Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.

[Too Much Time on His Hands] There is a guy who rides around on his moped a lot by No Name Pub, sometimes he is on foot patrolling the area as well.  I believe he thinks he’s the neighborhood motor vehicle patrol.  The other day I passed him on his wobbly moped (I think he was drunk).  He was hindering travel between the bike lane and road, and he was angered by me passing him (pick a lane already mister).  Upon returning from my outing two hours later and heading over the Bogie Bridge, I saw him again, looking at me and dialing his cell phone.  He quickly turned around on the bridge back towards No Name Pub and took off.  He was calling the cops on me.  Yup, he waited for me so he could report an “erratic driver ripping through the neighborhood.”  This is what the cop who pulled me over said a neighbor who had called in reported.  Really?  I was the only one on the road and got pulled over because I was in the type car identified.  Really?  I had just got back from a two-hour drive, so it couldn’t have been me.  This is when I put two and two together – it was the moped guy reporting me!  Weirdo loser.

 

[Moon Landing] 50 years ago we were all on the same side for a few days, striving for the same thing, cheering for the same people. It wasn’t the first time, hopefully won’t be the last. It’s amazing what can be accomplished that way. United we stand.

[The Cloud] Amazon’s cloud storage is the largest in the world.
[Meth Gators] Flushing drugs down toilets could create ‘meth-gators.’ flushing drugs down the toilet could harm wildlife. Video
[Friends] I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, old shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, ladle in one hand, and dishtowel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer’s night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more. Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return. So, while we have it, it’s best we love it and care for it, and fix it when it’s broken, and heal it when it’s sick. This is true. For marriage, old cars, children with bad report cards, dogs with bad hips, aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep. Like family, a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special, so we keep them close. Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them, but you know they are always there. Keep them close.

 

 

 

 

[Sears] Another reason Sears and Kmart annoy me. Their long receipts. This long receipt was for just one item.

[Lobster Season] Watch out, the lobster cowboys are back in the Keys.

 

 

 

 

[Food] This was delicious. Paradise burgers at the curve has really good food, especially their Mexican food.

[Toxic Water] Army Corps of Engineers admits to releasing toxic water from Lake Okeechobee into other Florida waters. Audio

 

 

[Pellet Guns] If you don’t think pellet guns are powerful check out this picture of pellets going through a 3/4″ piece of plywood from thirty feet away.

[Bonus] Politicians in Singapore get bonuses—or not —based on how well the economy performs. It’s like putting a bounty on good performance.
Cocaine smuggler is caught trying to hide £27,000-worth of powder under his wig. Link

 

 

[Breeding Season] Thank you to whoever put all the slow down signs on Key Deer Blvd. There are a lot of new deer this year who are brainless, especially about cars, and when startled they jump right out in front of them. The signs don’t make any impression on tourists; to them they are just more signs, but they are very effective on us locals and remind us to slow down during this breeding season which has just about ended. (the signs are fading and less effective and the sign-putter-uppers should think about removing them.)

[Crappy Houses] As for battling the current code situation, when it comes to residential building, it presents a deeper dilemma. The fact is that “modern” residential construction is, for the most part, about fifty years behind the curve. We build absolute shit, and as long as it’s properly decorated, presented, and hits all the current hot buttons, the public sucks it up. For the most part, the majority of what gets done on a residential, single family home site in 2014 would look pretty familiar to a builder who was plying the trade in 1950. Materials are slightly different, some better (insulation, windows, plumbing etc.) but most are just cheaper, shittier, and far less durable knock-offs of quality materials from the past (vinyl siding, chipboard sheathing, laminate flooring).

 

 

 

 

[Do-It-Yourself Egg McMuffin] I’ve been trying to make my own egg McMuffin, but the egg ring I bought I used upside down until a CT reader told me the right way to use it. Here’s proof. They sure are good.

[Get Shorty] Florida man attacks wife’s lover with scissors and flees with his penis. Video

 

 

Dozens of whales stranded on Georgia island remain at sea after rescue effort by beachgoers. Video

Is this the future of underwater exploration? Video

[Moon Landing Conspiracy] I always feel bad for conspiracy theorists who thrive by imagining alternate theories about everything and accepting nothing that is fact. What a miserable way to exist. Because of their great imaginations they should be movie producers who create alternate scenarios for interesting events, like Oliver Stone does. I think it’s the conspiracy people’s lack of education and world travel that is the culprit.

[Website in honor of Apollo 11] It displays, in real-time, every recorded communication in Mission Control. Click the “T-MINUS 1M” button. Don’t miss this one! It may be the most impressive website I’ve ever seen. Video

[“Bond, Jane Bond”] I don’t think of myself as really being sexist or racist, but when I hear that the new 007 is going to be a black female, my reaction is downright bigoted.

[“Change subject line in Outlook”] Outlook 365. When I open an email there is no subject line. The subject line only appears in the Inbox > Current Mailbox and is not accessible. The reading panel shows the subject line also, but that panel does not allow for any changes either. The poster must have an older copy of Outlook when it was easy to change the subject line. I don’t know why you can’t change the subject line in Outlook 365. It made filing and record keeping so much easier.
[Affordable Housing or Another Scam] It’s stupidity, insanity or corruption to have gotten this far? According to the Thursday KW Citizen, the BOCC has applied for grant funding to build demonstration “tiny home” workforce housing:.
360 sq ft one bedroom at $101,000 = $281 per sq ft + lot.
1012 sq ft 2 bedroom at $189,000 = $187 per sq ft + lot
640 sq ft 2 bedroom shipping container house at $153,000 = $239 per sq ft + lot.
Tack on another $100,000 or more for the lot and impact fees and these are not economy houses at all! A new grinder pump installation reportedly costs about $35,000 to FKAA alone, in “system development and installation charges”. Where engineering and permit fees included? Get real: over $200,000 for a 1-bedroom house a little bigger than a single car garage? Over a quarter million bucks for two shipping containers converted to a house? With insurance and taxes, plus depreciation & repairs what would these have to rent for? Too damned much for most County employees to afford with after tax dollars. Do the math BOCC.

 

 

JC Whitney was the go-to mail order place for anything automotive in the 1550s and 60s. And so it went for several decades. Cracks began to show in the facade, as the combined forces of rising gas prices, primitive electronics, and emissions controls began to conspire to make it more difficult for the average owner to work on their car. JC Whitney spent virtually nothing on branding, and as a result it was quickly becoming an aging brand among the likes Ovaltine or Prell. They never grasped the internet and it’s benefits. Link

[Propaganda] Politicians and media focus on the aberrant—it is, after all, more exciting—and so people fear the unusual to an extent that’s way out of proportion to the actual danger. Once you scare people, that scary thought will more easily come to mind the next time we hear about that topic.

[Water] Does water lose something when you leave it sitting out? Does it lose oxygen or hydrogen molecules making it lest beneficial to our bodies? If so, what’s left?

[Facts] We have a funny relationship with facts. We are more likely to share made-up stories on social media than stories that are indisputably true. One study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that false news moves faster on Twitter than true news, because people prefer it and find it more interesting. They found that it took true stories about six times as long as false ones to reach 1,500 people. And this result applied to every subject area, from celebrity gossip to scientific findings.
[Business or Wasting Time] People average 5.9 hours online every day.

[Hunting With Salt] “Had salt been less scarce in the valley than it was, this was the very place to have gone birding with it.” This old book talks about hunting birds with salt — I think. Since when do birds like salt? (I bought a salt lick for the key deer and they ignored it) Did they use the salt as bait? Or was he talking about seasoning his catch during cooking?

[Puritans] Much better conditions and more improvements were established under the personal rule of Charles I between 1629 and 1640 than under those who claimed to rule in the name of God and the sovereignty of the Saints. They considered that poverty should be punished rather than relieved. The English Puritans, like their brethren in Massachusetts, concerned themselves actively with the repression of vice. All betting and gambling were forbidden. In 1650 a law was passed making adultery punishable by death.

Drunkenness was attacked vigorously and great numbers of ale-houses were closed. Swearing was an offence punishable by a graduated scale of fines: a duke paid 30s for his first offence, a baron 20s., and a squire 10s. Common people could relieve their feelings at 3s.4d. Not much was allowed for their money; one man was fined for saying “God is my witness,” and another for saying “Upon my life.” Walking abroad on the Sabbath, except to go to church, was punished, and a man was fined for going to a neighboring parish to hear a sermon. It was even proposed to forbid people sitting at their doors or leaning against them on the Sabbath. These were hard times.

[Tropical Paradise] …that the chief was paddling his way to the realms of bliss and bread-fruit—the Polynesian heaven—where every moment the bread-fruit trees dropped their ripened spheres to the ground, and where there was no end to the cocoa-nuts and bananas; there they reposed through the live-long eternity upon mats much finer than those of Typee; and every day bathed their glowing limbs in rivers of cocoanut oil. In that happy land there were plenty of plumes and feathers, and boars’ tusks and sperm-whale teeth, far preferable to all the shining trinkets and gay tappa of the white men; and, best of all, women, far lovelier than the daughters of earth, were there in abundance. “A very pleasant place,” Kory-Kory said it was; “but, after all, not much pleasanter, he thought, than Typee.  ~Herman Melville — Typee
[Island People] The people of the Keys are no longer island people, they’re soft-handed rich folk who have no idea about island living. They, instead, want to spend their money on creating an artificial paradise, even if it means sucking water from the mainland and spraying reef killing chemicals on their white pea rocks to kill weeds.

 

 

[Oil] We expend 2,000 barrels of oil every second.

[Love it or leave it] Well, just who is allowed to improve our country? Are only those with European backgrounds allowed to suggest improvements?

 

[Dead People] How do dentist identify a person from their teeth on a dead body? Coroners send the victim’s head to dentists in hopes of identifying the deceased. How do they know what dentists to send the teeth to?