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Mitt Romney January 16, 2012

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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Last Thursday, Mitt Romney came to town. I almost missed it because our liberal rag newspaper never mentioned it until it had already almost happened. I jumped in the car and raced down to the Palm Beach Convention Center to catch the noontime rally.

The parking lot was nearly filled and there was a steady stream of folks walking in the building. Once inside we were directed up, down and all around and finally into a large ballroom…that only had about two dozen people in it!  I, along with the other two dozen curious conservatives quickly surmised something amiss. I started chatting up another business-looking fellow and we determined the mass of humanity was somewhere else. I stopped a gal with a radio in her hand and discovered we were in the overflow room as the main hall had surpassed the Fire Marshall’s comfort zone.

I had come to hear Mitt in person and by god I was going to hear Mitt in person. I slipped away from my new friend figuring I had a better chance of scamming an audience with the future president of the United States if I was by myself. I walked back to where it was obvious the main entrance was. Previously they had shooed us past this area guarded by a few state troopers and a bunch of suits with radios. I walked to the farthest door being guarded and just started blabbering to a suit with a radio. The next thing I know the door opens and some lady starts yapping she needs to get her boss inside as he just donated $500,000 to the Romney campaign. When the suit started to engage the woman I whispered softly, “one more won’t hurt” and slipped inside. Expecting to be immediately tackled and pistol whipped I just kept walking trying to get lost among the throng inside.

The entire back of the room was a sea of media. At least 50 news video cameras were stationed on a riser that spanned nearly the width of the room all aimed towards the stage. I saw all the local TV stations along with the big boys; Fox, CNN and MSNBC. I have no idea who made up the rest.

To the left of the camera dais were 10 rows of tables filled with journalists all with their laptops a humming. Milling about in the remaining empty space were at least 100 reporters of some other stripe—some with microphones and some with journalist’s notebooks in hand.

A relatively modest crowd of Mitt fans were crowded around the stage. (Mitt would announce to us that before coming out in our room he had visited with the over 100 folks stuck in the overflow room, shaking hands and signing autographs. He confirmed that the Fire Marshall had limited this room to 400 and apologized for the inconvenience.)

After a brief warm-up introduction by Jeff Atwater, Florida’s CFO, Mitt bounded out from behind the curtains and gave a great 20 minute, extemporaneous speech. It was all about sounding like the nominee as he spent the entire time eviscerating Obama and his socialist policies. Several times the crowd broke out into chants of “Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!”.

He wrapped it up and then spent another 15 or 20 minutes shaking hands, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

I left without a doubt in my mind this man will make a fine president. Once elected, we will need to keep him on track to stay the conservative line but finally our great national nightmare will be over.  Go Mitt Go!

A Good Week November 9, 2010

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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Back in the saddle again. Returned Sunday night from a 4 day trip to Philadelphia escorting 62, Florida 8th graders. It was a nice trip, not without its issues but we overcame them and never missed a beat. This was our first foray to the City of Brotherly Love.  For the most part we nailed it. A few tweaks for the next one and it will rank as being one of our best!

Chelsea Martin and Cecilia Breland with Congressman West

The week prior I was heavily involved in the democratic process here in Palm Beach County. I campaigned (along with my daughter) for our new Congressman Allen West. We volunteered at the headquarters and joined a phone bank calling to get out the vote.

LTC(R) West made an appearance; the photo is going to be pretty cool when he becomes our president!

My poll watching on election day was successful. I was stationed at a heavily Democratic skewing poll. When I inspected the printed tape of the tally at night’s end the votes ran 4 to 1 for the Dems. The turnout was extremely high too. I was in a retirement complex with about an 80% Jewish population. The average age was over 75. It was walker and wheelchair city! Needless to say the whole day was tedious for everyone.

When the electronic tapes and paper ballots were reconciled and safely sealed for shipment to the election supervisor I headed off to Allen West’s victory party at the Marriott in Boca Raton. It was in full force by the time I got there just after 9pm. The ballroom was packed with supporters, volunteers, staff and the press all watching the returns come in. Two huge video screens broadcast Fox News’ election night coverage.

 

West victory party

The energy was incredible. Being surrounded by like minded people all sharing the same passion and vision for our country was unreal. It was just after 11pm when Mr. West made his appearance. He gave a 10 minute stem winder of a speech, not quite accepting victory. Only 43% of the vote was in so far and he had a 10% lead. It was mathematically feasible to lose so his opponent, Ron Klein, hadn’t conceded yet. It wouldn’t be until 12:29am that it would be official. I had since left and was watching Fox News at home when they called it for West.

It sure is great to have backed a winner, but even more so because he was the right man for the job and for America. I had never involved myself to this degree before and I am sure hundreds of thousands of other Americans hadn’t either.  I’d like to think we were the reason for the conservative landslide. The next two years are no time to rest on our laurels. There is still much to do and so many liberals to oust. Thanks to all my friends who responded with financial support for Allen West and all the conservative candidates.

Allen West for Congress April 22, 2010

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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I attended the April 15th Tea Party rally in West Palm last week. It was my second rally after the inaugural gathering in the rain last year. I made another sign and my lack of creativity or the need to not change the message saw me parading the same signage as last year.

Last years Tea Party protest

This year’s event was a bit smaller than last year. Probably just a hundred or so less but just as energetic and anti-incumbent as ever. The highlight for me was the keynote speech by Allen West. West is running for US Congress, district 22 here in Florida—my district.

I will admit I have never before felt such a connection to any politician (with the exception of Ronald Reagan) before. And it’s not just Lt. Col. West’s message that has me stoked. This guy has a vibe, an aura that is unmistakable.

I was standing just off the stage to the right listening to the long list of speakers that filled the two-hour rally. The event was emceed by Doug Giles, the father of ACORN exposer Hannah Giles. Hannah was the first to speak.

Hannah Giles

Her brief remarks got the crowd wound up and me wanting to get a picture with her. I had agreed to help pass out fliers promoting a no vote on a proposition up for a vote this Fall. That proposition would completely strangle development and is a blatant socialistic attempt by the Left to create more bureaucracy.  Feeling obligated to the cause I spent the time passing out the fliers rather than weaseling my way behind the stage for a photo with Hannah.

With my fliers finally distributed I wandered back to stage right and noticed Allen West had arrived and was greeting folks behind the stage. I’m normally not one to go all ga-ga over any celebrity. Twelve years in TV, I saw my share of big stars up close and worked with many in various promotions; (Tom Selleck, Kevin Costner, Bob Uecker, Lynn Austin, Joe Namath, Catfish Hunter, etc.) But I needed my picture with Col. West!

I scoped out the scene back stage and saw that I could walk practically to where he was standing. He didn’t have an entourage and was shaking hands and giving photo ops to all who asked. I decided there was no time like the present and asked a professional photographer he if would mind snapping a photo of the two of us. The guy took my camera and I then turned to Mr. West and introduced myself, asking for a picture. He couldn’t have been nicer. He lifted the ‘yellow caution tape’ that created a silly little barrier between us and stuck out his hand for a shake. My first impression was how soft his hand was. I don’t know why I was expecting something else but I was. Maybe because he served over 22 years in the Army with three tours in theater. Maybe because he jumped out of airplanes and lead men into battle. Anyway, it was one soft hand.

Allen & me

I babbled something about how excited I was to meet him and I was the first in my neighborhood to put an ‘Allen West for Congress’ bumper sticker on my car. He thanked me and I retrieved my camera from the photog who had snapped what I hope to be a very precious memento one day.

Allen West could very much be the president of the United States one day!

Weber Wheel Alignment – West Palm Beach April 14, 2010

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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It’s so refreshing to find a business that does business the way business used to do business. I’ve had an annoying shake in my truck since I put four new Michelins on almost two years ago. Once I get to 70mph I can feel the truck start to shimmy. It smooths back out at 80mph. Unfortunately I drive the freeway a lot and 75mph is my average speed. Under 70 I’d get killed and over 80 I’m ticket bait.

I’ve taken it back to the tire store three times and had them check and re-balance and rotate to no avail. Thinking these guys were incompetent, (I bought the tires at BJ’s, a box store like Costco) I had the tires checked and rebalanced twice at different tire retailers. Nothing worked. I put new shocks and struts on. I even had the drive shaft checked. She still shakes right at 70mph. I got a tip from the third tire dealer I spoke with that a shop in West Palm might have the equipment needed to fix my problem. After just 5 minutes on the phone with the owner, I knew this guy had forgotten more about tires and alignment than most of the tech’s I’d dealt with would ever know.

I brought my truck in early yesterday morning and Jim Weber, the owner, met me and waived me over to a service bay. We exchanged pleasantries and he proceeded to explain what the likely problem was before even touching the car. Seems Michelin tires are fantastic for passenger cars but not so much for SUV’s and Toyota’s are finicky about the type of tire you have.

He jacked up the back just 3 inches off the ground—enough to have the tires roll free. He started the vehicle and let the tires roll in idle. As soon as he looked at the tires he announced the right rear was out of round. Sure enough, looking at it while it was spinning, the tire had a slight wobble. He dropped the jack, lifted one side and then checked the front, applying a spinning wheel to the tire to bring it up to speed.  Sure enough the front left also wobbled. “You got two out of round tires.” He announced with the surety you get with a lifetime of knowledge about one thing. “They were bad from the factory.” “Each time you rotated, you just moved one bad tire from back to front and visa versa.”  “You need two new tires.”

The entire diagnosis had taken less than 15 minutes and I was happy to know I didn’t have some very expensive problem to deal with. I asked him how much for the diagnosis and he just waived me off saying, “Come back when you need some real work done.”

So now I know what the problem is and I get to negotiate with BJ’s on replacing two factory defective tires. I can’t believe it’s taken me nearly two years to get to the bottom of this and why nobody else figured it out.

Thanks Weber Wheel Alignment! You’ve got a customer for life.

5323 Georgia Ave
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
561-585-4886

Protest Sign Design – Think ergonomics! April 17, 2009

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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Safe, effective, sign design

My recent experience at the West Palm Beach Tea Party on April 15th exposed me to something I had never pondered before. Ergonomic protest sign design.

I had decided several weeks before to attend the rally. While I envisioned holding a sign, I didn’t put much thought into it until the morning of the event.

frontside

(WND photo / Joe Kovacs) used w/out permission but hell, it's me!

Waiting till the last minute to make a protest sign usually means a fairly amateurish product and mine qualified there! I had some large pieces of cardboard in the garage, saved for no express purpose other than I figured I’d need them one day. Sure enough that day arrived and I now had my canvas.

The cardboard was from a shipping box.  It was a fairly heavy corrugated board so I figured it would hold up well. I drew my message on one side with a black Sharpie and was so proud of myself I decided I needed to use the back side for another message. “Yacht Brokers For Capitalism” just popped into my head so I ran with it.

protestsigncroppedThe first thing I noticed when I got to the event was the wind. Just a moderate breeze caught the sign and forced me to pay close attention. As I joined the massing throng, I also had to become aware of the amount of physical space I needed so as not to whack any of the other attendees.

It wasn’t until after about 5 minutes of proudly holding my sign high overhead that I realized the most important consideration when designing a protest sign.

How to deal with gravity.

Even a lightweight cardboard sign gets heavy over time, especially when it’s pumped high overhead in unison with the crowd’s chants du jour.

So here’s my list to consider when designing a protest sign:

  • Don’t wait till the last minute to make your sign. By starting the process sooner rather than later, you’ll give yourself time to make a better looking sign which includes utilizing both sides for maximum effect.
  • Use a suitable medium.  Buy some foamcore or PVC foam sheets. Both are excellent in the strength-to-weight category, easily drawn on and they accept glued items for fancy displays. The more rigid material also works much better when utilizing the next item.
  • Strongly consider using a pole.  I saw several clever ideas at my rally. The best was a retractable, light weight, aluminum boat washing pole. Fully collapsed it was just three feet long.  The protester stood with the butt end in his pants pocket, supporting all the weight. This allowed him to comfortably hold the sign in a natural way freeing his other arm for wild gesticulations and fist pumps! Lots of clear strapping tape kept the sign secure to the pole and didn’t mess with the message.
  • The retractable pole also allows the user to raise or lower the sign height to accommodate the crowd while not losing the luxury of the in-the-pocket anchoring system. It’s also easier to control the sign in windy conditions with the pole securely nestled in your pocket.

So go out and get involved, join the process, exercise your right to free speech.

Just do it ergonomically!

Tax Refund – In the bank, baby! April 15, 2009

Posted by Fritz in Humor.
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Old Glory

Old Glory

Hah!  just want to rub it in to all you procrastinators out there…I got my tax refund today…yeah baby…money in the bank. I think I’m going to celebrate by going to the West Palm Beach Tea Party tonight and spread some right wing hate on all those Socialists who didn’t want me to get that refund.  Brew ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…….