Sunday, February 16, 2014

CT-Banner7.3.13No Saturday Edition

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spear fish snorkleI went spearfishing, oceanside of Big Pine last Sunday. Nothing special about the place I stopped, the rocky bottom just becomes sand with no significant drop-off at about 65 feet. There were scads of grouper who all knew they were out of season and safe, but nothing else worthy of pulling the trigger. What surprised me was a shark carcass that looked fresh, laying in the sand near the rocky edge. There was about 5 feet of carcass left with the head bitten completely off and some entrails sticking out of gashes on the belly side. I presume another bigger shark either won a territorial dispute or stole his catch and his head with it. Pretty spooky to see. A couple fishing for yellowtail nearby had seen about a 7′ tiger shark earlier, but I think this had to have been a much bigger shark. This is the third dead shark I have seen with exposed flesh that nothing is eating. What’s up with that?
advert-dennis-ward8.16.13
[“They get most new advances and medical technology from the United States”] That is xenophobic thinking and not reality. It might have been true in the past, but China, Germany, and Switzerland are all medical technology leaders. Just to mention a few.
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ABATE16Coconuts supports A.B.A.T.E. a non-profit organization of motorcycle enthusiasts from all walks of life. We lobby and educate the government and the general public to promote motorcycling in a safe and positive image. We endeavor to enlist the cooperation and participation of all organizations and individuals that share a similar interest in preserving our American tradition of freedom. We promote motorcycle safety, training and political awareness. We are not a club or a gang. We fund our work through toy runs, poker runs, camp outs, and other motorcycle activities. We are your neighbors and friends who work, pay taxes, and get involved with our community. We serve and support our country and believe in freedom. We use all legal means to protect our rights without infringing on the rights of others. ABATE of Florida, Inc. is incorporated under the laws of Florida as a motorcycle rights organization or MRO. ABATE of Florida, Inc. currently is the only political MRO in Florida representing the interests of it’s members and the motorcycling public at large. ABATE of Florida, Inc. is dedicated to securing and protecting the rights of all motorcyclists in the state.

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[eBooks] If it was not for paper books, the Delete History tool in your browser could really do just that some time in the near future. Poof, gone! G. Orwell.

[Healthcare] The United States is unique among most other countries in the world when it involves healthcare. FDR promoted the idea that employers provide insurance and medicine be dispensed within the private economy. This certainly promotes that people should work in order to be covered in the system. Unlike the socialist type of healthcare, it encourages work. This coincides with the latest CBO report that, as some state, it discourages people from working more so that they can keep their incomes low and subsidies high. 
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[Prune Fingers] Linger in the bathtub long enough, and fingers and toes will prune. Those wrinkles may seem insignifi­cant, but they could be rooted in evolution. Puckered digits were once thought to be just the bloated result of water absorption. Then Newcastle University evolutionary biologist Tom Smulders heard about another theory—that the lines promote water runoff and aid adhesion, like treads on a tire. Smulders con­firmed that pruney fingers have the advantage in wet conditions. He’s only just scratched the surface of how the wrinkles work. For now, though, his findings could boost the theory that a million years ago the ancestors of modern humans went through a semiaquatic state, when skin folds might have helped toes cling to slick rocks and fingers catch wriggling fish.

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[Stokely Carmichael] February is Black History Month remembering those that helped civilization. 

Apple’s App Store sold $10,000,000,000 (billion) of mobile apps in 2013.

monkey blind  tin cup

 

Anybody lose a pet monkey?

[Insurance Failure] I’ve been in the Middle Keys for 15 years.  And when I arrived it was the year of Hurricane Georges (never did like that name) I saw that so many people went to the attorneys here in the Middle Keys attempting to retain them to assist in convincing the insurance companies to give them money for the policies that they paid premiums on time for years and years and years.
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[Newbie advice] I never bought a house.  I’m not sorry, never have been and will not. Too many things to pay for for the ‘privilege of owning a home in the Keys.  If a person defines themselves by the purchases they own, they are screwed.

Getting more out of life is not about hoarding. It’s about alignment and allowing. It’s about milking and savoring. It’s about living abundant good now. I know that when I was struggling to get by in any area, I was not helpful to anyone else because you cannot give what you don’t have. It’s only as I allow myself to thrive that I have more to share; more love, more time, more energy, more money, more wisdom, more kindness, more fun.

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crawfish-trap

[Burning on Ramrod Key] Monroe County Commission should immediately abandon the ideal of burn­ing yard waste from residents on Ramrod Key.

The current practice of shipping yard waste to Broward County to bum and release as carbon pollution into atmo­sphere is an insult. At a cost of $840,000 per year, it is an insult to the taxpayers of Monroe County, as well.

Monroe County ground up yard waste and composted it at the transfer sites in the Keys and delivered it to residents as mulch for many years. This practice must be restored; it is the only sensible, cost-effective, and environmentally appropri­ate solution.

Ten inches of mulch will become one or two inches of soil in a short time in the Keys. It raises yard elevations and stores carbon in the soil, grows trees which remove more carbon from the atmo­sphere.

If the county government wants to take action against climate change, or be sus­tainable, it should do it instead of talking about it and pretending to do something. 

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[“Ray Nagin Convicted of 20 bribery charges”] I still haven’t seen his conviction reported. Did it happen or was it a misprint? It seems if he was such a prominent figure during and after New Orlean’s hurricane, that his conviction would be of much interest to the country. 

speeding16

 

Grafitti.

[Why Russia is so anti-gay] It was a former policy in Russian prisons to keep the prisoners complacent by regularly sexually assaulting them. Men raped and genitally assaulted other men and women as a means of sadistic control. They are afraid of returning to their former past. They are also afraid that if they allow homosexuality, they automatically allow pedophilia. Link
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[“Online Dating”] Can I put a nudie pic on there for advertising?
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fat16

 

[The Gift] I thought I had bought the right gift for my wife for Valentine’s Day but after a 20 minute crying jag and slapping me cross-eyed I moved into my car.  I gave it a lot of thought and bought her 1 year subscription for Jenny Craig.  

Flowers probably would have been better!

Wow, a Comcast and Time Warner merger would create a combined customer service department of well over ten employees. 
advert-accurate-home-insp8.14.13
Amazon.com’s Prime memberships increased by 1,000,000 new customers in the third week of December to take advantage of Christmas shipping discounts.

portugal flag man

 

No one goes to Portugal.

[Windows 7] PC vendor installs of Windows 7 on new consumer PC’s to continue, business customers even longer, just ask for it. Support remains until 2020. Don’t like Windows 8? Neither do many people. Microsoft is going to try out Windows 9 next year under the new CEO. Satya Nadella will be also looking into getting out of the search business with its less than popular Bing search engine. Link 
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[Sunday Message] If global warming was real wouldn’t there be something about it in the Bible?

jail bars clown[Restore the vote to paroled felons] I heard the other day on NPR and in the paper that there is a growing movement nationally to restore the right to vote to paroled convicted felons. Based on the premise that many such felons were convicted of non-violent crimes and don’t really deserve to lose their voting rights for life.

To me a felony is a felony, quit trying to clean it up. Another premise was that blacks are un-proportionately affected by this denial of voting rights, raising the specter of racism yet again.  If you look at the crime arrest rates and resulting convictions of felony crimes going back thirty years, the majority of those persons are in fact black.  That is not racism, that is not lies, that is not messing with the numbers, these are pure statistics. These people chose a life of crime more often than their peers of other races, they get arrested, tried, and convicted for those crimes when the system works properly.  What is the mystery in that?  If they had chosen to work for a living, work their way through school like many of their peers, and live their lives like an honorable person, I seriously doubt they would find themselves arrested for felonies, serving time in prison, and losing their right to vote. No cop is grabbing young black men and youth off the street, stuffing their pockets with drugs, putting a gun in their hand, and make them rob a convenience store, or shoot each other in their own neighborhood streets.

Long ago, we the citizens decided that we didn’t want those types of people voting for our leaders in this country.  I haven’t changed my mind about that.  They forfeited their right to vote by showing us they didn’t deserve it. A consequence of committing a felony.  This is a good law, I’m sorry it affects blacks to such a large degree, but the statistics are not racism.

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bgr18

Now that Checkers in Key West has been closed and will be replaced by a Starbucks I won’t be getting my Big Buford Burgers and fries any more.  Hopefully they will re-locate to Big Pine.  Oops, I forgot, they’re one of those nasty chain places.  Maybe they could open here as Buford’s Big Burgers.

[Economic Impact of the Affordable Care Act] Here’s what the Congressional Budget Office said about the ACA: The expanded federal subsidies for health insurance will stimulate demand for goods and services, and that effect will mostly occur over the next few years. That increase in demand will induce some employers to hire more workers or to increase their employees’ hours during that period. Link 
nira tocco realtor 9.12
 
[Yard Sale Tomorrow] Annual President’s Day Sale on Monday, February 17th starting at 8 am at St. Peter’s Catholic Church MM31 on Big Pine in the pavilion.  We have just about anything you would want (clothes, books, furniture, tools, fishing, children’s stuff, household) and it’s reasonably priced.  Half price at 11 am and Dollar a bag at 11:30. Please no early sales or preview.  This benefits the Youth Group. 

 

crazy ants[Crazy ants] They are here, they kill nearly everything and they like electronics for warmth. Victims wished they had their fire ants back. Link 

The Republican Party of Florida is trying to make a heartfelt love connection between Democrat Charlie Crist and his old amigo, convicted ponzi-schemer, Scott Rothstein. Rothstein has recently accused his pal Charlie of selling Broward County, Florida judges in exchange for political favors. Crist has denied these allegations, saying that they were all “completely false.” Of course they were Charlie (sarcasm). But there is a trend developing with who Charlie Crist associates himself with. Along with the convicted ponzi-schemer Rothstein, Crist is very close amigos with Florida’s resident liberal blogger, Peter ‘Big Boy’ Schorsch, who just so happens to have a criminal wrap sheet of his own. Big Boy’s criminal record includes fraud charges, which he plead guilty to, as well as another charge he plead no contest to.  Link

FTR made a big thing of Obama’s crooked associates, but defend’s Crist’s.

isaksen-flood-roof 4.23.13 
[Unions] The hourly paid auto workers at the VW Tennessee factory voted to reject the UAW Union representation by a narrow margin.  However they will benefit from the existence of the  precedents the Union established in other areas of the auto industry  in the past, such as pensions and medical benefits.   Besides that, the UAW will always be there for them to turn to if labor relations with VW take a turn for the worse and VW knows it.

lighthouse sm

[History of the Sand Key lighthouse] I used to go here often,  for a days outing, in the late sixties. Nice piece of history. Link

[Lucky’s Landing] Modular homes when I was growing up were called trash. But then when I moved to the Keys, after having lived on the mainland, I realize midwesterners could not give up their double-wide roots. Those units on LTK are 180 mph windload rated town homes. Please tell us what the aluminum shed you live in will handle? 

church-lady

I’ve read some interesting logic on here the last few days. Under Rick Scott’s supervision and leadership his underlings apparently made screw ups and that’s what led to his company paying record amounts of fines unseen before in American history. However,  every little thing that happens under Obama’s Presidency is all his  fault.

Bring in the church lady, “How convenient”. 

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[“Too many cops in the Keys”]  There is only one road down here that we all have to use and be seen on, including the various law enforcement outfits.  Why don’t you call the Sheriff and find out how many deputies are on duty at any one time, serving and protecting the 80k Monroe County residents and the thousands of tourists who are here on any given day?  What would happen after one of our regular, horrendous vehicle crashes if sufficient cops weren’t available to deal with the situation?   I know you feel you have to say that to appear “local”.
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[“Nagin verdict media silence”]  I heard about it on NPR and nowhere else. I am not defending Nagin.  He got what he deserved, he was on the take, he got caught, another cheating politician bites the dust.  Justice served.

rooster crowing loud

Lower Keys woman can’t get any help trying to get loud rooster to go. There should be someone with a gun on BPK to help. Link

Kudos to the locals for the kind and constructive thoughts for the newbie who is considering a move to the Doctor’s Arm area. The CT at it’s best!

child-laborer

 

With technology and automation eliminating the need for humans in so many job areas, and the population growing,  what is going to happen to all the people who are not smart enough to do the intellectually demanding high tech jobs of the future that can’t be done by machines? 

In my opinion Friday’s posts were for the most part what I would call exceptional and quite thoughtful, especially the ones advising the folks moving here to rent first. As usual there were a couple of the no brainers, but overall good sound posts. Good job posters!
Flea-Market-ad10.9.13
My brother told me that my sister is an only child. I never knew till he told me.

shiels16Exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2014 will be conducted at Naval Air Station Key West and naval bases and installations throughout the continental U.S. Feb. 18 – 28.

Specifically to Key West, exercises will be conducted at all annexes, but will be most noticeable at Truman Annex Feb. 24-28, with security forces at the gates and the use of the loudspeaker system there. More details are in the attached press release.

Photo caption: Naval Air Station Key West Security personnel participate in an active shooter training exercise during last year’s Solid Curtain – Citadel Shield exercise. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael McNabb/Released. Guns by Mattel.

Sewers] Do you think anyone would be upset if I connected my new sewer pipe this weekend? Looking it over, it would only take me a couple of hours to switch from septic to all those new pipes. The added benefit would be my septic tank would be empty by the time we would be required to pump it out which would be an additional savings. I want to have the thrill of being the first flush. What do you think?
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Cabaret-poster
[Access to CT] I even tested the Chinese firewalls and the Chinese can see the CT. This may be the first recorded case of worse censorship at home than the China. But, of course, a lot of company’s block non-business sites to keep employees from consuming the bandwidth and goofing off at work (oops, what am I doing now!) 
ad-manley-deboer6.27.13
It sounds like some of the people in the Big Pine Shooter’s neighborhood may be in fear for their lives or just plain paranoid.
The only advice I would have for anyone thinking of moving here is don’t buy a ground level house.

apple danceingHow” Macs do graphics and layout work better than PC’s.  As I said in the post, Windows machines have caught up and can do the job, it’s just more difficult.  The difference is the process, not the product.

First, maybe a little history.  The Microsoft interface has always been a copy of the Mac operating system.  Use of a mouse, WYSIWYG, links, and lots of other features were commonplace on Macs before they appeared for PC’s.  Most of the Adobe programs on which we’re so dependent, Photoshop, Illustrator, PageMaker, and multiple fonts, etc. were originally designed for use on the Macintosh.

An example — in the mid-80’s, I worked for a trade association, editing their magazine.  We used the traditional typesetting methods of the time, cumbersome and expensive.  We had heard of “desktop publishing” and thought it was worth investigating.  We also had a self insurance fund for workers’ compensation which utilized a high powered HP mainframe, so computer power was not an issue.  We looked for six months trying to find something that we could make work with our Microsoft based operating system (keep  in mind there was no internet on which we could do our research).  There was simply nothing available.

The Mac had only recently been introduced, so I decided to check it out.  In less than two weeks we were producing the magazine with an off-the-shelf computer and software that took me only about a week to learn.  We had a drawing program, a painting program, a page layout program, multiple fonts, and a ton of stuff our mainframe could never do.

Now, in time all of this kind of stuff became available on Microsoft based machines, but like any knock off product, they just never seemed to be as good or work as well as the original.

Even now, there are some things that Macs do with graphics that a superior to PC’s:
Better font management
Closed architecture means more seamless integration between programs
More out-of-the-box graphic tools available for Mac’s
More accurate and better color calibration on Mac’s
Better and quicker art programs for Mac’s

In general terms, there are also some things in which I find Mac’s to be superior to PC’s:
Mac’s crash much less often than PC’s
Mac’s are much more intuitive to use.  Commands and actions between programs are much more consistent (How intuitive can a PC be when you go to the “Start” menu to shut it down?)
Fewer maintenance tasks
Faster start up and shut down
Windows programs will run on a Mac.  Special software needed to make it work in the other direction
Much simpler file management protocols
Viruses, viruses, viruses

I have worked in both environments and have consistently found the Macintosh to be the superior machine when it came to graphics and publishing tasks, not as much in a difference in final product as a difference in the ease of producing that product.

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I’m not having a yard sale this March because last year my wife sold my favorite pair of pliers to some guy by mistake and I asked him for them back and he said he wanted twice the money back. Yes, he was a S of a B from NY!

scott-vampire

 

Rick Scott will never win a beauty contest, but he might do well at Halloween.

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Never, ever put anything good out for a garage sale. They will try and knock you down or steal the stuff when you are watching their brats wreck the place. I now only sell junk that I was going to throw out anyway
bandage-ct[Captain Doom and Gloom] My wife and I have traveled to all parts of this God forsaken world, only to realize there is little left we want to see. Most places are so depressed, are in a war of some sort, have nothing to offer except tourist trappings, and have the mentalities of street hucksters during Fantasy Fest. There are no places to go to meet dignified people or to have fine cuisine without Monty biting back. Of course there are places still under the influence of the super rich where no access is allowed to the general public. I do not blame them one iota. Who wants a gang of rednecks converging on one’s private beach or in a $100 per Martini Lounge barefooted and smelly! Reminds me of the old Keys, before the onslaught of the latest junta and developers came to eat us here in the Keys! Save the Keys, burn the bridges!
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from the right

Last week Team Obama released their guess as to how many people have signed up for Obamacare. Team Obama presented the numbers as being very positive. The fact is that the numbers suck.  According to Obama’s HHS, the government’s month-over-month data showed that January’s enrollment shrank in comparison with December’s numbers. HHS claimed that 1,146,071 signed up people in health exchanges from Dec. 29 to Feb. 1, bringing the cumulative to 3.3 million. Trouble is, that’s down 641,929 from the 1,788,000 signed up during December, according to HHS’s report for that month, which was released in mid-January. Yep, the number signing up in January was down by 1/3rd from Decembers sign up guess.

I used the word “guess” to alert you that Team Obama has no idea as to how many people have really started paying their premiums, no premiums, or no insurance. Please keep in mind that if insufficient numbers of people actually pay for insurance, the program will stall crash and burn. That’s why the Democrats built a provision into the law Obama will bail the insurance companies out with your tax dollars.  Sound familiar? Please also keep in mind that 7 million enrollees by March 31st, is considered the tipping point and was the goal of Team Obama. Less than 7 million and the system collapses. As of today the sign up rate is far less that needed to make that goal..

There are some interesting and alarming sub statistics. The end date is March 31st. The target number is 7 million. The program came into being on October 1, 18 weeks ago. Now we have 6 weeks left. To date only 3.3 million have “signed up”, but we have no idea as to how many have actually received insurance.  82% of the signups will receive a government subsidy. Only 25 percent of signups are between 18 and 34, while 53 percent are 45 and older. Actuaries tell us that the mix must be 60% young persons to 40% older people or the system crashes or rates must be radically increased. The number of enrollees who are under 34 must be much higher than the number of older signees to avoid a fiscal death spiral. Most of the signups are female. Unfortunately women’s health care is more expensive than men’s. Democare is nearly certain to be a massive black hole that sucks in and shreds massive amount of tax money. Link

scott16Part 2) Last Friday a critic took another shot at yours truly and at Governor Scott. Deer Friends the ignorance of some posters is stunning. The critic wrote: “Rick Scott paid the highest penalty at the time for Medicaid fraud in American history and he was innocent?” The well-known fact is that Rick Scott did not pay the government a penny in fines. The penalties were paid by the Board of Directors of Columbia/HCA long after Scott had resigned. Scott was determined to fight the federal charges, the Board of Directors refused, so Scott resigned. Scott was innocent, he committed no crime, he was not charged, and he was not even interviewed by the investigators. Scott resigned from HCA/Columbia in 1997. HCA/Columbia agreed to pay the fine in December of 2000. Criticism is welcome, but the critics make themselves look foolish if they misstate the facts.

Please send me your comments at 1776ftr@gmail.com