2014 February

Thursday, February 13, 2014

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apple vs windows[Schools] Obama announced on February 4 that $750 million has been pledged from high-tech firms to bring wireless Internet service to more schools nationwide. One of them is Apple who will be donating iOS computers to schools. This donating computers to schools is what began the Apple myth in the first place.

Starting in 1975 Apple started donating computers to schools so students would be indoctrinated into their product. Those students only knew how to use iOS so that’s why they thought it was the best computer. They knew nothing else. Apple was happy, but the rest of the world embraced the much better and cheaper Windows operating system. As a matter of fact almost all computers (93-97%) use the Windows OS. Steve Jobs knew his computers didn’t stand a chance and was about to stop making them when his iPhone was released and Apple’s popularity soared, so he kept the computer division that piggy-backed on iPhone’s success. Without the iPhone there wouldn’t be Apple computers.

In the graphics, publishing and advertising industry you will find almost all of them use Apple computers because of the myth from the 70’s that only Apple machines can render graphics–all because they learned computer graphics on Apple’s machines in school. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Today Apple is trying the same policy to increase its meager iOS use by ‘donating’ their product to schools to indoctrinate first time users to their computers. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s a good business idea for them. But it is a bad idea for the students because they will be learning on a computer that cost almost twice as much as a Windows or Linux computer with very few choices available for sale, and their limited software availability.

School boards should want the best for their students and not allow Apple to donate the computers. Case in point (not to mention the vast price difference), out of a hundred people only 3 know how to use an Apple computer and the other 97 people all know how to use a Windows machine.

If school boards wanted the best for their students they would only allow Windows machines in class. It would be even better if they only allowed the excellent, free and open source operating system, Linux, and not promote any corporation’s machines.

Going to Hawaii in the 50s was like going to Key West in the 70s was. The ‘It’ spot for coolness.
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corvette rear view

[Corvette Graveyard] It was a sight to make a classic car lover weep: A gaping sinkhole opened beneath the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky and swallowed eight prized cars like they were toys, piling them in a heap amid loose dirt and concrete fragments. 

I am scouting out this area to move here, it seems like a great place. I just had a couple of questions, and I figured you could answer them, if it isn’t that much trouble. 

1. How bad are the hurricanes? I was born and raised on Galveston island, so I have experienced them before. Does the entire island get flooded or only the low parts?
2. Police. It may seem like a dumb question, but as a whole, is the police force a bunch of jerks that have a power trip, or are they more down to earth? I have lived in some places where this was a real problem.
3. Internet, is there a high speed provider there?

That’s pretty much it! I am eyeing some empty lots north of Doctors Arm with ocean access. Is there anything about the area that stands out?

Thank you very much for your time.


[Crook] Former News Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, best remembered for his impassioned pleas for help after the levees broke during Hurricane Katrina, was con­victed Wednesday of accepting bribes in exchange for helping businessmen secure millions of dollars in city work, includ­ing after the devastating storm. The federal jury found Nagin guilty of2O of 21 counts against him, involving a string of crimes before and after the storm.

I think it odd that I watched 4 news channels this morning and not one mentioned the verdict.

wheelbarrow man

I want to be like that old Italian guy in the neighborhood tending his tomatoes and happily pushing his wheelbarrow around the garden smoking a stogie.

[Sewers] Why doesn’t someone with all the facts about the sewer system go to the EPA or any other organization that might help with the impending doom. It sounds like the sewer system is going to be worse for the environment (in time) than our septic tanks.



[Healthcare] Every developed country in the world provides healthcare for its citizens–except one! Can you guess which one?

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[Derek Jeter Retires from NY Yankees] “The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball,” the longtime New York Yankees shortstop and captain said in a 15-paragraph note on Facebook. Link

Gas prices will be going up this summer according to all reports. We used to blame OPEC’s greed for the price rise, but now it’s totally the American oil companies’ greed that’s to blame.



It’s Thursday and that means a sandwich special here at Springers Bar and Grill. Today’s love on a bun is a y. Come on in and enjoy our take on this New Orleans original.

Also on today’s agenda, it’s Springers Cornhole league at 6:15. It’s week 6, the bags are flying and the competition is fierce. So join us tonight and every Thursday and watch our 26 teams battle it out for the top spot

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lionfish13[Lionfish] A new study, conducted by REEF’s Lad Akins and others, confirms for the first time that controlling invasive lionfish populations in the western Atlantic Ocean can pave the way for a recovery of native fish. Even if it’s one speared fish at a time, data are showing that removals can be effective, and not every lionfish need be removed.

The ground-breaking findings, featured in a paper published in January in the scientific journal Ecological Applications, document that reducing lionfish numbers by specified amounts will allow a rapid recovery of native fish biomass. Over an 18-month time period, the biomass of native prey fishes increased an average 50 to 70 percent on reefs where lionfish numbers were suppressed below target levels predicted to cause prey depletion. On reefs where lionfish numbers remained higher than target levels, the biomass of prey fishes decreased by a further 50 percent.

While complete eradication of lionfish from the Caribbean is not likely, groups are actively removing them from coastal areas (mostly via spear and net). This study is a first step in showing that strategic local efforts that suppress the invasion to low levels can help protect and recover native fish communities affected by lion fish. Link

[Parmer’s Resort Annual Yard Sale] Saturday only. Lamps, bed spreads, hammocks, little giant ladder, 3 piece truck loading ramp, electronics, shooters stuff, folding chairs, large poker table, 2 Glocks, etc. mm28.5 Little Torch Key on Barry Ave. Classified Ads > Yard Sales

film4[Free Movie] ‘Friends In Focus’ Feature Films on Sharks and Lionfish. On Tuesday, February 18, Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys ‘Friends in Focus’ will be featuring a double-feature free documentary of Shark Reef focusing on the shark fin trade and Scourge of the Lionfish, notably about the invasive lionfish epidemic.

Films will be shown at the Marathon Power Squadron Building, 52nd St. Gulf on Loggerhead Lane. Doors open at 6:30p. Free popcorn; drinks are available for a small donation.  For more information on upcoming events, please visit Events

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surrender an

[Shoot ’em up Wednesdays] I would suggest that everyone in the Big Pine shooter’s neighborhood dig foxholes in their yards and practice diving into them so they will be ready to jump in at the first sound of gunfire.  Also I have heard WW2 vets say piled up coconut tree trunk logs give pretty good protection. 

[Car makers making cars less reliable] The decline in quality is particularity acute for vehicles with four-cylinder engines. In the move to smaller engines as a way to boost fuel economy to meet federal regulations tightening to an average 54.5 mpg in 2026, automakers have saddled drivers with engine hesitation, rough transmission shifts and lack of power. Because of their compact design, smaller cars are harder to repair and overworked vehicles tend to wear out much faster. Link 
nira tocco realtor 9.12
[“Did GM paid back all the loans”] GM paid the tax payers back mainly by staying in business which helped keep a million people working in auto manufacturing related jobs and earning money to put back into our economy which was already in the tank due to various reasons and didn’t need another big hit.   Even Bush agreed with this concept 



Artist Jon McIntosh.

[“Did GM paid back all the loans”] No, unlike most other banks and large corporations that took loans from the government when credit markets froze up and have since paid them back with interest, GM was a total government bailout and a huge loss to taxpayers of $10.5 billion. Why it’s still called “Government Motors” despite fact the government no longer has any shares or control. The CEO they put in for a whopping $14.5 million a year suggests a certain political party most certainly ensured long term control. GM didn’t go through the normal bankruptcy laws and court process, it’s basically another Freddie and Fannie. Government sponsored organizations who use the printing press to devalue the currency to socialize their incompetent failures. GM should have died and it’s pieces sold off. Less people are driving due to baby boomers retiring anyway. Link
isaksen-flood-roof 4.23.13 
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uss barb ss220


Thirty-nine years ago, an Italian submarine was sold for a paltry $100,000 as scrap. The submarine, given to the Italian Navy in 1953 was originally the USS Barb SS220. An incredible veteran of World War II service. With a heritage that should not have been melted away without any recognition. The USS Barb SS220 was a pioneer, paving the way for the first submarine to launch missiles and it flew a battle flag unlike that of any other ship. Link 

[Secure Communications] A new messaging service for Email, Chat, VoIP, and File Sharing providing a whopping 4096-bit encryption using a latency based cryptography technique, you control the keys. Free. Link
[Music Video Fest] It’s been a while since the last one and a lot of the musicians and fans around town have been asking when the next one is going to be. We are thinking the middle to the end of April, but it hasn’t been figured out yet. What we do know is it will be at the Marathon Community Park again, it will not have an admission charge, and it will only feature our local performers.



[Osprey Nest]  Perhaps I’m getting too old to see, but yesterday I stopped my bike and looked carefully for the reported osprey nest on the 7-Mile Bridge near the tree. I saw an osprey on the railing but no nest.

What happened to the Marathon Journal? I hope Mr Shaffer’s health has suffered.
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pledge13[“Wings of Freedom Tour. Free admission for World War 2 Veterans”] Why only WWII Vets? Are all Vets not equal? Or does Wings of Freedom figure so many of our Greatest generation are gone they won’t have too many free tickets to their show? Did Korea, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan vets do less or endure less? All Vets served, endured, died, were maimed or at the least, gave years of their life in military service to our Nation. It seems these non-entity Vets can’t go to the air show unless they pay an admission the same as any citizen that didn’t serve, sacrifice or put any effort to repay what all citizens owe our great nation. Shame on you Wings of Freedom, shame on you!
If raising the minimum wage supposedly cost jobs and will increase the price of a hamburger or pizza or whatever, why don’t people apply the same logic to CEO compensation? $14.5 million a year is too much for one job.

an_orchid_beeThe Big Show Orchid Dreams will be here in just 2 weeks. Mon, Tues, Feb 24 & 25 plants are entered from 10am to 4pm. Bring in your blooming plants. There will be a place for nameless orphans too. They won’t be judged, but bring them anyway.  Help is needed to move plants, clean up the spaces & cut the vines, etc.

Wed, Feb. 26 the show is set up. Thurs. Feb. 27 Judging. Only the judges & clerks are admitted, no sightseers allowed. Fri, Sat, Sun Feb. 28, Mar. 1,2  10am to 4pm  It’s showtime! All kinds of help needed. And baked goodies are needed for the food concession.  The meeting on Sunday will be devoted to show prep.

By the way, there is a Redland Orchid Sale Feb. 21,22,23, 9am to 5pm at Carib Plants, Motes Orchids, Soroa Orchids & Whimsey Orchids. For further information go to Link

[Data] With Google, Amazon, the Fed, etc., all joining hands to control all the information, when are they going to start charging us for everything? I guess after they burn all the books and shut down our access to the web! 
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snow saucer sled

Many Southerners took to makeshift sleds on the ice and snow, with at least seven people hospitalized in sledding accidents just in Georgia. Four people were hurt sledding in a kayak that crashed into a pole. One victim suffered leg injuries, another was knocked unconscious and lost several teeth, and the other two refused treatment. –From an AP news article about the heavy snow in southern states.

I guess it wasn’t funny to them. Do you suppose alcohol was involved? We used to ride our parent’s garbage can lids with the handles cut off. They didn’t like it. we did!

Why has America forgotten important economic lessons of the past? Link
from the right

By golly, I sure wish that I was as smart as some of Governor Scott’s critics think that they are.  Some of his critics posted yesterday that he must be guilty of something because he invoked his 5th Amendment Rights during a civil deposition. Let’s think about that. One of the critics is so misinformed that he/she claimed that Scott had invoked his 5th Amendment rights at the HCA/Columbia trial.  There was no trial! HCA/Columbia simply paid fines and penalties.

an_not-guilty2First of all the Scott critics imply that the deposition was a part of the HCA/Columbia criminal investigation. It was not, it was a part of civil case involving HCA/Columbia and Nevada Communications Corp and concerned a dispute involving a communications contract. It had nothing to do with the federal investigation. At the time of the depo the criminal investigation concerning HCA/Columbia was in progress. During the depo Scott, acting on the advice of his lawyer, declined to answer any questions, as was his right under the 5th Amendment. George R. Dekle, Sr., a professor of law at the University of Florida has written. “… there can be myriads of reasons other than guilt which prompt a person to claim a Fifth Amendment privilege, and it might be just as reasonable to infer that the witness refused to answer for some other reason.” Experienced litigators will tell you that 9 out of 9.95 times if there is even the remotest possibility that you may be charged with a crime or become a target of a criminal investigation or proceeding, you should ‘take the Fifth. An experienced prosecutor can induce a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich.

Never forget that the HCA/Columbia prosecutors and investigators never even attempted to question Scott. Why? Because as the investigation unfolded they determined that he was not suspected of any criminal activity!

Civil suits have cost HCA more than $1.7 billion, said attorney Peter Chatfield, a partner with Phillips and Cohen in Washington, D.C., who spent seven years working on a Columbia-HCA civil case brought by two whistleblowers. After sifting through years of discovery documents, Chatfield said he never had a feel for whether Scott knew of any wrongdoing. The company settled Chatfield’s case for more than $500 million in 2003.

He might have gotten around to deposing Scott, Chatfield said, but it was not a high priority for the case. “His (Scott’s)  e-mails were mostly motivational.”

Please remember three things. 1) An experienced prosecutor can induce a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich, if they had any evidence of illegality on the part of Scott, he would have been indicted. 2) At the time the depo occurred, HCA/Columbia was still under investigation. And finally, 3) The HCA/Columbia investigation was a federal, nationwide investigation conducted by a Democrat Attorney General, Janet Reno. The investigation was massive and thorough. Investigators conducted myriads of interviews and pored over many thousands of records, but they didn’t even bother to interview Rick Scott.

Rick Scott is a long time member of the Republican Party and a large contributor. You can be sure that Democrat politico’s lusted to have Scott’s bald scalp hanging from their belt, they just didn’t have any evidence. Early on Rick Scott had to be a person of serious interest in that investigation because he was the CEO, but as the investigation progressed it became clear that Scott had no involvement in the fraud. Remember that he was never charged with any criminal act, but 4 of his subordinates were. You can be sure that if any of them had any evidence of Scott’s involvement in any of the fraud, they would have traded it for leniency. They didn’t because there was no evidence of Scott’s violating any laws.

Scott as governor has worked near miracles in putting Florida’s fiscal house in order. We now have a balanced budget, we’ve paid down our debt, we’ve cut taxes, our unemployment rate which under Crist was higher than the national rate, is now lower. New businesses are knocking at our doors. Scott has convinced Florida state university’s to offer a $10 k baccalaureate degree, he’s cut taxes, he’s given teachers a raise, etc., etc., etc..

remora13On the other hand Crist has taken a sharp left turn and attached himself to Obama and his policies like a remora. On 2/7/14 Slate magazine said of Crist: “The conversions of Charlie Crist, from Republican to independent to Democrat, make up one of the least inspiring tales in modern politics. To take it seriously is to admit you’re the sort of person who takes Scientology stress tests and supplies credit card info to anyone who claims to need help from Nigeria.” (David Weigel, “Dammit, People Like Me,” Slate,  2/7/14)

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