Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

I Found The Friendly Folks Are Not So Friendly

November 23, 2017

As always, we start out with the shout-outs.  The artist Impreint, who is the blogger behind IMPREINT journal, stopped by my blog, and gave it a like.  Since I like checking out bloggers who check me out, I dropped in on them and found some very interesting photographic art, and a link to their Facebook page with even more.  Check them out right here if you enjoy interesting visuals.

There is a Facebook page called The Villages Friendly Folks.  Like most social media groups I have stumbled across here in “Florida’s Friendliest Hometown“, it is populated by people who are obviously living vicariously through the Internet because they have no real life to speak of.

As with The Pine Hills Social Club, The Villages Friendly Folks is a place where some people go to brag about what they have got, some go to foist made-up lives upon people who have no idea what a pitiful existence they led wherever it was they originally came from, and some just show up asking questions that they can easily find the REAL answers to easier, elsewhere.

I got myself banned from The Villages Friendly Folks Facebook page for pointing out the fact that there is a better way to find real answers to community standard questions than to throw the questions out on social media, where a few dozen people will give you a few dozen different opinions, as opposed to real answers.  That might not be the best way to avoid running afoul of The Community Standards Department.

For crying out loud, these people obviously have an Internet connection if they are on Facebook.  What in the world is preventing them from going to the authoritative Community Development District’s Community Standards page where the REAL answer lies?

My guess is a combination of things:  boredom, loneliness, and some of the other things that come with moving away from family, friends, coworkers, and the neighbors they once knew.  Not everyone is mentally equipped for retirement, I suppose.

It’s a twisted life……….



The Big Chicken And The Little Chicken

November 14, 2017

It came to pass that the wife and I decided to meander off to McAlister’s Deli to have a little lunch.  They have a mouth watering club sandwich that I was hankering for.

We took a two seat table by the window so as to watch the world go by, which usually happens at a very leisurely pace here in The Villages.  Wouldn’t you know it, we sat directly across the aisle from the big chicken, the little chicken, and their two hens.

If you have ever watched cartoons as a child, you will know what I am referring to.  The big chicken is a gregarious buffoon who talks so loud that the whole barnyard gets a whiff of his conversation.  It is designed to let everyone in earshot know how stately, cool, and adventurous the big chicken is.  The little chicken is a hanger-on who would not have a friend in the world if it was not for being the big chickens adoring yes man.

During the course of our lunch, the big chicken approached another table, the inhabitants of which he was obviously acquainted with, and regaled them with his weekend travel plans.  The folks who had their lunch interrupted were polite.  They allowed the big chicken his braggadocio.  They nodded in all of the proper places.  Then they shook their heads as the big chicken walked away.

All the while the little chicken sat patiently with the hens, running his fingers through his Just For Men dyed Dark Brown hair.  That stuff is soooo obvious.  Who else but the little chickens of the world would even consider using it?

It’s a twisted life……….

It Does Not Mean You Are Cool Just Because You Play Guitar

November 11, 2017

So I took my guitar and went over to the Paradise Recreation Center to look into the Acoustic Guitar Club.  According to their listing in The Villages Recreation & Parks section that gets inserted into the Thursday edition of The Villages Daily Sun each week, “It is open to those who play guitar, banjo, violin, harmonica, bass or any other string instrument”.  I guess I should have been skeptical when they alluded to fact that a harmonica might be a string instrument, huh?

It also states that “Members play various types of music, from traditional to contemporary”.  Yay! It sounds like there is a place for one and all, even a string harmonica player.

Into the room I went.  I said “Hi kids” at room-filling volume.  There were plenty of eyes on me, a couple of nods from the less countrified looking members, and an icy silence that was deafening.  Not a big deal I thought, let the music do the talking.

The leader of the pack, who I later found out was not the real leader, just a guy who took it upon himself to get the ball rolling, took a look in my direction and called out that “We gonna play Okie from Muskogee“.  And play it they did.  A few of the more redneck looking of the bunch kept glancing over to my corner, and I swear they started singing louder when they got to the part about “we don’t wear our hair long and shaggy, like the Hippies out in San Francisco do”.

Well, I do.  My hair, what is left of it, is long and shaggy.  I look like an old hippie.  It is my style.  It is not, however, my actual lifestyle, and as far as I am concerned it drew out the bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, of a cabal of redneck buffoons.  When they broke out into Foggy Mountain Breakdown, I picked up my guitar and walked out.

It’s a twisted life……….

Take That Shit Elsewhere

November 4, 2017

Look what you made me do you phony bitch, you made me drop a dime on you.

I am not prone to snitching.  In fact, it wrenches my guts if and when I am driven to do so.  I would much rather get the cathartic cleansing I get when I expose your disregard for your fellow travelers in my very little read blog, but Debra, you and Rocky have pushed me to do both.

Living in a deed restricted community means that you have to follow certain rules.  One of those rules is that if you are owned by a dog, that dog has to be on a leash when he or she appears in public.  The lady across the street chooses not to follow that rule.  You can see her sashaying her ass down the street, with her Chihuahua, Rocky, off leash, running helter-skelter, to and fro, wherever he damn well pleases.

Today, he decided to relieve himself on my front lawn, which in turn, turned my dogs, Toby and Trixie, into raging maniacs, barking like mad dogs because some interloper was desecrating their property.  I cannot say that I blame them.  I was pissed as well.

She picked it up alright, but the fact remains that if she followed the rules, her little mouse dog would have never been as deep over my property line as he was.

Yeah, I had a choice.  I could have gone out and confronted her, pointing out that I have noticed ever since I moved here that she ignores the leash rule, but that would have lead to the fact that I think that she, as a renter, should be extra special careful when it comes to the rules.  I could have pointed out that The Villages provides a dog park for those who want to allow their dogs to run free, off leash.  I even could have ignored it, just like I have been ever since we moved in.  None of those seemed appropriate today, so I dropped a dime to Community Standards.

The bottom line is that now feel like a snitch, a rat, a trick, and whatever other words fit a tattletale, but it seems better to feel like that than to get into a public confrontation with a bitchypoo.

It’s a twisted life……….


October 29, 2017

There are back.  The Snowbirds are flocking back, and with them come all manner of discomfort.  The stores are more crowded, good parking is harder to find, and the waiting lists are forming at the restaurants.

The most dangerous drivers in all of the land have descended upon Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.  We have these things called round-a-bouts on three of our major streets that run north to south here, and these maniacs have no clue as to how to negotiate them.  Even thought there are signs telling you where to yield, and which lane to use to go where you need to go, the Snowbirds just barrel on through with no regard for anyone else.

Sure the businesses love them, and their money.  They are good for the local economy to be sure.  They more or less help subsidize the cost of living here, but personally I would not mind paying a little more to be here if only they were outlawed.

Let them just keep going.  They could invade South Florida.  Let them hang in Miami, or Naples, or Boca Raton, or The Keys even.  That was their tradition once upon a time; let them return to their natural habitat.  Like most birds, they are dirty, filthy creatures, and I don’t like them.  If they insist on staying warm and avoiding freezing temperatures, let them go to Hell.

Get Back To Where You Once Belonged

October 22, 2017

I do not get all of these old geezers riding around on bicycles in packs, all dressed up like they were competing in The Tour D’ France.  However, being a free country, I readily acknowledge the fact that they have every right in the world to wear whatever spins their pedals.

What I do have a problem with is this: There are miles and miles of what are called multi-modal paths here in The Villages.  They are put in for use by non-vehicular forms of transport.  It has been discussed, researched, opined upon, and well documented that this means walkers, skaters, Segway users, golf cart drivers, and bicyclists.  Why then do these Lance Armstrong wannabes feel the need to take their lives into their hands and ride their bikes in the street?

I will tell you why.  It is because they do not want to be hindered or obstructed by the other, perhaps slower, users of the multi-modal paths.

Well, you fools, just like you, I do not wish to be hindered by your stupid looking bicycle gang when I am trying to get from point A to point B whilst driving my car.  That plastic peach pit looking piece of crap you have perched up there on your head is not going to help you much if you get yourself mowed down by a motor vehicle.  You know, one of those things that has every right to be in the street which you actually have no right to.

You have your own special paths; I suggest you stick to them.  I hate seeing the crows picking on the squirrels, possums, deer, and whatever other roadkill happens to be laying about.  It would really put a damper on my day to see them tearing away at your carcass.

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……….

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 –  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.


Original Photo (c) Susan Marie Molloy 2017

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