Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, March 24, 2011

I have had my first date in awhile. The last one was prior to Halloween and it ended disastrous. I ignored my rules, which gave me an important wake up call. Never ignore the rules.
My rules are what I think is simple. They have to own at least what I own. Have an income, a valid drivers license and not have any serious addiction. Their values have to be the same as mine, which doesn't mean their hobbies and interests have to be the same but their list of priorities have to be the same. My first priority is definitely family. Nobody gets in the way.
So after my date to be got the rules, and I made a call giving him one more chance to back out, he scheduled two dates. See there are men out there who can pay attention to the rules. My first date was nice, a movie and a meal, we laughed a lot and had good conversation. The get to know you stuff. Well, he called the next day after the date and said he had a great time, he scheduled our next date. We are going to have a little fun at the casino on Friday night. Now I can see how things go there. I do have the addiction rule. I hope that gambling is not one of them, unless he can afford it!
I will keep my readers updated on this guy, so far, so good. Wish me luck.


Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, March 10, 2011

Update from the Classic Cars Post , to congratulate the winners of the Car Show. My friends Ralph and Carolyn, who achieved first place in their divisions for their two beautiful cars. They are the best car collectors I have ever met. They work hard on every detail and when you look at their cars you stand in amazement, as if you were standing in the show room so many years ago, when the car was first introduced to the public. As I go through my life I sometimes forget the past, and when I see these reminders, so bright and shinny, I look back into those years of my youth with fondness and love for the richness I was honored to be a part of. Children today have no idea what it was like, if you have the opportunity to take them to a Classic Car Show, go, and tell them the stories about what it was like riding around in these beautiful machines. With any luck, they too will tell the stories to their children and let them know how simple and special the little things are.

Another winner, it must be a family trait.


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, March 06, 2011

I finally got a letter back from Waste Management, my guestions answered from my original letter. If you read the letter they talk about money as if it were mere pennies. I am going to forward a suggestion to them that they charge for each individual dumping and just take it off our tax bill completely. When I figured out the math, it costs a lot of money per visit. Why not charge $3 for residents, $5 for non and perhaps $7 for landscapers, etc... I think this way they will never have to turn away anyone, I think when they turn people away we find the trash in canals, vacant lots, and various other places. Then we have to end up picking that stuff up too. I also noticed in the letter that says how we have already reduced the cost of collections with the automated pick-up. You know what, I havn't noticed a reduction of any kind on my tax bill. They are always claiming that they are going to do things to reduce our costs, yet we never, ever see the reduction on our tax bills. If you are a home-owner you may want to click on the email address below and make some of your own suggestions. We have to stand up to government spending, even if it is, as they claim 50 cents a household. Don't believe it for a minute. They will use that extra money and still increase our taxes. Just wait and see.

Stand up for your rights, use your voice, send and email or make a call.

The Department of Solid Waste Management is currently testing a new Access Management System at our 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers (TRCs). The system is being tested for future implementation and is designed to help ensure that only those residents who pay the annual waste collection fee are provided access to the TRCs. I am attaching a PDF version of the flyer currently being distributed. It provides details on how the system is designed to work and what information is being gathered during the test period.

When a resident visits the TRC, they are asked to provide the attendant with their State of Florida driver's license or identification (ID) card, as they have always been required to do. With the new system, the attendant scans the driver's license or ID to determine if the property address embedded in the bar code of the license or ID is a match against an eligible property address in our customer database. The TRC Access Management system will record the date and time of your TRC visit, the name and address on the license/ID and the type of material being delivered. No other personal information will be recorded. On-site personnel do not have access to the information recorded by the hand-held device. There are no plans to use this information to limit access to the TRCs for customers who pay the annual waste fee. The data gathered through the system will be used to enhance our ability to keep out ineligible users and improve operations at the TRCs.
During the test period, residents will not be turned away if the information in their driver's license does not match an address of an eligible property address in our database. However, if an ineligible resident (e.g. a resident who lives in an apartment, a non-service area municipality or an unpermitted landscaper) tries to use the Center, they will be denied access just as they have been in the past. While the system is being tested, you will not be turned away if you do not agree to have your license scanned. However, once the system is fully implemented, you will be required to have your license scanned to gain access to the facility.
When the system is permanently implemented, it will enable us to control operational costs by ensuring that the Centers are being used only by customers like you that pay the annual $439 waste fee. The total annual operating cost for the TRC system is approximately $25 million or $77 per household. The cost for the TRC access control equipment (hardware and software) was $161,000, or about one-half of one percent of the annual TRC system cost, which translates to about fifty-cents ($0.50) per household. The public information costs for this program have been kept very low; less than $2,000 has been spent on handouts and signage posted at the TRCs. And no additional personnel have been hired to implement this program. We conservatively estimate that implementation of the TRC access management system will generate an annual cost reduction of approximately $3 million or $9 per household. We are continuously looking for ways to reduce costs and serve you better, particularly through the use of new technologies like automated garbage collection and single stream recycling.
I hope that this information provides clarification of the TRC Access System. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me at 305-514-6789 or via email at

Pamela Payne
Assistant Director
Collection Operations


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, March 06, 2011

A beautiful day today, have my two grandsons, Sam and Max with me. Watched a movie in the morning, then headed down south to the Homestead Speedway. Along with the Indy races they were sponsoring a Classic Car Show. Been so busy, it was a nice change of pace on this beautiful day. Something to do for free and get a little exercise.

Max was busy taking pictures of his favorites, which were many. He liked this big old Semi truck. Sam was into the muscle cars. I think his favorite was a Fieroe, since it was the one that looked most like a Ferrari to him. They both spotted out cars that their mom would love. They asked me what kind of cars I use to see when I was growing up and it made me think. Born in the 1950's, I started looking for the cars of my era and remembering what the streets looked like. My mom had a Lark, which the kids looked at and then looked at me like I was ancient. As I looked at the cars from the 50's and 60's I remembered the simple times, my first car, a green 65 Mustang, if only I could appreciate the craftsmanship of these beautiful machines then. I see them bright and shiny in the same condition as when they were on the show room floors a half a century before.

Love the color on this car, one of the cars I would have seen driving down the road when I was a kid, now it sits parked in a climate controlled garage, pampered by my friends Ralph and Carolyn. There was a time when these big beauties cruised and people would love to take their cars out just for a drive. I remember when fuel was under a dollar and we could travel just for the enjoyment of it. I remember my Dad taking us all the way to Key West for one of those drives. I would clinch my teeth, because the bridges that connected the Keys were a lot smaller and I always thought we would rip off the mirrors when on-coming traffic approached.

How about this beauty, this car is over 100 years old and it still runs. Henry Ford would be proud.

The details and pride put into each of these machines, make a beautiful show. I think as you walk around and find the car that your parents use to take you to school in it brings back memories of times gone by. If you listen to the people around you, while strolling the show, the stories of their memories emerge.

I just love the hood ornaments and was taken by each individual one.

I think that my grandsons got a real lesson in what it use to be like in the past 100 years or so. They asked questions and perhaps they could imagine what it was like when I was younger. If anything, they could see for themselves a part of history that is still intact. Instead of seeing pictures of what cars looked like at the beginning of their creation, the boys could see a part of history within their reach.


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, March 05, 2011

I had one of those days today. Yesterday, I was suppose to pick up paint, but did not have the time to do so. In the morning I went to the paint store and by a great coincidences a man that represents the paint company was there to answer questions I had about the job I was currently working on. Did you know when you finally get that old wall paper off and clean the wall you can't use regular water based primer? I would have made a big mess. I also learned that you can remove those hideous pop-corn ceiling with a spray of water and a scraper. They can't be repainted, unless you use a paint sprayer. But who wants a pop-corn ceiling anyway.
So, I got all the right supplies for my job. Now I have the oil based 5 gallon bucket of primer. It was so heavy I really couldn't drag it around so I put it in the back of my pickup truck. I parked under the carport of my customers house. As the sun changed directions I guess that it got a little hot. After hours of prep and tape, patching, and stuff like that it was time to start painting. My crew was doing the last of the prep upstairs so I went down to get enough paint out of the giant bucket to begin the job. They sure make these things easy to use, a small screw cap on the top. I began turning the cover to open the paint when it blew up all over me. The oil that separated from the paint splashed everywhere. I jumped up into the pickup to get a rag out of my tool box, but didn't think to look up when I stood up, for as fast as I got in a standing position I was knocked on my back when I slammed my head into the overhang of the carport. Just about knocked me out. I just laid on my back as the paint that exploded all over me became nice and tacky. My eyelid was stuck to my eyebrow, my hair was becoming stiff, I had paint all over me. Got up and got the rag to try to clean it off of me, now I have a rag stuck on me. Went into my customers garage to look for some paint thinner. Who doesn't have a can of paint thinner laying around, well they didn't.
I knew at this point I had a job to do, so I did the best I could to un-stick my eyelid with my hand which now is a mitt because my fingers are stuck together. Back to the giant paint can, noticing that the paint had separated, had to open the can and give it a good stir. Got out my paint stick with my mitt and began to stir, something wasn't quite right, I wasn't catching the bottom because my stick was far too short. So, without a thought in my head, probably because it had a giant bump on it, I just casually put my hand into the paint, still not reaching the bottom to stir properly, kept going, stirring and stirring, by now I had paint up to my elbow. I sure hope that no one had a video camera. This whole thing would get a million hits on YouTube for certain. Well, I got the paint I needed, not able to clean myself, continued upstairs to work with the crew. I  got this really strange look when I appeared with a paint brush and a cup of paint and paint up to my elbow and splattered all over my face and hair.
As I told the story to friends later that evening, they couldn't help laughing trying to envision what had happened, which wasn't to difficult because I still had a arm covered in paint, because I didn't have paint thinner on hand. I sat and laughed with my plastic cup of wine, my friend afraid that my bad luck hadn't quite worn off yet. As I told my story, I too couldn't help laughing at myself. Which I must admit is good medicine.