2020 March

Friday, March 6, 2020

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

[Trump’s Lies About the Coronavirus] He has a “hunch” the doctors are wrong. “Nothing more than an effort to hurt him politically.” “Thousands with coronavirus could go to work and get better.” “Death-rate estimate is false.” Calls coronavirus “corona flu”. Criticism of his handling of the health crisis is a “new hoax”. That the “virus will disappear”. It is “not inevitable” that the disease will spread, that a vaccine is coming along “rapidly,”

Trump has had briefings from the nation’s best doctors and scientists on COVID-19 and he still spouts total, dangerous bullshit. Trump can’t open his mouth without lying. His apostles don’t mind his lies because it reinforces their prejudices. I’ve been keeping my fingers in my lap about Trump’s lies, until now, when his lies are going to kill people. Trump’s tendency to spin out assertions untethered from reality becomes a recipe for disaster when combined with his disdain for scientists, medical experts, intelligence officials, journalists and others who deal in fact-based reality. We can only pray that he sees the light. (Ed: We don’t usually post stuff about national politics but the President’s lies and misdirection about the virus has hit its limit when he plays with our lives for His political purposes.)

[Spying] Our government continues to use surveillance technologies to collect sensitive data and then there’s a real risk that this data can be leaked. Did you know that over 7.9 billion private records have been exposed last year alone. Link



Building Trump’s border wall. Construction revealed by drone. Video

[“Guns, Germs, and Steel”] That was a very interesting book. The rise of civilization in the East probably was stymied because of political “-isms”. They were doing good until religion and politics hampered their development and sent them back to the dark ages.


It’s time to spring forward.  Don’t forget to reset your clocks and watches ahead one-hour Saturday night when you go to bed.  The time change begins at 2:00 am Sunday.

[“Steam cleaners”] My recommendation for an upholstery steam cleaner is 305-417-1457. Vince from Floors and Chores.
I recently renewed a trailer registration at a different county’s DMV tax office. The DMV registration tax bill had seemed excessive, so I checked the State registration rates and confirmed it. When I walked into the other county’s office and asked why the bill exceeded the State rate, the lady checked and found that while Monroe had billed $49, the cost at this office was $34. She said some counties add surcharges. Greedy Monroe County strikes again. On another trailer, I discovered the bill was based on the gross weight allowed with the trailer fully loaded instead of the actual trailer weight. And a boat was billed based on a longer than actual hull length. Florida Statute requires a new tag every 10 years, but Monroe has dinged me for new tags every 5 years. Here is a list of fees if you wish to audit your bill. Link
[Flu] Now’s a good time to prepare for hurricane season while you’re preparing for the flu quarantine. Get enough food, water, pet supplies, bleach and personal meds to last 90 days. Don’t want to buy water? Fill jugs. The real threat is not the virus – it’s the people who fail to prepare before the impacts predicted by the CDC occur. Then the unprepared zombies will walk. Most of our stuff comes from China and there’s been a hiccup in the supply chain. We’re going to feel it. Target and Walmart will be a barometer when their shelves have bare spots on them. Everything comes to the Keys by truck. Do you think you’re gonna be on top of the delivery list? The survival food companies like My Patriot Supply and Legacy Foods are now saying they can’t fill orders for eight weeks. The Mountain House camp food company website shows everything sold out. There’s no evacuation if the government enacts social separation – meaning you’ll have to stay home until the virus dies off. Oh, and thank the TDC – it’s inevitable some tourist or cruise ship sailor will bring it down.
[Friday Joke] The Woman: ′′I have a full, bag of clothes, can you take them for me to the Red Cross?”
The Man: ′′Why don’t you just throw them into the trash? It’s much easier.”
The Woman: ′′No, people are needed and starving around the world, so these clothes could be used again.”
The Man: ′′Baby, if anyone out there fits into your clothes, then they are not starving!”
That’s how the fight got started.
It’s a real quandary for Democrats who support the US Constitution’s 2nd Amendment in how to cast their vote. It can’t be for Bloomberg, the anti-gun candidate. Bernie might be their best Democrat choice since at least he once was a member of the NRA. So was John F. Kennedy. The Associated Press reports that a study in 2018 determined that 23% of registered Democrats own guns. Wouldn’t that be a big surprise if they all voted Republican because they don’t trust Democrat candidates to defend their Constitutional rights?
[Steam Cleaning] I hired the local Stanley Steamer to clean a couch in a rental unit of mine and all they did was wet it. They asked me if I was satisfied, but it was still wet, and I couldn’t tell if it was clean or not. When it dried it looked as dirty as before they “cleaned” it. What a waste of time and money.



[Flu] Another man dead due to the Coronavirus. He went home with the wrong mask and his wife killed him.

[“Annoying backup alarms“]   Thank a lawyer for that.
[Bloomberg] It was a great experiment to produce ads without taking part in the debates. Bloomberg has to come out from behind the camera and show Americans that he’s a real live person. He should be on all the channels – live — all the time!


[Disgusting Behavior] There is nothing more disgusting than sitting in a restaurant bar trying to enjoying lunch while the guy next to you is sucking on Copenhagen and spitting in a cup.  Some people have no class whatsoever.

[Friday Joke] I went to apply for social security and the clerk asked for my drivers license for proof of age.  I said, “Sorry, I left my wallet at home. I’ll have to come back.” The clerk told me to open my shirt. When she saw all the gray hair she said, “That’s proof enough for me. Your approved.” When I got home I told my wife about it.  She said, “You should have dropped your pants too.  You would’ve qualified for disability also.” That’s when the fight started



[2020 Coronavirus]  Remember the others? There is always a boogie man.

[Flu] This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth. Use a face mask only so you don’t touch your nose or mouth.
[Spying] I see the network router lights flashing communication when my laptop is still closed after the whole night. The wifi is turned off and only one cable is connected- to the laptop. I have no Alexa or other spy device listening. Why is my router communicating and with whom? Is Windows 10 covertly reporting sounds in the room?
Florida teachers struggle with high housing costs and low pay. Monroe County is most prevalent, where teachers must put 2/3 of their take-home pay towards housing costs alone. Link
[Long-winded People] I’ve learned there is zero overlap of people who say “quick story” and people who tell quick stories.
[Restaurants Come and Go] I arrived here permanently in 84.  I was trying to remember the list of restaurants that have come and gone just on Big Pine that I have eaten In.  I did not count any restaurants on wheels.  I am sure that I missed some.  Let’s try to fill in some blanks. “*” means still here.

Island Jim’s, Dip n Deli, Serendipity, Island Reef, Sharkie’s Landing, Black Swan, Mountain Mikes, Baltimore Oyster House, KD’s Steaks and Seafood, Conch and Stein, Pelican Post, Montego Bay, *No Name pub, *CoCo’s, *China Garden, Big Pine Coffee Shop, Buck Tooth Rooster,  *Big Pine Rooster, Domino’s, *Papa Jim’s, *Bagel Island, *Pizza Works, *Florida Keys Cafe, House of Music, *Paradise Burgers Spirits and Brews, Springers, Key Deer Bar and Grill, *Milagros, Cedar Inn, Bistro 31, Robs.

[Friday Joke] The CVS pharmacy was robbed of 100 Viagra pills.  Police are searching for a hardened criminal.



[Flu] If we’re not supposed to use the simple face masks, when are they going to tell us what face mask we should use? When we’re all dead?

[Friday Joke] A woman locked herself out of her car. She found a coat hanger on the ground but didn’t know how to use it to open the door. She bowed her head and asked God to send her some help. Within 5 minutes a beat-up old motorcycle pulled up, driven by a bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag.  He got off his cycle and asked if he could help. She said, “Yes, I’ve locked my keys in my car. Can you use this hanger to unlock my car?”

He said, “Sure.” and walked over to the car, and in less than a minute, the car door was open.

She hugged the man and through tears, softly said,  “Thank you, God for sending me such a very nice man.”

The man heard her little prayer and replied, “Lady, I am not a nice man.  I just got out of prison yesterday, I was in prison for car theft.”

The woman looked up to the heavens, “Oh, thank you, God!  You even sent me a professional.”



Coloring your hair is getting wild!

[Climate Change] Shrinking shores: Half the world’s beaches could disappear because of climate change. Video

[Flu Panic] Flu] I think I’ll stay out of the ‘Asian Massage’ place on US1 in Big Pine until the Coronavirus is sorted out.  It’s really Chinese despite the catch-all word ‘Asian’. I guess I’ll not order Chinese food either right now.

I’ve become accustomed to our Winn Dixie. The poor produce. The horrible deli service. My complaints to the management are always met with excuses: “The deli supervisor is not there today”, “The workers have a long bus ride”, “The truck hasn’t been unloaded”, etc. Nothing changes or gets better. It does not have to be this way.
I took the drive to Publix in Marathon. What a difference. I was greeted at least a half dozen times and asked if I needed help finding anything. The produce was fresh and well stocked. The deli folks were busy and efficient. I like our WD bakery and the ladies that work there but Publix had a huge selection of fresh items. Everyone was cheerful and helpful. I only assume that the workers have nearly the same long bus ride. Winn Dixie management could learn a few things from Publix. Kenny Lowe, we miss you.


Yet another of the folks who helped make Key famous has passed away. Pat Clyne was one of Mel Fisher’s Atocha divers. I heard though the coconut telegraph that he passed away a week or so ago. Long before Key West became the tourist trap it is today, it was a town of dreamers and adventurers. We’ve recently lost two of the latter. RIP Pat Clyne, I’ll remember you as the nice guy you always were.

[Flu] This sounds paranoid but think about it. Key West and the Keys are an international vacation spot so all kinds of people from everywhere come here. Do you think this might turn into a Beer Bug site[?]? With the semi-intellectualism of the locals and the uncaring idiocies of the tourists, we could be wiped out in a week! Have fun in the sun and die? There’s nowhere to hide, Bro.

[Polygamy] Mormon women must be pretty special that any guy would want more than one wife, but Utah is moving to make polygamy no longer a felony. Supporting just one lazy-ass wife was a strain on me. I suppose a few wives might be okay of they all had good jobs to support you, but you would want to ensure they didn’t like each other much or they might gang up on you. Or provide an alibi for the one that murdered you. Just looks like trouble to me.
[Bridge Building] This is a completely new, possibly perfect way to build bridges. The umbrella-like balanced lift method is brilliant. Video (scroll down for video)


[Spies] Since 2018 four Chinese nationals have been caught on Key West military installations and they were not delivering food. It’s time to lock down our military facilities and our borders. Yeah, I know they were “students”. They can come, but only after a thorough background investigation. Now who ordered General Tso’s Chicken?

[Flu] Maher tells Trump that coronavirus won’t just disappear. Yes. Trump has stated that warm weather could likely mean the end of the coronavirus. But late-night comic Bill Maher has proof of why that kind of wishful thinking won’t work. Take a look at today’s Best of Late Night, above, to learn what Maher already knows.

And Jimmy Fallon reminds everyone of who the real victim is in this mess (at least to the White House). Video


[United Way of the Florida Keys] UWFK is seeking people who have a passion for helping others and want to learn more about the amazing work by the nonprofits in our community.  Volunteers are needed by March 12 to participate in site visits the week of March 23-26 and to help with our 2020-21 Community Investment funding decisions.

[Friday Joke] Do you know why the pea was meditating? To find his ‘inner peas’.
[Shoot ‘em up] We need more people carrying guns and willing to defend each other from the bad guys. I’ve had your “six” for twenty-plus years. My old eyes now assisted by high-tech low-profile sights. There’s a reason Antifa doesn’t protest in Florida. I encourage everyone to exercise their Constitutional right to own, carry and protect Americans. In the Lower Keys you can visit Carbone’s Customs on Stock Island or the Big Coppit Club, they have excellent instructors.