Tag Archives: Parking

Final home game of 09

Mrs. Poolman and I took off Friday afternoon for the last Gator home football game weekend of the season. We stayed Friday and Saturday night with Mrs. P’s younger sister. When we arrived, we picked her up and went to Outback Steakhouse where we met up with other sister in law, brother in law, a nephew and a friend of his. Nice dinner. We beat the dinner rush crowd. Monday is my b-day. I don’t usually like any kind of fuss, but the sisters in law brought a couple of thoughtful presents and a tiramisu dessert, so all was very good.

We were off early Saturday morning with nephew Billy for the final tailgating session of the year. We had no trouble finding a spot in our usual area, but others did. I witnessed one minor altercation that brought up an interesting question.

In the section of campus where we tailgate, there is no organization or supervision. People park wherever they want, on a “first come-first served” basis. There is a group who fairly frequently tailgates very near us. They send a couple of people to “set up camp” fairly early. These “scouts” take yellow caution tape and tape off an area to park an additional six to eight cars. This is in a section of campus where tailgating is very popular, and parking spaces are at a premium.  Later in the morning or afternoon, depending on the game time, the rest of their group wanders in and parks in their “reserved” spots. Saturday morning, another couple of tailgaters were looking for a parking space. One passenger got out of their car and lifted the caution tape to park in the “reserved space.” One of the guys who was already there started yelling at them and told them they couldn’t park there because he was saving it for his family. They exchanged some words, and eventually the “interlopers” drove off to find a spot elsewhere.

I just watched the whole thing. The guy who was saving the spaces, “Dave”, came over to talk to me, and made a “Imagine the nerve of that guy,” kind of comment. He was surprised when I politely said, “To be honest, I think the other guy was right and you are wrong.” Surprisingly, he didn’t get angry. We had a very nice conversation, but I explained that I thought he was being very greedy to rope off that many parking spaces when there are so many people who are trying to find places to park. I told him that I didn’t think anyone would object to saving one or two spaces for later arrivals, but they had cordoned off an extremely generous section. If I had not found another space nearby, I would also have just lifted the tape and backed into one of his spaces.

You see this kind of thing a lot, at theaters, graduations, Christmas religious services, etc. You see a row or block of empty seats, but when you try to sit down, one person sitting in the row says that they have “reserved” that whole section for their family. My opinion is that it is a matter of degree. Saving one or two extra seats or parking spaces isn’t a big deal, but having one “early arrival” staking out a claim to a large section of seating or parking at what is expected to be a crowded event, is unreasonable. It annoys the heck out of me, when I’m the one looking for a seat, parking space, etc. What do you think?

In any case, the game went well.

The Gator Band

On our walk to the stadium we were joined by a couple hundred musicians, which was pretty cool. The introduction of the senior players before the game was actually quite emotional. Florida State didn’t put up much of a fight.

Tim Tebow's second-to-last snap in The Swamp

We left with about 5 minutes left in the game, so we could beat the traffic and get back to Jacksonville. However, I understand from listening to the radio in the car, that the post-game celebration was extensive, with a full stadium staying around to applaud Tim Tebow and the rest of the team. Sorry we missed it, but by leaving five minutes early, it actually put us back in Jax more than an hour earlier than we would have been otherwise.

Back to work tomorrow. It’s been a nice five-day break.

It’s a wonderful Friday!

A couple of random thoughts today…

Mrs. Poolman and I went to a meeting at our church last night about an outreach project that should be interesting. It’s called the Interfaith Hospitality Ministry. Essentially, the way it works is that churches agree to provide overnight housing and meals for a small number of homeless families for a week at a time. Church members volunteer to provide food and be evening and overnight “hosts.” We are already signed up to be the overnight host couple for a night late in August. We’ve never done anything like this before, so it should be interesting. I’ll keep you updated.

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In this part of the country, college football is a dominating presence. As the summer drags on, die-hard football fans are starting to froth at the mouth awaiting the beginning of the season. It is especially fun being a Gator fan in the heart of Georgia, the home state of what is arguably UF’s biggest rival.

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Some of the annual silliness was back in the news today. A Georgia legislator has come out tying the political and legal “water wars” among Florida, Alabama and Georgia to the annual Florida-Georgia football game in Jacksonville (aka Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party or WLOCP).

The crowd split 50-50

The crowd split 50-50

He says it should be moved to Atlanta every other year, as leverage against Florida in the fight over water rights. Unrelated to the whole water issue, the fuss over the game-site has become a regular refrain among a minority of Georgia fans for several years. Florida fans think the whole controversy is hysterical and just giggle with delight when Georgia folks suggest it. You see, the WLOCP has been played in Jacksonville for something like 70 years, except for a two-year home and home series played when the new stadium was being built in Jax. It’s a big tradition and, actually, a fairly big money maker for South Georgia businesses.

Florida fans think it the controversy is funny because Georgia fans never suggested such a move in the 1960s, 70s or 80s, when UGA dominated the series. However, since Steve Spurrier’s first year as coach in 1990, the ‘Dawgs have only been the victors in three of the last 19 games.  So every time someone in Georgia brings up the subject, Gators just think “Sore losers!” Better you than us.

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More parking lot woes…

I went to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch today (cilantro addiction). I often park in an adjacent vacant lot because it is shaded and it is (usually) easier to get in and out of. Of course, there are no parking lines in this lot. Most people either park around the perimeter or “head-in” in a double line down the middle of the lot with the cars in each line facing each other.

Today, I pulled into the head-in line and noticed that several cars had not pulled all the way up to the imaginary center line. I did –my mistake. When I came out I discovered some jerk in a 25 year old Grand Marquis had pulled in behind me. So I was completely surrounded by other parked cars, except immediately on the left side.

My car is the navy blue Accord in the middle. The late arriving Grand Marquis is behind it.

My car is the navy blue Accord in the middle. The late arriving Grand Marquis is behind it.

Many other cars had also not pulled completely to the center line leaving a space between the two lines of cars. Fortunately for me, there was just enough room for me to “wiggle” out of the parking space and no one had “plugged the hole” at the end of the line, so I was able to get back to work. Oy!

Dating back to the days when my late father-in-law drove one (badly), I’ve never trusted Grand Marquis drivers. Today is one more piece of evidence my prejudice is right.