2015 July

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Since 2002. Published Wednesdays and Saturdays

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4th of july eagal
probe-sea[Sea Probe] I need some help here. I found a float with what appears to be GPS sending capabilities. It was in 450 feet of water due south of Looe Key. It’s as big as a beach ball with a 25 foot cable that leads to what appears to be a transducer or some kind of sending unit. It has several numbers on it & the date. The date is Feb 2 ,2012. It looks much to clean to have been in the water for over 2 years. I’m sure someone would like to have this returned. It sure looks military to me. Any info would be appreciated.
Where I grew up there were no black people, not in my schools grades 1- 12, not in my middle class neighborhood, none that I knew. I am white, I had an American Indian and a Mexican for friends along with other white friends. The Mexican (“Fuzzy”) had 5 of the most beautiful sisters I have ever seen. I used to love to go to his house to get him to go places as all of his sisters would come out to inspect who was picking up their brother although it was kind of intimidating.I was drafted into the U.S. Army and that is where I met my first Black people. My best friend at that point in the Army was a guy named Jerry from Kansas City. He was black. We were stationed at Augusta GA and went to see a concert with James Brown (excellent concert by the way). It was crowded as hell at the concert. I looked around and didn’t see another white person. I voiced my concern to Jerry. He said, “You’re with me and no will f**k with us.” And no one did. James Brown rocked the house, what a great time.Fast forward to Vietnam. While on guard duty on the perimeter of my little fire base at night, the other person in the guard tower I  was in was Black. I pulled my shift woke him up and laid down across the entrance to the upper part of the guard tower. Something woke me and I looked up to see a person at the entrance to the tower. I grabbed him because I thought he was Viet Cong. I was pushing him off the ladder 30′ up in the air and he’s screaming that he is not the enemy “don’t kill me” he said. I didn’t let go. I never went on guard duty with that man again.Bottom line is judge a man not by his color but by his actions.Have a happy 4th I will be hiding from the explosions. I love our country and the 4th of July is the reason I can sit here safe and type this. Think about the people in the armed services who are right now putting their lives on the line so we can enjoy the holiday.
luckenbackThe American ship Edward Luckenback, pictured in this undated photograph, was sunk in 1942 when it strayed into the U.S. Navy minefield north of Key West. It sure could have used some Luck-in-front!
The Underwater Music Festival (11 July) is fun and promotes coral reef conservation. To support both, Looe Key Dive Center is hosting an “After Party” at the Tiki from 3 – 6 pm that will feature entertainment and education, prizes, games, food and drink specials. Learn how you can protect and preserve our “Coral Reef Life and Lifestyle” from participants like Coral Restoration Foundation, Mote Marine Lab, Reef Relief, GLEE and The Field Museum. Live music with Haywire starts at 8:00 pm. Come on out to learn and party at the Tiki and the Tiki will make a lots of money too.
Oregon is easing into an era of legal marijuana after an early-morning party on a bridge at the center of Portland. A few thousand people jammed a sidewalk and bike path at midnight Tuesday to mark the legalization of recreational pot in the state at 12:01 a.m. Last fall, voters OK’d the private use of small amounts of pot for adults. But state officials are still working out the details of legalization.
shark eats manMan bitten by shark in Outer Banks, N.C. is 7th victim in just a few weeks. A shark bit a 68-year-old man several times Wednesday in waist deep water. This is the seventh attack in the state’s coastal waters in less than three weeks.
I hear real estate is going pretty cheap in Greece as they try to sell their country to pay their debts. From what I’ve read they’ll have to start selling their dirt pretty soon.
flag-girlOkay, fine. I finally found a Confederate flag to take down.
[Air Pirates] The airlines are colluding to keep fares high. They were able to raise fares to make up for their loss from extremely high fuel prices last year. But fuel prices have dipped to very low prices and yet the airlines have kept their outrageously high prices while giving no services at all to passengers, squeezing them in too small places. Last week my family was kept sitting in an airplane in Newark for two hours before they were allowed to leave the plane and were so hungry they had to pay $9 for humus in a tube, four Nabisco cracker, three olives and these items pictured. $9! Plus another hour waiting in the terminal after they were allowed to leave the plane. They got to KW three hours late. $9! Remember when flying was fun.
fireworks multi color[Shell Shock] Veteran With PTSD shares powerful reminder to people setting off fireworks. I hate this time of the year–it is our country’s most important celebration—but for me its duck and cover time. Link
[Dump The Pumps] The Cudjoe Regional Waste Water System is pretty much in place for the inner islands (Cudjoe, Sugarloaf and Summerland) and the FKAA is awaiting the OK from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to begin pumping to the new plant. Our suit challenging the legality of the permit to operate is still underway and depositions are to begin in the near future. DEP seems to have heard some of the concerns the scientists involved have raised and have asked for further testing before granting approval to start. Of issue is not just the shallow well injection that we believe will harm near shore waters, but also the proximity of those wells to the county landfill (where nobody knows what might be found inside). At this time, we are unsure when the “invitations” to hook up might be sent out by FKAA. We recommend that homeowners get several estimates for the hookup work before signing a contract and that each owner ensure that the company they choose is legitimate and licensed to work in Monroe County.
tit-plantNo way! You say? Well just take a look. They’re Vietnamese Pumpkins. Plant a row of these along the fence. Your neighbors will go crazy!
In 10 years, every country will have a drone army. I find it amazing that with America’s preoccupation with guns, gay marriage, flags, illegal immigration, Muslims and the ten thousand other things that we worry about. Hardly a peep has been heard about this story.   Don’t worry about learning Spanish or Arabic, better start learning Mandarin. Link
[Minimum Wage] It’s pure economics. At $15/hr, the average worker is $30,000/yr plus benefits, minus taxes, etc.   The investment in technology to do the same work and probably better, may not have been feasible when labor was $18k/yr or so, but it will be now.There was an Economist study years ago that showed minimum wage increases reduce the number of jobs.  I’m not saying if that’s good or bad, but it’s reality and very logicalSame thing for prices. That extra cost gets passed along to the consumer. It doesn’t come free. Salaries are usually based on supply and demand.  The low skill jobs are pretty easy to fill nationwide (not here in the Keys) and as long as there’s a supply, why would you pay more for labor.The bottom line is if you want to earn more — improve your skills.  I work in the high tech field globally and there’s a shortage of skilled people.  Job posts are open forever, it’s really hard to find US people with the skills (although many of the candidates think they have the skill, they really don’t). I’ll be the first one in a self serve line. At least I’ll understand what the screen says, most of the fast food workers have real communication issues and I’m tired of repeating myself over and over.
1955-Bentley-Tesonaso1955 Bentley Tesonaso
[Marijuana] Why don’t we ask our County Commissioners to follow suit with the Miami-Dade commissioners on a change in the way the police treat simple possession of weed. I bet the police and our judges would like a break from this courtroom congestion. If you are reading this Commissioners, please consider this. I will vote for anyone that votes for this. You my take this as a bribe –it is.
oh-no-not-this-again-thumb[“Sloan”] So the perennial candidate is “homeless” again? Trust fund finally run out or he just urban camping again? Too bad those angels weren’t financial advisers.
[New Etiquette] Too many social engineering changes too fast are undermining our common culture and ultimately the fabric of society. The ‘distributive’ model, one that attempts to have society function without  a clear hierarchy, while workable in computer systems, isn’t necessarily applicable nor is it workable for people. More and more female teams are beginning to take the oxygen from male dominated sports in an attempt to reverse a perceived misogyny past and to give women an illusory ‘equality’ in society. One place where this is most visible and is increasingly the rule are restaurants.A ‘pretty face’ hostess greats customers and seats them to a table.  She is not responsible for the service or for the quality of the food at the establishment and, besides, she does not have the authority to correct anything.  She’s just there to seat people and perhaps to bring  attention to the staff that customers are complaining. That’s where her duties end and the larger problem begins. In a not too distant past, the owner of the establishment or his deputy, a host or maitre d’hotel, would great customers.  Most regulars would be welcomed by their name and made to feel like family.  The host had the authority to correct the staff, remedy food quality problems and to be the manager at large on the scene. In a distributive mode, nobody seems to be responsible for anything and fingers are being pointed in all directions, except the one that could truly come to the rescue and is not available. The end result is not only poor service but an undermining of the traditional chain of command where someone was at the helm, responsible and capable of making things right.  We now may deplore the lack of service or poor food but unless the owner is present (and even then, the issue many not be taken to task immediately), but complaints posted on TravelAdvisor or other blogs do little to making things right to the complainer while time was still available to make the customer satisfied.Time and time again, I watch customers being seated, only to be ignored for an inordinate amount of time before any staff is even aware that they are there.  This never occurred in the earlier model when wait staff had  stations for which they were responsible.  They established rapport with their customers and made sure everything was to their satisfaction.  No food runners were ever allowed to approach their table, other than an occasional busboy who only cleared dishes from the table and only when the waitor/waitress was too busy to do it by themselves. Proper etiquette practices of serving from the left and clearing from the right of the customer are now seldom followed, making the customer guess as to which side they need to lean toward as they are being served. Still the wait staff fully expect a tip be left by customers who frequently wonder whom they are rewarding for their service, the food runners or the person who took the order and delivered the bill to the table
Amazing-Wood-FloorAmazing wood floor.
My favorite iguana recipe.  First, dispatch an iguana via the most expedient means at hand,  Then skin the scaly, ugly bastard, taking care not to contaminate yourself with salmonella or some other disgusting disease.  Give the lizard to your neighbor for bait.  Call out for a sausage and mushroom pizza.
Educational After-Party at Looe Key Tiki 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Meet the band, Prizes, Games, Food and Drink Specials, Entertainment, and Education. Learn how you can Protect and Preserve our Coral Reef Life and Lifestyle. Join the After-After-Party at Looe Key Tiki. Participants include: Coral Restoration Foundation, The Field Museum, GLEE, Mote Marine Lab, Reef Relief. Live music with Haywire starts at 8:00 pm.
tattoo3Madge figured if her upper arm was going to flap, she might as well make a patriotic use of it.
[Jetskis] I bet if the City of Key West paid for a survey of local flats guides, it would come back 100 percent against jet skis. I never have liked them, and I wonder why the local marine law enforcement officers are not ticketing jet skiers left and right for running their obnoxious testosterone sucking monsters over shallow flats. Better still, blast them off their jet skis with water cannons.
pablo-cafeThis is an amazing web site for historical pictures of just about everything. Link
[FKAA IS Good] I’m a little disappointed in the Citizen article and have exchanged emails with Tim O’Hara too, the post in the CT is a bit misleading. Fear mongering? Maybe, but there’s been a huge rush to meet a state mandated deadline (and we’re very late already) by the county.  I don’t know why FKAA is being attacked, other than the Keys mentality is to attack anyone trying to do anything.  I don’t see that they’re doing this to take advantage of the Keys’ citizens (what is their motive to do it ‘wrong’?).  I don’t know about the poor decisions mentioned – this project has been going on for years and I haven’t heard of any major violations for the project work.We have a well known/documented problem with faulty septic systems in the Keys – it led to the state mandate.  The only debate is whether putting treated water (water that is suitable for irrigation) in the 120′ shallow wells is worse than continuing with the septic systems which are dumping minimally treated water down 3′ – but spread over a much larger area.As for the CO situation – there’s about 80-100 in that position, according to the county commissioner I emailed.  Who ever said ‘according to county staff that nobody is waiting’ – is flat out wrong .  I have contacted the FKAA, DEP, and County Mayor/Commissioners over this as I’m one waiting for the sewer plant to get a CO.  Have I requested the final building inspection? – no –  I can’t until the plumbing final is done, and that can’t be done until the sewer hook-up is done.  There may be no ‘final inspections’ listed as on hold (but that doesn’t mean nobody is on hold for a CO).That temporary solution mentioned was for a construction trailer (1 toilet only).  A house has toilet, shower, sink, etc and the holding tank is probably good for 4 or so days for a family of 3 (I checked).  Figure $300-400 per pump-out, the required monitoring system, cost of the holding tank, and service contracts and it’s probably closer to $1,500 – 2,000/mo – hardly a viable work around.Why can’t we start the shallow wells for those with CO requirements, and then start the others without decommissioning the septic tanks right away, to mitigate the supposed risk?
photography2The evolution of photography.
From the big bang to cosmic vibrations, Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart plays the rhythm of the universe. Video
Lowest-Bid-ContractorNo, this is not and Escher optical illusion, it is the work of the lowest bid contractor.
[Leaving France] French actor Depardieu was the leader of the pack.  He fled to Russia to evade taxes.  Others followed.But, to be fair, the US State Dept also is responsible to some extent, as it sponsored links on French sites offering instant visas to those who qualified, mostly geeks and scientists. Still, that is not to say that Islamists and the government largesse toward invaders didn’t also weigh in on rich French to leave…mainly to Quebec, Canada. Watch this interesting video about France. Video
No-WorriesWhat’s in a name.
[Hanging City Of Shanix] The photos of the buildings and walkways in this “Hanging City” power point are spectacular. Anyone who has any experience in construction will appreciate the challenges in constructing and maintaining the buildings and walkways. Video
fireworks burst among starsLower Keys Tackle has been a huge supporter of Saturday’s fireworks. They did a $2,500 matching grant to help raise money!
Does anybody have a cell phone number for Sam Sam the bug man dba as “Bugaway“. He’s not answering his 872 number.
Penguins3Penguin have knees that are inside their bodies. Evolution gone mad?
Military: Don’t worry if F-35, most expensive fighter jet ever, can’t dogfight well. Link
man riding shark[Sista’ Bertha on Sharks] And now some common sense summer safety tips about sharks. Video
Wednesday’s angel trumpet tree is a beautiful tree, and believe it or not it’s poisonous!
Does anyone know where I can get one of those oval stickers for my car that have the letters BPK on it?
uber4[How Uber Works] Independent “Uberx” drivers enlist with the company but are equipped with their own private cars, which must be no older than a 2000 [2005 in some States], and must be insured according to State laws. Uber conducts background checks on drivers and provides one Million dollars of insurance coverage for incidents that occur while the driver is “matched” with a customer. The “match” begins the moment the driver has agreed to provide a ride and continues until the moment the customer[s] exits the car. When the driver is only “logged in” to the app, looking for a fare, Uber insurance coverage is limited to $50,000 per person with a cap of $100,000 per accident. When a driver is using the car strictly for personal reasons Uber provides no coverage and the driver is to rely his personal coverage.Both drivers and clients are rated online as a function of the same smartphone “app” that enables them to find each other in the first place. In some cases complaints may win a client a discount on a future ride. An excessive number of complaints gets the driver removed from the network. According to Hank Allen, Uber sets the price of the fares, which are relatively low and in some cases can be as much as half of the Key West rate for taxicab services. Uber retains 20% of the fare. One Key West Uber driver told us he could make up $400 on a good day.In contrast, traditional taxicabs, licensed in Key West, are only obligated to have liability coverage of $50,000 per person with a $100,000 per accident cap. In addition to background checks Key West cabbies are required to provide a physician’s declaration that the driver is not addicted to drugs and not carrying an infectious disease. Most Key West taxicab drivers begin every workday with a deficit of around $175, which they must pay to the Cab company to cover rental of the cab, the dispatch system, and insurance.The City of Key West has capped the number of licenses it will issue. Key West cab companies own all 74 available licenses. Even if Uber drivers applied for a taxi license, there is simply no license available.

One Key West cab driver said on a twelve-hour shift he averages around $200 free and clear. The cabbies we talked to believe that Uber drivers will cut into their income by lowering the fares and multiplying the number of available rides.

And so began the Taxi Wars.

bacon-americaHappy Fourth of July!
[More bar wisdom] In alcohol’s defense I’ve done some pretty dumb stuff while completely sober too.
cuban-raft-e[Freedom] You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.We have are ups and downs, over all we are a special country,there is no other like us, we are best in the world. In all my years I have never seen anyone build a raft,drift the open sea in a effort to live in Cuba.
Freedom is essential to the pursuit of happiness.
Freedom is essential to artistic evolution and expression.
Freedom is essential to the expansion of the human mind.
Freedom is essential to the development and application of basic humanitarianism.
Freedom is essential to the creation of an individual’s will, motivations, preferences, and unique talents.
In essence, freedom is essential to the success and progress of humanity.
Freedom is the atmosphere in which humanity thrives. Breathe it in. Happy & Blessed independence Day my friends.
Man found dead in vehicle in Brooklyn, with two parking tickets attached to his illegally parked car with him dead inside. Video
The First Peoples. Video
eye-art-2What a country. We have such a high standard of living that even a person considered poor has much more than the King of England had 200 years ago,flat screen TV’s, smart phones, A/C, make-up, yes we have time and money enough to paint our bodies. Much has been given to us. . We take so much for granted & often forget to give thanks for life that we live. Sometimes we make being happy so difficult. And being thankful such a chore. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude begins with counting your blessings. In simpler terms, gratitude is expressing thanks for gifts we receive. Genuine gratitude helps us to see the little things in life that are often overlooked, yet so precious. God Bless America.
fireworks burst2[“Fourth of July Fireworks on the Third”] The Rotary Club had no choice – the company with whom they’ve worked for many years declined to do the fireworks this year; they had to go out and try to find another company.  The only one who would do it at all could only do it on the 3rd.  It was that or nothing.Actually, we all feel it’s a great option to give people the chance to see our fireworks on Friday and Key West’s or other’s on Saturday.  With the 4th falling on a Saturday, this makes for a whole weekend-long celebration
Cannibals Camp. Video
grinch-smile[“Fourth of July Fireworks on the Third”] In keeping with the new tradition, Big Pine Key will celebrate Christmas on December 24 because Santa has another commitment for the 25th.
How can I straighten my ceiling fan blades that are a bit bent? Holm Despot wants more for replacement blades than my whole fan costs.
stoeger-x-20s-suppressed-22-caliber-air-rifle-w-scope-28I’m done negotiating with the iguanas.  I plan to snare and shoot as many as possible on my property.  Any recommendations on air guns and ammo would be appreciated.
I drove all the way to my drug store, 14 freaking miles away, to pick up my medicine, but no, “Our computers are down and we cannot fill your order.” “When will they be fixed” is asked. “We don’t know”, was the reply. I got an overwhelming feeling Big Brother just has to throw that big switch and we are totally at His mercy!
How do we get to make the agencies get drug testing for our so called leaders? Do we need a petition to sign?
ftr from the right 75h
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