Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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judge trial by jury[Jury Selection] Judge Wayne Miller sat the two hundred member jury pool in the courtroom. Then he introduced the Commander of Naval Air Station Key West and a couple of past commanders who were seated in the jury box with some other dignitaries.  Then the Judge proceeded to tell us about his French vacation. He told us quite a lot about his vacation filled with humorous stories until he described the battlefield. He went to Normandy to see the site of D-day. He described his experience and impressions of the battlefield and graveyard. Evidently he’s always been fascinated with the D-Day invasion. Just as I was really worried that he was going to start showing slides of his vacation he introduced an old veteran of that landing sitting among the dignitaries. Impulsively we all sprang to our feet and gave the soldier a standing ovation. It was real nice. We were all proud.

Judge Miller is a very entertaining jourist. He’s animated and presents the law as an interesting thing. Instead of just reading the law to us, he cites many analogies and tells stories that we all can relate too. It took a while to figure out what the dignitaries and the Judge’s French vacation had to do with jury selection. He was trying to illustrate to us why jury duty is so important even though few like to do it or have the time. It is a duty, a duty we must all perform to keep things humming in our Democracy. It’s up to us.

The bad news was that I have to return today for more screening. The trial is about first degree, premeditated murder. What could be worse? I can’t say a thing about it under penalty of castration by Judge Miller, so I won’t.  After asking the jury pool a bunch of questions for a couple of hours and before a lunch break we were divided into sections of 48. Some people were excused. The others left and my group were called into the back room one by one over the next four hours (can you spell extreme boredom?). The boredom led to everyone talking to each other and an interesting fact came to light. I’ll never be in such a large group of locals except for jury duty. No tourists or snowbirds are allowed.

When my turn came I was ushered by one of the Sheriff Deputies (what a boring job) to a back room. Up until this point it was all fun and games, but all that changed as I stepped into the room. This was the real deal. There were five lawyers, a court reporter, Judge Miller — and the accused — sitting at a conference table. I was offered a seat and was questioned. I’m seldom intimated, but I was then. I couldn’t form coherent answers to their questions because I was so terribly conscious of the gravity of my answers. Lives were at stake. I babbled through the interview, immediately wishing I could have time to properly rephrase my answers. I guess I babbled correctly because by 5:30 pm when a dozen others were excused, the rest of us were told to report back today at 1pm. At that time the remains of the other groups will be commingled with our group and we all will be subjected to more interviews to get 12 jurors and a few alternate jurors.

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We had company so my wife went to Fanci Seafood on Cudjoe Key and bought a $53 slab of the most beautiful grouper filet you’ve ever seen. This thing was over two inches thick. My guest, who I used to think was a good cook, insisted on cooking it as a treat for us. I should have taken over the task when I saw he put a cup of lime juice in the roasting pan, which anyone knows will ‘cook’ flesh (ceviche). I did get him to empty most of the juice out of the pan. Then he placed way too many slivers of garlic over the fish giving it a bitter taste. The worst thing he did was to bake it on high heat so it would cook faster–ugh! The fish tasted like leather and was just as tough. Imagine having to use knives to eat fresh baked fish? What a crime. From now on, I’ll do the cooking. I can’t stop thinking about our loss. I thought he had a super new recipe or technique he was going to surprise us with.

st pats computer

My St Patrick’s Day was ruined because the Coconut Telegraph was sparse.

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[Kinky] There’s a midget stripper at Teasers this week. That’s something I’ve never seen!

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Why be surprised by the fact that a sea cucumber squirts water out of its anus when disturbed? Even more interesting is the fact that a commensal teleost, the pearl fish (a carapid), lives inside the anus of the sea cucumber. It spends the day sheltered inside its host and comes out at night to feed. 

Sloan Bashinsky, a constant critic at City Commission and School Board meetings, spoke at Wednesday’s homeless summit at the Harvey Government Center, demanding five minutes instead of the allotted three.

“I am here to speak on behalf of all homeless people,” Bashinsky told the county and city commissioners, who allowed him the extra time.

Bashinsky was homeless for a time in the Florida Keys and in the past has publicly said that angels have told him to run for office.

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[Dumb and Dumber] A guy steals a 36’ boat from the KW Yacht Club and leaves his SUV in the club’s parking lot where the boat’s owner recognized it as the guy who once worked on his boat? Gee, I wonder how they knew it was him who stole the boat? Was it his SUV? Was it because the boat broke and he and his crew had to be rescued? Or was it the photo of him and a ‘missing person’ girl at the helm posted on Instagram? Either reason was why he woke up in jail.

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Cruise ship Ryndam passing Freedom as it’s about to dock at Mallory Pier. I had the unpleasant experience of walking Duval Street yesterday afternoon when there were two cruise ships, Spring breakers, St Patrick’s Day revelers and peak tourist season tourists all walking the street at the same time. It was an oozing mass of humanity all dressed funny.

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[Manners Police] Police say a 20-year-old  Fort Mill, S.C. man sat down with a friend at a local Taco Bell restaurant on Sunday and burped. When the man in another booth asked him if he had burped without saying “excuse me.” The man walked over to the victim, picked up a  chair and hit the victim on the left elbow then grabbed his throat and tried to head butt him before a restaurant worker told the assailant to leave. 

golf cart fist pump

Wanted to trade a 1984 EZ GO golf cart gas 4″ lift aggressive tires in great running condition for an electric bike. Classified Ads > Wanted

I just heard the song “On Big Pine Key” on the 104.1 radio show Biz Baz. I think they said it was by Terry and Gary? Any info on this song, it really nails the BP lifestyle.

isaksen-flood-roof 4.23.13 
When I grow up I want to be able to spell exxurgerate and anonomous.

saucer beam people

[Conspiracy] How long will it be before UFO theorists try to convince us that missing Flight 370 was due to alien abduction?

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VP Biden is sure building up his frequent flier miles with this Ukraine problem. Today he’s in Poland assuring them we’ll send bullets if Russia invades Poland.

surfboard dude

 

[Hope floats] Win a paddleboard painted by Wyland & help Mote Marine. Link

[Peary Court] I was in Old City Hall Key West listening to an all-white appointed Truman Waterfront Advisory Board, using shell game B.S., tell a mixed-race Bahama Village Redevelopment Advisory Committee how Bahama Village really wasn’t being screwed out of half, or more than half, of the 6.6 acres of Navy land Bahama Village was intended by the Navy to get, when the Navy conveyed Truman Waterfront to Key West back around 2002 or 2003.

Lawyer Hendrick, the architect and the developer really do want the Angela fence to remain, because they really do want as close to a gated community as they can achieve, and letting you folks take the lead for keeping the Angela fence up actually pleases them. It is Hendrick’s modus operandi to get people to look at what he wants them to see, and not at what he does not want them to see.

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Malaysia Flight 370 is set to become legend just like Amelia Earhart’s missing self. 

oreo

[Oreo] Milk’s favorite cookie. (Yes I know it’s fake, but it still made me chuckle.)

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badge chief of police[Key West Police Chief] I had nothing to do today, there was nothing interesting on tv, so I went to the Key West website, then to the police department page.  What an education!  Who would have thought Donnie Lee has such a lofty vision of the KWPD?  He lists the core values as  Respect,  Integrity,  Fairness, and Service.  Am I the only one who see’s a problem here?  

Let’s start with Respect. Merriam-Webster defines respect as a) “to consider worthy of high regard”, b) “to refrain from interfering with”
Donnie Lee’s version “A comfortable and friendly work environment must start with mutual respect among members of our department. Likewise a community that respects it’s department and it’s members must first start with members of our department always demonstrating understanding and sensitivity to all of those in our community with whom they come in contact”

Most people would say respect is not given unless earned.  Has the KWPD earned your respect?  “…demonstrating understanding and sensitivity to ALL of those in our community…”   The key word here is “all”.  Apparently KWPD does not consider the homeless to be a part of the community.  If you are homeless, or even appear to be homeless (ie. Charles Eimers) you will not receive understanding or sensitivity from KWPD’s storm troopers.

Integrity. Merriam-Webster defines integrity as “The quality of being honest and fair.”
Donnie Lee’s version: “Ethics and honesty are perhaps the most valuable traits a law enforcement officer can possess, an essential element in gaining the trust and confidence of the public”

Wow,  Ethics and honesty!  If members of the KWPD were ethical and honest, they wouldn’t be lying and covering up for each other. (the blue wall)  Being honest about Thanksgiving Day 2013 would go a long way in “gaining the trust and confidence of the public”

Fairness: Merriam-Webster defines fair as: a) “agreeing with what is thought to be right or acceptable”, b) “treating people in a way that does not favor some over others”, c) “not too harsh or critical”
Donnie Lee’s version: “It is important that every law enforcement officer be able to make objective and impartial decisions based on the law and the facts at hand. Just as important, is his ability to exercise discretion, always using fairness as his guide”

I could go on forever on this one one but to make it short, we all know tourists are given favor over residents by the KWPD.  (ie. open container, spring break, traffic laws, etc)  Of the residents the wealthy “elite” are given favor over the rest.  Then comes the persecuted class of anyone who “might appear to be homeless”  

Service: Merriam-Webster defines service as “contribution to the welfare of others”
Donnie Lee’s version: “We must always strive to provide a positive and professional response to the needs of our residents and visitors”

Not much to say here.  If KWPD can’t live up to Respect, Integrity and Fairness,  how can they possibly “provide a positive and professional response” to either visitors or residents?

I also came across directive no.  03.09  which deals with racial and discriminatory profiling.  I have seen on many occasions where the KWPD has rousted someone for sleeping on the beach simply because they “looked” homeless, while there are hundreds of tourists on the same beach who are sleeping.  

If the residents of Key West actually believed in “come as you are” and “one human family”  They would insist that Donnie Lee clean up his department.  But then, I doubt that will ever happen as it’s the elite that hired Donnie Lee and give him his instructions on how to run his department. 

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[Flight 370] I’m going to call BS on this one. If you look closely you can see this is a four jet airliner. The Malaysian is a twin engine jet. So obviously this is the jet Richard Nixon sent Jimmy Hoffa to the moon in.

Deer Ed, Thanks for answering the civic call of jury duty. Hopefully, you won’t be needed. Isn’t there some “excuse” that covers being the sole caregiver of your Internet household? You are that, for all of your needy fans (of which I am a proud and avowed member.) 
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I am looking for my old friends, Fred and Jan Belland. I haven’t seen them in 20 years, but enjoyed visiting them on Big Pine Key. Can anyone tell me where they are or how to get in touch with them? I ‘m coming back to the Keys in April and would love to reconnect. Thanks for any help. 

shopping cart long

Stop bashing the new Winn Dixie owners. Give them time to collect all the carts in the woods on the Avenues.

On March 18, 1925 the most violent single tornado in U.S. history, the “Tri-State Tornado,” hit Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois, killing 689 people and injuring 13,000 others.
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party

 

Don’t forget the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce’s Party In The Plaza hosted by FAVOR, Artists in Paradise, Pizzaworks & Bagel Island.  Stroll the plaza and enjoy great food, beverages and networking.  Free to Chamber members; $10/pp for non-members.  This Thursday, March 20 from 5:30 -7 pm.  Celebrate the first day of Spring with a party! 

Ftr Thanks, the Russian gun is cool and not as much recoil as my Glock 21.
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from the right

I urge you to really give some long hard thought to the realities of Obamacare/Democare. The Democare/Obamacare law is very specific, under the ACA law every individual in the country has to have insurance by the end of the open enrollment period on March 31, or they will face a fine of $95 or 1% of their annual income for failing to comply with the law. Nonetheless, Team Obama’s first promise was that 7 million Americans would have been signed up by March 31st. Now they are realizing that is not going to happen, they have announced that 6 million people will have signed up. What the hell, a million here, a million there, who cares, is the Democrat mantra.  Of last week’s pool of enrollees, only 25% were between the essential ages of 18 and 34. Without 40-50% of that age group, Democare will certainly ollapse unless it is injected with massive amounts of taxpayer dollars.

Are you one of the millions of people who were told that we must have Democare in order to serve the needs of the 30 million who are uninsured? When it is all said and done, even if it all goes perfectly for Democare proponents, there still will be about 30 million without health insurance. And the American taxpayer will be about $2 trillion poorer.

Ms. Sibelius’ claim that 6 million had now signed up is tempered by the fact that she claims she has no idea as to how many of those “sign ups” have actually purchased insurance. But, insurance industry insiders report that she does have those stats but is failing to release them for political reasons as it would lower the enrollment count. Surprise…Surprise!

air force one presidentPart 2) It seems that Charley Crist is very much like President Obama. Both seem addicted to being away from their offices and whizzing around the globe on high priced jet planes.  When Crist was elected Governor, like Obama, he solemnly pledged that his administration would be the most “transparent” ever.  But it proved not to be when it came to air travel.

In March of 2009, the SunSentinel reported: “Crist regularly flies on the private jets of wealthy businessmen, the Sun Sentinel found, but the governor won’t disclose the details.  Over the past two years, Crist’s calendar shows about 100 occasions when he was scheduled to fly in or out of private air terminals to get to the capital, concerts, dinners, sporting events, political appearances and stays in St. Petersburg and South Florida.”

The S/S also reported in that same article: “Gov. Charlie Crist tailgated and watched this year’s Super Bowl in Tampa, then boarded a 10-seat corporate jet the next morning for a quick trip back to Tallahassee, his schedule shows.   He flew courtesy of Dr. Steven M. Scott, of Boca Raton, founder of a large HMO and a hospital physician network.

Crist’s office would not reveal who paid for specific flights or answer questions about them, despite the governor’s vow of transparency when he took office. “Our constitution requires that our government be open and transparent,” Crist said in his January 2007 inaugural address. “And under my administration it will be like never before.”

On the other hand, when Governor Scott finds it necessary to travel, he uses his own plane, and pays for it himself.

Part 3) FTR will not be here on Friday.  I will be at FSP[?] at Starke, seeing a shut in. See you next Sunday.

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