waning, cynicism, I'd rather make the cliche analogy that 9th & Main is the mountain to Tory's Sisyphus than that the "new" 9th & Main is the phoenix springing forth from the ashes of a failed past. (Tory tells me that the wings in the logo represent Icarus' wings reattached with tape, so take whatever analogy from that as you wish.) However, unlike the eternal misery that Sisyphys faced, Tory (and everyone working endlessly to see 9th & Main succeed, including band booker Dan Blanchard) may actually be able to get that rock over the mountain.

Friday, May 16, 2008

First DCA Rejects Recognition Of Same Sex/Non-Married Loss Of Consortium Causes Of Action

Back in March, I posted a piece about a case scheduled to be heard by the First District Court of Appeal of Florida regarding the rights (or lack there of) of non-married couples to bring a loss of consortium claim in personal injury lawsuits.

Yesterday the First DCA issued its opinion and refused to extend Florida law to recognize loss of consortium claims for non-married persons.

Briefly, the common law in Florida requires as a condition precedent to a loss of consortium claim that there be a valid marriage between the injured plaintiff and the spouse. Despite this, Judith Bashaway sought loss of consortium recovery based upon her committed relationship to her partner, Melinda Garrison, after Garrison was severly injured in an automobile accident.

Judge Karen Cole granted defendants' motion to dismiss Bashaway's claim for failure to state a cause of action recognized under Florida law. The appeal followed.

To simplify the decision, the First DCA affirmed Judge Cole's order, confirming that "a consortium claim under Florida law is a derivative claim dependent upon legal status that does not exist in the present case." In otherwords, Florida does not recognize same sex marriages. Therefore, Bashaway does not have the legal status as Garrison's wife and thus cannot sustain her loss of consortium claim.

So what's the next step? Bashaway will have to move the First DCA to certify the issue as one of great public importance (this motion is due May 30). Assuming this motion is granted, then the Florida Supreme Court will take up the case with oral argument to follow.

Anyone interested in watching the oral argument, held at Florida Coastal on March 20, 2008, go to mms://

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hillary's Downfall

Okay, I try to be pretty sensitive to excess expletives, and I definitely have problems using Hitler in any context other than historical.

But I couldn't resist here. This has to be taken for the pure humor that it is. I'm suspending my PC membership for just one brief moment to pass this on.

That's my disclaimer. Otherwise, enjoy.

Yeah, Kind Of Rings A Bit True Sometimes -- No You Can't

Monday, May 12, 2008

Barr The Presumptive Libertarian Presidential Candidate -- Nader Upset To Lose Grand Spoiler Title

Former Rep. Bob Barr says a number of Republicans have been trying to persuade him not to run for president on the Libertarian Party ticket, but none has given him a convincing reason.
--The Washington Times

Okay, first, no, I don't read the Washington Times (and refuse to link it here), but I came across this quote while looking up information on this story.

All I can say is, interesting. Very interesting. I love the quote above, especially the part about no one being able to give Barr a convincing reason not to enter the race.

For those who don't remember, Bob Barr hates Bill Clinton. Well, that's not fair. I can't say he hates Bill, but he sure did seem to enjoy himself with evil disdain during the impeachment era.

Apparently Bob hates the modern, wingnut Republicans as well. Okay, that's not fair either. But he sure has come a long way since joining Newt's Contract On America.

So Bob got a bit disenchanted with his party and its warmongering and civil rights violating ways to the point where he switched parties in 2006 and joined the league of extraordinary Cato Institute pot smokers (or at least pot approvers).

Another favorite quote of mine in this article is when the Newtster concedes that a Barr candidacy would give Obama the edge he needs to beat McCain. ("Bob Barr will make it marginally easier for Barack Obama to become president.")

So I'm in a mood more cheerful than I have been throughout this bruising primary season, and definitely since February 24 when Nader announced his 88th bid for the White House (and then hasn't been heard from since).

Bob still has the pesky Libertarian convention to contend with in ten days, but he's the odds on favorite to carry the torch for his new party and wear the spoiler label for the rest of his life, sharing the infamous title with 1992 winner Perot and 2000 winner Nader. (Oh the oddity that Barr would actually hire Perot's campaign manager, Russ Verney, as a campaign consultant!)