2020 March

Friday, March 27, 2020

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

Dearest Rosemary,
It was a limpid dreary day, hung as in a basket from a single dull star. I thank you for your letter. Outside, I perceive what may be a collection of fallen leaves tussling against a trash can. lt rings like jazz to my ears. The streets are that empty. It seems as though the bulk of the city has retreated to their quarters, rightfully so. At this time, it seems very poignant to avoid all public spaces. Even the bars, as I told Hemingway, but to that he punched me in the stomach, to which I asked if he had washed his hands. He hadn’t. He is much the denier, that one. Why, he considers the virus to be just influenza. I’m curious of his sources.
Officials have alerted us to ensure we have a month’s worth of necessities. Zelda and I have stocked up on red wine, whisky, rum, vermouth, absinthe, white wine, sherry, gin, and lord, it we need it, brandy.
Please pray for us.~Letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald, quarantined in 1920 in the South of France during the Spanish influenza outbreak.
[TP hoarding] Two possible responses when seeing toilet paper on the shelves at the W/D:
1)  Oh look, they have TP. We don’t need any. We have plenty. Let’s leave it for others who need it.
2) Oh look, they have TP. We have plenty but you never know. Better get  a few extras just in case.
I am sure response 2 is the reason for the shortage.
[Smoke Test] Big Pine gravity sewers are scheduled to be smoke tested by FKAA. Smoke testing is normally only done when large quantities of water are entering the gravity sewer system, usually during rainstorms or when it is thought that rain water from gutters are being directed to sanitary sewers or cleanout caps are taken off to drain yards. Smoke testing is usually used on old sewer systems up north.
Sewers may be getting a large influx of rain water, but it is most likely because the manhole lids are below pavement level (common! sloppy inspection evident) or because FKAA allowed the grinder pump salesman to substitute the low budget standard, cheapest, ventilated-lid pump pits instead of the more expensive sealed pits with a mushroom vent on top that were promised in public meetings and paid for. That was a gift to the pump supplier and to the contractor who did not have to install the expensive flood-proof Wager vent. Not only can water enter these open vented pits under the lid, but I have seen many pits that are set too low, ensuring that water will enter at every significant rain. The grinder pump will pump this excess water directly into the pressurized sewer forcemain (at the customer’s electrical expense) and no amount of smoke will find that leak. No leaks will be found in any underground leak with smoke either. A backwater valve (check valve) is required on every gravity connection The installation of that check valve is in direct violation of Florida and most states’ plumbing codes, but was insisted upon by a certain influential idiot at FKAA with no engineering or plumbing qualifications, and therefore was added to Monroe County Code and reluctantly enforced. Assuming the valve works, there is unlikely to be any smoke coming out of house sewer vents or leaky home plumbing, or even rain gutters. It also prevents combustible sewer gasses from venting out of the sewers, thus increasing the likelihood of a sewer explosion from the illegal incendiary pumps used in the Cudjoe Regional lift stations. This smoke testing is more wasteful FKAA idiocy that will help ensure that sewer rates stay high or increase.



When they finally finished the main dock at Little Palm Island of Hurricane Irma’s damage, within a month a big boat hit it and caused much additional damage. Sometimes you just can’t win.

Suppose they can’t control the Coronavirus? It doesn’t look like it’s going to go away. It only seems to spread.


I can’t roll my eyes in circles without moving my tongue too.

[Day 6 Without Toilet Paper] The kid I hired to clean up the dog poop in my yard just realized we don’t have a dog.



[Karma Strikes Back] Costco hoarders discover they can’t return toilet paper. No refunds on TP. Link

[Broadcasting From Home] Seeing other people’s homes while the talking heads are broadcasting from their homes is distracting. I find myself looking at how these people live, what they have on the walls, how the place is decorated, etc. I often forget what they are talking about, I’m so interested in their residences. The British seem to have the plainest homes with narrow rooms and few windows. David Favor of CNBC had the best place with plenty of windows, light and airy spaces.



I picked up a hitch-hiker. Seemed. like a nice guy. After a few miles, he asked me if I wasn’t afraid that he might he a serial killer? I told him that the odds of two serial killers being in the same car were extremely unlikely.

Dealing with groceries and take-out meals during coronavirus war. Michigan Doctor’s advice for the brave new world. Video
[Newspapers or Government] Thomas Jefferson once said something like if it was left to him to decide whether we had a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, he wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter.



Dolphins at play Thursday out back by Harbor Channel Key. They were either playing of mating.

[Neighbors Helping Neighbors] United Way is leading efforts to respond to the COVID-19 need, with $20,000 disbursed last week to immediately expand capacity of our local food pantries and provide short-term emergency financial assistance for critical needs. We are carefully planning for a long-term response to the pandemic’s effects in Monroe County, with up to $80,000 more earmarked accordingly. Keep reading to learn how United Way is aiding Keys residents county-wide through expanding services of our established nonprofit partners, as well as other actions we are taking. Link


[Gas] Pump at Costco, Greenville SC. It’s a shame I can’t go anywhere.

[Virus] Confirmed cases in Florida map.  It’s in Monroe County! Video
A vast number of the victims had Ibuprofen/Advil in their systems, somehow the virus is able to escalate to pneumonia through that drug. It is advising Tylenol only, no Ibuprofen. I don’t know if it is true but doesn’t hurt to be aware. However, not all reports were true. Link
[Self-Quarantine] If you put a six pack in every room you can go bar hopping in your underwear.



[Deaths] As of March 24, 2020, there have been 10,186 deaths in Europe overall due to the coronavirus.

[Gun Control Bill] A new bill is in the works: Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act of 2020.
Create a national permit to buy a gun
Establish a nationwide gun registry
Institute a national ‘Red Flag Gun Seizures’ law
Ban virtually every semi-automatic rifle in the country
Make it a felony to buy a ‘high capacity’ magazine
Tax guns at 30% and ammo at 50%
Put you in jail for buying more than 1 gun a month
Force you to lock up your firearms at all times
Criminalize the sale of firearms to adults under 21
Ban the sale of suppressors
Make it a crime to build a firearm in your own home. Link



Picnic Island after Irma hasn’t done too well 2 1/2 years later. It still looks awful.

Overriding all other reasons Hitler lost the war is the fundamental fact that Hitler never made the U-boat war a priority. He understood land war. He was neither interested in, nor knowledgeable about, sea war. Alongside the failure to prioritize the U-boat war was Hitler’s and Raeder’s big-ship obsession. These vessels consumed vast resources to little effect. The fleet was too small to take on the Royal Navy or its bases.



Take a clue from the Key Deer and keep your social distancing.

[Recluse] When this is all over, please continue to stay at least 6 feet away from me.
[Mythbusters] Contamination experiment proves why social distancing is so damn important. Video


[Selling Pee] In the old days they used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. Once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive, you were  ‘piss poor’.

Sheriff Rick Ramsay was a great hugger. Video



[Fruits And Vegetables Tested] For instance a peeled banana was tested for pesticide contamination and washed kale (really pesticide laden). Raisins are off the charts for contamination. Here’s an interesting article about Environmental Working Group’s testing of produce for pesticide contamination is at this link.

I have decided that I am going to increase my social distancing to 500 feet and at least 5 miles from New Yorkers.



New Yorkers are going to be headed down here in droves to get out of NYC. I need to re-watch Escape From New York and review how Snake Plissken handled this. He didn’t mess around.

[Masks] Please where a mask to go outside to grocery store and in any other buildings than your home keys residents. Eye protection in grocery is important. Keep 60 ft from everyone. Please stay home and inside stay safe, please.




[Right or Left Legged] What ever foot you put in your pants first is what legged you are.

The only good thing from this virus attack is people have realized how vulnerable and stupid we are. Fix it.