Closing out Pride Month in Florida

The density of front lawn signs in our corner of Florida has been less than 1/100th of what it was in Maskachusetts. In fact, it seemed fair to say that an N95 mask is far more popular in Florida than expressing one’s political and social justice beliefs via lawn signs or bumper stickers.

It turns out, however, that our neighbors do celebrate Pride Month in June and signs have appeared on 1 out of 20 front lawns and house facades. Here’s one neighbor, for example:

For the other houses that we regularly pass by, however, the pride signs have all been related to a child graduating from middle school, high school, or college. Examples:

(We were fortunate to meet Ellie, a hard-working young lady who has completed Jupiter High School (run by Palm Beach County) and will soon be a student at Florida State. She did not say anything about identifying as 2SLGBTQQIA+)

Here is a house where Henry and Sean are celebrated for finishing an arts magnet middle school and being admitted to the arts magnet high school, funded by a former MIT board member.

Speaking of Pride, “Miami teen accepted into all 8 Ivy League universities” (Good Morning America):

First-generation Nigerian American Ashley Adirika became one of few prospective students to be accepted into all eight Ivy League universities.

“The tears just started to come out. Like they started to flow out,” she said of her reaction to finding out. “My siblings and I were just really excited, like screaming, jumping around. It was crazy,” she said.

From being a teacher to sitting in the Oval Office, Adirika’s dreams have changed over time, but now she is focused on empowering young women of marginalized identities with her organization, Our Story, Our Worth, which she started as a high school sophomore.

She said she looks forward to learning more about herself, her place in the world and how to “maximize the impact” she has in empowering communities when she starts at Harvard University in the fall.

The recent Miami Beach Senior High School graduate and student government president also credits her time on speech and debate teams with building the confidence to make her voice heard.

She did not attend one of the killer magnet schools in the Miami area, but just a regular neighborhood high school, thus proving American Pravda correct once again: “Surprise: Florida and Texas Excel in Math and Reading Scores” (NYT, 2015).

Readers: What are you doing to complete your celebration of Pride Month?

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New York City attracts refugees from Florida

In April, Freedom of speech opposite the banner promising freedom of speech shows some of the billboards that New York City had paid to place in Florida, e.g.,

On June 1, the New York Times did a story on two people who moved from Tampa to NYC, just as Eric Adams had hoped. The move was not for the expected reason, however. “New York’s Weed Rush Is Here. They Came to Cash In.”:

For generations, entrepreneurs and dreamers have moved to New York City to strike it big. Now they’re coming to sell a lot of cannabis.

Just as they were getting into a pandemic rhythm of deliveries [of marijuana] and drop-offs, the George Floyd protests took over Tampa’s streets. Every time C. and S. were driving after curfew, they felt as if they might be targeted by police, who were out in greater numbers. During one cannabis delivery, C. noticed a car following him, and he worried it was driven by undercover police officers — either that or counterprotesters; he couldn’t tell. After the unmarked car was joined by five marked police vehicles, he told S., who was in the passenger seat with their delivery of edibles and flower, to throw everything out the window, call their lawyer, call their neighbor. The neighbor told him there were vehicles that looked like unmarked police cars in front of their house.

Concerned about raids and arrests, they decided they had to leave town. … she lobbied hard for New York. They both had relatives there, and a cannabis market was emerging in the city.

In New York, Mayor Eric Adams has proposed that the city invest $4.8 million next year in the local cannabis industry, which is expected to generate nearly $1.3 billion in the first year of legal sales.

This is also an inspiring story about the benefits of immigration:

“My dad’s Ecuadorean,” C. says. “My family’s Ecuadorean. In Miami, there’s not that many Ecuadoreans, so it was nice to be in a neighborhood where things that people talk about or say or the news that might be going on, I can kind of relate to.”

And an inspiring story about hard work:

Once settled, they spent their life savings — thousands of dollars — to buy a package of cannabis from Colorado, hoping that would enable them to establish their New York business. It didn’t. “I’ve been selling marijuana since I was like a teenager in Miami,” C. says. “Every now and then I would do a rookie mistake.” This deal was one of them. They had planned to both sell the cannabis and use some of it for giveaways — which they thought would help them gain a following in Brooklyn — but it was lost in transport. They had to get cannabis on credit in order to have something to sell.

The article informs us that “C” is 32 years old. So he was selling marijuana illegally for at least 10 years (Wikipedia says that Floridians voted to legalize medical marijuana at the end of 2016).

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Love Wins at the Florida Walmart

Happy Pride Month again!

(Only the LGBTQ Marines are recognized and honored? Why not the 2SLGBTQQIA+ Marines?)

For folks who are dismayed that the dictatorship of Ron DeSantis has stamped out the word “gay” from the vocabulary of Floridians, some photos from May 7, 2022 taken at the Walmart in Jupiter, Florida:


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Real estate market has peaked? (that $3.225 million house in our neighborhood)

From early March… Open house today in our neighborhood:

There’s a house for sale in our neighborhood (we rent a 2BR for $2800/month). It went on the market about a week ago. The first showings are today, 10a-4p, and “All contracts must be submitted by 5:00pm on March 3rd.” This million dollar home (built in 2012; re-sold in 2017 for $1.3 million) sits on a princely quarter-acre lot and offers a vast interior space of 4,574′. It was “coming soon” at $2.95 million two weeks ago, but the asking price now is $3.225 million (escaping NY, MA, and CA vaccine coercion and mask orders is not cheap!). The house comes with the opportunity for a lifetime close friendship with the appliance repair brothers, sisters, and binary resisters (i.e., there is a Sub-Zero fridge).

Zillow estimates the value at $2.225 million. Redfin admits “we don’t have enough information to generate an accurate estimate at this time.”

Zillow now says that the estimated value is $2.54 million and also that the house finally closed on May 9 at $3 million.

My theory is that the real estate market peaked in February 2022. The above failure to achieve asking price is a small data point in favor of this theory. The bigger data point is that… I made the decision to buy a house in February 2022. If I go long, that’s a signal to go short! (“I like to do everything in the dumbest way imaginable”) My feeble justifications: our rent was likely to go up to $5,000 per month in August; the mortgage on a house more than 2X the size (using the 3.25 percent rate that we locked in back in Feb) is about $10,000 per month (but not cheaper per square foot once you factor in property tax, maintenance costs, and unpaid maintenance and management labor); kids won’t have to share a bedroom; we now have a real guest bedroom; more kids in the immediate neighborhood. The house is still in the same Abacoa neighborhood that was developed by the MacArthur Foundation (search process explained).

(We just recently closed and moved in, so be prepared for numerous posts on systems and maintenance! My productive hours per week have been cut by 40. There are daily trips to Home Depot. One recent day I counted five different contractors/service people who showed up.)

Who wants to guess at the real estate price trend for the next 2 years? My guess is that house prices will fall, but not by falling. The price in 2 years will be the same as the price today (maybe with a dip in the middle), but inflation will have eroded the value in real terms by at least 10 percent.

Even if you overpaid by $1 million for a house, one great thing about this climate is that you can grow orchids by wiring them to a tree and walking away. The tree gives the orchid sufficient shade and the orchid gets everything else that it needs from the Florida sky. A neighbor’s house this morning:

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A hero flies the Cessna Caravan to Palm Beach

Tom Cruise is a pretty good pilot in real life and an even better one in Top Gun: Maverick, but my vote for pilot of the year goes to Darren Harrison, the passenger whose journey from the Bahamas is covered in “Air traffic controller guides passenger to safe landing at PBIA after pilot has medical emergency” (WPBF). The audio is available at (search for KFPR, then KFPR Tower, then click the “archive access” link and finally May 10 at 16Z. The action starts at 11:21 into the clip (the passenger’s full phone number is on the tape so you can text him congratulations!).

The aircraft is N333LD and here’s the path from flightradar24:

The passenger’s task was made more difficult by modern avionics. This ad for the plane shows that it is equipped with the Garmin G1000 flight deck. So the controller asked the passenger-turned-pilot to press the IDENT button, but there is no button labeled IDENT as there would have been with a discrete transponder. (With the advantage of 20-20 hindsight, what the controller should have said was “press and hold the button that has two arrows on it to tune the emergency frequency of 121.5” and then the talk-down wouldn’t have had to occur via mobile phone (good thing the passenger’s phone battery did not run out!).)

The turboprop-powered Caravan is pretty slow,, but it is not a beginner’s plane. Fortunately, the float gear had been removed! Here was what the plane used to look like:

What did he have to deal with at KPBI? The good news is that the big runway is 10,000′ long and there were just a few scattered clouds 4,200 and 4,600 feet above the airport. The bad news is that it is 10/28 (east-west) and the wind was reported from the north at 11 knots gusting 17.

KPBI 101553Z 02011G17KT 10SM SCT042 SCT046 26/15

A student pilot with 20 hours of training probably wouldn’t have been signed off by his/her/zir/their instructor to operate in that kind of crosswind. also has the KPBI Tower archived (May 10 at 1630Z). Almost everything that we desperately want to hear was being said on a mobile phone call directly between ATC and the newly minted Caravan pilot. (Contrary to popular belief, the typical controller does not know how to fly a plane. My sources suggest that the phone call was between the passenger and Robert Morgan, who is a controller but also an FAA certificated flight instructor (“CFI”).) Perhaps worth a listen to PBI Tower starting around 5:00. At 8:45, a few minutes after the landing, we learn that the winds were 050 at 10 gust 16 (not quite as bad a crosswind as indicated by the METAR of 40 minutes earlier, but still more than a soloing student would likely be signed off for).

Update: interview with Robert Morgan… “a Jupiter resident”! (Trigger warning for Californians: the page shows Morgan and “the passenger” (still anonymous) without masks and less than 6′ apart.)

Loosely related, “you should be sitting back with your slippers and pipe”…

Garmin tooketh away to some extent with the G1000, but Garmin giveth back with Autoland, which would have been perfect for this situation.


  • Talk-down aircraft landing (Wikipedia), in which we learn that many of the people described by the media as “passengers” turn out to be either student pilots or rusty but fully certificated private pilots.
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Ron DeSantis and the Two Minutes Hate

Americans outside of Florida enjoy being outraged at things that the Florida legislature has done. Perhaps because they’re accustomed to their own imperial governors issuing executive orders, they attribute these new laws passed by representatives of Florida voters, to a single person ideal for inclusion in their Two Minutes Hate: Ron DeSantis.

One thing that DeSantis has done recently that you probably won’t hear about… “Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Guarantee Visitation Rights for Patients and their Families”:

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 988, the No Patient Left Alone Act, to guarantee Florida families the fundamental right to visit their loved ones who are receiving care in hospitals, hospices, and long-term care facilities. No health care facility in Florida may require a vaccine as a condition of visitation and every health care facility must allow their residents and patients to be hugged by their loved ones.

In 2010, a Nobel laureate wrote about this (CNN):

President Obama has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges to gay and lesbian partners.

The president’s Thursday memo said, “There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. … Yet every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides.”

During coronapanic, governors in the lockdown states ensured equality by banning all hospital visitation, regardless of membership in the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community.

“How DeSantis Transformed Florida’s Political Identity” (New York Times, April 28, 2022) is an example of a typical DeSantis-related story in our national media. It starts with some factual inaccuracies (not to say “lies” because those come from Republicans):

Discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity prohibited in early elementary school. Math textbooks rejected en masse for what the state called “indoctrination.”

In fact, if a kindergartener wants to talk about his/her/zir/their weekend plan to visit bathhouses, he/she/ze/they can talk to the teacher about “The best Gay saunas in Miami – Relax, indulge and mingle!”:

With stunning Miami gay beaches, unbeatable glamor, and some of the most handsome locals anywhere on the planet, the Magic City is truly a fabulous place to be gay!

One of the best parts of Miami’s vibrant LGBTQ culture is the sauna and bathhouse scene in the city. Think about it; scorching rooms filled with nothing but steam and guys having a good time. The idea alone is enough to get you all hot and bothered!

We love this super-extensive sauna in good ‘ole gay Fort Lauderdale, which is just a forty-minute drive away from Miami. For our money, Fort Lauderdale might just be the gayest city in America right now and nowhere is this more evident than at The Club.

This place is luxurious, modern and super-clean, filled with handsome gay boys looking to mingle and make new friends. With a steam room, dry sauna, whirlpool and more, there are countless areas to relax in the company of gorgeous guys.

Discussions are not prohibited by the new Florida law, only instruction. I pointed this out in a comment and a reader from Brooklyn replied:

You’re missing the point. The point is that the law is intended to make people think that young children are being taught about gender identity in school. It’s a phony issue, similar to the the CRT and Sharia law hysterias. offers an extensive list of recommendations for pre-K and older, however. Under the subhead “Picture Books: LGBTQ+ Family and Who You Love” (to which I object due to the failure to use “whom”) we find, for example:

Baby’s First Words and Mis primeras palabras. Christiane Engel. (Baby – Toddler) Featuring a family with two dads.

Heather Has Two Mommies. 25th Anniversary Edition. Lesléa Newman. (Pre-K – K) Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, and two pets. And she also has two mommies. As school begins, Heather sees that, “the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love one another.”

I am Jazz. Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. (K – 5) From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew she was a girl, even though others saw her as a boy.

The history page for this enterprise says that instruction began in elementary schools in 2008 and that the organization has reached 8 million students:

As of 2021, Welcoming Schools has over 150 facilitators who have trained educators in 43 states, DC, Canada, Mexico and Taiwan, reaching over 10.5 million students. The Welcoming Schools program has also formed strategic partnerships with national and state organizations, as well as large districts across the country.

What about the math textbooks that Emmanuel Goldstein Ron DeSantis personally rejected? The Miami Herald explains the impact:

Florida’s law remains clear: Individual school boards — not state officials — ultimately have the responsibility for selecting instructional materials. Furthermore, a district may spend up to 50% of its state funds for books that are not on the department’s list of recommended titles.

In other words, regardless if a book or curriculum is on or off the state’s list of approved materials, a school board still has the authority to purchase it for the district. (The list is the “initial adoption list,” according to the state education department, and has yet to be finalized.)

The NYT is “stunned” that a big corporation might have to live by the same rules as smaller corporations:

And, perhaps most stunning of all, Disney, long an untouchable corporate giant, stripped of the ability to govern itself for the first time in more than half a century, in retaliation for the company’s opposition to the crackdown on L.G.B.T.Q. conversations with young schoolchildren.

(Again the inaccurate reference to “conversations” being excluded from the K-3 curriculum when it is only “instruction” that is excluded. Separate question: What did schools in the Northeast and California drop from the elementary school curriculum when they started teaching sexual orientation and gender identity? They didn’t make the school day or year longer, right? So something had to be dropped to make room for instruction regarding the world of 2SLGBTQQIA+. (Maybe this is part of the reason for the NYT’s 2015 story: “Surprise: Florida and Texas Excel in Math and Reading Scores” (California’s students are 9 months behind Florida’s in subjects other than sexual orientation and gender identity)).)

The article mischaracterizes Ron DeSantis’s coronapanic polices:

But beginning in 2020, a politically attuned Mr. DeSantis seized on discontent with coronavirus pandemic policies, betting that economic prosperity and individual liberties would matter more to voters in the long run than protecting public health.

DeSantis’s stated reason for not ordering extended school closures, lockdowns, and general public masking was that he did not believe that there was scientific evidence that such measures were effective at stopping the spread of an aerosol virus. From WFLA (July 2021):

“There’s been talk about potentially people advocating for people at the federal level imposing masks on kids. We’re not doing that in Florida, OK, we need our kids to breathe,” DeSantis said. “We need our kids to be able to be kids, to be able to breathe – it’s terribly uncomfortable for them to do it, there’s not very much science behind it.”

While the governor says previous protocols for masks were not meaningfully effective, health leaders across the political spectrum say that we have all of the tools to beat the virus, but people need to use them.

DeSantis said that between schools that did and did not have mask rules in effect, the difference between outcomes was not “meaningfully different.” The governor went further, saying that parents were free to mask their children on their own initiative but that he was not supportive of “coercive mandates” on Florida schools.

In other words, DeSantis’s primary position was that what governors were doing in the Northeast and California was unsupported by Science and doomed to fail. The health leaders, on the other hand, were 100 percent sure that “we have all of the tools to beat the virus.” If DeSantis was wrong and the health leaders were correct, COVID-19 should have ended in the summer of 2021 in all of the states and countries where lockdowns, masks, and vaccines were ordered.

More than 73,000 Floridians have died of Covid-19, yet public opinion polls have shown that Mr. DeSantis and many of his policies remain quite popular.

The New York Times presents this number without the context of Florida’s large population and, more importantly, very large population of old people who are vulnerable to COVID-19. Florida is #31 in the nation in terms of age-adjusted COVID-19 death rate (the NYT’s home state of New York is tied with New Jersey at #16).

Switching channels… “DeSantis vs. Disney: Homophobia and hate are beneath the surface of high-minded, right-wing talking points” (CNN Business):

The Walt Disney Company, a longtime engine of Florida’s economy, now finds itself in a disorienting position: Enemy of Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis. And let’s be clear about the root cause: Resistance to LGBTQ equality. The impending removal of Walt Disney World’s special tax district is wrapped up in anti-big business rhetoric. But the chain of events that led to “DeSantis versus Disney” began with the Florida GOP’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. Homophobia and hate are right underneath the surface of the high-minded talking points about “parental rights in education.”

But Disney is not opposing an executive order from the hated governor who is a homophobic hater. Disney is opposing a law passed by the legislature representing voters all over Florida (yet, despite its opposition to this law, Disney will not do the obvious thing and educate K-3 kids themselves while they’re in line at its theme parks and/or with a new dark ride).

It is a little strange for a Floridian to see the attention being devoted to Ron DeSantis outside of Florida. Here in Florida, it is the counties and towns/cities that collect most of the taxes (property tax being the huge one) and therefore it is county and local politics that get people excited. It is far more common for a person I’m talking to in Massachusetts or California to mention Ron DeSantis than for the Hater in Chief to come up in a conversation with someone down here. The state government is not a feature in day-to-day life. If you need to get a driver’s license or register a car, for example, you go to your county’s tax collector office, not to a branch of a state-run DMV bureaucracy.

Maybe the explanation is that Democrats are concerned that Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley will run for president in 2024? If we add their ages together, the result (93) is pretty close to Joe Biden’s age.

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Who is watching the Miami Grand Prix Formula 1 race this weekend?

For those who disagree with Michel Houellebecq (see If the dark days don’t have you in a suicidal mood…

Are you from Brittany?” he asked. “Yes—from Saint-Brieuc!” she replied happily. “But I really like Brazilian dance,” she added, obviously trying to absolve herself for her disinterest in African dance. Much more of this and Bruno would really get irritated. He was starting to get pissed off about the world’s stupid obsession with Brazil. What was so great about Brazil? As far as he knew, Brazil was a shithole full of morons obsessed with soccer and Formula One. It was the ne plus ultra of violence, corruption and misery. If ever a country were loathsome, that country, specifically, was Brazil. Sophie,” announced Bruno, “I could go on vacation to Brazil tomorrow. I’d look around a favela. The minibus would be armor-plated; so in the morning, safe, unafraid, I’d go sightseeing, check out eight-year-old murderers who dream of growing up to be gangsters; thirteen-year-old prostitutes dying of AIDS. I’d spend the afternoon at the beach surrounded by filthy-rich drug barons and pimps. I’m sure that in such a passionate, not to mention liberal, society I could shake off the malaise of Western civilization. You’re right, Sophie: I’ll go straight to a travel agent as soon as I get home.”

) the Miami Grand Prix is this weekend. ESPN will cover the qualifying at 3:55 pm ET today. The actual race is tomorrow. A rich friend got free tickets and took his young son to yesterday’s practice. Our text message exchange:

  • Me: What about parking?
  • Rich dad (there is no “poor dad” in any tale regarding Formula 1): Traffic nightmare. 90 minutes [from Miami Beach]. Took an Uber
  • Me: And that was for practice! A whole race is about 90 minutes. If horse racing is the sport of kings, this is the sport of people who love to sit in traffic jams. Now that you’ve seen it up close how much would you be willing to pay for a high quality grandstand seat [$4,000+ per ticket] for the race itself.
  • Rich dad: Zero. Would rather watch at home.

(His 4-year-old was smiling in the video snippet that he sent.) The good news is that it wasn’t as loud as the earlier generation of F1. Earplugs were not required except in the pits. My friend’s seats, about 3 stories above the track, were not plagued by ear-splitting noise.

European readers: Please sell us on the magic of Formula One!


(note that the tennis courts you see are used for the annual Miami Open; maybe they could space out the traffic and make the horrific logistics worth it by holding a tennis event at the same time as the F1 race? Go there in the morning to watch tennis and then stay for the car race)

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Young doctors should move to Florida?

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. What better time to talk about health care in the Sunshine State?

The Great Plains are traditionally the best places for doctors to work when salaries offered are compared to house prices and overall cost of living. But not everyone wants to live in the Dakotas, which, presumably is why a dermatologist can get paid $600,000 per year for showing up.

We’ve noticed that it is tough to get an appointment with almost every kind of doctor in Palm Beach County. Concierge medicine, in which people pay $3,000 or $5,000 per year to a primary care doctor to get the kind of service that was standard in the 1950s (pre-Medicare/Medicaid), seems to be much more common here than it was in the Boston area. Getting in to see a dentist can also be tough, with the high-rated providers backed up for 1-2 months. A physician neighbor who moved here less than a year ago and joined a private practice says that he is already busy.

I’m wondering if the Great COVID Migration has opened up a lot of opportunities for young doctors to establish themselves in Florida. The migration to Florida from the lockdown states wasn’t a randomly selected group. The first element of selection was a love of freedom. Doctors get half of their income from the government and nearly all of the other half is heavily regulated by the government. Doctors get paid more when low-skill migrants are admitted to the U.S. (a larger population leads to larger Medicaid payments, if nothing else). The typical doctor, therefore, is not aligned with “small government” state politics in Florida. The second element of selection was an ability to work from home. It was a lot easier for someone in engineering or finance to move than a doctor who sees patients in person. Finally, there is the question of state licensing and regulation. It is illegal for a doctor to move from one state to another and hang out a shingle. He/she/ze/they must first get licensed in the new state. A dentist friend who might otherwise want to escape Massachusetts says “It is very tough to get a license in Florida. They make it next to impossible for dental.” A cardiologist friend said that it would take her six months to get a license in Florida.

If the above list of selection effects is correct, there should be a smaller percentage of physicians in the group that migrated to Florida from California and the Northeast in the past two years than the percentage of doctors in the general population. In other words, the state has been flooded with new patients but hasn’t received too many new doctors.

What do readers think? Is Florida a good place for a doctor finishing residency/fellowship?

Some inspiration for docs… our minivan (Bugs and Daffy covering the massive holes left by the Maskachusetts front license plate installation) at a nearby strip mall next to a $400,000+ Rolls Royce SUV.

I don’t think that the lady who owns this marvelous (other than the severe door ding from our Odyssey) machine will quibble about $5,000 per year for concierge medicine.

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Sun ‘n Fun 2022 report

We made a family trip to Lakeland, Florida’s answer to Oshkosh, i.e., Sun ‘n Fun. It was a great experience with much more manageable traffic, hotels, food, etc. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds were the main airshow attraction and the USAF also brought a B-1 bomber, of which roughly 45 continue to fly. (Happy Tax Day and, if you’re one of the minority of Americans who pays income tax, thanks for your contribution to the B-1!)

The fun starts in the parking lot:

The Florida Air Museum’s Boeing 727 (converted to classroom and conference room spaces) was open for a walk-through, prompting the 6-year-old to note “We just came out of the plane’s butt.”

There were about 75 classic and antique cars just inside the gate, including one that is perfect for a Jacksonville Jaguars specialty plate”

A Jacksonville-based U.S. Navy unit also uses the “Jaguars” name:

The most unusual planes from World War II at the event were the Boeing B-29 and PBY Catalina. Both were giving rides and drawing crowds.

The B-1 cockpit was open for tours:

I wonder if these Harley-Davidson of Brandon, Florida hats are more popular in the Let’s Go Brandon age:

Try to go with a friend who owns a Cirrus because the company provides a nice lounge and observation deck. The Thunderbirds were awesome, but I wonder if they should kick off the air show rather than start at 4 pm when people have already been sitting since 1:30 PM.

One of the announcements during the airshow was from a person who said that she identified as a “Black woman” (however Ketanji B.J.’s team of biologists might define this term) and also that, despite what she characterized as an obstacle/hardship, she could fly an airplane. Within the crowd of 50,000 aviation nuts there were no doubt quite a few who were familiar with competent 12-year-old pilots. Thus, the effect of the message was that one should ordinarily expect a person who identifies as a “Black woman” to be less capable than a 12-year-old (I happen to disagree with this expectation, but if we do credit the expressed concept, why do we limit important jobs such as Supreme Court justice or Vice President of the U.S. to people in this category?). No other gender or race ID was advertised during the airshow as an obstacle to learning to fly.

At dusk people get ready for 7:30 pm night airshow (Kyle Fowler in the background of the center picture doing aerobatics in a homebuilt Rutan Long-EZ).

In contrast to an underwhelming experience with a coordinated drone show as Oshkosh, the one organized by Great Lakes Drone Co. for this year’s Sun ‘n Fun was amazing. There was also a powered parachute aerobatic night demonstration! Nathan Hammond in the fireworks-carrying Super Chipmunk was a favorite, but Manfred Radius delivered something new in a sparkler-trailing sailplane. The fireworks at the end of the night airshow made the typical city’s July 4th fireworks look like three 10-year-olds running around with sparklers (fortunately this is strictly illegal in Massachusetts, perhaps because there is too much risk that an “essential” marijuana supply will be ignited and thus put human health at risk until a trip to the dispensary). There is a massive fireball at the end. During the minivan debrief session, extended by only about 15 minutes due to the crush of getting out of the parking lot and out to the Interstate, the 6-year-old asked the 8-year-old if he’d seen it. “Of course I did,” was the response. “I’m not blind.”

Due to the fact that Lakeland, Florida is so far from the center of the U.S., there aren’t as many interesting airplanes as at EAA AirVenture. That said, if you have any reason to want to come to Florida in early April and you have any interest in aviation, Sun ‘n Fun is a rewarding destination. Budget two days to see everything and one more if you want to hang out and chat with people or take homebuilding seminars.


  • Sun n Fun (2014)
  • Sun n Fun report (2017)
  • combat history of the B-1 (bombing Iraq in 1998, about 30 years after development was funded; bombing Yugoslavia to help Kosovo separate into its own country; bombing Iraq some more in 2003; bombing Muslims in Afghanistan and Syria at least through 2018)
  • TBM 960 introduced at Sun ‘n Fun, a $4.8 million FADEC (finally!) turboprop that might be the first example of an airplane that can update its own navigation database via mobile data (like an Android phone circa 2008!): “It is also the first application for the Garmin GDL 60 data transmitter, which allows automatic database uploads and links with mobile devices.” (but maybe not? perhaps it requires the pilot-owner to download updates first to the phone or tablet?). The plane was introduced in 1991 for $1.3 million (Flying), which corresponds to $2.6 million in 2022 Mini-Dollars according to the BLS calculator. Thus the official rate rate of inflation since 1991 is 100 percent while the actual rate for anyone in the TBM market is 270 percent.
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How Florida’s ‘don’t say gay’ law could harm children’s mental health

“How Florida’s ‘don’t say gay’ law could harm children’s mental health” (The Guardian, today):

LGBTQ+ parents and pediatric psychologists say the law stigmatizes being gay or transgender and could harm the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth.

Stella, 10, attends a private school in Atlanta, Georgia, and explains to friends that she has four moms. Two of them are the lesbian couple that adopted her. The other two are her birth parents, one of whom recently came out as a transgender woman.

“I’m so grateful that [Stella] is somewhere that sees” the family “as what it is: her moms just love her”, said Kelsey Hanley, Stella’s birth mother, who lives in Kissimmee, Florida.

But Hanley, 30, worries that children who have multiple moms or dads or are LGBTQ+ themselves won’t get the same acceptance in Florida.

That’s because the state recently approved legislation that bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten through third grade and prohibits such lessons for older students unless they are “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate”.

(It is unclear how this anecdote relates to Hate in Florida because a 10-year-old with four moms, six moms, or any other quantity of moms would be in 5th grade and the new Florida law prohibits instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity only in grades K-3. Also, young Hanley’s four moms have sent her to a private school and the new law does not apply to private schools.)

What I find fascinating about this story is that, in the context of children’s mental health, it shows mentally healthy children outdoors in the baking Florida sun in rated-low-risk-by-the-CDC Hillsborough County… wearing masks:

Note the range of styles from covering face to under-nose to chin diaper and that none are N95 masks that could provide some protection against the unmasked. How can we be sure that these children are mentally healthy? The new law hasn’t taken effect yet, so these masked-outdoors children are among those whose mental health has presumably been maximized by unfettered public school sexual orientation and gender identity instruction starting in kindergarten.


  • The happiest children in Spain live with two daddies (“children who lived with their two mothers were extremely unhappy”)
  • One reason that Hillsborough County is “low risk” is that the CDC completely changed its standards in March 2022 (NPR: “Critics of CDC’s new approach say the agency seems to have moved the goalposts to justify the political imperative to let people get back to their normal lives.”)
  • CDC gives us a new canonical example of chutzpah? (after locking down children for a substantial percentage of their lives, the CDC now alerts us to poor mental health among children)
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