2016 January

Friday, January 29, 2016


Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays

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[Rumor of The Week] Word around Mosquito Control is the director has been given the option to either resign or be fired!

[Life in the Lower Keys] Having to look in your water glass for a bug before drinking it.

[Cuba Trade] New regulations allow U.S. firms to offer Cuban buyers credit on sales of non-agricultural goods, addressing a longstanding Cuban complaint about a ban on credit. The vast majority of Obama’s new regulations have been aimed at spurring U.S. trade with Cuban entrepreneurs instead of with the state-run firms that dominate the economy. The Cuban government says that U.S. focus on private business is partly responsible for Cuba’s not opening its economy in response to the U.S. loosening of the embargo.
cannon fires smoke 2[Cannons]  Whatever the caliber, the weapons could inflict devastating damage to enemy ships and personnel. It was the job of each cannon crew often comprising three or four men to make sure its own gun delivered. Mattera hardly could imagine a better showdown than the one between the navy and pirate gunners. The navy seamen were better trained, but the pirates had the high ground, and didn’t have to fire from a moving ship. On board the frigates, boys as young as ten ran gunpowder from dry holds belowdecks up to the gunners. Most often, the powder was contained in a sausage-shaped canvas bag known as the cartridge, which was loaded into the bore of the cannon. The size of the cartridge depended on the size of the ball to be fired: usually, the gunpowder weighed a little more than half what the cannonball did. (A twelve pounder, for example, would require about seven pounds of gunpowder.) Wadding, made from old rope or canvas, was pushed in after the powder, then shoved down to the breach (rear) along with the cartridge by a long piece of wood called a rammer. Next, the cannonball was loaded, followed by more wadding and ramming.

Now the gun captain took center stage. Careful not to cause sparks, he pushed an iron poker into the cannon’s vent (a small exhaust hole near the breach), puncturing the  gunpowder cartridge inside. Then, using a much finer gunpowder, known as serpentine, he filled the vent to the top. Only then was the weapon ready to fire. Pulling on thick ropes attached to the gun’s wheeled carriage, the navy crew muscled the cannon forward until its barrel protruded out of its port. Now, despite the pitch and roll of the ship, despite the concussion of other cannons, despite taking enemy fire, the gun crew aimed as best they could. All that remained was for the gun captain to step forward with his linestock (a long pole with a smoldering match at the end) and put it to the touchhole, igniting the serpentine power and the weapon would fire.

cocktails neonThis week at Springer’s Bar & Grill
Saturday: Entertainment by The Megan Ellis Band. Get a taste at
Sunday: Comedian Bill Hach will make you laugh. 7pm
Monday: It’s Manly Monday. Lunch and Dinner Specials that will make you want to loosen your belt and ask for more
Tuesday: Alan Graf’s Bluegrass Jam Circle at 6:30pm. Bring your fiddle, guitar or just tap your feet or dance along. No experience necessary.
Wednesday: The Cornhole League meets at 7 pm. Even if you didn’t sign up it’s still a blast watching with a cold beer served in a chilled 16 oz. glass.

Happy Hour every day from 3pm – 7 pm. We serve our draft beer in 16 oz. chilled glasses, Great Burgers, Fries and Pizza Pies. Homemade Specials.

[Pop-Ups] I never plan to be sarcastic when I wake up. It just happens naturally as the idiots pop up in my day.
When you win an argument in your family you don’t really win anything.


[Monroe County’s Contest to Update It’s Official Seal] I think this entry is a winner for sure.  It’s modern with clean lines.  It’s eye-catching without being gaudy.  The logo really sums up what the county is all about:  they make our tax money disappear as if by magic.

[Florida Keys Journal] L. E. Shaffer: The Dan Saus Interview.
1. How about a brief bio? School? Family? Etc.
Dan is from Alliance, Ohio. He went to the University of Akron. Dan worked for Genie, an automatic garage door opener company. Then Dan worked for Merck Drug Company. In early 90s he moved to Marathon. Dan was the Key West Wastewater Plant Operation Manager and then worked for the Aqueduct Authority as Lower Keys Area Manager. Then he worked for Weiler Engineering. Later Dan worked for Key Largo KLWTD for four years. Now he is proud to serve Marathoners in maintaining the wastewater and stormwater systems.2. What’s the status city utilities and the department?
Preventive maintenance is the key. Staff is dedicated which helps a lot. Staff turned the wastewater and stormwater problems around. They have taken ownership. We discussed how middle incomers are having problems with affordable housing; there are several ideas to help middle income workers live here in paradise. There are different talents and experiences that staff bring to the table. In-house service is way better than contractors.3. With staff doing a great job; why is that?
Dan said that staff is motivated, takes ownership of systems, is cross trained, and has experience are just a few items showing how well our staff does its job. Operators have changed plants to broaden their experiences with the whole system.4. What is a typical day for you?
First is to communicate with staff. We prioritize using info from previous day and night. We go over upcoming agenda items. Dan encourages staff to work together. They work on items on the Wade Trim Report which evaluates the systems. They work on the Mayfield Grant’s 17 million to improve wastewater and stormwater systems. Dan’s overall supervision and attention to details has made his department a solid and good system.

5. Anything we forgot? Dan is very happy that the systems are doing quite well. He is glad to provide solid service to the people, the department’s customers.

anvil-15[“Numbers on an anvil”] There are usually two or three numbers on an anvil that relate to the weight.  The first number is the “Whole Hundredweight” (112 lbs.) The second number is the “Quarter Hundredweight” (28 lbs.)  Therefore, if the anvil is stamped 15 the weight would be 112 x 1 = 112 plus 28 x 5 = 140 for a total weight of 252 pounds.  On very large and heavy anvils the third number refers to the length of time, in days, it will take for your gonads to return to their normal position if you try to lift it by yourself.
[Guns] Is a .380 handgun exactly the same as a .38 handgun?
ghost red eyes flashNewer Jeep SUVs might as well be haunted. There is a long list of complaints from people who have had the vehicles put themselves into gear from park. Some have been run over, like the lady who was stepping out with the car running, but in park. The car shifted into reverse, the open door knocked her down, and the tire ran over her pelvis. A local lady was forcibly thrown out of her brand new Grand Cherokee when she opened the door and started to exit with it running in park. It shifted in and out of gear and the lurching tossed her out causing her to break both wrists when she hit the ground. Chrysler denies the possibility in every case, according to the reports I read. If you are considering a late model Jeep purchase, do an internet search first and see for yourself. People have been getting stuff out of the back and had the car shift into gear and drive off, or worse–back over them. If you already own one, shutting the car off might stop that electronic shift problem, if you remember. Give me a good old stick shift over a computerized auto shift any day. Look for these haunted shifters to appear on other vehicles as electronics replace linkages.
Men of a few words are usually married to women with many of them.

[R.I.P. Rocketman] When I first moved to Marathon, many years ago, after living in Montana. I started going to the open jam night at the Dockside Bar. It was Rocketman, that keyboard dude and his drummer. The usual cast of characters from the local music scene. I was noticeably drunk and outdid the cowboys with a head stand on or near the stage. I looked up at Rocketman who was noticeably alerted to my antics, while shaking his ‘egg’ or something. They always let me sit in and play guitar. Wildness and merriment!

[“Sewer easements”] So you were coerced, conned, threatened, extorted, and then you caved in and signed the easement papers, thinking that’s it’s all over. Guess again. Sometime in the future your Commissioners will decide that this maintenance promise has suddenly disappeared and you will be required to maintain the turd grinder at your own cost. Think logically about this. How many turd grinders will be placed in Monroe County? You can be sure that they will fail (parts are manufactured in China). Do you really think that the County will continue paying for those repairs? Do you trust our government? How about that old hack, “Q: How can you tell when a politician is lying? A: His lips are moving.” That’s reality!



I won my divorce case! I stopped a foolish woman, drunken with power and righteousness from trying to take my kid away from me. The second attorney I hired had skull and crossbone cuff links.

I was browsing through the arrest record and noticed something that many of these people have in common-they are cooks.  Looking at those pictures I am not sure if I would want to be eating food prepared by these people. Full Menu > Arrest Reports Mug Shots


How come when we use the self-checkout at the market we don’t get an employee discount?

The shiny pro Peary Court PAC website left off a good bit of the Key West Citizen editorial dated, actually, January 17 and one of the longest I’ve ever seen. I had to go to the library to see it and there were probably 4 more paragraphs that the PAC left out – leaving the last one: “it’s a bargain ” as though that was the last word on the 55 million bailout of those speculators who I suspect care nothing about us. Maybe not so much a bargain that is.

Remember, their first plan was to maximize their profit by putting in transient, country club housing there and threatened to sue the City if they didn’t get their way. Then they subverted the DEO by hiring a lobbyist to reverse a long-standing 30% affordable housing requirement.

The remaining Citizen editorial paragraphs urged caution and were far from an endorsement. I hope someone will correct that, at least on social media, perhaps by posting the whole thing and if not in some other way, calling them on it.

Oddly, that same day there was a letter from Ed Swift attacking the editorial as though he had previewed it somehow. He is the founder of the PAC it seems, or at least given the most money- so far, anyway.

judge judy sig heil


[American Youth] A report shows that 10% of college graduates think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court Link

[“Anvil markings”] The markings on the side of anvils usually are the foundry marks, but have little to do with the weight. If the marks show that the anvil was of German or Austrian manufacture, then it might be one of the only two anvils worth their weight in gold. Use a good bathroom scale and figure a minimum of $10 per pound for these highly prized anvils. If it does not ring when hit, it is just a big door stop!


[“Electric bills will be higher since the trees are gone”] The Winn Dixie parking lot has never been air conditioned so your argument makes me chuckle.

Some people that ride bicycles in Marathon are completely oblivious to the rules of the road. Today again, I nearly hit an old woman riding a bike who had no business crossing the road the way she did. If it were up to me these imbeciles would get one warning, then it would be good by bicycle. Make them walk until they can buy another bike and see if they ride properly. I don’t even want to think about what it’s like to have to drive in Key West every day.
gold leprechan pot


[Understanding The Concept of Affluence] Someone insulted a person for selling a brand new ceiling fan for ten dollars. Wouldn’t it be a bit smarter to take it back to the store for a refund instead of losing money!

Anybody else get the Keysazoomas from draft beer lately? These local bars do not clean out their pipes often enough!
presidents day sale[President’s Day Sale and Flea Market] Monday, February 15th at St. Pete Church Pavilion, MM 31.5 at 8AM. This is the largest yard sale on Big Pine Key. We’ll have just about anything you can imagine: fishing, tools, parts, appliances, furniture, books, toys, linens, clothes, shoes, purses, and the list goes on and on. There will also be a silent and live auction. Preview and registration at 9:30. Auction at 10:00. Vendor spots available – $25 each.
Yellowstone people. Video


[Rust Never Sleeps] Unless you use your tools daily and clean them when done, dip them in light oil and store them in plastic bags, else this salt air will eat them. Electric tools should be also stored in plastic bags.

[“Bad, classless jokes about Jersey girls”] Lighten up a little. We love to make fun of Jersey women, mainly because most of them deserve it. And don’t underestimate the intelligence of the people down here, some do belong to Mensa and have a sense of humor, unlike the person making the comment. And why does he put Jersey girls in the same category as hard drives and gooks?


It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done. ~Coconut Bar & Liquor Store

[“Parking lot trees”] So they cut down all the trees at Winn Dixie because some klutz from Jersey, who can’t walk across a parking lot without tripping on a bump in the pavement, filed a lawsuit.  Incredible!
tp-dollarsThe folks at the County Commission have come up with another scheme to bilk the taxpayers of more money and add to their slush funds. Now a “contest” to replace the county seal. Sounds cool? After this gimmick just think of how much it’s going to cost the taxpayers to replace all the existing seals? And which one of the commissioners’ bubbas is going to get this pork project? How many man hours wasted changing them? Don’t just say no, say, “F**king no”!”
[Pot Hole] I have been asking whatever manager is working at Publix when I go there, to please fix the huge puddle on the East side of Publix at the Sombrero Beach Road entrance.  If you remember, could others please ask the manager to address it? As we all know, it’s a hassle to stop and stand in deep water while waiting for cars to pass.  Install a drain, whatever.  Just handle it.
dish13We just moved into our Big Pine Key home full time after retirement. Attempted to set up tv and internet via cable. After waiting almost two weeks for the appointment were told a problem at the pole so need another appointment. Promised a call, didn’t come. Called them and promised a call back. Didn’t come. Called Sammy Sam. Texted him and got a call back right away. Said he’d be there the next day (Saturday), here was there. Said he’d call back on Sunday with details. He did. Internet appointment set, Direct TV appointment set. Both done on time with great service from Nick at ATT and Sammy with DirectTV. Sammy got it done even with a bad back he hurt the day before. The best part — less expensive than the cable giant. From our perspective, we highly recommend Sammy. Set it all up, good price, and all done on time.
[Illegal Aliens] Tuesday the Danish parliament voted to confiscate illegal immigrants’ valuables. I don’t know if the measure passed or not, but what a great way to get rid of illegal aliens—seize their wealth. No money—no illegals! It beats tying up the courts to deport one single alien at a time, seeing as we have 11 million of them.
dog frisbee

The other day someone went to detail on how dogs were smarter than cats. Ok one side, but consider this, you can pick up a stick and throw it and the dog will chase after the stick over and over and over till it dies. Take that stick with a cat and throw it, and the cat will sit there and give you the are-you-f**king-serious look. Do you really think that I’m going to chase that stick for you? So who’s smarter?

[Science Saturday] At the Florida Keys National Weather Service office is set for Feb. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will host the free open house that will include meteorologists teaching how the agency delivers weather, water and climate data in the Keys and how they deal with severe weather warnings. Raffles and live entertainment will also be part of the day. All proceeds benefit the National Mooring Buoy Fund, which helps the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary maintain more than 500 mooring buoys from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas.
rip tombstone skeleton waving


Teresa “Teri” Roxanne Weeks nee Stockwell, died on Dec. 17 at the University of Miami Hospital in Miami, Florida. She was 63. She graduated from Key West High School in 1971. She was married to Quintin Weeks for 28 years and they resided in Cudjoe Key. Teri held several positions with Monroe County including Animal Control, Public Library, Mail Delivery, Facilities Maintenance and Airport Manager’s Assistant. She was later employed by CVS and Winn-Dixie in Big Pine Key.

[Refuge Offers Kids’ Programs] The National Key Deer Refuge is starting a series of free, children-friendly, nature-oriented programs on Saturday mornings on Big Pine Key. Our Refuge Ranger events are open to children in grades K-8 who are accompanied by a parent or guardian. The programs will run from 9:45 a.m. to noon, unless otherwise noted, and will have an indoor and outdoor (field trip) component. Participants will meet at the refuge’s visitor center in the Winn Dixie Shopping Plaza on Big Pine Key. Preregistration is required. For information and to register, email Kristie Killam at
minuteman[Ranchers bring guns to protest] Why do they bring their guns? To kill Americans? do they think they are Minutemen fight the Revolutionary War? Someone said that the extremists erroneously call themselves “patriots”. Do the ranchers think that all the “patriots” are going to rise up and kill other Americans in order for them to graze their beeves on public land — for free — effectively denying the rest of us use of our lands?
[Captain Doom and Gloom] Why businesses fail.
The most obvious reason is bad management
Wrong business to be in for owner’s experience
Bad buying of materials, tooling, fixtures, shop / building design
Producing a low grade product or service
Wrong location for the business
Bad customer accessibility and parking
Wrong lighting in shop/customer areas
A limited seasonal dependent business with a dead period
Local ordinances and taxes deplete profits
Payola and kickback to locals too high
Racially problematic area
Incompetent labor force
Building maintenance too high
Overpriced license, insurance, permits, contracts
Not enough customer seating for desired gross income
Waste disposal costs too high
Power outages too frequent
Bad water supply and pressure
Inadequate sewage system
Hiring of family and relatives
Wrong hours of operation
Operating as an obvious front for something else
register to vote[FTR] YOU!  So you think that you’re pretty special, don’t you!  The truth is that you are, very, very, special.  And very important!  Especially if you are not registered to vote, or if you’re registered as an Independent.  Quite possibly, the future path of our nation may depend on you. Why? Unless you’ve been living in a cave or the mangroves, it is glaringly and obnoxiously obvious that the silly season is hard upon us. Partisan politics at its worst.  Name calling, mudslinging, accusations, and general nonsense clog the airwaves and our conversations. It is a necessary evil…very much like root canals if you want to keep your teeth, or your liberty. (continued on the National Politics page …)
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