2019 December

Tuesday, Christmas Eve, December 24, 2019

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

[My ‘Baby’ Burned] We just returned home to Stuart Florida from Marathon on our boat. It burned. We are heartbroken. We lost everything.
We had just woken up and were still in pajamas. There was no power from the dock pedestal the evening before when we arrived. There must have been a short or something, the boat kept tripping the breaker. It was late so we decided to wait and contact the dock master in the morning. I left the two 30 amp cords plugged in. I got up at 7 am and turned on the inverter from the batteries to fix coffee. As soon as the Kureg was turned on my wife saw smoke near the pantry and I quickly started looking for more smoke. When I looked in the stateroom, I saw smoke billowing up between the teak and fiberglass along the walls. Holy crap! It was happening so fast I didn’t know where to shoot the extinguisher. It instantly got worse. I couldn’t control it. I told my wife to get out. She grabbed her purse and our medications and got out onto the dock.
The 34′ Mainship next to us called 911. The captain is a retired firefighter. He untied his boat in record speed and backed out (thankfully). I tried to untie ours and push it out to the bay due to the wind blowing that way, but a dock line was still attached aft and I could not get to it because by this time flames were coming out of the windows and doors. The cops arrived and made us move away from our boat. Fire Rescue arrived with 4 trucks. The boat was now drifting into the empty main ship slip where it damaged a docked sailboat there with the fire. We got the captain up by yelling and banging on his boat for him to wake up.An hour later they were still fighting the fire and we were moved to the office for interviews with the FWC, Coasties, and cops.
When the fire was out, SeaTow beached her on a nearby sandbar to pump her out and then towed her back to the boatyard attached to the marina where they hauled it out. The next morning a marine surveyor came to investigate. He said the fire started in the small flat screen Sony TV on the top shelf in the stateroom. I said, “No way.” because we had not turned that TV on in two years. He asked, “Was it plugged in?” “Yes, it was.” He said, “Doesn’t matter, that that was the source.”I don’t believe that and my friend, Mike Grady (Cool Beans), doesn’t believe it either. The surveyor went to the dock pedestal and tested it and the breaker was still tripping. The power wouldn’t stay on. He went to the marina office and told them not to plug any more boats into that pedestal.This is a warning to all boaters to show you how fast a fire spreads in a boat. Maybe someone will find the source of the fire, an engineer is coming to investigate further. Many thanks to the overwhelming outpouring of help from the Marathon community’s wonderful boaters. We will be back one day.  ~Captain Craig



[Baba Ram Dass Dead] Ram Dass, who in the 1960s joined Timothy Leary in promoting psychedelic drugs as the path to inner enlightenment before undergoing a spiritual rebirth he spelled out in the influential book Be Here Now, died at home on Sunday. He was 88 years old. Link

[Conch Records Music Video Fest] this is a local community event which highlights our local musicians. January 3rd, 4th, & 5th, the Marathon Community Park will be turned in to the largest recording studio in The Florida Keys for the 3rd Edition of the 2020 Conch Records Music Video Fest. Forty-Five Acts made up of over one hundred musicians will perform and record music on two different stages. Video


[Sloan Bashinsky] I miss Sloan’s blog & wonder if he was behind the drama in his hometown. Joann Bashinsky, wife of Golden Flake founder Sloan Bashinsky [Sloan’s father, I think], has become one of Alabama’s most faithful philanthropists. But now there is a bitter legal dispute brewing over the Golden Flake fortune – currently estimated to be worth $200 million – as Bashinsky’s former allies have sought to have her declared mentally unfit in order to get her money. Link

[Restaurant Review] Mario’s, or whatever, on Summerland Key’s special yesterday was meatballs and spaghetti and it sucked. The pasta must have been previously cooked, the meatballs looked like dog food and the sauce was lackluster, but worst of all was the salad. It was only chopped iceberg lettuce. The beer was good.
[A Soldier’s Christmas Poem]
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. Link
Deer Ed, wishing you & your staff a Merry Christmas, and to your readers.
[A Thought For The Season] Never look down on someone unless you’re helping them up.


[Wigs] The line where the judge’s and barrister’s wigs meets their natural hair is distracting. When I see them on TV all I can do is look at that line of hair. I can’t help it. The whole wig wearing is distracting—and stupid. Will the court system fail if they don’t wear those foolish rugs?

[The Twilight Zone Christmas] Henry Corwin is a reprobate Santa. But then he finds a gift that keeps on giving. Audio



Not everyone can be with friends and loved ones this Christmas.  Remember our military men and women deployed far from home.

[Steven Wright Says …]
I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Borrow money from pessimists — they don’t expect it back.
Half the people you know are below average.
99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.
All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese


[Vegetables and Exercise] What do we learn from cows, buffaloes and elephants? It’s impossible to reduce weight by eating green grass and salads and walking.

[Religion] When you think about it, all the problems earth has had started with the establishment of religion. Wars, famine, hate, greed, just about everything that divides people into groups. Without religion we’d probably have a very healthy and prosperous planet of people working for their keep




[Shine On] This plank floor was badly damaged in the hurricane. We had to re-grout between the planks, sand and apply 3 coats of Minwax gloss polyurethane quick drying. That is the only product I know of that will get that mirror finish. No water based verathane can ever get that finish, only Minwax gloss polyurethane can. Two coats isn’t enough, you always need three. I’ve used 4 coats of water-based verathane on another floor and the floor was nowhere near as glossy.

[No More Pot Rx] As of November l, 2019, I will no longer be recommending the use of medical marijuana. The state of Florida as of November l, 2Ol9, has made the guidelines for recommending medical marijuana more restrictive. Persons must have a designated diagnosis that is within the acceptable guidelines the state has established. This requirement omits most persons from being able to qualify to have a medical recommendation. ~Dr Grider
[Calling All Singers] Keys Choral Arts, the area’s premier choral group, is pleased to announce the beginning of rehearsals for its 2020 Spring Concert. All singers are welcome, and auditions are not required, according to Tim Peterson, Artistic Director. Keys Choral Arts is a community choir and open to anyone interested in singing high quality choral music. “All our members need,” Peterson says, “is a sincere desire to make beautiful music and a willingness to learn excellent singing techniques in a professional and fun atmosphere.”. Visit for more information about this community singing group.
[No Salt Added] I finally realized why chefs never add salt to their creations. It’s because they sweat all over the grills and don’t have to add any. You got to love the Keys!



Climate change wipes out the North Pole. Santa cancels Christmas.

[Charter Boat Captains] When I walk down the docks and the weather is like it has been for a while, I feel for those charter captains who say, “This G-D weather is costing me $2,000 per day”.  I also feel equally as sad for them when the weather is awesome and they say “I can’t make any money in this G-D business”  It is then embarrassing when they come to port and wifey-poo shows up in her Escalade, her massive implants and gets a cigarette from hubby’s new $70,000 jacked up diesel pick up.  Both vehicles are spotless though as they are garaged under their 1.5 million dollar home, with a pool like Lake Okeechobee.  They have been suffering like this too, for 35 years. My heart goes out to them.


This is what you buy with medical marijuana to get you going. It costs hundreds of dollars to buy this vape setup if you include the hundreds for the doctor and the hundred and fifty for the State card you have to renew every year for another one fifty. You also have to renew the doctor’s “prescription” every few months for another hundred or two. The capsule is sixty dollars and good for 200 puffs, so the say.

Does anyone know how often bars clean their water pipes, ice machines and soda guns? Seems they don’t unless they clog up or green stuff comes out. Or is it the nasty chemicals they use to wash the glasses? And you wonder why you get horrible hangovers!





Guys,  Don’t let your new girlfriend decorate an ugly Christmas sweater.

Cee Lo Green and Daryl HallF*ck You. (Well, Merry Christmas to you too.)