2020 April

Friday, April 24, 2020

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


[“Ferry route”] Is there a map of just where the train went and where the ferry landings were? And where the road was? Where did it land on State Road 4A? All I know is the (long gone) jetty on No Name Key is where the ferry from Grassy Key landed. But where on Grassy Key did it sail from? Did the road from the Grassy Key dock go all the way up to Miami? Where there other bridges before Flagler built the rail road?


[Military Stricken] Virus grounds a U.S. aircraft carrier as the crew is quarantined in Guam. Most of the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s 5,000 crew members will leave the ship to spend 14 days in hotel rooms. 93 sailors have tested positive. This is the same carrier whose captain was fired three weeks ago after appealing to his superiors for help with the virus aboard his ship. Link

[Funny Mixed Virus Message] I can’t believe I’ve heard people telling me all those things already. All the facts plus all the thoughts on how to deal with the virus. The misinformation we’re fed is incredible! If this doesn’t get your head spinning nothing will. Video



[Oil At Lowest In Years] We are now at the point where a roll of toilet paper is worth more than a barrel of oil.

[Panic in the Streets] The bug is mutating! Stay home. Order foods delivered and clean them before bringing them in house and hope to hell this bug doesn’t get into our water supply.


[Cute Goats] Between about 1930 and 1960 a variety of small goats of the West African Dwarf group of breeds were imported from Africa to the United States to be exhibited in zoos. It doesn’t get any cuter than this. Link

I have read the post about Allen Archer with interest. I believe this has been posted by this person before as well. I have absolutely no problem understanding him. Other people I know can understand him just fine. I don’t doubt  that this person cannot hear him well as I believe some people can’t differentiate between various frequencies in some human speech. I know this because I have lost the ability to comprehend my wife.


Pine Channel Bridge from No Name Ferry. The bridge that connected Big Pine Key to Little Torch Key was a wooden trestle bridge. I have been diving Pine Channel since 1984.  There were no signs of the wooden pilings marked on the chart then. Neither the pilings running North and South from the railroad construction or the bridge pilings from the car bridge had been marked on the chart for over 35 years.

[Friday Joke] My wife and I went to Costco on Tuesday at 7:30am to be in line for the opening at 8:00 am for seniors only. A young man came from the parking lot and tried to cut in at the front of the line, but an old lady beat him back into the parking lot with her cane. He returned and tried to cut in again, but an old man punched him in the gut, then kicked him to the ground and rolled him away. As he approached the line for the 3rd time he said, “If you don’t let me unlock the door, you’ll never get in there.”



[“First Big Pine Key bridge”] It ran from the west end of Watson Boulevard on BPK to the east end of SR4A on Little Torch Key. You can somewhat see the approaches from a boat.

I go out grocery shopping, usually hit Publix but, what the heck, I go to Key West Winn Dixie. My shopping list had the usual, milk, bread, eggs, toilet paper, etc. I ask the clerk where the toilet paper isle is. I find it and get a monster size package. Come home, unload the groceries. My wife asks me, “Where’s the toilet paper?” I bought paper towels instead! Won’t forget my glasses next time
No need to say, “Correct me if I’m wrong” if you’re married. It goes without saying.



[“Prepare for the apocalypse”]  Should we prepare for the apocalypse or go to the beach? The virus information is so confusing, it’s all over the place. It’s a wonder we’re not all dead.

[Law Suits Forever] Commercials in 2030 will be like: Were you or someone you know overly exposed to hand sanitizer, Lysol, or bleach during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic? If so you maybe eligible for compensation.

[“No Name Ferry”] I read with interest the post about the No Name Ferry.  I looked back to 2002/03 in the CT archives and found a pretty comprehensive article on No Name, early settlers, the bridge and the ferry in the Big Pine Museum tab in one of your vintage issues as written by Jerry Wilkerson.  Perhaps there is info there for the poster looking for ‘submerged piles’ in No Name Channel.  I’ve attached a photo purloined from the article I am referencing. Link

[Technological Luddite] A parent in another state had a birthday recently. He probably won’t see many more. So a sibling arranged to have a video conference birthday party via computer and smartphone. A few family members already use this application for meetings during this lock-down. An invitation was sent to the entire family to join. I prepared to join in but was asked permission to install a program file first. Intuition told me to check it out first. I am always suspicious of “free” services anyway. I discovered that it is spyware that collects information from your computer that is not needed for the application’s operation (like your operating system’s username for example), and modifies settings while leaving your computer with programming additions. The government suggested to use this conferencing application where normally they would have had no need. This is a personal data gold mine for the spyware developers. Where is that data sold after going to the Cloud? You may never know, but it would probably disturb you. I doubt you will find many angels on this cloud.  No, I did not participate and allow computer modifications and data collection including my image and voice. Check out the analysis of the Zoom Meetings program launcher.

A huge thank you to Mosquito Control for the spraying on the 23rd. My place has been infested for days and I just couldn’t understand why with no rain? I made sure I had no standing water anywhere, but they wouldn’t let up. Thank you. Thank you! All we have is our yards right now, what a blessing not to have mosquitoes in them.

[“Allen Archer’s weather”] I’m used to his speed talk after so many years of trying to understand his rapid delivery. I understand it a lot of the time, but usually miss half.


Can the coronavirus be spread through farts? The smell may be hell, but the mist could leave you pissed. Now this is getting real serious! Video

[“Money and profits”] It seems to me that the only people complaining about money and profits are those without any. Are they actually saying they planned to be of little means by choice in their latter years?





Dear gawd, for the sake of men everywhere, please reopen the beauty salons!

[Quarantine] “Has to lose 65 lbs of fat or die of heart failure.” Last year about 655,000 of we pudgy Americans died of heart disease.  So far about 43,000 Americans appear to have died of Covid 19.  I say “appeared” simply because Coronavirus is declared to be the cause of death when it is simply suspected.  The point being that you are far more likely to die because you eat too much and exercise too little than you are likely to die from the Coronavirus.
[No Air Traffic] FedEx still operating close to peak internationally, but we’ve slowed severely domestically. Balances out financially, as we’re still “above the line” (reference our last quarterly earnings statement). We’ve pulled 4 “semi-retired” FedEx MD-11s out of the desert and sent them to the Pacific (where I’ve been operating for the past 2 ½ months). Every run we’re flying there (between Honolulu, Sydney, Guangzhou, Osaka, Narita, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, etc…) are maxed out. No one else flying, so all that residual cargo is being directed our way. That being said, every route is nearly empty, and every airport is completely full of parked jets. Link


[“No Name Ferry”] Did the Ferry leave No Name Key and go south through Bahai Honda Channel out to the ocean? Then did it go west around the bottom of Big Pine, then north through Newfound Harbor Channel to Pine Channel and to the dock at Little Torch Key and State Road 4? (Whew!) That short voyage must have taken hours.

[Death vs Dollars] We are about to die off as a culture, but the tourist businesses still want to reopen, uncaring about life and limb of the people. These businesses should be banished until this plague is long gone. There is talk of a second wave of this bug happening and reopening everything will only increase the death rates. Wake up you greedy people, stay home and work together to heal! Money means nothing when there is nothing to buy or places to go to. We don’t need no stinking tourist traps anywhere.

[Computers] In case you people are thinking of buying a new desktop computer, you better do it soon because manufacturers are fading out almost every model that was. All that’s left are the workstations and laptops. The cell phone and laptop have taken over computing and also the mentality of users. So much for doing great graphics or doing high end computing! What’s next eye glasses with built in TV and advertising? Google Glass.

[Stimulus For the Rich] So far, from what I’ve seen, the stimulus money has gone to big corporations, banks, then small business then to smaller businesses then to mom and pops. Lastly the people who really need the money, the under-the-table workers like dishwashers, landscapers, fishermen, carpenter helpers, etc get nothing. They don’t have any check stubs to prove they worked so they get nothing. These are the people who really need help. None of them have savings and probably no bank accounts either. They all live hand to mouth. They are the ones who lose the most. The most fat cats lose is they might have to close up one of their vacation homes.


[“United Way of Monroe and Collier County”] A short viewing of any map of Florida would show you that we are bordered by two counties to the North.  Dade on the East coast and Collier on the West coast. In Demographics we have much more in common with the communities of Collier, which includes Naples, than we do with Miami Dade.

[Friday Joke] One afternoon a mother went to visit her daughter.  When the door opened the daughter was standing there naked. Her mother said, “Why are you naked?”. The daughter replied, “it’s’ my love dress. When my husband see me like this we make love.” That evening the mother, thinking that she would greet her husband the same way did disrobed and waited.  When her husband got home he said, “What are you doing naked?” She said, “It’s my love dress.” Her husband said, “Well, you should have ironed it.”  That’s when the fight started.


What this world needs is a shake up that turns all politicos into field hands so they know what is really important. If the planet only had farmers running things, there would be no wars, no famine, and no diseases, just happy hard working humans and a lot of square dancing.

[Liberty vs Democracy] We have Democracy but were founded on Liberty. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. ~Benjamin Franklin
Do they still have free lunches at the Big Pine Senior Center during this crisis or do they deliver?


[Dead On The Vine] U.S. farmers have destroyed millions of pounds of perishable food like tomatoes, lettuce and green beans because growers lost a vast number of customers after the coronavirus pandemic struck. “It’s a catastrophe, it really is,” said Tony DiMare, a long-time tomato grower based in Palm Beach County, Fla. DiMare said he let 10 million pounds of tomatoes rot on the farm in a region south of Miami because no market existed for them. “It’s been a disaster at every level — lost crops, lost sales, lost packing inventory,” DiMare said.

[Friday Joke] My wife and I were watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed. I turned to her and said, ‘Do you want to have Sex?’
‘No,’ she answered.
I then said, ‘Is that your final answer?’
She didn’t even look at me this time, simply saying, ‘Yes.”
So I said, “Then I’d like to phone a friend.” And that’s when the fight started.
[Horseshoe Quarry] I came across a cool, almost unknown dive site a few months back, Horseshoe quarry. MM 34, Gulf side. Nice place, a few locals bring their chairs and sun umbrellas. Depth is about 35 foot, very, very silty, have to stay buoyant, otherwise terrible visibility. At the bottom sits an old ambulance. I found a mask and snorkel at the 25 foot level. Took it home, cleaned it up, good as new. Found out it was dug out to build the overseas highway back in the day. Nice little diversion from day to day life.
[Money and Profits] It makes me sick to my stomach that the only thing that matters is money and profits and life means nothing except to carry a freaking wallet to some greedy merchant. This is especially true in tourist towns like Key West. Nobody cares about the next guy just what they can sell him or con him out of.
[Stimulus Profits] Goldman Sacks will make billions from processing the stimulus loans. This is their way of saying thank you America for bailing them out during the last crisis. Why should the banks make billions from this disaster? So what if they can’t buy a bigger yacht. If the banks close tomorrow and give every customer his money back what will be lost? Nothing. Bean counters are the leeches of society. They provide nothing we need. They do nothing but count money. No service or product. Just numbers. And they have the nerve to charge us to keep our money for us while they make a profit from using it to invest in the stock market—another artificial money arena. Now the guy who makes a shoe, he’s worth more to me than the fat cat who just invests and counts money. In the case of this stimulus–our money.
[Smog] Air quality has improved quite a lot since the virus and it’s only been a few weeks. Link


[Re-opening Society] It seems politicians are willing to re-open business if only a few people will die. That’s okay by them unless they are relations. How many dead people is Georgia willing to bury so they can open the shops?

[“United Way of ‘Collier’ and the Keys”] I too do not understand what this is all about. Naples and Marco Island are in Collier- and there is a lot of money and influence in both of those cities.  Here is a blurb from their website:

“Through this unification, it will allow the organization to increase operational efficiency and streamline duplicated internal processes, ultimately resulting in more dollars available for the local community.  As internal operations are consolidated, external activities and programs in the community will essentially remain the same.”

The phrase “external activities and programs will essentially remains the same” makes me a little nervous. If this merger increased money, activities and programs in the Keys it would make more sense. Hopefully, someone will explain this without all the corporate legal lingo. Link



Best masks of the week.