They Put A Hit Out On Mickey Mouse

October 21, 2017

Before we get to the quick of today’s topic, let me give a shout out to Doctor Parrot, a jokester who has seen fit to follow this here humble little blog.  If you need a little humor in your life, you can check him out right here.  Here is a tip; do not pass up the comments, they can be as entertaining as the jokes themselves.

OK, by now you know I live in The Villages, “Florida’s Friendliest Hometown”.  If you have followed the link, and paid attention, you know it is a deed restricted community for people over 55 years of age.  While there are a few exceptions, most of the adult children that live here are really 55 or older.  If you did not know that you are learning it now, right?

One of the deed restrictions has to do with how your front lawn should look.  The grass needs to be nice and neat, you should not let weeds take over, you should not make use of lawn ornaments, etc.

That being said, many folks have some really cool things incorporated into their landscape designs.  The developer landscapes the property to the bare minimum when your home is built.  You get a few shrubs in a couple of spots complete with pine straw mulch.  Everybody gets some sort of tree as well.  It seems that most people get Crepe Myrtles.  We got lucky and got a Bottle Brush Tree.  It is not very long before the majority of the homeowners call in the landscapers to get estimates on a design that gets rid of the pine straw, incorporates some tropical foliage, and adds some color other than green.

Deed restrictions or not, many, many homeowners have some type of doodads added in as well.  Some have metal heron sculptures, some have rainbow-colored whirligigs, some have leaping dolphins, and some just add benches or chairs.  The point is that whatever they are incorporating into their landscaping is a violation of the deed restrictions.  Since nobody drops a dime on them, the powers that be, The Community Standards Department, simply looks the other way.

A close neighbor of mine had a sort of new age thing going on, with rocks that had PEACE, LOVE, BLESSED, GARDEN, and other assorted words of enlightenment peppered in.  He also had Mickey and Minnie Mouse statuettes, and a cute little train with tracks running around the tree and shrubbery augmenting his landscape.

Then one day someone in the community went to what is called Newcomer Wednesday at The Community Development District.  That is where they lay out pertinent information about trash pick up, recycling, golf cart etiquette, all kinds of important stuff about how it works living here.  They found out about how one can go about reporting deed restriction violations.  They learned that all it takes is an anonymous phone call to Community Standards.  They posted this information on The Pine Hills Social Club Discussion Board.  A couple of days later Mickey, Minnie, and all of my neighbor’s other positive reinforcement, new age decorations vanished.

It seems they received a letter from Community Standards stating that their landscaping was in violation of the deed restrictions.  Some anonymous bastard put a hit out on Mickey Mouse, while all of the other assorted herons, egrets, and diving dolphins still stand unscathed.  It’s a twisted life……….

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New Publication

October 19, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to my wife, Susan Marie. She is far and away a much better artist than I can ever hope to be. I believe you will enjoy her work.

Susan Marie Molloy

The West Florida Literary Federation’s Emerald Coast Review XIX, “Life in Your Time,” is published and available through Amazon. This 19th issue is filled with stories, photographs, and poems gathered from literary talent from its members.  It’s good reading.

By the way, several of my poems and photographs are included in this publication, and the book’s cover is my submission that the West Florida Literary Federation chose to use for this edition.  I’m blushing.

You can find this publication HERE on Amazon.

Enjoy!

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.

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So Where Did You Hear That?

October 12, 2017

Here is the thing about news in The Villages: it is not what you would call fair and balanced.  I can say this because the news on WVLG, 640 AM, is delivered every hour on the hour by Fox News, and as we all know, their tag line is “fair and balanced”.  But I am not talking about radio news broadcasts, I’m referring to the written news media.

Just about everybody here subscribes to home delivery of The Villages Daily Sun.  This paper is chock full of happiness for the most part.  Most of the hard news, the news of the world, is pulled from the Associated Press wires, but the local, lifestyle type news, as reported on by young local reporters, is all sugar sweet, happy pappy, fluff, made to make The Villages appear to be an adult Utopia.  I guess that would be because the paper is operated by the Developer who, of course, wants to show off The Villages in the finest light.

Never fear though my friends, you can find a balance to this online.  You can go to The Villages – News.com.  There you can get the nitty-gritty on the jamokes that live in and around The Villages.  There you can leave comments, beef, bitch, moan, and groan.  There you will learn that being an adult child in Utopia isn’t always utopian.

So, if you want your news fair and balanced, you need to avail yourself of both of these sources.  It’s a twisted life……….

And The Winner Is……….

October 11, 2017

Today I am about to announce the winner of The Sham Artist of the Year Award.  This award goes to a company that I contracted with one year ago today.  Shame on me.

On October 10, 2016 my wife and I were leaving the house that we live in today to go back to what was our regular residence at the time back up in Yeehaa Yodel-O Land, also know as Pensacola, Florida.  We had just contracted with a lawn care service/pest control company to keep the bugs and the weeds away from our newly constructed home in The Villages, which we were not going to fully move into for about ten or eleven months yet.  This company we chose does everything the lawn needs to thrive, except mow it, so we were hoping to try to get that particular service contracted for from back up in the panhandle.

In what seemed like a serendipitous act of providence, a fellow by the name of Roy Blackburn, who represented a company named Service Smart, Inc. showed up at our door just as the gentleman from the other company drove off.  While he tried to sell us the complete lawn care package, telling us how Florida law provides for a three-day right of cancellation, and we could simply kick the other company to the curb without tendering any reason whatsoever, we insisted that we only needed lawn mowing services.  He looked around outside, measured the lawn, and gave us his quote.  We went to contract for “mowing, edging, weed eating, and blowing off, every other week” for one year.  We even let him up sell us to install donuts around our sprinkler heads so they would not be damaged by the lawnmower.

Less than an hour after he left, so did we.  We were happy with what we had accomplished, and just knew that our new home was going to keep the same curb appeal that it had on the day we bought it.

We were very disappointed on our return trips.  We would try to come down at least once a month to check on the house, do some painting, and set up whatever other services we felt we needed to contract for.  While the company that we had for pest control, and lawn maintenance, such as aerating, fertilizing, and weed control, was doing a stellar job, Service Smart, Inc., the “mow and go guys”, were not.

There was no way that they were showing up every other week.  On one of our trips down we had an appointment with a landscaping company to get an estimate on installing a more tropical-looking foliage than what the developer had put in.  His professional opinion was that it had been at least three weeks since the lawn had been mowed.  On another trip down, I discovered that an elbow on the newly installed rain gutter down spout had been hit by the lawnmower, dented, and comply ripped away.  An area of fencing that we used to keep our dogs in the yard was in tatters, torn to pieces by the weed whacker.  Then I discovered that the cover of a clean out line had been broken.

It came to pass that we would finally be able to spend a solid two-week stretch down here.  Finally, I would be able to confront the workers with all of their damage.  Since they were to show up every other week, surely I would see them.

Nope.  That didn’t happen until we moved down here about two months ago.  They showed up one day early on, and I went out to have a talk with them.  I pointed out the problems, and was straight-up looked in the eye and lied to about it.  It went from “we didn’t break dat”, to “maybe my partner did dat wiff da weed whacker, yo”.  And that was the last time I saw Shawn and Fred, the lazy ‘ner-do-wells who were not showing up every other week, and who were damaging our property.  In fact, a month went by before a new crew showed up.

Once three weeks had passed and no one showed up to cut the lawn, I called the office and complained.  It was the first time I had done that because, well, I am not a snitch.  My intent was never to get anybody in trouble, only to have them act right, which is what I told Shawn and Fred when I talked to them about the damage.  The receptionist at the office told me she was going to send a supervisor out, and made an appointment for two days later.  The next day a new crew showed up, and I refused to let them cut the grass because of my appointment with the supervisor.

Boy, did this new crew give me an ear full.  Turns out Freddie is a convicted felon who was fired for threatening a customer who he thought snitched on him.

Anyway, the supervisor showed up the next day and gave me a song and dance about how trucks had been stolen, equipment had gone missing, people quit, people got fired, all sorts of excuses for why they were doing such a terrible job.  I explained to him that was not my circus, and not my monkeys, and all I wanted out of Service Smart was to have my grass cut every other week for the remainder of the contract, which was five more weeks.  Then I intended to start cutting my own grass.

The crew showed up the next day and did a marvelous job, the best I had ever seen.  The day after that, the big boss man, and owner of the company, Kenny Smith, showed up at our front door.  He wanted to see all the damage, and made tall promises to replace the broken clean out cover, and the fencing, and to cut the elbow off the down spout and raise it up higher so that the weed whacker or the lawnmower couldn’t hurt it any more.  Then when he asked if we could renew the contract for another year with no increase in price.  I respectfully declined.  That was the last I have seen or heard from anybody connected with Service Smart, Inc.

The contract expired at midnight.  I think I will go mow my own lawn now.  It’s a twisted life……….

The New Sunday Game

October 10, 2017

I have promised myself that I was not going to get into politics with this incarnation of It’s A Twisted Life, but I need to tell you that I have given up on professional football.  While the sideline antics that the NFL players display during the National Anthem does come into play in my rejection of the game, so do a lot of other reasons.  What those reasons are will become the subject of another dissertation here soon.  I promise.

This past Sunday I attended a Polo match at The Villages Polo Club.  I must admit, I enjoyed it way beyond what I expected I would.  Sure, I knew I was curious about it.  After all, I was never exposed to the game, and now I found it being played right here where I live.

One of the most interesting aspects of the game is that you have both professional players, and amateur players playing side by side.  There is a handicap system that makes sure that each four-player team is evenly matched.  I have a limited understanding of how that all actually works, so I will just give you this link to The United States Polo Association where it is all spelled out.

 

What I can tell you is that it is as action packed as a thoroughbred horse race, and as strategic as a game of chess.  It is fast paced, yet the ball is easier to follow than say, a hockey puck.  You will also be treated to sight of some of the most magnificent horses you have ever seen.

Polo2

Original Photo (c) Susan Marie Molloy 2017

SAMBA

October 8, 2017

Before we get to the meat of today’s discourse, let us give a shout out to the young lady at Millennial Debt Success who took the time to read, and like, one of my postings.  If you are a Millennial, and you are trying to get the hang of handling your money, then this blog may be one you will benefit from.  Personally, I am an old geezer who uses credit to keep his FICO score high, and Millennials do not usually like hanging with me.

I had never heard of the card game Samba until moving to The Villages, but it sure seems to be pretty popular here.  In fact, there are at least sixteen games going on in the various recreation centers on a weekly basis.  These are actual games that are being played, at scheduled times, in scheduled venues, throughout The Villages.

I am not personally interested in the game of Samba.  I have a few card games that I know and enjoy, and I am not really interested in learning any new ones.  The ones I already know have given me hour upon hour of enjoyable fun and competition.  As a rule, I have always enjoyed the company of my fellow players.  But I doubt if I would reap any benefit from a neighborhood game of Samba.  Let me tell you why.

I find it rather funny that in the last three months there have been fifty-five comments on The Pine Hills Social Club community discussion board regarding trying to get a Samba game going, and yet not a single hand has been dealt.  The game is popular, the game is being played somewhere in The Villages on a daily basis, and anyone who lives in The Villages is entitled to partake in any activity in any of the recreation centers throughout The Villages.  I get the distinct feeling that if a “neighborhood” game ever did get going, these wheel-spinners would have to keep reminding each other when it is their turn to play their hand.

It is a twisted life, indeed……….

Enter The Clown Car

October 4, 2017

Let me start by directing you to the new guys.  It seems I am greeting every new day and find that one or two new people have found me.

Today there was Antonio from New York.  He does videos.  You might like them.  His blog is called The Struggle.  You can find it here.

Then there is my new follower David.  He seems to be an all around guy in that he has his blog going, and he operates an online radio station.  He readily identifies himself as Autistic, and if that is a seriously debilitating condition, it sure does not seem to show on him.  He has some very cool 60’s style sideburns, too.  Check him out right here.

Now about that clown car……………

I am sure you have all seen the little car bit, where a bunch of clowns keep streaming out of a real small car.  It is amazing because you never even knew there were that many clowns in the circus, right?  Well that, my friends, is very similar to some of the postings on my neighborhood message board, The Pine Hills Social Club.

Every single day there are tons of things going on in The Villages.  It is pretty much like a playground for adult children retirees.  Everybody goes zooming around hither and yon on golf carts.  That is right, golf carts.  You can go to the stores in them, you can go to the movie theaters in them, you can take your dog to the dog park in them, you can go to the doctor’s office in them, I have even heard rumors about a couple who got caught having sex in one in the church parking lot.

There are clubs, too.  There are clubs for people who came from the same state, clubs for people who went to the same school, clubs for people of the same ethnic heritage, clubs for democrats, clubs for republicans, clubs for philosophers, clubs for clowns, magicians, musicians, bicyclists, bikers, classic car owners, clubs for everything under the sun.  If there is not a club for whatever you are interested in or passionate about, you are more than welcome to start one.

Entertainments abounds.  Like any other city of substantial size, The Villages has theater groups, dance troops, and its own symphony orchestra.  Every night on the town squares there is free entertainment which is composed of some form of music, dancing, and two for one happy hours that feature a different special drink each night.  This goes on three hundred and sixty-five days a year, except when there is a hurricane blowing through. This is not to mention the guys on the geezer tour who stop by.  Why just the other night Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels hit town.  Tommy James and the Shondells are coming up soon, as is Kansas.  Another old geezer, Willie Nelson, is due up in a couple of days, but he seems a little more relevent to todays country music scene, than the others do to the current rock scene.

So with all of this going on around and about the town, for some reason I cannot even begin to phantom, some of the denizens of The Pine Hills Social Club discussion board seem to be in a constant state of going around, and around, and around, and around, trying to set something up “in the neighborhood” that already exists, and is well organized, and provided for in the many recreation centers around and about The Villages itself.

I find the clown car quite entertaining at times.

 

 

More Will Be Revealed

October 3, 2017

And so, there seems to be a couple of people actually reading my writing.  I am honored that someone would take the time.

millennial named Bailey, who lives in Nashville, actually started following me.  You can check his stuff out here.  He is taking on some interesting 30-day immersions into various millennial-type endeavours.

Then there is Juhi, a young lady from India.  She seems to be quite positive in her assessment of life, and how one might better live it.  If you are in need of some positive reinforcement, may I suggest you seek her out here.

As if that were not enough, there is what seems to be a group effort by a few folks who are strong advocates of outdoor activity.  Bully for them, I say.  Fresh air never hurt anyone.  They call their blog The Dihedral, and you can find that one here.

Finally, I would be sadly remiss if I did not give a shout out to my most fervent follower, my lovely wife, Susan.  She is a fine writer, a published author, and my much-needed proofreader and editor.  If you would like to treat yourself, you can purchase her books on Amazon, or you can go here and get a good feel for her writing for free.

Ah well, I did not come here today to brag about the few people I already have reading my stuff.  It surprised me that they were out there so soon, and I just had to spout off about it.  What I did come here for today was to flesh out the introduction a little more. I live in a place called The Villages, Florida.  It is touted as being “Florida’s Friendliest Hometown”.  Is it?  Well hang in there with me boys and girls, and we shall see.

 

 

Talking Into The Void

October 2, 2017

I plod ahead like the voice crying out in the wilderness.  Hello?  Is there anybody listening?  Probably not yet.

So why would you want to waste your time like that, asks no one.  Well, jeepers mercy me, I don’t know.  I guess I have a lot to say, and I am only concerned with reaching those that may be interested.  I have also had it up to my ears with social media as in Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, etc.

It has all gotten pretty ridiculous.  Sure, I know, you can fix your settings so that only you yourself can see what you post.  You can make it so that only friends, or only family, or only friends of friends and friends of the family and the family of friends of the family can see what you post.

The problem is, you can see what other people post.  I know that you can fix that in your settings, too.  Friend this guy, but don’t follow him.  Only relevant posts will show up in your news feed.  Of course you don’t actually get to decide what relevant means.  It is a lot of work for a minuscule return.

While I relish the opportunity to be a judgmental old curmudgeon, I hate to find that people I once held in high regard have no clue when it comes to syntax, grammar, and spelling.  I really do not appreciate unsolicited points of view being shoved at me on a daily basis.  You can also bet the farm that I am not really interested what happened to your third cousin, twice removed, via my force fed news feed.

Therefore, I will use this platform to exercise my right to free speech.  If, in fact, there are any interested parties, they will be welcome to join the fray.  You do not have to friend me, you do not have to follow me, and you do not even have to know me.  Many of my “friends” on social media did not, nor I them, for that matter.

Good God Almighty, It’s Him Again

October 1, 2017

What the hell, times change, circumstances change, people change, and the way I approach this old blog has just changed, too.  I have wiped it clean, and I am about to run it head long into a new direction.

I am no longer content to be a passive observer.  I have just got to talk about it.  I have to get it off my chest.  I have to shout it out.  I have to go tell it on the mountain.  I have to quote the ridiculous, the sublime, the wise man, and the fool.  I am even going to have to whack an occasional idiot right between the eyes with the two-by-four of truth.

Each and every day I witness life in a myriad of different ways.  Sometimes it is what I see and hear as I cavort to and fro around the spaces I find myself in.  Sometimes it is what I read.  Other times it is simply the voices in my head.  Rest assured there is always something to write about because there is always enough twisted life fodder crossing my path on a daily basis.

 


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