2019 July

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

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



[“Effective slow down signs”] Thank you for letting us know some of the Save Our Key Deer community-made signs are fading. There’s still plenty of tiny fawns running around, in danger of being struck by motor vehicles, so we’ll have the artists refresh them with paint instead of the markers that seem to fade. Here’s some of the residents that proudly made them.

[“Changing email subject line”] The only way to do that in Outlook is to forward the email to yourself and change the subject line then.


[Bagpipes: The Devil’s Revenge] I requested that they play bagpipes at my funeral. And why the Hell not? I won’t be able to hear them!

[Moose Club]  Our Moose club’s sign says, “Family Center”. Where is this “center?”  Family center usually means a place where families can go for entertainment, games, and activities; not a place with two bars.  This club is for drinking period. This is something of a mystery on Big Pine Key.

[African Explorers] The Emin Pasha Relief Expedition (1889) to the Sudan tarnished Stanley’s name because of the conduct of the other Europeans — British gentlemen and army officers. Army Major Edmund Musgrave Barttelot was shot by a load carrier after behaving with extreme cruelty. James Sligo Jameson, heir to Irish whiskey manufacturer Jameson’s, bought an 11-year-old girl and offered her to cannibals to document and sketch how she was cooked and eaten. Stanley found out only when Jameson had died of fever.

Why do hawks screech? It certainly can’t be for hunting. Their screeching clears the area of birds. Are they looking for love?
[Bounty Hunters] I’m of firm belief that in order to get rid of the python invasion before they eat the rest of the mammals and birds is to place an exceptionally high bounty on their corpses. (How come no one is making money on python skin?) Money can solve most problems. Sure, the Everglades will be a dangerous place with all the stupid hunters and bullets flying, but reclaiming the Everglades is of vital importance to Florida tourism and will be worth it. We’ll need, probably, a billion tax dollars to kill all the snakes. It’ll be several years of the wild west with all the hunters, but no one has a worthwhile idea except this one. Science just wont work. We need bullets, traps, nets, lures, and anything these bounty hunters can think of. We don’t need studies that waste time and money. We need large bounties.
[Deer Milk] Interesting Deer Fact from Save Our Key Deer. With all our adorable Key Deer fawns running around and nursing from their mothers, our thoughts turned to milk! Deer milk has the highest overall nutritional content of any animal milk. It is also the most nutritious milk historically consumed by humans, beating out cow, sheep, goat and human milk by a mile. Although Hooded Seal milk beats deer milk at fat content (60%), and Eastern Cottontail Rabbit milk has the highest ever protein content (15%), deer milk contains an overall nutrition package of very high fat, protein and nutritional minerals, as well as ample calcium phosphorus and zinc. So our deer babies start life on quite a high-grade diet. Interestingly, the two deer species that have a long history of being utilized for milk by humans are reindeer, caribou and moose. There is presently an active moose milk ranch in Russia where “milk maids” milk the free ranging moose. Our question is: Does a moose milk maid get hazard pay? For more info on the unique Russian deer milk operation see Link
The August AARP activities calendar is here. Full Menu > Ongoing Events




[Spinach is a Steroid] Chemical found in spinach has the same effect as steroids and should be banned for athletes. Video

Who was the garbage company in Key West when the trucks used to say “Free Snow Removal” on their sides?
You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there’s a luxury tax and rich people can go to jail.




[Boat Trailering] Don’t worry, that’ll buff out.

An unlicensed contractor from the Florida Keys was jailed Monday after county officials said he received about $16,000 in payments for work done at Key West International Airport. Link
[Docking Station] This is a great product that allows users to have both a laptop and desktop when connected to the UtechSmart docking station. I keep a small laptop and the dock hidden behind two 23” monitors. When I want to take the laptop with me, I just unplug the dock’s USB-C and the laptop’s power cables and I have a laptop! I’ve got every bell and whistle connected to the dock: monitors, mouse, keyboard, printers, speakers, microphone, LAN cable, and I still have USB ports available. I’m a little disappointed that the USB-C cable doesn’t power the laptop with it’s 2-way capability that would eliminate the laptop’s power cord. When they come out with that model I’ll upgrade in a minute. It was quick to setup. Go online for the latest drivers and click, click you’re in business. I really like this dock.
[Pawn Stars] What’s come out about “The old man” from Pawn Stars since he died. Link
[Key West Sucks] My friends from Texas told me they will never come to Key West again because the old Key West is gone and replaced by weirdo’s, sissies, religious nuts and greedy vendors. There is nothing worth seeing or buying there.




[Pirogue] A long, narrow canoe made from a single tree trunk, especially in Central America and the Caribbean.

[Climate Change 1364] A great many noteworthy winters have been known, and it seems as if the severest has a periodic return about every forty- one years,—a period which nearly corresponds with the greater appearance of spots on the sun. I can mention the winter of 1364, when the Rhone was frozen as far as Arles; that of 1408, when the Danube was frozen its whole length, and when wolves ran over to Jutland without wetting their feet; that of 1509, during which the Mediterranean at Cette and Marseilles and the Adriatic at Venice were frozen, and the Baltic as late as April 10; that of 1608, which killed all the cattle in England; that of 1789, when the Thames was frozen—as far as Gravesend, six leagues—below London; that of 1813, of which the French retain such a terrible memory; and that of 1829, the earliest and longest winter of this century. ~Jules Vern
“Peace,” observes a modern sage, “is the dream of the wise, war is the history of man.” To indulge in such dreams is but questionable wisdom.


Dick Lee and 60’s Garage Rock from California” is a weekly one hour show that features great California Garage Rock along with the hits of the day. Audio

[“Travel in Cuba”] I too, recently traveled to Cuba.  My voyage was via Royal Caribbean cruise ship rather than by bicycle. I absolutely agree with the poster about Cuba.  The whole country is a crumbling, falling apart piece of socialistic/communist crap – all of it.  All of it is awful.

I visited Cienfuegos on the south coast and Havana, the Capitol on the North.  I was supposed to also visit Santiago but the dock there is in disrepair (collapsed I think) and the cruise line chose not to visit for cruise passengers and the ship’s safety.

Cuba is a Communist/Socialist country. Tour guide told us there are 2 government entities: “Power of the People” where the Cuban President is in charge and “Cuban Communist Party” where Raul Castro is the General Secretary.  Raul Castro also controls the military. The Power of the People can do whatever they want as long as Raul Castro approves.

I went on two city/countryside tours and the following is my recollection as I understand what the friendly, informative tour guides told us. Every Cuban receives a monthly ration of rice, beans perhaps some butter – every citizen, every month in the entire nation. Monthly income for working class (plumber, mechanic, electrician etc.) is $30 – 40 US per month.  Yes monthly. All public school is free  and paid for by the government and the students attend 6 days per week.  If a student scores well on the Cuban version of SAT they can attend college free and paid for by the government.  Upon graduation the student must serve 3 years of national duty. That is pretty much doing whatever and wherever the government sends them to repay the government for the student loan.  Our Havana tour guide was a certified school teacher and upon graduation the Cuban government sent him to Jamaica for 2 1/2 years teaching Spanish to the students in Jamaican schools to repay his government debt. Those that do not achieve college level scores in their SAT spend 3 years in the Cuban Army.  Our first tour guide did his government service in the Cuban Army.
In the countryside, rural farming areas near Cienfuegos, the main mode of transportation is a horse and wagon.  Yes, really like the 1890s in the US.  Roads, all of them other than in Havana are a crumbling, potholed, impassable mess. In Havana the water is turned on every other day so all homes fill a plastic tub or barrel on their roofs to have a continual water supply. The water bill is 15 cents a month. Yes, that’s what was said, not a typo. Electric is $4 – 6 a month.
There’s very little to no cell service. Citizens who even have a phone, have a land line.  Seems most homes have an antenna for TV. I never saw a satellite dish. There is no cable tv.
If you want to build a home you must purchase the lot from the government with your $30 monthly. All building materials must be purchased from the government. Every cow or horse that dies or is born must be reported to the government.

Inside their homes are theirs to decorate and refurbish as they choose.  (I decided this is an unusual thing in a socialist/communist country). The outside of the building is owned by the government. Almost everyone in Havana lives in in an apartment or condo.  It is the government responsibility to maintain the exterior.  Everything (in Havana) is a crumbling mess of dis-repair falling down concrete junk.  Cienfuegos is nothing but shacks.

The average Cuban born since 1959, knows no other form of government and thinks $30 a month, free food, and free everything else are the way things should be.
Cars in Havana are as the poster said are mostly vintage American.  Many have Russian or Chinese engines and some have been “chainsaw modified” into convertibles.  All are taxis and all are owned by, guess who? the government.

However, the American tourist money machine had arrived when I was there in April of this year and almost all citizens were in awe of the influx of money.  Had President Trump not shut down Cuba travel I’m sure we could have easily corrupted or overthrown the Cuban government in a year just with our money.

In Havana there are huge monuments everywhere to the heroes of the revolution. All over the countryside are billboards built from concrete blocks and painted with pictures of Fidel, Che Guevarra and Cienfuegos.

I’m glad I went to Cuba, but I would never ever go there again.