Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Now that this blog is approaching its one-year anniversary in a couple months, and people are actually beginning to read the thing, I suppose it's time for a few handy-dandy tips on how best to utilize Report From The Florida Zone to its optimum potential, and some background exposition to help put all this in context.

First, and perhaps foremost, you should know that although I am a writer (the non-fiction Weird Kentucky, pulp-fiction novels like The Bartender) and a journalist (I've written for, among others, Louisville magazine, LEO Weekly, Velocity Weekly, Kentucky Monthly magazine, and was reluctantly a news reporter for Louisville Mojo back when it actually had a news bureau) I do not consider blogging to be journalism per se.

When blogging, I pretty much type whatever nonsense pops into my cabeza, in personal-editorial mode. Virtually everything you will read here consists of trivia, minutiae, vague rumor, hearsay, anecdotal evidence, folklore, legend, and myth. It just comes with the territory. There's already more than enough of that online, so I try to avoid unsourced falsehoods and Junk Data whenever possible, but hey, this is the Internet, so caveat emptor, Jack. If you use my blog - or anything else from the Internet, for that matter - as a primary source for your doctoral thesis, well, that's your misfortune.

Updating this silly blog takes up less than 1 percent of what I do in life, and the reader is cautioned to keep that in mind. I rarely spend more than a few minutes on a post, and am as often as not typing under the influence of coffee, rum, cigars, or sleep deprivation. This blog is simply supposed to be a thought-provoking and fun clearinghouse for random Florida stuff that interests me, usually reported off the top of my head with very little effort (I charge money for effort) - if you take it seriously at all, you're taking it way too seriously.

Which brings us to the second point: comment moderation. With the blog's growing popularity, I now get hundreds of spam comments. And among those real ones, I tend to leave out any that are insulting and wanting to pick a fight. If you have a beef with something I say here, e-mail me directly. I rarely bother to get into prolonged debates with anyone about anything, but I never do with anonymous Internet jerks.

I also tend to delete comments that are non-sequiturs, or questions/conversations that would be better off addressed to me personally via e-mail, or that exist only to post a link.

Now, some tips on some features of Blogger itself you may not be aware of. For all my blogs, I've always received a lot of questions asking things like "Where is your post on such-and-such? I can't find it." Even without doing a Google search for your query, you can cross-search this blog in two ways - by the labels (the keyword links at the bottom of each post) which might assist you in your quest, or by the search box in the upper left corner of every Blogger site.

This blog is not optimized for viewing on smartphones, Kindles, tablets, RSS, or via any other method or device than actually directly viewing the blog at the source and on a regular old-school computer's regular old-school browser. If your gizmo auto-redirects this url to a mobile version, make it stop.

And finally, on my old Kentucky blog I got a lot of confused queries from folks who mistakenly believed that I am from NYC or Los Angeles and am writing from a great distance to mock the South. It hasn't happened yet on the Florida blog, but it probably will in time. There are a lot of folks very touchy about the growing newsmedia trend to paint the Sunshine State as a dangerous hellhole, and I assure you, good gentlemen and ladies, I stand far above that crowd. I live here. My entire purpose in this blog is to highlight what a wondrous and exciting place Florida really is, and that it is a key part of those things in Heaven and Earth undreamt of in your imagination, Horatio.

And finally finally: I welcome your input and contributions. Send me pics! Send me reports! Not enough stuff here from Escambia County? Rectify that and help me out if I still haven't stomped in your neck of the swamp.

Alrighty then, agents of Interzone, consider yourselves briefed. Now get out there and file those reports. Go go go. Oo-rah. Semper Fi.

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