Better than Melatonin

We have a Pug. He snores. Not loud, more like heavy breathing, but if you lock onto it, you have a hard time sleeping. At times, it can wake us up, and when it does, you are up for an extended period of time. He cannot help it, and it is because of their recessed snouts.

So we decided to try something new. A White Noise Machine. Amazon to the rescue.

I order a nice one. Not a cheap one as life experience has taught me there is a reason they are cheap. We did not order the Super Deluxe Billionaire model either. Just somewhere in between. It is small, natural wood finish, and very light weight.

The coke bottle is for size comparison.

Anyway, it is really simple to use, has great volume control, and comes with 16 preprogrammed noises. You can have it on all night, or set for 1, 2, or 3 hour auto shut off.

Some of the 16 noises make little sense (birds chirping, for example), but we found two we really like: The thunderstorm with rain, and the surf crashing. Last night we set it to the storm, and know what? It damn worked. It masked his snoring noise, and was very, very soothing to listen to. Both Cupcake and I enjoyed a better than usual nights sleep.

Well worth the investment. If you have a hard time sleeping or wake in the middle of the night (like everyone over 50) it is worth trying this as a remedy. Beats Melatonin or ZZZZ pills.

Tonight we will fall asleep to the surf crashing on the beach.

Growth too fast!

We have lived in the Bay area (Tampa Bay, not the other one) for 3 decades, 2 of them in our current house. We used to love the “small town feel” while living in a robust city, but in the last two years, it is changing (the wrong way).

With the massive population growth since Covid-shut down policies forced many blue city residents to unass their AO and move to Florida, where we remained open-for-business, we have seen an unprecedented population increase in a very short time. This forced immediate and never ending construction of housing/apartment complexes to meet the demand. Land that had been vacant for years was under construction, old warehouses either cleared out or repurposed (into lofts), even golf courses and flea markets cleared out for large, new complexes. Within 3 miles of us we have 4 new apartment complexes, and 3 new massive neighborhoods under construction, with land being cleared for another half dozen. The outer limits of the city are being extended so that outlying communities are no longer outlying.

It is still not enough. Problem is, it takes years for the road networks to be built to accommodate this growth, so you have twice the people trying to use the same existing road network. Traffic jams are occurring where they had not before, and a nice drive to the countryside is now wrought with road blockages and diversions,

That is not the worst of it. Almost daily now there is a news story about some pedestrian, biker, scooter rider, that lost their life because they took a chance and lost, or went where they should not have gone. Before, these were very rare occurrences. We now read at least once a week of a shooting. Some arbitrary, some induced by anger, most involving alcohol. Again, these used to be rare. By rare I mean maybe twice a year.

With the recent elections, we have been told through local news that it will get worse as many more will relocate to Florida. Well, fine, but we are getting saturated. This is happening in many, many parts of Florida, not just our area.

Do not get me wrong, we welcome these transplants. Florida has always been a State of Transplants. What we do ask is, please pay attention. Give the road networks time to develop. Assimilate (life is a little slower here), and please stay safe.

Taste, with muscle

Know what the strongest thing on Earth is? Never mind, I will tell you:

Your Taste buds. Yup. I know this because I eat.

See, you are looking at that last piece of pizza, or chocolate cake, or spoonful of baked macaroni and cheese, all the while knowing that you are already full….so full you need to take a nap….but..

Damn it was so delicious. I mean, just so tasty. You already had too much. Anything more may require a belt notch expansion. You know it is not good to eat it. The calories, the carbs, the upset stomach…but hot-to-malee, your taste buds want more.

So you do. 500 reasons NOT to, and your taste buds kicked them all in the ass.

It is a force of nature to be reckoned with.

Am I just getting slower?

I do not even pretend to keep up with technology. I am traveling at the speed of mud uphill, while technology is traveling at the speed of light on an entirely different band width (did I say that right?), but now it is just causing serious questions.

I recently noticed that they have replaced “Virtual Reality” with “Meta Reality”. Here are my questions:

(1) Why did this happen overnight while I was sleeping?

(2) Why the shit did this happen?

(3) What is the difference?

(4) Should I give a damn?

I have some smart followers. Anyone able to figure this out?

Only three days…

Hurricane Ian blew apart a major bridge between Ft. Myers and Pine Island (yes, an island people live on). Not just damaged, but blew away a huge chunk. Maybe 20-25 feet gone, cutting the island off from the mainland. Well folks, it has been rebuilt. Three days. Traffic is now flowing back and forth again. Traffic is mostly clean up crews, engineers, and inspectors (residents are still prohibited while these tasks are underway), but they are hard at work.

Just amazing what can happen when people get involved, work hard, do not flee to other cities (at taxpayer expense), and do not sit around waiting for someone to do the shit for them.

You listening New Orleans?

Gas it up

This last week Governor Desantis suspended our gas tax (.25 per gallon), and we are now seeing gas approach the “under $3.00” mark. In California, they are just now breaking the $7.00 per gallon mark.

Anyone care to explain how this is not a “blue” print for disaster?

Who are the experts?

Long term Floridians (25+ years) are old hats when it comes to Hurricanes. I have been here for 30 years (Cupcake 25 years) and we have had to “prepare” for maybe 20 hurricanes headed our way. We have been fortunate that they all opted for a path different than the forecast, but that is not what this blog is about. Nope. It is about….

Exaggerated journalism.

Hurricanes attract a lot of viewership. Almost 24/7 increased ratings. Because of that, they sensationalize. I get that. If they did not, people would become complacent. Thing is, if they sensationalize too long, they create a jaded viewing audience who will take the next Hurricane lightly. They turn a firecracker situation into a thermal nuclear explosion situation so as to keep the audience glued to the telecast.

Here is some major advice to the meteorologist crews: We know more about preparedness than you do. All we need you to do is plot the expected path, the probably landing point, and the potential strength at landfall. We can take it from there.

We know when to evacuate, we know the cone will shift, we know the landing point has a margin of error of +/- 100 miles. We know the damage expected of each level, 1 through 5. We know what a storm surge is, and the damage based on each level of surge. We have our own hydrometers to measure rainfall, vanes for wind direction, and trees to gauge the wind speed.

We know to gas up our cars, have spare gas for generators, clear our lawns of potential flying debris, and to expect power outages. We know to board windows, sandbag water entrance points, and latch down boats and grills.

We know where shelters are, what to do with our pets, and safe points in our house. We can predict to the minute when bridges will close, schools will announce closures, and when local grocery stores will close (and when the bottled water will be gone).

Stop broadcasting this information ALL DAY LONG! All that tells us is that you really have nothing important to say or update. If we were REALLY in danger, you would not need to repeat the same crap all day long. ALL DAY LONG!

Sandbags my ass

Most folks know what Florida is focusing on. Big issue with Ida will be flooding. We are in a no-evac, no flood zone, but when 24 inches are forecast, all bets are off. We are slightly elevated, but as a minor precaution I will seal garage door bottom and doors, but unlike the fools standing in a 4 hour line for sandbags, I used Bagged bark chips.

When they get wet, they are as heavy as sand, and when you are done, you can spread them on your garden. Sandbags sit around for years until they become concrete and part of the landscape. This has never failed me.

When I went to HD, there were maybe 4 people doing the same thing. Everyone else was in the wood section trying to buy non-existent plywood.