Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CT-Banner7.3.13No Saturday Edition

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[Grinder pumps] I rent and have no dog in this fight. I have read and listened to the grinder pump issue. Interestingly, no people in power or moneyed are getting grinder pumps. All the information available is that grinder pumps are a terrible idea. The people that advocate spending sewer money on other projects all have gravity sewers. To give anyone grinder pumps is to make those people second class citizens. The up front costs and yearly maintenance costs are far higher than those with sewers. Their home values will be less. The people in charge of this should be ashamed of themselves. To continue to promote grinder pumps is criminal. Those people should be fired or jailed.

Bluewater-Ad

[Tourist] The intelligence of any group of people is the intelligence of the most stupid among them, divided by the total number in the group – Alex Aldgate’s First Law of Tourism.

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[Name That Plant] Anyone able to help identifying this plant. It has flowers resembling small orchids on a tall stalk and has a bulb protruding from the ground that is bright green like a small coconut. 

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Northwest_passage4[Northwest Passage] The northwest passage is a water route between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean along the northern coast of North America. It was first opened and traveled in 1903. The route saves 3,000 miles rather than going through the Suez canal. With ice melting so fast there are 84 days a year that fortified ships can transverse it. At the continued rate of ice melt they figure that by late century the passage will be open 122 days a year saving billions in shipping costs. Plus it will open the area to extract the estimated 90 billion barrels of oil the area north of the Arctic Circle holds. Plus the 1600 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas tucked underground. Plus 44 billion barrels of recoverable liquefied natural gas. Who says global warming is bad!

coconuts-ad-11.13

RIP Dick Dodd, former Mouseketeer and lead singer and drummer of The Standels, passed on Friday. I know Ed can slip in the song Dirty Water. The band was from L.A., but sang about Boston. Still a great tune!

wind sock

If you like airplanes and airports you’ll love this!  It held my attention till the end!  Watch at least long enough to see a takeoff and landing. Video

[Grinder Pimps] The County commissioners who support grinder pumps or are just too lazy to instigate a change to gravity should be called grinder pimps!
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[Detroit] A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Detroit can use bankruptcy to cut employee pensions and relieve itself of other crushing debts, handing a defeat to the city’s unions and retirees. Just imagine yourself working for thirty years doing a repetitive, mind-numbing job; and the only reason you stay is because of the juicy carrot at the end of the stick, your pension and then when you’re too old to work any more and living on that pension someone comes along and guts it! Ouch.

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dodge4

 

[Classic Car] You have heard stories of barn finds before. Some sound incredible, some unbelievable. But here’s one that might top ’em all. It’s the true story of one 1940 Dodge Deluxe Sedan. Link

[“Daylight bulbs which emit the blue spectrum”] GE’s Energy Smart bulb at $14 a pop produces the vast palette of LED colors that imitate its traditional Reveal and Soft White bulbs and can last up to 14 years, that a buck a year.  
johnsons-ad-7.25.13

blue alien saucer

Best UFO sightings recorded for the month of November 2013. A pattern has been showing in which every month reports are increasing with more sightings than the previous month. In the month of November there were 50,000 more sightings compared to the month of October 2013. Link

[Monkeys Are Human] An animal rights group is asking New York courts to recognize scientific evidence of emo­tional and cognitive abilities in chimpanzees and to grant the animals legal “personhood” so that they are ensured better treatment. Corporations are people, so why can monkeys be people too?

hue bulb4

[Lightbulb Colors] How many electricians does it take to install a smart lighting system? Zero—if it’s the Hue. Homeowners just need to screw in the multicolor LED bulbs, connect a wireless hub to their router, and download an app. They can control a network of up to 50 bulbs from a smartphone or other device. $200 for the hub and three bulbs. 

chamber-ad10.17.13
Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center (35 East Quay Road, Key West) on Saturday, December 21 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am. Play games and make crafts while learning about pirates, shipwrecks, lighthouses, and wreckers. Free admission and free parking. For more information Events 
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credit card montage 46h[Crooks] I held up the check out line at Winn Dixie yesterday when my credit card kept getting refused. Fortunately I had cash. When I got home I called Discover Card and they told me they noticed thousands of dollars of online charges to places where I had no purchase history so they cancelled the card. I usually buy from the same few places, but last month I had to buy from 2 different places because only they had the particular items I needed. I think that’s where my card got compromised. Discover removed all the charges in question and told me I would not be held responsible and issued new cards.

[Citizen Of The Day Says] she enjoys working out and spending time with her longtime boyfriend.

nira tocco realtor 9.12

[“Bad choices”] You see Willie, the wino, living on his ratty boat in dirty clothes. He works washing dishes and is happy as a kid on Christmas every day. He gets to blow his hard earned money on the stuff that pleases him. He is sitting in a little boat that will never sail again and has a ton of crap on it, but he is happy. Who gets to decide who made bad choices? I will take “happy and free” over 9 to 5, mortgage, fake friends, and govt intrusion in my every day life, thank you. I always figured the vanilla people made the bad choices.

buttonwood4

 

[Plant Of The Week] Green and Silver Buttonwood. If you haven’t tried a steak from Murray’s on Summerland Key, cooked over a barbecue of buttonwood, you haven’t experienced a fine Fla. Keys cuisine to die for!  Save your trimmed tree branches to burn. Link

[“Incinerating trash”] I don’t believe modern incinerators spew smoke. The last attempt in KW to incinerate trash to energy (that failed) was a smokeless job. That was twenty or so years ago. I assume they get better at it.

An interesting story about that failed trash to energy screwup in KW was that the then City Manager pushed very hard for the incinerator and was responsible for the millions spent on a plant that never worked. After the developers got the contract the City Manager left the City and went to work for them at a higher paying job. Coincidence? The smokestack still stands as a reminder of government corruption.

isaksen-flood-roof 4.23.13

Best wishes to you and your grinder pump, get to know each other well.  You can now enjoy the deep personal satisfaction you must feel in knowing that you have well served your County government masters and that your sacrifice contributed  to the restoration of the Pigeon Key driveway on the old Seven Mile Bridge and some park you probably will never use.

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hotdog4

 

Oh, the humanity!

Apparently there is no Climate Change threat to Monroe County. How do I know?  I know because if there were a “climate change” threat our trusted elected officials would not be getting into business with an incinerator to further pollute the Lower Keys.  However, just in case, I will be calling my commissioner to voice my opposition against this environmentally unfriendly way of disposing of trash and yard waste.  The tourists do not come to Monroe County to see our beautiful views hazed by smoke from an incinerator.  But, this is what we get when we continue to elect the same old tired, visionless career politicians.  

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[A hidden burden of sewer grinder pumps] Elderly persons that are homebound, unable to drive or with limited mobility are not able to use camp toilets. Many lack the income and resources to get to a motel or hotel during a failure. They may not even be able to get to the alarm when it goes off. Younger physically impaired persons have similar problems to the elderly. Camp toilets are not an option for persons needing a handicapped bathroom. The ability to jockey a generator may not be an option.

bill 100 dollar flag

[Meet the new $100 bill] Got one from the bank today. Sometimes they may issue a version for only a short time if North Korea proves adept at quickly copying them, making the real ones collectors items. Link

[“Clean and reputable place to eat and shop”] If you’re hungry and in the mood for decently priced Mexican food, Chico’s Cantina located on Stock Island on the oceanside of US 1 is another gem. There is parking right out front so one can see if they are full or not. As soon as you’re seated they bring warm chips and salsa. The menu has many ala carte choices and combinations to appeal to nearly everyone on price or portions, the food is very good.

A special occasion restaurant with mostly small delectable portions and caviar on the menu Little Palm Island accessible only via appointment and ferry from Little Torch Key. You can dine on the beach or in the dining room. There is a dress code of khaki shorts or long pants and a button down shirt or better. Bring a camera and don’t go with a big appetite unless you’re willing to pay for many courses. It’s possible to have wine, appetisers, main course and dessert, plus a great tip, for a cool grand. Be sure to enjoy the lush decor of the lounge area with piano music exposed to the tropical breezes.

Flea-Market-ad10.9.13

Somewhere I heard that devaluing the US dollar against other money makes the stuff we produce here cheaper for foreigners to buy so they will buy a lot more of it so you businessmen can get wealthier and build bigger mansions and buy bigger boats and rent better hookers.   So what are you complaining about?  (Grammar Police please note that this message is comma free.)

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loserville4

 

[“Dine early–bother a celebrity”] So you want people to go to dinner early on the off chance that they can bother some celebrity for an autograph? That is one of the most pathetic commentaries on life I have ever heard. I guess another plus of going early is that you are back in plenty of time for Real Housewives of Loserville.

On yesterday’s CT I learned that the Shell Stations are job creators, taxpayers, and contribute to the community. This means that we should be thankful that they flaunt the money they make by screwing us. Why does this logic sound so depressingly familiar?

ad-manley-deboer6.27.13

With a septic system, treated wastewater is allowed to seep into typically dry surface soils where vegetation can eagerly suck up the fresh water and nutrients if it does not evaporate first. With a gravity sewer in the lower Keys, leaks in the pipe usually result in saltwater infiltration into the pipe because they are usually below tidal groundwater, so there is more pressure trying to get in than out. With a pressure sewer (force main) like you have with a grinder pump LPS sewer, the raw sewage is injected into the ground through pipe leaks. LPS grinder sewers are environmentally the worst of the worst choices.

Out of curiosity I calculated the allowable leakage on the brand new force mains of the “Inner Islands” sewer system when completed. It amounts to 1,087 gallons per day of raw sewage injected into the environment at just about at the tidal water table elevation. That is with a new pipe, just wait until they are old and brittle. Let the officials know to dump the pumps.

jet f-18 rotate

[Student Drivers] Student aviators will conduct Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) at NAS Key West’s Boca Chica Field Dec. 6-12 before completing their aircraft carrier qualifications at sea. Residents near the airfield will notice an increase in activity during this timeframe.

After Hurricane Georges hit the lower Keys in 98 FEMA hired contractors created a Mount Trashmore where the Sugarloaf school property is.   A lot of it was debris from flooded illegal downstairs enclosures.   Ironic that FEMA collected it even though the pile would have been a lot smaller if people had not violated FEMA rules.  Someone decided to burn the huge pile in place but ceased when the smoke turned out to be toxic.   FEMA then paid to have it picked back up and hauled out of here.

ad-island-art-festival11.22.13

[Snowbird Return] We are back and seem to have stepped into a grinder pump mess. Who is responsible for this joke of a sewer system and what can we do about it before our property values go down the tubes? No where we have lives has had good luck with these pumps and the only thing that works is a high end vacuum system that is over engineered for future growth. Take a look at any large city and you will note there are no grinder pumps except in hotels and condos. Is this a sign of what is coming to the Keys?

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zappa4

Today in 1993, Rock musician and composer Frank Zappa died at age 52. Dinah Moe Hum

[No Receipt] I didn’t get a receipt at the Shell station either, I had to go inside to get it. The only reason I go there is because it’s easy to drive my trailered boat through.

advert-accurate-home-insp8.14.13

[Survival] Thinking about this country and in fact the rest of the world, it occurred to me that most of this planet still operates under the old axiom of survival of the fittest, not the survival of the useless eater! Why should anyone have to work hard to make money then have to pay a portion of it to those who work not? Even a street beggar in Bangladesh earns his keep in some way or dies off. What would the world be like if all bleeding hearts, the weak sheeple, the useless drones, and the others who do nothing to sustain themselves were culled? Just maybe this rock might work a little better.

watermelon rocking

[Big Girl Crushes Watermelon] The Jersey girls are coming, the Jersey girls are coming! Warning: This is not for the faint of heart. Do not eat before viewing this film clip. Video

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

advert-dennis-ward8.16.13

Too bad Dion’s crawled in bed with the Shell stations. I don’t begrudge anyone a profit in business, but greed has become the norm with all the others with their hand in our pocket — the County, insurance, sewers, the list go on. That is forcing the little guy out of paradise. May I suggest a locals’ discount card for the gouging gas stations; that might improve the sour attitudes toward them. Until then I will take my business to Marathon for gas and groceries.

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gas pump slot machine

 

Reg 90 octane fuel at Venture Out is $4.47
Reg 90 octane fuel at local Shell is $4.49
The price I paid in the middle Keys 2 days ago was $3.79!

I’m all for being successful, and I buy local whenever I can, but monopolistic behavior and price gouging are not nice business tactics. I’d like to see Dion’s break the trend here.  I’m starting to lose some respect for them too for tagging along on Summerland Key pricing.

Who gave the County Commissioners the power to over pay for Roswell’s Marina? The overpayment should be paid by those who voted to buy it!

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sick medicine

[Free app for iPhone]  Sickweather. See what’s going around in your area today with Sickweather, the world’s first “Doppler radar for sickness.” Receive real-time alerts whenever you enter a known sick zone where others have recently reported being sick. Choose from several illnesses, including Flu, Norovirus, Pink Eye and Whooping Cough. Link

[Constitution Question] Answer to #1 is D: Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the senate. Another example of States being able to check federal power through the Senate, prior to the 17th amendment. For example – a nominee to the Supreme court who was rabidly anti gun would likely never be approved by many states. However since Senators no longer are answerable to State Legislatures they can vote based on the wishes of their campaign contributors rather than the wishes of their State Legislature.

Question #12:   The ______ Amendment changed the method of choosing Senators, thereby eliminating the Senate as a check against Federal abuses of the States.

A.     9th
B.     14th
C.     17th
D.     21st

Copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are now available for free at Jigs, Coconuts and Molly’s Pawn on Big Pine. Another good resource is the Constitution Club online.

not-in-the-mood

 

Bringing back the bundling board.

[Disgruntled Eater] You call these chow halls restaurants? Get real, they are minimum quality tourists traps and most would be shut down if the USDA inspected them. No where in the Keys is it worth dining at the ridiculous prices they are charging. This is why most Snowbirds bring provisions and supplies with us and cook at home.

religion politics zone

My grandfather, RIP, had a high ranking job with the U. S. Census Bureau. He told me long ago, that more Democrats were born on April 1st, as opposed to any other day. Ironic, isn’t it — or not?

[“Stock Market breaking all records”] “the Fed is pumping billions of dollars into our economy” Yes, and it’s working beyond expectation. It is Obama who gets the credit for improving the economy under his leadership. He listens and when the Fed says to print more money and pump it in the economy to improve the economy, Obama listens and acts. That’s leadership.

The opposition would have let the economy collapse. They never have ideas, they only react and block.

[Regressive Hypocrisy#19] The ink was barely dry on the multilateral treaty that President Obama engaged in with Iran, when it was criticized by FOX News and the Republicans. Inspections of nuclear facilities are peacefully and currently underway. Do the Regressives remember the Reagan Iran-Contra scandal? A trade of arms for hostages was executed. Some arms went to Nicaraguan contra rebels even when such aid was prohibited by Congress. Hypocrisy at its best!

[“Democrats are mostly environmentalists and Republicans are mostly gun nuts. I chose the former”] Democrats don’t have a monopoly on the environment, Republicans share the same concerns and many Democratic leaning companies are huge environmental polluters. Like Apple with their tablets and phones that can’t handle a OS upgrade after two years and computers that can’t handle one after four. They intentionally bloat their code to cause faster hardware turnover, issue a new operating system annually and deny security updates if you wisely refrain from upgrading. A similar spec-ed PC can last a decade or more because Windows versions gets updates for a decade on average. Who’s really fooling whom? Despite people paying more, the hardware is made at the same environmental disaster areas in China like everything else. Democrats are hypocrites, look at GWB’s environmental house next to Al Gores.

Heres a summation of the postings from the right on Tuesday. Wahhhhh Obama Wahhhhhh Stock market doing great not because of the President we blame when its not Wahhhhhhhhh Everyone that’s not a Tea Party member is a Socialist Wahhhhhhhhhh The world is crumbling and ignore your recent upticks on your retirement plan Wahhhhhhhhhhh. Troops are coming home from a decade of republican wars that screwed the economy Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh Obama crashed the  Hindenberg Look for more enlightening news from the cryin Conservatives tomorrow. Wahhhhhhhhhhhh my car is dirty that damn Obama.

Its like reading an article written by Jane Fonda every day.

First the good news: “It’s good enough for government work”. Now for the bad news: Although the administration says its repair team is working with “private sector velocity,” a private-sector website would still count this as a very bad performance. Any business person will tell you that every time a customer has a bad experience, you risk losing them. And the customers you lose are often the ones you most want to keep.

Further bad news: The administration has chosen to count not how many people have actually enrolled in a plan, but how many people have put a plan in their electronic shopping cart, whether they checked out or not. Some of those people will never actually enroll in any plan. Some further number will never pay, or they will stop paying after a short period of time.

Will they pay? You couldn’t tell even if you wanted to, because the part of the website that pays insurers still hasn’t been built yet. Say what? That’s right, while the part that serves consumers is working much better, the part that sends the information to insurers is still having a lot of problems. So even if we knew how many consumers intended to actually enroll in, and pay for, a policy, we wouldn’t know how many of them would actually have an insurance policy come Jan. 1. But, hey, we still have the good news.” It is good enough for government work” and so will your child’s surgery.

PotemkinCare. “The Obama administration has not created a functioning Web site. Rather, it has erected a Potemkin village online — a façade that temporarily conceals the lack of architecture behind it. . . . The Web site provides the illusion of a working health-care exchange, but while it takes your information, there’s no telling what it will do with it. . . . Ironically, the president was the one to point it out: Obamacare is more than a Web site. The Web site is a portal. Now that you can enter it, you expect to get the insurance you paid for? Silly you.” Link

sad ball

It looks as though the Regressives are the only ones who are unhappy the stock market is breaking records. No matter how they spin it, it is Obama and Obama’s policies that saved the economy and the stock market.

Government pumping millions into the stock market. How does that mean competent leadership? What happens to the  stock market when they stop the wild spree? What about Main Street U.S.A.?
from the right

monopoly-man-money bagThe US has endured Democrat governance since 2007. It is nearly universally acknowledged that small businesses are the back bone of the US economy. They employ the vast majority of working Americans. According to Team Obama’s own Small Business Association,, since the ‘70’s smaller firms have accounted for 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs added.

While the fat cats on Wall Street enjoy the fruits of Democrat governance which has given billions to big businesses. Our small businesses are still in recession. The number of startup jobs per 1,000 Americans over the past four years fell a full 30% below the levels of the Bush and Clinton eras.  

Big businesses often drive the economy but newer, smaller ones, historically, have created the jobs. If the U.S. had come out of the recession maintaining the same rate of startup formation as in 2007 we would today have almost 2.5 million more jobs than we do today.

The recession officially ended in mid 2009, but today small business remains in a largely defensive mode. Hiring and startup rates have been far less dynamic than in the aftermath of the downturns of 1976 and 1983.

Small business’ future is further obscured by political shifts. The Obama years have been golden for “crony” capitalists with good connections in the Obama admin. As larger firms readjust to the realities of Democrat governance, they seem more willing to accommodate themselves, for example, to the new health care law, and also to have better opportunities to feed off the federal trough; federal subsidies for renewable energy for example, largely benefit bigger firms or well-heeled investors. Absent real tax reform, they also have less to fear from higher income taxes than smaller businesses, which are often sole proprietorships.

Why is this small business recession persisting? The causes are diverse. Certainly the prospect of Obamacare scares  smaller firms, who lack the resources of larger companies to deal with the new health regime. This is leading some to reduce full-time staff to avoid new mandates.  Another source of trouble is the decline of community banks, which traditionally have focused on smaller businesses. Since the passage of Dodd-Frank, there are some 330 fewer small banks. In the four years following June 2007, the volume of business loans under $1 million fell 13%.  New regulations and Federal Reserve giveaways to “too big to fail” financial institutions have fostered an unprecedented concentration of financial assets in the hands of a few banks. But perhaps most important has been the weak GDP growth under Democrat governance that has kept consumer spending at a low level, a particularly rough condition for smaller, start-up businesses. A growing economy and marketplace is critical for newer firms; without a sustained economic expansion many will suffer or never even come into existence.

A mid year Gallup poll revealed that, one in five small firms expect to drop their employee count, one in three expect to decrease capital spending and almost as many expect to be in more severe cash flow troubles by the end of the year.

Contrary to the popular Democrat rank and file belief, highly place Democrat advisors openly urges Democrat politicos to cement what they consider to be a natural alliance with larger firms, including the financial industry, while denouncing small business lobbies as “a building-block of the Republican base.”

That Deer Friends is why under Democrat governance the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the middle class, the small business owners, and their employees takes it in the shorts.

no-ins4Part 2) My Deer Democrat friends, what say you about the fact that the White House is preparing to flood the insurance industry with tax payer dollars to “off set” the losses that the insurance industry will incur because of the loss in “premium revenue and profit” if they accede to  Obama’s request to reinstate canceled policies. Remember that Team Obama has spent three times as much was budgeted to get the Democare web site up and running. Now, because it has not been running for 60 or more days, hundreds of thousands will not be insured on 1/14. Do you remember the infamous promise: “if you like your insurance, you can keep it. Period!” “If you like your Doctor, you can keep him/her. Period!”

CLIMATE CHANGE

A peer reviewed paper published today in Advances in Space Research predicts that if the current lull in solar activity “endures in the 21st century the Sun shall enter a Dalton-like grand minimum. The Dalton minimum was a period of significant global cooling.”

The author uses a new “empirical technique invoking three-cycle quasi-periodicity (TCQP) in Ap index” of solar geomagnetic activity to predict sunspot activity several years in advance.

The author notes solar activity was at a higher level in the late 20th century saying ”the Sun has emerged from a Grand Maximum, which includes solar cycle 19, the most active solar cycle in the last 400 years. Earth was cooler in the Grand Minima. The trend line indicates we have entered a period of low solar activity.”

Our suns 50-year mean solar activity was at the highest levels of the past 300 years during the latter half of the 20th century providing a scientifically sound explanation for the modest warming period that ended nearly 17 years ago and now often referred to as “global warming”. Link