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

[Deer Repellents] One alternative product class on the market is deer repellent sprays: you spray the leaves of your plants, bushes, trees. The substance (or its smell) is supposed to make it unwanted to the deer. So SOKD did some testing late last year here in the Keys.
We found there are several approaches to creating an anti-deer-chewing brew:
1) “Fear-inducing smell substances”: in academic studies they get the highest marks. They consist of sulfurous egg compounds, predator (e.g. coyote) urine, decayed blood, and even garlic. The theory is that such “death smells” signal a predator is in the vicinity and the deer will avoid the area.
2) “Pain-inducing substances”: usually contain capsaisin ( same stuff as in bear spray or human avoidance spray) but here the deer gets a taste of it (instead of being sprayed) and goes elsewhere.
3) “Bad taste substances”: these usually contain bittering agents, to make the deer say “Yuck!” similarly to #2.
There is so much positive feedback from mainland deer aficionados about Product #1 that we decided to give it a test here in the Keys. We used a young mango tree and several Geiger trees to test. Result – even after 2 sprayings, our deer were happily munching on unprotected leaves. So WTF? Here is our theory: since the Key Deer have no natural land predators (the last were pumas into the 30s and maybe 40s), our deer don’t recognize the “Fear-inducing smell substances”! Instead, 10-15% of them get killed by cars annually – if they could only learn to recognize gasoline or motor oil as a “Fear-inducing substance”…
Most practical idea is to landscape your yard with plants Key deer don’t eat! SOKD is assembling a list of plants/shrubs/trees that are on the Key Deer’s “yuck” list. Help us expand it. LinkOne of the most common gripes about co-existing with our deer is that they munch on residents’ gardens. Fencing around the area or young tree is the best defense, and due to our Key deer’s small size needs to be at least four feet high, although they will stand up on their hind legs to get whatever overhangs. These interesting deer facts are from Save Our Key Deer (SOKD)

 

Has anyone else had their light bulbs become much brighter in the last several days? Ours are at least 20% brighter. Why?

[“Poisonwood”] An old timer on Big Pine once told me to rub sap from the gumbo limbo tree on the affected areas. It worked great for me. After a few hours, no more itch. They say nature provides remedies for poisons by placing antidotes near the offending plant, in this case poisonwood treated with the gumbo limbo bark that grows nearby.
[For Rent] 2 bedrooms. One bath. Unfurnished Duplex on clean boating canal w/seawall going to Pine Channel and coral reef. Tiled floors throughout. Stainless steel appliances. Laundry room. Ceiling fans in living room and bath. Small screened porch. Very clean. A/C, 2 large brick patios. Parking for 3 vehicles. Ground level. Port Pine Heights subdivision. Quiet neighborhood. 750 square feet. No smokers or dogs. $1800 a month. First, last and $1000 security ($4600 total to move in) Utilities not included. 3974 No Name Road.  b33043@outlook.com
[“Poisonwood”] I’ve never had the rash last longer than 8 days. Alcohol or aloe doesn’t help much, but over the counter itch cream does, but nothing really works. The good thing is that unlike poison ivy, you can scratch poisonwood rash all you want, and it won’t spread. It’s a blood irritant not a skin irritant like poison ivy. The sap is the worse part of the tree and should be avoided at all costs. The White Crowned Pigeon comes here every summer to feed on the berries, so don’t cut them down. Stop trying to change the Keys. Properly pruning the dead branches will leave you with an exotic tree that is interesting and nice to look at.

 

 

[House Cleaners Take Note] This is a request to those of you cleaning rental houses and the realtors who use them.  Please do not leave the outside lights on as evidence that you have been there. Neighbors will be bothered by those lights until the next renter comes which at this time of year could be a long time.

[Conspiracyman] Jeffrey Epstein, accused sex trafficker, dies by suicide. Video

[Seven Day Delivery] If the key to online shopping’s success is fast delivery, then why isn’t UPS delivering on Saturday, Sundays and holidays?

[Cell Phone Radiation] An Egyptian university, Al-Azhar, conducted an experiment with white mice and exposure to conventional cell phone radiation One group of 40 was kept clear of radiation, a second and third group of 40 each was exposed for 3 hours per day except that one of these groups was given Vitamin E three times per week. The group with cell phone exposure and no vitamin E had their little mouse nuts heavily damaged, (destroyed Leydig cells, membrane ruptures, atrophy and degeneration). Testosterone was severely lowered, and the sperm count was way down due to the damage. The mice supplemented with Vitamin E were not nearly as badly damaged and the mice without iPhones and Androids were fine. The lesson: Keep that cell phone away from your head, heart and genitals and take your vitamins– or maybe use it for birth control.

 

[Shooters] What I always wanted to know, when you have a dozen or more people with guns and one bad guy. Is the bad guy wearing a sign that says, “Bad Guy?” This just looks like a bad situation going from bad to worse.

[“Surterra pot store”] The post about Surterra is laughable at best. Your doctor is ripping you off, not the dispensary. My doctor has given me a prescription that I have filled multiple times over the last four or five months. Never once charging me for my prescription. I have only paid my doctor $275. That’s it. Every 7 months is a repeat visit at $75 to stay up with the legalities that Florida has imposed. You should be made at your doctor for screwing you over. That’s ridiculous to be charged for every prescription. Sorry but your doctor is just in it for the money, not your health. I would look for someone who actually cares about your health and wellness. Sorry, about the bad vape, I had that once. They exchanged it without any problems. Maybe you should call customer service and see if they are able to remedy your situation. Good luck with doctor shopping. There are good ones out there. Yours is definitely not one of them.
[“Poisonwood”] Take a little bit of alcohol and put Gumbo Limbo bark into it. Toss that into the microwave for a few seconds to warm the alcohol and help release the oils in the bark. Poor this into the remaining alcohol left in the bottle–bark and all. Keep a paper towel soaked with this mixture and scratch the itch with the soaked towel. This keeps you from breaking the skin and causing sores. Gumbo Limbo is also called the tourist tree. The bark looks like peeling skin.
[“Poisonwood”] Try spreading some aloe from the actual plant on the rash. I always have a plant on hand to put on any irritation I get from gardening, including ant bites. Don’t wait too much longer if it doesn’t clear up. A good health food store may also have a solution for your rash. Good luck.
[Floss No Good] The Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology published a study that has linked exposure to PFAS, like Teflon in tap water, coated cardboard cartons, cookware, and dental floss among other products to lowered metabolic rate and consequent weight gain. The PFAS was even found to be absorbed by teeth during flossing and thence into the blood stream. Old fashioned wooden toothpicks are still okay. And they are less likely to be disposed down the drain where they clog your drains. Floss is still great for sewing on buttons, very strong thread and pulls easily.

 

 

 

“Hello, thank you for calling tech support, this is Bobby in Kansas City…”

Terabytes, Gigabytes, & Petabytes: How Big Are They? Link
[“It’s a machine gun vs no it’s not”] The nit picking argument over the nomenclature of weapons instead of looking at the larger issue of dead people every day is just an excuse for doing nothing. You all know what we are talking about, nitpicking names of guns is just smoke and mirrors for doing nothing.

 

 

[“Poisonwood”] Zanfel stops it real fast. Strong stuff.

[Change Gun Laws] 1) Change the age to purchase any firearm to 21, unless you’re current, active military – then the age is 18.
2) Every gun purchaser should have to have a Concealed Weapons Permit, meaning they have to take the class and apply to the State before they can buy. Establish background checks for every purchase. Establish a 72 hour waiting period for all purchases. Current permit holders’ exemption to the 72 hour rule since The State already has fingerprints and a background check on file.
3) Change current HIPPA laws so that those taking anti-depressants, psychotropics, or other head-meds have to disclose their use. No guns for/or in the homes of head-med users. (Many of these mass murderers were on daily meds – Aurora, CO, Parkland, Sandy Hook, and I’m betting El Paso) You can see it in their eyes. Coo-coo.
4) The “yellow paper” – the federal form asks if the purchaser uses Schedule 1 drugs. Weed is sched1. If you have a medical marijuana card, no gun. It is a federal offense to lie about usage. It is a federal offense to be a user and purchase a gun. All medical marijuana card holders must surrender their firearms and have their permit to carry revoked-or they can give up Schedule 1 drugs. If you’re caught with drugs and have a permit – you lied – you’re fried – do Federal time.
5) Establish a blood test to test for drug use (see items 3 and 4)
6) No permit, no purchase for those convicted of domestic violence, DUI, BUI, drug possession, battery or affray.
7) No firearms in the homes of persons convicted of the above – so if the parents are screw-ups, the offspring can’t buy them while living in the same home.
8) Must be a legal U.S. citizen with no arrests/convictions. No ties to any of the axis of evil countries (Pulse shooter).
Gun ownership is a right. A privilege of being a U.S. citizen and it should be thought of as such
[Grease] “Grease is the word.” I think any blue grease is good for trailer bearings. Grease 1978

 

 

[Desalinated Water] If the Arabs can build two desalination systems to produce 1,000,000 gallons of drinking water each every day from sea water, why can’t America do the same thing? Seems to me we are getting screwed by the bottled water conglomerates and politicos.

[“Snooty reply”] Isn’t it a well-documented fact that when species are crowded together unanticipated events occur? In our case we move far into the country to remove ourselves from that possibility. It’s not a guarantee, but preservation is enhanced. Do you think so?
[Junk] Every time I find a “free” something on the web, I type in the Governor’s email address to register. “Don’t you love all those commercials for junk, Sir?”
[Knives] The most recent mass-casualty shooters chose to use semi-auto rifles.  If you think that a semi-auto rifle is a dreadful threat to our safety, think about this: 1,591 people were murdered by knives and edged instruments in 2017, but 403 were murdered by rifles–that’s all rifles. You’re nearly 4 times more likely to be murdered with a knife than a rifle.

Currently, it is estimated that there are about 330,000,000 guns in the US of A.  In 2017 those 330,000,000 firearms were the instrument chosen by a person to commit murder about 11,000 times.  In that same year 403 persons were killed with rifles. The odds of you being hit by lightning are about 1 in 115,000.  The odds of you getting murdered by a rifle are about 1 in 818,858 Then you’ve got to consider that those 3330,000,000 firearms are used in self-defense about 2 million times.

[Get a Gun] Your odds of being a victim of violent crime in Camden, NJ are 1 in 51. Your odds of being killed or injured by the mass shooter in El Paso were 1 in 22,000. Your odds of being killed or injured in the mass shooting in Dayton, OH were 1 in 15,000. Your odds of being shot in any mass shooting in the entire U.S. so far in 2019 was approximately 1 in 1.3 million. You have about 4 times the likelihood of winning $200,000 in Fantasy 5, which you won’t, but you would not be on national news. Mass shootings are statistically extremely uncommon in the U.S.
And you want to change this nation’s Constitution to abolish the right of peaceful citizens to protect themselves and others because you worry about mass shooters? Get a grip. Buy a lottery ticket, fool. Or roam the streets of Myrtle Beach unarmed for a 1 in 63 chance of having your name in the paper or on the evening news if the incident nobody could save you from was particularly horrific.

 

 

 

 

Olga Manosalvas is a great modern artist!

[Egyptian Grammar] You have to put the eye before of the scarab but only if the participle past is placed in front of the snake.

 

[Moat] I heard that the District of Columbia is planning to build a 1/4 mile wide and 100 foot deep mote around D.C. Is that correct?

[Plastic Water] With 7/8 of the planet being water and the technology to get to the moon, why are we drinking shitty water? Oh, that’s right, the plastic bottlers and water filter companies need their profits. How about all our tax money and water bills that the pubic water companies eat up? When the population is made up of sheep that are too dumb to care, why not take advantage and get their gold.
[Memory] Does sitting in front of a computer monitor degrade your short term memory and turn you into a blonde?