Entries from February 2009 ↓

Just wondering…

Where is some of this coming from? i mean, these Rocky death sites…

On this one, i have some ideas. Good idea on the selling stuff front!

What is this Matt Hunt person who really is trying to make money on this?? IMHO, bad idea on the selling stuff front. RT KnowNewspapers@savetheRMN Looking forward to helping just as soon as we see that you’ve registered as a proper 501(c)3 non-profit. It’s an important step.

Some week 7 observations

Why i fail:

  • i refuse to wake up early. i want to keep sleeping.
  • i want to start my day reading the three newspapers, listening to NPR and drinking coffee.
  • if there’s socializing to be done at the end of the day, i’m always going to choose that option over even a 30-minute stroll.

So, that’s why fail No. 2 occurred. On the other hand, today i managed to arise shortly after 6:30 a.m., read, listen and drink (coffee!) for an hour then go for a run.

Details of the week:

Thursday, Feb. 12: FAIL!!! Didn’t want to wake up, went to Poynter all day, then got in the car and drove to Gainesville, and wanted to hang out with the kids i was visiting.

Friday, Feb. 13: Stopped in downtown O’do on the way to the airport. Walked around Lake Eola and the Thornton neighborhood for a lovely 30 minutes.

Saturday, Feb. 14: Went on a lovely Valentine’s Day stroll with my sweetie to Amante and back, about 40 minutes roundtrip.

Sunday, Feb. 15: Ran for 33 minutes or so, did Wii Fit for 35 or so.

Monday, Feb. 16: Walked around campus for 30 minutes after class on the way to Hapa and before going to see Tom Friedman.

Tuesday, Feb. 17: A lame 30 minutes of Wii strength and balance exercise. Really lame. But it felt good later.

Wednesday, Feb. 18: 30 minute run near Wonderland Lake. A great feeling to get it out of the way in the morning!

About Florida…

From February 1985 to January 1994, i lived in Florida: Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando. And i saw most of the state, from Pensacola and the Redneck Riviera to Fort Meyers (where the Gannett newspaper had heavy security in 1986!), Miami, Sarasota, Tampa, Clearwater and St. Pete and, well, other places.

Flying into Orlando a week ago Friday, the large bodies of water everywhere surprised me. Never much of a water person, me, but i didn’t recall that many lakes and swamps. They’re here, but so are tons of developments surrounding them – even more than when i left 15 years ago.

When i first moved to the “Sunshine State” (really, i think Colorado may have more actual sunny days), i read the book “Up for Grabs: A Trip Through Time and Space in the Sunshine State.” (Looks like a newer edition was published in 2000 – need to check it out.) John Rothchild tells the tale of the crazy land scams that subdivided, populated and spoiled plenty of wilderness – and still do. From early on, developers destroyed wetlands, building up land with fill dirt to create building space on coastal properties as well as farther inland. They marketed lots in barren, unpopulated areas (often sans roads) to frigid northeasterners.

Those platted subdivisions (and others like them) are still making news – and providing huge fuel for the foreclosure crisis. My pals Mary and Vicki wrote last May about how subprime mortgages were fueling suburban sprawl in Orlando. The Miami Herald wrote about shady lending practices last year too. And the St. Pete Times wrote about

Now that this country is in a world of hurt because of such practices, national media is catching on that Florida is a leader in real estate fraud. The New Yorker wrote about “The Ponzi State,” in its most recent issue. The New York Times followed up last weekend with a photo of the same subdivision. (My charming other argues that the print newspaper’s lede photo is of a house with hurricane damage, however, not just a foreclosed upon home.)

The thing is, those lots in Lehigh Acres were platted in the 1950s. They sat dormant through other tough economic times, then sold for big prices to people with silly mortgages decades later. And you can bet when the economy recovers (and it will) Floridians will continue the development game, because it’s the only one in town – drawing more snowbirds looking for a warm retirement home at a relatively cheap price with no income taxes.

In the meantime, the state continues to pave paradise to put up the cheap subdivisions, as Matt Waite of the St. Pete Times wrote about in a series and now in a new co-authored book, “Paving Paradise.”

Florida is supposed to have a “growth management” system, but it really hasn’t had much of an impact in the time i lived here or since i left. To save the natural world typically takes what the developers have here: cold cash.

A prime example is the river i kayaked last weekend, pictured above. Development was slated for the heavily treed banks, but the state moved in to buy the shores around the Econ.

Unfortunately, it’s a rare example.

Catching up, admitting failure! But still having some fun!

Let’s catch up here… last i checked in, i still had it going on. Since then, well, here are the details:

Jan. 22: 30 minute run, 30 minutes of Wii Fit, a beautiful day!

Jan. 23: An all-day retreat followed by working from 5 to midnight. Walked around downtown Denver (and the newsroom) for only 25 minutes. But close.

Jan. 24: Great skiing in Winter Park and a super ride on the train!

Jan. 25: A walk with my sweetie pie for 35 minutes in cold and snow, then 20 minutes of Wii Fit.

Jan. 26: 40 minutes of Wii Fit (way too dependent on this!)

Jan. 27: An hour with the trainer at the gym, 40 minutes of Wii…

Jan. 28: The big campus adventure day! In between classes, i quickly walked to Macky, went to the basement and climbed the stairs, came back down, went to old Main, went up and down the stairs there twice, headed to Humanities to walk up and down, then to Norlin, up and down on the west side, then up and down on the east side, then over to the poli sci building to go up and down the stairs then to ATLAS and up and down the stairs at which point i hit 30 minutes and headed to the UMC for food!

Jan. 29: Ran 30 minutes, then Wii strength and balance for 35 minutes.

Jan. 30: Weights at the gym for 40 minutes, Wii for 40 minutes.

Jan. 31: Breckenridge! Skied at the Nordic center a bit more than an hour with Jim Charlier, then another 30 minutes or so later with Katy, talking all the way!

Feb. 1: Downhill, baby! A couple of runs on Peak 8 with Katy and her board, five runs alone as fast as possible, another couple with Katy and the so-cute Miles on his skis, then one last one alone. A great day! But why do children beat me at Uno!?!?

Feb. 2: Walked from the Armory for 30 minutes, managing to end up at the Hungry Toad for food!

Feb. 3: An hour at the gym with Chris, 35 minutes on Wii Fit.

Feb. 4: As i write this, it seems so, so long ago! But according to my notes on Mad’s site (and now i remember it well!), i walked for 35 minutes from the Armory, to Ninth Street, up to Baseline, down Grant to the cemetery to Ninth and back to my car. A lovely walk, really….

Feb. 5: A solid, hard 50 minutes of weights at the gym by myself.

Feb. 6: OK, left home at 5:30 a.m. for a plane to Charlotte, where i made the last row of the reduced-size plane to O’do, which was then late and arrived downtown just as people were getting off work. So this was the day of total failure in which i went drinking instead. LOSER!!!

Feb. 7: Does this make up for things? Went on a great bike ride on the West Orange Trail, from Winter Garden to Clermont. My friend Mary Anne Koos helped create this rail-trail sometime after i left Florida in 1994 and she’s always raved about it. It was a great time, with great friends, about a three-hour ride out and back. There was lovely scenery and, as is the case in Florida, some amazing sprawl. The conclusion: Beers for all!

Feb. 8: Lovely Mary from Florida, my friend who set up Saturday’s bike ride with old friends, loaded her kayaks (OK, i helped!) on the SUV Sunday a.m. and we headed for the Econ (see photo above from Mary!), the shores of which were barely saved from development by a state purchase around the time i left. What a great journey! Three hours of maneuvering through narrow water with canopy overhead, great birds and at least one huge gator – the one i saw, there had to be others… Three hours of paddling. And that doesn’t include boat loading and unloading (tho we did find some guys to hoist them up when we got out of the water!).

Feb. 9: Bicycled 15 minutes to Starbucks and 15 minutes back for coffee with Mary, visited the newsroom, tried to talk a ffiend out of writing a moronic column, which i refuse to link to, then drove to St. Pete for a Poynter workshop. Walked to Poynter from the hotel, 20 minutes.

Feb. 10: Managed to wake up early enough (different time zone, folks!!) to get on the elliptical trainer – loudest device ever! – and do 30 minutes, then walked 20 minutes to Poynter and walked another 20 minutes in the evening looking for a place to eat.

Feb. 11: A lame day. Walked 20 minutes to Poynter, then did 15 minutes of floor/strength stuff in the evening. Then blogged.