LAP DANCES ON WHEELS

When your most noteworthy municipal characteristic is as a strip club mecca, it’s a constant challenge to top yourself.

I’m happy to see that Tampa is up to the challenge: A motorhome strip-club-to-go offered lap dances and booze near Raymond James Stadium on Buccaneers gameday this past Sunday, before the cops busted it down.

A Bucs game as a family environment? Yeah, right — stands filled with obnoxious louts getting drunk, scantily-clad cheerleaders, violent action on the field… Perfect place to mold young minds. Stripping action would fit right into this environment. (And yes, I am a football fan.)

In addition: It took the Tampa PD four games to figure out this was going on? Crack detective work there.

All that said, it was particularly stupid of the operators to think they would be able to pull this off. Established clubs operate under fairly constant threat of crackdowns, even when they’re following all the laws; a stunt like this had no chance of being allowed a free pass.

MIAMI’S VIEW ON YBOR CITY

A recent article in the Miami Herald about the dying of the light among Ybor City’s traditional immigrant classes has stirred some pots, helping spur yet another clean-up effort for the Tampa neighborhood.

I’ve idly wondered just how South Florida’s Cuban community view Ybor — assuming they give a district some 300 miles away any consideration at all. But historically, Tampa and Ybor have a longer track record with Cubans and Cuba than Miami does; Jose Marti targeted Ybor during the Cuban War of Independence, and got plenty of money and Live jasmin support there. Obviously, the more recent history of the exodus following Castro’s revolution caused Miami to eclipse Tampa as the epicenter for the Cuban community in the U.S.

I think a clue to the present-day ignorance of Miami Cubans toward the Tampa connection can be seen in the opening lines of the Herald article.

That the paper felt the need to provide a phonetic spelling of a Spanish name speaks volumes regarding a lack of familiarity.

CYBER MONDAY BRINGS TRAFFIC — OR NOT

Following up on my speculation about a possible traffic spike here as a side effect of Cyber Monday, I can report that I have gotten a slightly higher-than-average amount of visitors yesterday and today.

However, I don’t see any evidence that it’s due to online shoppers stumbling this way.

I was expecting to see visits that came about because someone was looking for, say, something about iPods (one of my semi-frequent posting topics). But that’s not the case. I don’t see patterns that are much different from the everyday stuff that I get; there’s simply a bit more of it. That could be indicative of more people online thanks to the holiday season, but it’s a long guess.

For whatever reason, I’ll take the live sex traffic. Bing-bing bong-bong, y’know.

SITE-SPECIFIC ADSENSE

Astute visitors here may notice a new little linky-link in the Google AdSense boxes on this page called “Advertise on this site”. It’s a new initiative from Google called Onsite Advertiser, obviously designed to let advertisers buy space on specific sites rather than the normal run-of-AdSense network.

I did very little to implement Onsite, because I didn’t have to: Google auto-opts-in everyone, and while it’s easy enough to opt out, I imagine most publishers decided to ride with it. I customized the landing page for Population Statistic by uploading a logo and dashing off a little bit of cocky copy. Otherwise, it’s pretty passive from my end.

I’ll be curious to see if anyone actually bits on this for me. Larger sites in the Livesexchat network are sure to attract dedicated ads, as will those with more of a singular topic focus. But this site? Plenty of traffic, but it’s diffused among several categories. Still, you never know.

THAT FEELING OF RESIGNATION

If I may borrow a few lines from Messrs. Jagger and Richards.

Today I resigned from my position at Florida Trend Magazine. Which means it is, indeed, time for a change, after spending a decade of my professional life in St. Petersburg.

The details for me leaving will have to wait, if I reveal them here at all. Suffice to say that the desire to dissolve the relationship was mutual, and while it’s not an acrimonious split, it’s also not completely harmonious. Simply put, I wasn’t satisfied, wasn’t anticipating any improvement, and, after several days of cogitation, felt this was as good a time as any to shift gears. And I can say that — at the moment, anyway — I’ve got no regrets over the move, and in fact feel a good dose of relief from resolving the situation.

So, while I’m still ostensibly hitched with Trend for the next two weeks (last official day is pegged at Friday, December 9th), I am in effect a free agent. I’ve got nothing lined up at the moment, and am fortunately in a position where I can take a bit of a breather before finding a new gig.

As for where that next gig might be… It says something about the regard I hold for Trend, and parent company Times Publishing, when I can comfortably say that I don’t think I can find another job in publishing — or media in general — in the this area (or, probably, in Florida) that would match what I’ve had there. This has been the top of the heap in a lot of ways, and it doesn’t make much sense to look for a professional downgrade just for the sake of staying in Tampa Bay.

So, you can guess where this is going…

My plans — which are far from solid, but are likely — are to relocate to New York, probably by mid-January. My days of being “stuck around St. Petersburg” are coming to a close. (And that “New Yorkin’” category on this blog is about to get a lot fatter.)

Not to dump on the Bay area, but after 15 years of living here, I’m well past due for a change of scenery — even if that change is a return to familiar territory (having grown up in New York).

So. I think that’s enough of a change-up for one night. Further details as warranted.

BARE-KNUCKLED CANADIAN POLITICS

I’m proud to be an American, and am all for the Founding Fathers’ dedication to life, liberty and the rest.

Still, sometimes I sort of wish the Spirit of ‘76 had never happened. Because had it not, everything north of the Rio Grande might consist of a greater Dominion of Canada, and we’d all be experiencing the rough-and-tumble parliamentary politics that just led to a no-confidence tumbling of Paul Martin’s Liberal Party government in Ottawa.

You think the Red State vs. Blue State head-butting is nasty business? It’s tiddlywinks compared to what’s been brewing north of the border.

I don’t know why, but of any NAFTA member, I’d more expect this sort of mudslinging in Mexico…

MY HALF-HEARTED COKE MACHINE HACKING

Today I found a Coca-Cola machine that was hi-tech enough to be subject to the keypad-hacking trick I discovered at Transit Tech.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to trick the thing out. I had a printout of the instructions with me (they’re way too long for me to memorize), but after typing in the 4-2-3-1 to launch the menu, I was lost. I just started mashing the numbers and managed to get some sort of gobbledy-gook to display, then cut out after that novelty quickly wore off.

So no free can of Coke. Couldn’t even knock the price down to a nickel or anything. (Maybe next time I should load the instructions into my iPod, for more convenient portability.)

I felt unbelievably juvenile even attempting this trick. There was no one else around, so I didn’t have to be inconspicuous; but still.