Split States

What happened between the Carolinas and the Dakotas? Why did they have to split up? That’s something we never went over in middle school Geography class — or if we did I wasn’t paying attention that day, maybe I was sick.

Side Quest:
*It’s crazy to think that most grown ups have a few blindspots in Science, History, Math, English, Social Studies or some other popular school subject thanks to being sick, on vacation or just not paying attention. Have you found yourself in a conversation with other grown ups and they mention some historical topic that you have no idea what they are talking about, only to discover everyone else learned about it in middle school. That just means you missed that day (either physically or mentally) and now you’re dumb.

So, why did certain states split into a North and South? And what’s the deal with Virginia vs West Virginia? I don’t actually have any real answers, just my thoughts.

Current Geography

When it comes to the Dakotas (North and South), they are pretty evenly split. Looking at the map with your naked eye, a full Dakota would almost make up a perfect square. It seems as if they just tried to split it pretty straight down the middle, no negotiations. A classic 50/50 divorce.

Now, when we jump to the Carolinas (also, North and South) the split does not look so even, like the Dakotas. North Carolina seems to have gotten some more land in the deal. From my short Google research I have come to the conclusion that South Carolina is sort of the poor man’s Carolina, while North is a bit more diverse with a larger population. It’s also more expensive, so maybe South Carolina is the actual winner here.

The last of the split states are the Virginias. This one is a bit odd, because instead of doing an even “We’ll take the North, you take the South” kind of split, it’s only the Western part that went on its own. It’s like only twenty-five percent of Virginians were in disagreement with the other seventy-five percent, so they just gave them a smaller Virginia. They just said, “Go ahead, we don’t need you.”

Future Geography

My last point I’d like to make is that maybe Florida should be the next state to split. I am from South Florida (Miami) and I went to college in North Florida (Tallahassee). There are many differences between the Southern part of Florida and the top part — for example, we have myriad Cuban restaurants down here, but there was only one in Tallahassee — back when I was there (not counting Gordo’s).

In the future, there will be a South and North Florida. After the split it won’t take ten hours to drive out of one state, instead you’ll make your way through both South and North Florida. I would suggest that South Florida includes Orlando and Tampa, not just because of the hispanics, but mainly because I don’t want to have to pay out-of-state prices to visit Walt Disney World.

Ron DeSantis may remain in the top half of Florida with all of his COVID because he is an idiot. We’ll elect Gloria Estefan, The Rock, Pitbull or pretty much anyone else to be the Governor of South Florida and we’ll be better off.

Oh no, wait, now we have 51 states. It’s ok, that’s not a problem, I have a way to fix it. We get rid of Rhode Island. Not get rid of it and the people who live there, we’ll just let it merge into Connecticut.

*Disclaimer: I am no Geographer or Social Scientist. I just started thinking of the split states the other day and these thoughts came to my mind.

I Got VAXXED! (…and so can you)

This week I got my first and only dose of the COVID vaccine — and I feel great! I went with Johnson & Johnson because I didn’t want to have to make a second appointment and drag this thing out.

I have to admit that I did tell a small lie, in order to sign up early. I was able to sign up before April 5th by saying that I was an educator. But I am sort of an educator, because I educate all of you on the internet with my learnings and video game writings.

I did schedule my appointment for after April 5th so I wasn’t actually cheating, it was more of a small fib (or loophole). I knew that they wouldn’t ask for any teacher ID or proof by the time my appointment rolled around (some friends even told me they weren’t asked for any proof when getting their early vaccines).

My appointment was for 10AM on Wednesday at a Walmart Neighborhood Market (which basically means a Walmart that’s just a grocery and pharmacy). It was much less hectic than the Super Walmarts I’m used to from college.

What I expected was to spend at least an hour or more in a few lines with many people. I brought my Nintendo Switch, my bluetooth headphones, my back-up iPhone charger. I was ready for anything.

In the end, the whole thing only took about one hour, and that’s because I got there 20 minutes early. Also, you have to stay for 15 minutes after getting the shot to make sure you don’t grow a third arm or anything weird like that. The only people there for the 10AM appointment were me and three others. I started wondering if people are just not getting vaccinated?

I know many people are scared of getting the vaccine. They’re afraid of the side effects. I’m here to tell you that I did not get sick or suffer any side effects, and neither did my girlfriend (who helped get me the appointment). Sure, I got tired in the afternoon, but I blame that on my White Chocolate Iced Mocha and the cake pop and scone I had to celebrate my vaccination.

When they first announced that Krispy Kreme was giving away a FREE donut to people who got the vaccine a few weeks ago, I thought, Hey, that’s not fair! The people who deserve FREE donuts are the ones who can’t get vaccined yet. I was wrong, because right after getting the vaccine I decided to end my “healthy-ish” week of eating (and the rest of the week was a free-for-all of carbs and sugar).

I’ll get back into the better eating next week, I hope. The main reason I wanted to write about my experience getting the vaccine is to tell everyone to go get the vaccine. Whichever one you choose to get, it doesn’t matter as long as you get it.

Don’t be an anti-Vaxxer and once you get the vaccine it’s still important to wear your mask and it will be for some time. But the sooner we all get vaccinated the sooner this will all be over and we’ll be able to enjoy indoor activities and all the things we miss.

Go here: www.vaccinefinder.org and find out where you could get vaccinated.

DOGS @ DISNEY

Goofy-and-Pluto-DisneyFL title

This past week I realized something. I haven’t been to Disney in a long time — like three or four months. That isn’t very long to a non-Florida resident, but when you’re only three and a half hours away, that’s a long time. After opening my 2017 with four or five visits to Disney, it feels like I haven’t been there in half a year.

My pass is “Blacked Out” during the summer time, meaning I’m not allowed to use it from June to mid-August. And that’s fine, because, “Who wants to go during to Disney during the summer when it’s so hot and crowded,” which is something all Silver and Gold Passholders say. I do intend to return to Disney some time this month or next, definitely for Food and Wine (a.k.a. Food and Lines Festival, because all you do is eat food and wait in line, for more food).

In my last visit to Disney, some time in April or May, I noticed something. I saw a blind person with their guide dog. At first I thought, Aw, cool. That dog gets to go to Disney, but later I thought about all of the other dogs. The ones who don’t get to go to Disney, and that made me sad. Plus, this dog who does get to go to Disney doesn’t get to enjoy any of it because he or she is at work.

Imagine a dog in Disney. A free, non-working dog in Disney. They would love it. But, the only dog that gets to go to Disney is one who doesn’t get to enjoy it at all — the service dog. They walk their owner back and forth and all around the parks, and have to wear a huge sign on their back that basically says, “I’M NOT HERE!”

It’s nice that some dogs get to have jobs, other than filling our hearts with joy and loving us forever no matter what. Some dogs get to be police, others get to be mascots and still others get to be basketball players (Air Bud). It’s cool that guide dogs are helping out a blind human, but it’s probably a depressing life for the dog. And why don’t any of these dogs get paid for their work?

Enough about equal wages for dogs, let’s get back to dogs at Disney. It’s also sad that the dog owner doesn’t get to truly experience Disney either, since they are blind. They just get to walk around and listen, but they don’t get to fully experience the attractions. The rides must be terrifying when you’re blind, everything must feel like space mountain.

It’s too bad that the only dogs that will ever get to enjoy Disney parks are Pluto and Goofy, and both of those are humans in sweaty dog costumes, because this is Florida and it’s super hot every day except for maybe one or two days of the year. I’m not even going to get into the fact that Mickey owns a dog while also being best friends with a dog.

Also, why are there so many ducks in Disney? Ducks get to enjoy the parks, terrorize the children for leftovers and eat all of the fallen turkey legs, ice cream and garbage people leave behind. The ducks are like the biker gang of Disney Parks. So, the ducks are allowed but man’s best friend has to stay home while we go visit the happiest place on Earth.

Texting and Driving is Kind of Illegal Now (in Florida)

Image

 

On October 1, 2013 (it’s still 2013 right?) I learned that Texting and Driving was now Illegal in Florida (kind of). I wasn’t really sure what else was illegal though. Is it just texting? What about iMessaging? What about Facebook messenger? What about Instagramming or Snap Chatting? Can I still send the Tweets? Can I still Candy Crush in my car? Am I allowed to answer the phone? Can I change the music on my iTunes or Spotify, if I’m listening to it in the car? (All of these questions and more came into my head at once)

It took me about 10 days, but I finally looked up the actual law. What I found out is that texting and driving isn’t really “illegal,” it’s just “kind of illegal.” What this means is that you can’t be pulled over for texting and driving only, it’s a secondary offense (it can only be added on to something else you were doing). I’m pretty sure the cops can find pretty much any reason to stop you though once they see you texting, and you will go to jail! (Actually you won’t go to jail, I believe there is a small fine, and you might get a point or two on your license if you were within a school zone or your texting ended in an accident).

What exactly counts as “texting and driving?” ‘Prohibiting operation of a motor vehicle while using a wireless device for certain purposes.’ What are these certain purposes? 

You are not allowed to be manually typing or entering letters, numbers, symbols or other characters (so I guess no emojis).

What is still legal? 

Voice Communication: I can still talk on the phone, but can I enter in the numbers to call someone if I don’t have them saved on my phone? That’s a tough one.

Reporting emergency or crime: I’m still allowed to take a picture of a crazy accident to send to my friends, right? Does that count as reporting an emergency or crime?

Navigation: I can still use my phone to get me places, but how am I supposed to type in the destination?

Safety Alerts: I can still receive these strange amber and silver alerts I have been receiving on my phone while driving through sketchy neighborhoods.

Radio Broadcasts: I can listen to my podcasts while I drive to work still (which would be nice, if I actually listened to podcasts while driving…)

A discovery I made is that ‘A legally parked vehicle is not being operated.’ What makes a vehicle legally parked though? If I am at a red light and I throw it into park, am I legally parked and now able to send all the messages, read articles and play candy crush until the light turns green? Do I have to pull into an actual parking spot? Can I pull over to the side of the road? Can I throw my car into park in the middle of the highway if I receive a message? (That last one sounds really dangerous, don’t do that)

So, I guess what I learned is that I can still text and drive and do whatever I want on my phone, as long as I am doing everything else right. The moral of the story is don’t text and drive or you will crash and die, 100% of the time. Thanks for listening, safety first.