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Stories from Jacksonville

New Jax Witty

Articles, reviews, advice, and legitimate research to go along with some back-handed comments. Think of us as Jacksonville's mother-in-law.
  • How Long Does Google Take To Update Streetview After Taking Photos?
    19 Days and Counting

    We've all used Google Maps, and most of us have used the little yellow guy to access Google Streetview. In this mode, Google tells you when the images were taken. I'd never really questioned how long Google takes to get that new image onto the Google Maps website. Luckily, I have the data I need in order to figure it out for my own neighborhood.




    I have a camera that records each vehicle that passes my house. I don't normally look at the images, but I just happened to be testing the system recently. I saw a Google Streetview vehicle passing my house within the recorded images, and the timestamp means that I can accurately determine how long it takes Google to update one specific street (as long as I visit the site every single day to check on the progress). Even if it takes me a few days to figure it out, we'll get a good ballpark estimate.

    The Google vehicle passed my house on April 29th, 2019, which you can see in the image. A Monday at 10:53AM. As I begin this article (May 18th - 19 days), the streetview for my block has yet to be changed, but I'll update right here at the first sign of a change _______________________.

    It's actually odd that my block needs a new streetview, since the last one was done in December of 2018. The one before that had been March of  2011. So why was the Google car in the neighborhood again? Maybe it's because some areas of my neighborhood are still stuck in 2011. Perhaps the new images didn't all get uploaded properly in 2018, so I was seeing a do-over. I actually hope Google uses the new-new images, since my lawn had some disease issues in December of 2018. Come to think of it, since home-selling websites use Streetview, I wonder if there's a way to request a certain version or a retake for after your cousin moves his RV out of your driveway.
  • Roadside Knife Stand - Only in Florida
    My wife was driving through central Florida when she got to see something that surprised her, even though she's now lived in Florida for a couple of years: a roadside knife stand. I have to admit, I was even a little taken aback. My first question for her was whether or not she took a photo of the stand, which she did not. I'd seen oranges and other edibles before. Nuts, watermelons, etc. Shrimp, even. And you'll see people set up yard sales right out to the street, maybe with antiques (or just old junk). There was a place along Locust in Milwaukee where you could pick up a used appliance right from the sidewalk, which was a little odd, but you can apparently get cutlery along a state highway in Florida.




    My understanding is that anyone who sets up on public property along the road would need some kind of a permit to sell. Even the homeless in Jacksonville are supposed to have a permit to ask for money. I will assume that this guy had said permit from the local jurisdiction. If he didn't, I would not think that a knife stand would last very long along a state highway. Unless, of course, he was the off-duty local sheriff.

    If this man had been selling fruit instead of blades, he would have fallen under the Florida Cottage Food Law, which allows him to sell with:
    no license, inspection, or training from the ag department.
    That's good for up to $50,000 in Florida, and I am sure if you can make a little more than that in cash, no one's going to notice.

    I found some information about roadside fireworks stands and roadside flower stands in Florida, but knife stands were not really addressed. Probably because no one ever thought someone would sell knives along a highway in our state. However, I think that just about anything will be attempted at some point in Florida, so there probably does need to be some kind of regulation as to what can and cannot be sold along the roads. Like guns, exotic animals, and probably fireworks (which are basically illegal to shoot off anywhere in Florida). 

    The best bet is to resist your temptation to stop and check out the inventory. When no one stops at your (hopefully) illegal roadside stand, then you don't set it up too often in the Florida sun.
  • Wish-Cycling in Jacksonville
    Those of us who recycle hope that the world in a better place because of it. I know that it costs money to recycle, but I figure it's better to spend money on that some other government programs. Yes, I'm guilty of wanting recycling to fix our garbage problem, but I'm also probably guilty of wish-cycling every once in a while. Wish-cycling is when you wish something that's not recyclable could be, so you chuck it in the recycling bin, only to mess up the recycling machines and cost taxpayers even more money.




    We have a fairly good recycling program in Jacksonville, mostly because you don't have to sort the items or take off labels. You can go onto the city's website for the whole list of what can be recycled. But this article is about us wishing more could be thrown in the yellow-topped recycling containers, so I'm going to go through the list of non-recyclable items that people wish-cycle.


    • Any #4 Plastics (LDPE), Includes items such as cling (Saran) wrap, sandwich bags, plastic garbage or grocery bags 
    Mostly, that's the plastic grocery bags. We have a separate container in the garage to take to Target once a month. Grocery stores should have these recycling bins, but they will screw up the machines we use, so don't throw them in the curbside bin.
    • Any #6 Plastics (Polystyrene), Includes items such as all types of Styrofoam, packing peanuts, plastic cutlery, hangers, and medicine bottles  
    Guilty! I am pretty sure I've thrown plastic forks and medicine bottles in the recycling bin. But this one also makes me ask why they are not made of another kind of plastic.
    • Aerosol cans
    These really do seem like they should be able to be recycled.
    • Shredded paper
     I'd read this one before, so I have not tried it, but I also don't understand why.
    • Weapons
    I suppose a shiv made out of an aluminum can or recyclable plastic is OK. Since the weapons will be pulled out of the system, it's best to toss your incriminating weapon in the landfill or river.
    • Batteries
    Remember that normal alkaline batteries just go in the garbage can. Cell phone and other nasty batteries are supposed to be recycled at special collection centers that no one knows about or uses.
    • Fireworks or flares
    Sure, there's probably some paper on these, but there would also be gun powder or whatever flammable chemical is used in flares.
    • Needles
    Again, there are special places to take your needles. Also, I don't know where.
    • Cables or wires
    You can get real money at a recycling center if you have enough wire. My cousin used to pick electrical wiring up and haul it in for cash. Just don't break into your neighbor's house and pull out all the wiring.
    • Rubber
    This one should probably read rubber and rubbers. Did you know that about half the rubber in a tire is natural (from a tree) and half of it is made from oil. So we use oil to fuel and lubricate our cars, for our tires, and in asphalt roads (5%). None of which is recyclable for 10 million years.
    • Glass that is not clear, brown or green
    I never even think about this one. If it's a glass container, I toss it in. I also do not know of anything at the grocery store that comes in other colors than these.

    • Food or yard waste
     Jacksonville should be OK here, since there's a separate yard waste pickup each week. And food is good for the landfills.

    • Any recyclable product contaminated with food cannot be recycled.
     I guess I always assume there's a little bit of leeway here. I do rinse my containers, but if there's a tiny bit of Coke left in the bottle or a smudge of grape jelly in the jar, can't it still get recycled?

    And what about lids? I'd read somewhere that you need to remove all caps and lids, but that information isn't on the site. Actually, under the Glass section, it says "Green, brown or clear bottles and jars (discard lids with garbage)." I have always tossed these mostly metal lids in. And there's no mention of plastic container lids.