2014 January

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

CT-Banner7.3.13No Saturday Edition

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[Stiltless Houses] Perhaps three CT advertisers, Isaksens Insurance, Johnsons Insurance and Coldwell Banker can help answer this question. There has been an oft quoted horror story of a Big Pine homeowner whose flood insurance increased on his $182,000 ground level second home from $1,989 a year to $49,252. First of all, is this really true?
Secondly, did he get any reduction or is he still on the hook for that outrageous premium?
What range of premiums are being quoted for flood insurance for ground level houses, both primary and secondary, today?
Is there any obligation to inform potential buyers of this crisis? I’m sure the homeowner referred to above would never have purchased that house if he knew his premium would increase by 2,500%!
I know there is an effort underway to delay the increases mandated by the Biggert Waters Act, but if successful, it would only be a delay, not a repeal.
So what is the current real estate market like for ground level houses?

isaksen-flood-roof 4.23.13

[A First] Yesterday Aljazeera America had it first sitting American elected official on its program since they started broadcasting from New York in August of 2013. All others have refused to appear citing fear of citizen backlash if they appeared on a program owned by a muslim.

Rep Anna Eshon (D) California (wouldn’t you know it) appeared supporting net neutrality saying the Internet should be kept “open and free” and no member of the population should be “screwed” by big corporations. Corporations are trying to get laws passed where they will get more bandwidth than private users or small websites will.

Also Soledad O’Brian, formerly of NBC and CNN now works for them.


The states of Colorado and Washington legalize marijuana and both their NFL teams are now going to the Super Bowl. Coincidence?

Deer up north are waaaayyyy bigger than those in the Keys. 4 times bigger would match the ‘per acre’ density.
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[January 21,1793] France’s King Louis XVI was guillotined for treason.

[“Is ROKU a box that holds TV shows and movies that I can watch even when I am out at sea”] The ROKU won’t do what you want. It’s only a streaming device and why it’s so inexpensive. A TiVo Digital Video Recorder is more along the lines of what you’re looking for as it contains it’s own large internal, and optional, external storage. However it won’t store thousands of TV show or movies. It stores up to 140 hours of HD content or 1,200 hours of standard definition content on a 1 TB internal drive, more with optional external storage. Another option is a PlayStation 4, not only can it play offline games, but also store and play personal movies, music, pictures and playback copy protected DVD and BlueRay movie discs as well. It also doubles as a Roku-type streaming device, however it doesn’t store the streamed content like a TiVo does. Check to see if any of the devices are guaranteed to work offline, thus not requiring an Internet connection for any sort of verification requirements before investing.
[“Netflix vs Amazon Prime”] We subscribe to Amazon Prime ($79/year) for the free 2 day shipping, something we do a lot of. The Prime video service is icing for us, and while not a great user interface, the incremental cost to us is $0. That’s hard to beat!
mlk-blvdThe Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.  A man to be honored.  A man of peace and a man of vision for his people.  Go to any major city in the U.S and you will find a Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  To honor the Rev. King’s memory the local community has, without exception, turned every Martin Luther King Blvd. in every city into a hell hole of pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers, shootings and gangbangers.  Yes, the community certainly knows how to honor a great man. 
[Double Drug Irony] What I find interesting is that pot users stress the point that alcohol use is worse than pot. i.e., you beat up your wife, etc. What they fail to mention is that a lot of pot users also drink beer or other alcohol. In fact, I don’t know one pot user that does not drink alcohol! I suppose there are some and that my opinion may be a small sampling, but think about it. How many pot users do you know that never, never touch alcohol?


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Does anyone know if long time bartender John is still around? 

[“Fresh water conch is BS and not even on the local’s radar”] Absolutely correct! You’re either from here or a wannabe-from-here. Just admit it, the town where you’re from sucks and here is better. Now learn to tip like a local when you go out.

[Cut the Cable] I have a ROKU. The best thing about it is it’s cheap! It basically pulls all the entertainment from the internet and organizes it into ‘channels’ instead of you having to search for it. It’s great for watching movies (HULU/NetFlix/Crackle, etc) and it’s great for watching Comedy Central stuff like Colbert and Jon Stewart. It sucks for watching news because you have to request each story you want individually. Same goes with TV shows, you hit enter for each feed you want (but not on Netflix. Netflix plays all episodes one after the other so you can totally waste a whole saturday watching one series.)

There are a lot of pay per view channels like MLB Baseball, NFL and Hockey, as well as Glenn Beck’s channel and a few others. I don’t buy nickel and dime programming and I don’t give a rat’s azz about pro sports. I’m not a fan.

I get my local channels from (Miami) but it’s the same thing, you have to hit enter each half hour of the news.

All that said, I pay $8.95 for Aereo and $7.95 for HULU Plus and I have TV if I want to watch it.



Today in 1954 USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine was launched at  General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Division in Groton, Connecticut.

[Websites gleaning data one later decides not to publish] Think twice before you type anything online in social media in particular. There are government surveillance dragnets on the Internet backbone servers. Many websites are transferring the entries of unpublished data in near real time to these servers, regardless if the poster later decides it’s unworthy of being sent or seen. This is similar to the CarrierIQ scandal on mobile phones which was recording all keyboard actions and sending them to the spies. Link
Free tide charts. Brown, brown, run aground. Green, green, in-between. Blue, blue, sail on through. Link


It’s Italian Tuesday at Springers Bar and Grill. Today’s special is Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage. Come join us for a bite, it’s sure to spice up your day.

Don’t forget our Super Bowl Pig Roast on February 2. Here’s some fun Super Bowl trivia: The first Super Bowl was held in 1967 and a 30 second commercial cost $42,000, Super Bowl XLVII held last year, a 30 second commercial cost $4 million. The commercials have come a long way since 1967, and are great to watch, so why not watch them with us. The fun starts at 3pm, game starting at 6:30.

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[Defying gravity: A solar flight] John Blackstone and retired pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger take a look at an unusual aircraft called Solar Impulse. An airplane powered only by the sun. Video

Key West Chapter of National Organization of Women (NOW) will hold a demonstration on Wed from 5-6 p.m. outside the Federal Bldg to mark the landmark Supreme Court decision on the 41st anniversary of Roe vs Wade, which legalized abortion. Link


Every year, Coconuts puts up a large live Christmas tree and asks our customers and visitors to the Keys to pin a little money on it. We collect it at the end of every day and at the end of the holidays we match what we have collected and give the proceeds to the Methodist Church Food Pantry. The pantry feeds not only the homeless, but many senior citizens that can’t make it on their SS checks and single parents as well.

This year we handed J.C. and Colleen Massey (directors of the Food Pantry) a check for $1,050! We collected $525 this year on the Coconuts Christmas Tree.

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Are you about to be living with a grinder pump? Here is a great video demonstrating an alarm test. Be sure to read the text that was added as an overlay on the video. Every time the power goes out long enough to allow an excess 10 gallons of wastewater to accumulate in the pits, every house in the neighborhood will have the alarm sounding when power is restored. Somebody whose head was already pounding is likely to want to seriously hurt the first person he can find who was responsible for the infernal pumps. He would never be convicted by a jury of his neighbors! Link



[Pine Channel] As an ex-Piner who now lives in Naples, when asked, I could not remember the name of the stretch of water between Big Pine and Little Torch Key. I did remember Newfound Harbor and Coupon Bight but that’s all. Any response would be welcomed, thanks.

[Obama on NSA, NFL, racism, marijuana] President Obama opened up in an interview with The New Yorker. He discussed legalization of marijuana, government surveillance, the state of al Qaeda and Obamacare. CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports. Link


Wife texts her husband on a cold winter’s morning: “Windows frozen, won’t open.”
Husband texts back: “Gently pour some lukewarm water over it.”
Wife texts back 5 minutes later: “Computer really screwed up now.”



[CT stuck on the New Years Day] Mondays CT says January 1, 2014 at top and it’s Monday January 20, 2014. Was this some sort of test? Did I win a prize? (Ed: Bingo, you win a free beer. I changed the date this morning.Thanks for letting me know.)

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[“Windows 7 back by popular demand”] Since new Windows 8 machine sales are so poor and Microsoft has extended Windows 7, they are coming out with a revamped Windows 9 next year. More and more online PC vendors are selling new machines directly to ordinary consumers with Windows 7 installed instead of 8. Large corporate orders all come with Windows 7 unless 8 is requested. Add Hewlett-Packard to the list, along with Toshiba and Sager Notebooks. Windows 7 will get support until 2020. Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate will run older Windows XP software. Don’t take Metro’s confusing interface lying down! Link



This is a prime example of the infamous grinder pump when the power goes out. For some more shocks go to the Monroe county site’s Sewer Connection Assistance Information F.A.Q.

Police warn Sochi hotels of terror suspect as Olympics near. I wouldn’t go to this years Olympics with all the threats of terror.  Link

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[Pellet Gun vs Iguana] With all of the hubbub regarding shooting guns in a private yard, what is the law regarding using an air rifle to exterminate iguanas in the Keys? 
nira tocco realtor 9.12
I’m not saying let’s go kill all the stupid people. I’m just saying let’s remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

scuba sargent majors

[SCUBA Vacation] Turk & Caicos are very expensive.  Has anyone gone scuba diving over there and would the money be better spent visiting Maldives or should I dive both?  The liveaboards around T&C are $3,000 a week plus they expect a 15% to 20% tip.  What an expensive hobby that has me hooked thru the gills.  I do not think dive addiction is worth being poor all the time.  It is great fun and world travel is a trip.  There are very few young people hooked on the scuba, probably because they’re paying off student loans and working for unfair wages.  This industry should try harder to sign up younger divers, so they too can experience all this good clean fun.  Plus it is a fantastic incentive to keep yourself in tip top physical shape.  I miss diving the Vandy and Busch in the Keys, they are a good buzz.

from the right

For a long time I considered Mr. Obama to be a very bright man. A bright man than I thoroughly disagreed with on nearly all things political. Over the years of the Obama regime we have seen him do many things that are just so fundamentally stupid that my perception of the intellect of our President has changed. What follows are only two of the most recent of my reasons.

obama-LERecently Obama is reported to have complained that his current unfavorable ratings are because of his race. That is just plain stupid. If you are to believe his complaint you have to ignore the fact that he won two presidential elections. You have to ignore the fact that after his first election his favorability ratings were in the 70’s. Apparently he now believes that tens of millions of Americans have just discovered that his father was a black Nigerian and his mother was a white American, and that has resulted in a plummet in his favorability rating. In order to believe his line of reasoning, you must conclude that tens of millions of Americans have suddenly become bigots.  That’s stupid.

The other day, Mr. Obama declared that Al Quaeda are nothing but the “JV’s” of international terrorism.  That’s the same  AQI that is kicking our butt in Afghanistan. The same AQI that is rapidly gaining control of Iraq. The same AQI that Obama is sending troops and material to Iraq to help Iraq combat.  That’s the same AQI who was on the ropes at the end of the Iraq war when it was ended thanks to GWB. That’s the same AQI that now appears to have sufficient fighters and equipment to seize Baghdad. That’s the same AQI which now controls more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history. Believing that an ever growing group of militants who are a serious threat to our nation and to the world, are nothing but the Junior Varsity is just plain stupid.

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