Rick publishes the South Florida Daily Blog where he posts daily news items for people who are either too stupid or too lazy to find things on the Internet for themselves.
Rick awakes every morning before dawn, fires up his trusty Mac and scans South Florida blogs and news sites for items that might be of interest his readers.
Rick prides himself on being a guy who's in tune with South Florida's vibe. He knows this town.
He's built up quite a following. Last year, in an unexplained lapse of judgment, Miami New Times declared his blog, "Miami's Best Local Blog."
When Rick's not posting cut-and-paste jobs from the Herald, he's digging up items about Starbuck's latest pumpkin-flavored coffee roll-out or a Cheesecake Factory opening in The Pines. And then there are his daily rants against the most recent right-wing outrage. Remember, Rick thinks his readers aren't smart enough to find this stuff on their own.
Rick lives in sleepy Pembroke Pines where a paintball attack is a crime wave.
He apparently doesn't get down to Miami all that often.
And that's one of the reasons I like his blog.
For starters, Rick's complete bewilderment and astonishment when it comes to the Cuban-American diaspora is nothing short of amusing.
Reading Rick's blog is like viewing South Florida through the eyes of someone who just blew into town from Bangor, Maine or Burlington, Vermont or Topeka, Kansas. Everything in Miami alternately amazes or confuses him.
Rick once began a rant against rapper Luther Campbell by declaring emphatically that Campbell was running for mayor of Miami, not Miami-Dade as was the case.
Today on his blog, Rick posted another one of those stories that made me stop and wonder, once again, if he landed in Miami by accident after falling off a turnip truck.
[Here's] "The One Story You Need To Read Today," Rick breathlessly declared.
Rick went on to cut and paste sections of a Sun-Sentinel story about a Hialeah man who was arrested after it was discovered that he was stealing and pumping gas into a specially equipped van.
Well, stop the presses!
Rick was - in a word - shocked! that this sort of thing was taking place here. People in South Florida selling stolen crap out of the back of their vans? Who knew?
Those of us who have lived in South Florida for longer than five minutes know that this sort of thing is nothing new. It's the way things are done here.
But if you just fell of a turnip truck...well, you know.
by SANDRA MARQUEZ GARCIA, Herald Staff WriterBy the way Rick, this is a place where former Dade County county manager Sergio Pereira once bought thousands of dollars worth of stolen suits from a shabby duplex in Little Havana.
Sunday, February 21, 1999
One year after illegal gas peddlers began driving around Hialeah 's congested streets - selling gasoline curbside at discount prices - police and fire officials fear the black market business is on the rise.
In recent weeks, 15 people caught siphoning gasoline from flimsy tanks have been arrested in Hialeah, said Stanley Stark, a spokesman for the Hialeah Fire Department.
Authorities - who fear the peddlers are ticking time bombs - aren't taking the trend lightly.
The Hialeah Fire Department, Hialeah Police and the Florida Department of Transportation have created a task force to combat the problem.
``We are not sure yet how big this is,'' said Stark. ``We are still investigating. We have a feeling it may be bigger than a mom-and-pop operation but we still have no evidence of this.''
The task force is taking a close look at the case of Alberto Perez, 54, who was arrested twice this month on charges of selling gasoline from the back of his truck - while smoking.
And, in a moment straight out of Casablanca, the grand jury in its indictment of Pereira said, ''We find it shocking that public officials and other prominent citizens did patronize the duplex.''
Come on Rick! A guy from Hialeah selling stolen gas out of the back of a truck? Is that the best you can do?