Well, despite all the best intentions about adding a few blog entries while I was in Florida, I didn't do it. And despite the fact that I've got four blog entries already in some state of completion, and I had these while I was away, too. Did not watch much news while we were with the boys. Some, but we watched a lot more baseball, including a game at Tropicana Field on Sunday the 6th (Rays lost to the A's). The visits with our old friends in Tampa were limited to shared meals plus. Tampa metro area--which has about 5.5 million people--is a huge place. Where we were staying, with Stu, our oldest, in Palm Harbor is far, far from where we used to live. So everybody to visit was by definition a long way off.
As I told my sons, I get nostalgic for Florida whenever I visit. Everything's green. I love all the birds in their profuse variety. Spanish moss is beautiful. And any place without Oklahoma's stupid liquor laws--buy wine in a grocery store, what a concept!--is at the very least refreshing. But the politics in the state are crazed, as crazed as they are in Oklahoma. Some right wingnut named Scott is the governor. That such a guy could be governor of such a populous state tells you a lot about the general population.
Tampa is hosting the GOP convention in August. Obscene amounts of money have been spent in preparation, some $50 million for security. But the powers that be were unable to get the state's concealed carry law suspended for the area around the convention. However, fake weapons of any sort will be banned from the convention area. Can't have any of these distinguished thousands with their fat wallets upset now, can we? As surely they would be by the sight of anything that looked like a real gun pointed at them. But here's the story that sums up the madness of our times. Real guns in the area will be perfectly legal. Toting a water pistol will get you arrested.
I wonder, too, what the city is going to do about protestors. How far from the convention will they force them to exercise their first amendment rights?