For the past nine years — yes, it’s been that long since I moved here — the Sunshine State has also been the Accordion Guy State. I’ve made a home and found my place here, and I’ve somehow managed to not become a “Florida Man” news story (I still have time…).
Florida became a state on March 3, 1845, but “for reasons” — a perfectly legal defense in Florida — National Florida Day is celebrated on January 25 each year.
I am now legally required to present a list of Florida facts, so here you go:
Wherever you are in Florida, you are never more than 60 miles (100 km) away from the ocean.
The average Florida temperature ranges from 65° to 70° F (18° to 21° C) in the northern region and 74° to 77° F (23° to 25° C) degrees in the southern region.
No dinosaur fossils have ever been found in Florida. [Joey’s note: Clearly whoever wrote this fact has never been to The Villages.]
The only place on the planet where crocodiles and alligators live together is in the Florida Everglades.
Every public building in Florida has an outward opening door due to strong winds during hurricane season.
Florida is the flattest state in the United States of America. Florida is so flat in fact that its highest point is the lowest high point of any state in the USA. At just 345 feet (105 meters), Britton Hill, Florida’s highest peak, is lower than many of Miami’s skyscrapers.
Florida got its name from Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who named it ‘La Florida’, meaning “land of flowers”.
Florida has the longest coastline in the continental US.
Florida is the only state that borders the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Florida is the southernmost point in the USA. Technically Hawaii is the southernmost state in the country, but geographically, Florida is the southernmost point.
Greater Miami is the only metropolitan area in the country with two national parks. Miami is home to Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.
How do I plan on celebrating National Florida Day? The Florida Way, of course: golf and drinks! Anitra and I both won a raffle that gets us a free session at Top Golf this evening!
I may also have to pick up some Florida Man comics…
It’s another Lunar New Year, and this one is the year of the Rabbit, which starts today (January 22nd, 2023) and end on February 9, 2024. In Chinese culture and folklore, the Rabbit astrological sign is connected with peace, prosperity, and long life, and 2023 is supposed to be a year of hope. You might want to look back at previous Rabbit years (2011 and 1999) and see how they went for you.
Here’s hoping that this Year of the Rabbit goes better than the one in this video:
Don’t drag Gen Z kids for using the word “unalive.” As un-erudite as it sounds, it has a clever origin: it was coined to get around automated social media filters that block words like kill,death, and similar terms, yet doesn’t its meaning is easily grasped by people who’ve never encountered the word before.
With Kevin McCarthy failing to win the vote to become Speaker of the House for the 11th time, he’s probably looking for fresh advice. Has he tried ChatGPT?
If he hasn’t, that’s okay — I asked on his behalf:
Here’s the text of my question and ChatGPT’s answer:
Me: I just lost the vote for Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 11th time in a row. 11 consecutive losses is unprecedented in the entire history of the United States. The number of votes against me has increased over these elections. Should I try again?
ChatGPT: It is understandable that you may be feeling discouraged after losing the vote for Speaker of the House of Representatives 11 times in a row. However, it is important to remember that each situation is unique, and it may be worth considering whether continuing to pursue the position is a worthwhile use of your time and resources.
If you believe that you are the best candidate for the position and have a strong vision for how to lead the House of Representatives, then it may be worth continuing to advocate for your position. However, it may also be worthwhile to consider the reasons why you have not been successful in the past and whether there are any changes you can make to increase your chances of success. This could include seeking feedback from your colleagues, adjusting your approach, or building alliances with other members of the House.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to try again will depend on your goals and the specific circumstances you are facing. It may be helpful to seek advice from trusted colleagues or advisors before making a decision.
Avid planespotters will note that it doesn’t have any engines. They were removed a long time ago, and it means that this plane can’t fly. Whoever buys it will have to disassemble it for shipping. This sale isn’t for someone who wants to travel in a classic private plane, but an enterprising individual or group who wants to start (or add to) an aviation museum or an Elvis museum.
From the auction page for the plane:
For decades, Lockheed’s JetStar was the executive jet of choice for countless A-listers, recognized dignitaries and star-studded celebrities, and this 1962 Lockheed 1329 JetStar is no exception, as it was once owned by the king of rock ‘n’ roll: Elvis Presley. Presley acquired it from OMNI Aircraft Sales Inc. on December 22, 1976 for the princely sum of $840,000.
When Elvis took ownership of this particular JetStar, registered with the FAA as N-20TF, the entertainer was no stranger to luxurious aviation acquisition. He had already amassed a modest fleet, which included a custom Convair 880 named the “Lisa Marie” that went by the call sign of Hound Dog 1, along with a second JetStar identified by its call sign of Hound Dog 2.
With a busy touring schedule, these crafts were needed to transport the singer, his TCB band, backup groups, Col. Tom Parker and the ever-present Memphis Mafia to venues, concerts and appearances all around the country. Elvis kept several pilots on retainer that were ready to fly him to adoring fans at a moment’s notice.
This JetStar is one of several private jets owned by Elvis Presley, with two currently on display at Graceland. Inside, the cabin features wood paneling and red velvet upholstery with gold-finish hardware. There’s seating for nine by way of six plush chairs that swivel and recline, along with a couch. An onboard entertainment system is tucked away in a media cabinet, featuring a television, RCA VCR player and audio cassette player, and headphone ports with audio controls are located at every seat. A galley contains storage and a meal-prep area complete with a Kenmore microwave and beverage dispenser. At the rear is a lavatory along with additional storage and cubby areas.
In the spring of 1977, the jet was sold, later ending up with a Saudi Arabian company. The JetStar was then moved to Roswell International Air Center (ROW) in Roswell, New Mexico, where it’s been stored for decades and resides to this day. The aircraft will require disassembly to be shipped, and coordinating assistance is available. Documentation joining the jet includes a copy of the Aircraft Security Agreement document signed by Elvis Presley, a copy of the Aircraft Bill of Sale and Official FAA Blue Ribbon documents. While the P&W engines and many cockpit components have been removed and no engines or replacement parts will be included with the sale of Elvis’ jet, it serves as an incredible restoration opportunity and a chance to create a unique Elvis exhibit for all the world to enjoy.
The auction site lists these highlights about the jet:
Purchased by Elvis Presley on December 22, 1976 for $840,000
1 of several private jets owned by Elvis Presley, with two currently on display at Graceland
1 of 202 production JetStar airplanes produced by Lockheed
Includes a copy of the Aircraft Security Agreement document signed by Elvis Presley
Includes a copy of the Aircraft Bill of Sale documentation
Official FAA Blue Ribbon Documents included
Aircraft Serial No. 5016
FAA Registration No. N-20TF
Red exterior with silver accents
Custom interior upholstery featuring red velvet and gold-finish hardware
Onboard Kenmore microwave
Onboard television with RCA VCR player
Onboard cassette player
Wood cabin paneling and trim including window shades
Six passenger chairs with swivel and recline functionality
Onboard lavatory with vanity
Interior cabin seating for up to nine occupants
The P&W engines and many cockpit components have been removed
No engines or replacement parts are included with the sale
Stored for decades and currently residing at Roswell International Air Center (ROW)
The aircraft will require disassembly to be shipped (coordinating assistance available)
An incredible restoration opportunity to create an Elvis exhibit for the world to enjoy