2014 March

Friday, March 7, 2014

CT-Banner7.3.13Published by Noon–No Saturday Edition

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lettuce7[Gardening in the Keys] A simple, weed-free way to grow lettuce, spinach and even radishes. Take a 2 cubic feet bag of potting soil (I used Miracle Grow), rumple it around quite a bit to loose the soil, poke quite a few holes in the back side for drainage, then lay the bag on a smooth surface that will allow drainage and not get too hot, and cut out the top, leaving about a 4 or 5 inch border all around. Lightly rake through the soil to even it out and loosen it even more, then carefully, and evenly sprinkle the seeds around. I put my salad green seeds in an old spice bottle with large shaker holes, added some cornmeal, shook it all up to mix well and sprinkled them out of it. I put the cornmeal in there to allow me to see that I had covered the soil evenly.

If doing radish seeds or spinach, just make lines the depth mentioned on the seed pack, plant the seeds and cover appropriately. For salad greens I sprinkled a light covering of soil over the cornmeal and seeds and then spray-misted to water them in.

I put my bags on metal sawhorses and grates to make them waist level. This kept the bags off the hot concrete and I didn’t have to bend over when cutting my salad. When harvesting, just use a pair of scissors and cut what you need – don’t pull the plants out. Same goes for spinach – they will grow back almost magically overnight, and you can’t tell where you cut.

Spray mist the seeds and plantlings at first when watering, until they are established, then you can water more vigorously as the plants mature. You will probably need to water more often, since the depth of the bags are not as deep as a regular in-ground garden. I just kept mine moist, but not sopping wet.

Derelict boats, cars are removed by the Monroe County. VIN & FL numbers are chased down and charges are filed, liens recorded (when there’s someone to lien on). Most folks that would abandon a car or a boat have very little to start with. It’s a losing battle for the rest of us left with their mess.

party champagne girl


[Party People] My friend, who lives at the end of Ave E had the nicest party about a month ago. She hired a band. At about 10:00 pm the police showed up saying that a neighbor across the canal had reported the music. The band was about to shut down anyway and the police were very nice about it. They said she could turn on the stereo — that is allowed.  Go figure. Surely the neighbors could tolerate a little music one night a year.

[“Build Dream Cottage”] A cheaper, faster and less stressful way would be to buy one of the lovely existing homes for sale than going through the nightmare that is building in the Keys and the wildlife refuge. We have rules here than you couldn’t imagine. I’m not exaggerating.

I do question your use of the word cottage. Cottage implies a small, simple house. Minimum here is 750 sq feet. If you want something that size it might be best if you bought an existing ground level home. They are generally smaller, but ground level homes have very expensive insurance premiums–very expensive! And always remember that living here has little in common with vacationing here.



[Lower Keys Militia] I have been wondering if any active shooters on Big Pine belong to a “well regulated militia”?  The NRA, Tea Party, and the KKK do not qualify as such, as far as I know.

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da-vinci-tower7[DaVinci Tower] Also known as Dynamic Architecture Building is a proposed 1,027 ft, 68-floor tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The tower is expected to be architecturally innovative. Uniquely, each floor will be able to rotate independently. This will result in a constantly changing shape of the tower. Each floor will rotate a maximum of one full rotation in 90 minutes. The entire tower will be powered from wind turbines and solar panels. Five other buildings in the vicinity will also be provided with electricity. The turbines will be located between each of the rotating floors. They could generate up to 1,200,000 Kilowatt-hours of energy.

It’s intriguing to say the least.  But I’m not so sure it’s a good idea.  Have a few questions.
1. What is the geophysical activity of the area?
2. Is the central core capable of movement without breaking in the event of natural disaster?
3. What is the size of the clearances between floors? Between turbines and floors?  f core bends in response to high wind – enough clearance?
4. What happens if heaviest part of all units are coincidentally on one side of the tower at the same time and a natural disaster occurs – increased structural compromise?
5. It appears in the construction part of the video that the modules are ‘lifted’ up, steel cable?  Strength of steel cable? Primary attachment to core? Maintenance?
6. What about the effect of the constant motion on the inner ear? (motion sickness)
7. What if you don’t want your “unit” to move? Or only want it to move a ¼ rotation and then stop, is each units movement independently controlled?8. And last but not least, how much cost (not that any of us can or will afford it). Yeah I know, I’m a party pooper. (laughter) Video


I attended the Eden Pines Canal Restoration Demonstration Pilot Program meeting Wednesday night and for the first time in many years see a semblance of hope that one day we may be able to swim in our canals again.  Property owners will bear no expense or responsibility for the pumping system for a two year period following construction as canal water quality is monitored.  Assuming the program succeeds and restores the canal system to acceptable water quality levels following the two year water quality monitoring program, Eden Pines property owners will share the system maintenance costs.  It is estimated that this maintenance cost would be approximately $24 per year per property owner.  That’s roughly 6.7 cents per day for the ability to fully enjoy our waterways again, not to mention the potential increase in property value.  I understand those who may view the project with caution and skepticism.  Pumping is an application that may or may not work in this complex canal system.  Having been selected to participate in the county’s pilot canal restoration program should be viewed as a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to participate in something worthwhile. Bottom line: It’s a WIN-WIN situation – a restored healthy waterway if the system works, and no maintenance costs to owners if the proposed pumping system fails to provide the required Federal water quality standard. 

For those property owners who have already received their Homeowner Determination letter from the County’s contracted representative, AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, Inc., it is important that you express your support and respond immediately as directed.  For those property owners who have not received their notification from AMEC, please contact Wendy Blondin, Principal Geologist, at or call her at 305-298-9431.

NOTICE: failure to respond will result in the Eden Pines canal system being removed from consideration in this grant funded program. 

roulette wheelIt looks like casinos (Vegas style) are going to be the norm in Florida. Key West is likely to be a big one beginning at the Marriott at the corner of US1 and Roosevelt with a walkway arch crossing US1 at their parking garage and an all new mega resort starting at the Waffle House and ending at McDonalds and across US1 along the waterway will be a beautiful lighted water display just like in Vegas. It is going to be amazing and will bring millions of dollars to KW and employ thousands of Key Westers. Get ready!
Yes, there are downsides to having a woman president. What if she has to try and open a jar of pickles in front of a foreign dignitary?  ~Stephen Colbert
[“If property owners are responsible for trees growing out into the canal, why doesn’t code enforcement make them keep the trees trimmed”] What you say is true and it worsens each and every day.  It appears that code enforcement enforces when and how they feel and it’s obvious that clear sailing through our canal system is on the “if and when we get around to it” plan.
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phone old style

[Hello!] Today in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone.

[Doing laundry in the Keys]  Put dirty clothes in shopping bag and leave at Winn Dixie to be stolen.  Go to Thrift store and buy 7 more dollar T-shirts or raid box in front of Health Food store-free.
nira tocco realtor 9.12

[Joke Friday] A little kid gets on a city bus, sits right behind the driver, and starts talking loudly, “If my dad was a bull and my mom a cow, I’d be a little bull.”
The driver gets annoyed as the kids continues to yammer on. “If my dad was an rooster and my mom a hen, I would be a little chick.”
The kid goes on and on with all the animals he knows, when finally, the bus driver yells, “What if your dad was a bum and your mom was a drunk?”
The kid smiles and says, “I’d be a bus driver.”



Happy Friday from Springers Bar and Grill. The weekend is around the corner and coming fast. What better place to kick things off then here with us. Today’s special is a coconut crusted mahi with a curried banana cream sauce. Definitely a taste of our tropical paradise that you don’t want to miss.

As always tonight we have karaoke with DJ Nick. Join us for the fun starting at 7. There’s no better place to start the weekend off then here with us at Springers. Weekends, always something special at Springers, definitely a step above.

isaksen-flood-roof 4.23.13 
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word press logoA vast number of today’s websites use the WordPress software (Ed: We do.) making them popular with hackers. Normal attack frequency is around 2000 attacks per minute. A new attack is visible on and as you can see it is peaking at 40,000 attacks per minute currently. I’m surprised there are that many a**holes into hacking.
[Duolingo: the next chapter in human computation] Luis von Ahn, the man who brought the world CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA unveiled his newest and most innovative project to date: Duolingo. How can you translate the entire internet and do it for free? Duolingo will be a revolutionary product in which millions of internet users from around the world will work together to translate the internet and learn a new language at the same time. All for free. Video



Someone had to pop into the gas station for some more charcoal.

[Freak shark bite] Researcher bitten by unborn shark. Link
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man suprised at tax


Recreational pot would raise needed tax revenue at proposed $50 tax per ounce. Ouch!  Link

[Yard sale] Saturday, March 8th, 8:30 am, Cudjoe gardens, 6th Ave east over 100 like new items, no books or cloths. This is not a bottom feeder yard sale, items are of good quality in almost new condition. All items are price tagged. All prices are firm as marked. Classified Ads > Yard Sales


[Change the world for the better] Follow the frog, don’t do what this guy did! Video

[Joke Friday] One day a man goes to a pet shop to buy a parrot. The assistant takes the man to the parrot section and asks the man to choose one. The man asks, ”How much is the yellow one?”
The assistant says, ”$2000.” The man is shocked and asks the assistant why it’s so expensive. The assistant explains, ”This parrot is a very special one. He knows typewriting and can type really fast.”
”What about the green one?” the man asks.
The assistant says, ”He costs $5000 because he knows typewriting and can answer incoming telephone calls and takes notes.”
”What about the red one?” the man asks.
The assistant says, ”That one’s $10,000.”
The man says, ”What does HE do?”
The assistant says, ”I don’t know, but the other two call him boss.”


storage media


[Backup your stuff] ] A lesson to be learned. I just decided to take my laptop on a cruise with us so we can store our pictures and write-ups of the trip. Also play a ships movie or games during the sea time. Guess what …? You are right, the laptop just quit! A major error code -Oxc000000f- and it will not start to the OS. I think the HD is shot. This goes to show how easy it is to lose all your data, files, pictures, movies, and any important stuff. Poof! Gone!

Backing up to a DVD/CD on a weekly, if not daily basis is a must do. I wonder it the hospitals, my government, and my credit card companies/banks have paper backups? Computers are the most dangerous storage media there is. Never depend on them. (Ed: Backing up to a disk is impractical because it takes too much effort, so therefore backups get skipped. The best way is autobackups either to the cloud or to an external hard drive. You just follow the setup wizard once and that’s it. It’s all done automatically. It’s a computer after all, and that’s what they’re supposed to do.)

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[Anti-Keys Disease] 13 year old kid creates nuclear fusion. Link 
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[“Whenever something bad happens in the world Fox News concocts a scenario wherein it was the President’s fault.”]  To me, it actually appears as is whenever something bad happens, the President concocts a scenario in which it was Fox News’ fault.

How can you get to be part of the famous wealthiest 1% of Americans and still sound so stupid?
from the right

Notwithstanding the nattering from the left field of the CT community, I can’t recall anyone from the right calling for an invasion of Ukraine. Fox news, to the best of my knowledge has not called for an invasion of Ukraine. Lindsay Graham has not called for invasion. It sure looks like the only chatter about an invasion is coming from left field when they falsely accuse the right of a desire for invasion.

One poster stated that Lindsey Graham wants to “bluff” Putin by placing missiles “around Ukraine.”  Let’s think about that.

missle array rotateDuring Bush’s admin we had entered into an agreement with Poland wherein we would install anti missile batteries to protect Europe from missile strikes from Iran and secondarily Russia.  Putin had a hissy fit. Very early in the Obama admin Obama made an early display of his famous flexibility by bending over for Putin. He dishonored the USA, grabbed his ankles for Putin and reneged on the agreement. Thereby earning enmity from Poland, distrust from much of Europe and the world, and letting Putin know that he could cower Obama.

The idea of intervention is centered on the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances signed on Dec. 5, 1994, by the United States, Britain, Russia and Ukraine. It promises to recognize Ukraine’s borders in exchange for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons at the time.

The memorandum signed by President Bill Clinton, Russian Prime Minister Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma came about following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, of which Ukraine was part.

The interim Ukrainian government has been calling on the U.S. and U.K. to honor what has been described as obligations under the 1994 memorandum to come to Ukraine’s assistance, since it upheld its end of the bargain.

The memorandum, however, isn’t a treaty but a diplomatic document that does not obligate the U.S. or Britain to go to war against Russia to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

That does not curtail us from taking well thought out action against Russia.  The government of Ukraine has begged us to intervene. While we have no treaty obligation to intervene militarily on Ukraine’s behalf, we certainly have a moral obligation to do all in our power short of armed intervention to honor the Budapest Memorandum.

If Obama follows through on his declaration of sanctions, including expulsion of Russia from the G8 and G20, he will be doing the right thing. Don’t hold your breath.

Graham is absolutely correct in is assessment that Obama should immediately honor our broken pledge to Poland. It is in our best interests and in the best interests

of Europe, and Israel to install anti-missile batteries in Poland. Now that the Russian Bear is breaking out of its cage, it is vital that we show the Bear that we will not be cowed, and that further aggression is not in Russia’s best interests. Failure to show consequences to Putin will make him even bolder and even more aggressive.

Given Obama’s track record, don’t count on it and hope that the world holds together until January 20th, 2017 when a Republican President is sworn in.

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