2012 November

Tuesday, november 20, 2012

How can a tree tell you where you are? The one thing that most people think they know about natural navigation is not true: Moss does not only grow on the north side of trees.

Moss primarily seeks out bark with shallow gradients and coarse textures that can trap water. But trees can help travelers determine direction. In the northern hemisphere, the branches of isolated deciduous trees grow denser on the southern side, which faces the sun, so trees appear heavier on that side. Also, since tree limbs grow toward sunlight, the branches on the southern side tend to grow horizontally, while the branches on the northern side grow slightly upward. Prevailing wind, most often from southwest to northeast in the U.S., also bends the tops of trees to point northeast.

Rumor has it there’s an offer on the Winn-Dixie Plaza.



[Big Bucks] The board of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is being paid nearly four times more than similar boards in other parts of the state.

[Big Sugar Burning] Watching TV news tonight and one of the ads told how secondhand smoke is so bad for our lungs, immediately after that ad the weatherman said there is a “smoke haze” over Belle Glade, Fl. Where is the EPA when we need them. I say there is a payoff somewhere. I drove through it a couple of “daze” ago and it was choking. I see it every year on the way down. 



I wish you wouldn’t show beautiful pictures of the Keys on your web site. Drives me crazy! We had many wonderful vacations on Big Pine Key. (No, we are not from New Jersey and we are polite and respectful.) We miss the Keys. I sometimes snorkel Looe Key Reef again in my imagination. We are too old to travel much now. 

(Ed: a new poster’s email address is BumFarto@blabla… Cool.)

[The world will end in 32 days on December 21, the Winter Solstice.] Twinkies designed to survive a nuclear holocaust, die 3 weeks before the end of the world. Good job Mayans.


Anent cane burning and the suggestion that they have lots of pull to get by with it. The folks who live and work around cane burning have no pull thus “they” are not them. Big Sugar is “they” and “they” have caused immeasurable harm to the Everglades and Florida Bay. That smoke is a regularly occurring plague to folks who live where it occurs. Go there and your eyes, nose, and lungs register the effect. The insidious thing about smells, however, is that you get used to them and no longer smell them. Take the folks you know who have five house cats and two dogs. Those folks haven’t a clue what you smell when you arrive at their house, but soon you don’t smell it either. I wish we could give the sugar industry back to some deserving Third World country.

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So what if the guy is active in both the Key Deer Alliance and Forgotten Felines? What’s wrong with that?  He’s an animal lover.  More power to him!



I see that Sloan is back with his cause du jour-homelessness. Doesn’t he know that there is a simple solution to that pesky problem?

Twinkies are not going anywhere. Another company is going to buy Hostess and the union workers will stay with Hostess. On the local TV here in Philly workers stated management knew nothing about running a bakery and all they wanted to do was cut their wages and health care to nothing.


Does anyone know what the noise ordinance is in Big Pine? I honestly can’t take my stereo-playing neighbors one more day. Every single day I ask them if they could please turn their stereo down and Sir Neighbor just laughs. He apparently didn’t realize when he moved his family in a few months ago that he was 10 ft away from another house. He’s military, can I report him to anyone? 

Marriage stages after 1 year, after 5 years and after 15 years. video
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Five rules to remember in life.
1. Money can not buy happiness, but it’s more comfortable to cry in a Corvette than on a bicycle.
2. Forgive your enemy, but remember the ass-hole’s name.
3. If you help someone when they’re in trouble, they will remember you when they’re in trouble again.
4. Many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them.
5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then neither does milk.



I have seen Jesus, but never Mohammed

[Shooting People] Merry Christmas from the Second Amendment. Link


Lost Red Sox cap, yellow with navy letter B while boating in Big Pine Channel. Maybe it will wash ashore, sentimental value as I got it on my first date with my hubby decades ago, $25 reward. Classified Ads > Lost & Found

[“Crazy substitute teacher video”] That’s what Ebonics get you. Link



Key West Garden Club / Plant Sale & Art Show Dec. 1st & 2nd.  Please Ring the Peace Bell at the top of the hill. Link

[Sugar Smog] When I was a kid that smoke would ride the first cold fronts south to the orange groves inWesternBrowardCounty. In other words, they’ve been doing it for years.

[“wake up Monroe County taxpayers”] 100 % right sentiment, but 100% wrong label.  It is “voters”, not “taxpayers” who need the waking up. And voters come from many categories – informed, uninformed, active participants, apathetic.Taxpayers only have 1 category – beleaguered suckers.

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has identified the remains of an early 20th century shipwreck in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to be those of the British steamship Hannah M. Bell. Information gathered by sanctuary staff and volunteers from the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) during a September 2012 field survey enabled maritime archaeologists to confirm the wreck’s origins.

“Similar to the way detectives use forensic information to solve a crime, we compared the dimensions and construction characteristics of the shipwreck known locally as ‘Mike’s Wreck’ with historic shipping records in order to solve this mystery,” said Matthew Lawrence, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary maritime archaeologist and project principal investigator. “Measurements of the shipwreck and the records for Hannah M. Bell were virtually identical, as were the reported sinking location and the actual location of the wreck.”

No lives were lost when the Hannah M. Bell grounded on the shallow reef known today as Elbow Reef, located about six miles offshore of Key Largo, Fla., on April 4, 1911. The ship was loaded with coal bound for Vera Cruz, Mexico. With the ship’s engine room flooded and holds filled with water, salvagers abandoned their efforts days after grounding, and by May heavy weather had torn the ship apart.

The 315-foot steel-hulled steamship was built by Ropner and Son in England in 1893 and named for the woman who christened it. Prior to its demise, the ship made frequent transatlantic trips between European ports, the U.S. East and Gulf coasts, and Caribbean and South American ports transporting a variety of bulk cargos including cotton, sugar and coal.

“Positively identifying a shipwreck is exciting for sanctuary managers, historians and the dive community,” said Brenda Altmeier, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary maritime heritage coordinator. “The wreck’s shallow depth allows snorkelers and divers to appreciate our maritime heritage and provides charter businesses with an educational opportunity for visitors.”

The shallow coral reefs of the Florida Keys have claimed countless ships over the centuries, and contributed to a once-thriving salvaging industry. The Hannah M. Bell rests in close proximity to two other shipwrecks – the USS Arkansas and City of Washington. The Hannah M. Link


I wish the media would give me an advanced warning when they are going to post pictures of Debbie W Schultz. I once again blew lunch all over my keyboard when I saw the latest one. Just a “viewer discretion advised” warning would suffice. Say what you want about the Dems, but they have cornered the market on Jersey-class females.

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[Hostess]  Someone suggested that Hostess should (after the official closing down) open up again under another name. That’s a terrific idea. Hostess could then hire the old Air Traffic Controllers that have been out of work since they were going to bring USA to a standstill unless they got everything they demanded. Ronald Reagan solved that problem. Its hard to believe that the ATC’s found work because there isn’t much demand for that trade, so they would be perfect for filling the Twinkies with cream. It’s a win-win.


[Pot is Not Heroin or Cocaine] We took a bold step when we petitioned Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to remove cannabis from Schedule I of Florida’s Controlled Substance Act.

While we know cannabis does not belong in Schedule 1, don’t celebrate yet! We have more to do if we want to see safe, legal access to cannabis inFlorida. We must be heard. That means many voices speaking to many ears.

We need you to act now. The Florida House and Senate Leadership could kill our opportunity to reschedule cannabis.  Send this easy to use, editable, sign and send letter to the incoming Leadership of the Florida House and Senate . Inform them that you support medical use of cannabis and the Attorney General removing cannabis fromFlorida’s Schedule 1.

Please click here to send an email to the leadership. Link

 Party appetizers. Link

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Please plant some milkweed & support a native habitat for the Monarch butterfly. Link

If I score millions in lottery wins I am buying the ex-employees housing by Casa Marina and renting out $200 a month apts with the stipulation you must ride a very loud Harley. With what’s left I will trade in my wife on 2 or 3 really hot eastern Euro gold-diggers and die with a silly grin on my face the embalmer will be unable to fix. 



I’m just waiting to see if my coffee chooses to use its powers for good or evil today.

 Master Gardener class training materials. Link


Piqua Downstroke Baler. 7.5 Hp 3-phase (easily convert to single phase). 6″ diam. cylinder.  Will bale cardboards, aluminum, tin, sheet metal etc.  Excellent piece of equipment for use in your restaurant, retail store, scrap processing, cardboard recycler, etc.  Will deliver anywhere in the Keys. Classified Ads > Misc

If you need a shoulder to cry on — pull over to the side of the road!



Guess what I want for Christmas? Video

[“Why doesn’t Hostess just create another company and ‘buy’ Hostess, thus getting around the unions”] Yeah, why don’t we hire children to work there too. We can just pay them in cupcakes.
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Sculpture Key West opens Dec. 1st at Fort Zachery Taylor. Link

 Saunders bows out of State House. Now he can work for the gambling interests full time. Link

[Twinkies’ Demise] Hostess has been sold at least three times since the 1980s, racking up debt and shedding profitable assets along the way with each successive merger. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and again in 2011. Little thought was given to the line of products, which, frankly, began to seem a bit dated in the age of the gourmet cupcake. (100 calorie Twinkie Bites? When was the last time you entered Magnolia Bakery and asked about the calorie count?) As if all this were not enough, Hostess Brands’ management gave themselves several raises, all the while complaining that the workers who actually produced the products that made the firm what money it did earn were grossly overpaid relative to the company’s increasingly dismal financial position.

By all accounts, Hostess just wasn’t a well-run company. After its executives made a series of poor decisions, then rewarded themselves with generous raises, Hostess demanded that its workforce accept far less pay and fewer retirement benefits. Not surprisingly, the workers weren’t fond of the idea — why should they alone feel brunt of the executives’ mismanagement? — and Hostess collapsed. But to hold the union responsible for this series of events is absurd.

Republican Governor Christie is being criticized for telling the truth about Obama helping New Jerseyafter Hurricane Sandy hit. They are so out of touch with honesty that it frightens me. I keep thinking that the German Right (or should I say Reich) had the same attitude about truth in 1933 that the Republicans have in 2013. Link

FTR, get over it! Your team lost. Stop trying to anal-ize something you’ll never figure out.

It appears that the Dept of Justice stepped on Hostess Twinkie over improper bonus payments to execs and company insiders. If corporations are people too, these kinds of gifts could have gotten Romney elected. 


[Islam is a completely different way of thinking, not a religion] An Indonesian ferry that had the capacity to hold about 300 people sank, carrying 3 times the number allowed. There were only about half a dozen survivors — 3 crew members, I think, and 3 foreigners: 2 Australians and 1 American. The English speaking people when interviewed said that the passengers who died for the most part succumbed to the capsize, saying it was Allah’s will and simply drowned. Those who survived knew how to swim and to remain calm, find items to hang on to, etc. The dying women refused to take off their veils and clothing whose weight would take them down. Children and animals all gone without a say in how to survive.” 

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Harping on Benghazi is the perfect pastime for people who’ve lost their passion for birth certificate talk.

[Liberals Suck] It is truly revealing to witness the extremely simple minded posts of the ideologues of the left and to a lesser extent those on the right  on these posts , what is being passed off as humor is geared for the saloon at closing time, I truly believe that is why they are so seldom engaged verbally (F.T.R. being the exception) as the folks on the other side of the aisle ask themselves what’s the point, as the left predominately never seems to offer anything resembling any semblance of a structured thought out plan. All we seem to receive are boring talking points that have been regurgitated by self-styled experts in some supposedly important position to the point of making most tune out, a few original thoughts or a possible plan to alleviate the quagmire that we are presently mired in would be welcome, whether one agrees with the solution being tendered or not, at least it would provide a beginning for a discussion on something besides who can throw the most dirt on someone with a different ideology.

Want a real starting point?  Lets hear some ideas on what is one to make of our 16 plus trillion national debt, which as of this minute seems to be the gorilla in the room and yet in all the noise we hear, I have yet to see any real improvement in turning this conundrum around, instead we seem mired in minutia. Politicians seem to only want to dream up thousands of ways to bestow gifts on certain groups, guaranteeing those votes in return; and when it comes time to pay the piper they will be long gone, or would you all rather entertain us with why that terrible Mr. Bush left our present Pres. with such a myriad of problems? We can all tune in or all tune out.



“There is no way financially my kids can pay what the IRS is going to demand from them nine months after death and keep this ranch intact for their generation and future generations,” said Kester, of the Bear Valley Ranch in Central California. Link

[“Doom and Gloom has never worked retail”] Not true! The Retail Store business made me sick to my stomach the way it screwed people out of money. Buying products from some foreign wholesalers at 5% of the SRP then selling at a whores ransom, made me go into manufacturing my own products from RAW MATERIALS. My pride came back and my employees held their heads high too! Making money on someone else’s blood sweat and tears because they have to work for pennies per day in their country, should be a crime. Middlemen and Retailers are nothing but pimps behind counters! There ought to be a law that If you did not make it, you cannot sell it! That would clear the bums out of society real quick!

“Obama is the reason we no longer will have Twinkies?” This seems the only thing BO has done right. Imagine the mentality of a Twinkie lover who votes and eats that poison? 

It’s amazing to me, but I read it day after day. People continue to read FTR, get riled up, & vent on CocoTele. Simply stop reading the nonsense. Stop wasting your time.

The Right is working overtime to make Benghazi a major issue. They even want to bring back Kenneth Starr and the Inquisition.

From the Right

The death of Hostess Brands, progenitor of Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s and other artery-clogging, icing-adorned icons of Americana, is as a result of impacts from plenty of factors. Management didn’t cut deep enough, soon enough. They failed to update plants. Marketing failed to innovate. The product line stayed unstintingly junky, deliciously junky. They defiantly flouted America’s reluctant reset to low-fat fare. But the real reason Hostess had to die was that the union bosses didn’t get their way. Twinky sleeps with the fish as a direct result of a union hit.

Unlike many of its competitors, Hostess had been saddled with high pension, wage and medical costs related to its unionized workforce. The company also faced intensifying competition from larger companies such as Mondelez International, the former snack unit of Kraft Foods that makes Oreos, Chips Ahoy and Nabisco.

Hostess, (Twinkies, et al) filed for Chapter 11 protection in January. That was, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than three years.  But problems with several unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, and Tobacco workers and the Grain Millers International Union prevented the company from moving forward towards profitability. With costs rising of wheat, sugar, corn and fuels raising the costs of doing business and competition eliminating a comparative rise in prices, there was simply no money left to pay the workers what they demanded. Even the Teamsters union recognized management’s dilemma. The Teamsters attempted to talk the strikers into halting the strike before they forced the company to fail. The Teamsters had examined the company’s books and then agreed that no hope existed for getting what the union demanded.  Still the kamikaze union leadership charged ahead. The rank and file now suffers the union chief’s decision. They won the war and lost their asses. Now Twinky et al are on the road out, literally.  Many of the Hostess brands will survive, some will probably shift production to Mexico. Bye Bye American pie….etc.  etc ….

So now the union assault blame dodgers have joined the fray.  They are portraying themselves as being down trodden victims of the currently en vogue demon du jour, The Dreaded, Deadly, Evil, VULTURE CAPITALIST!  Nelly, hide the children! Those vulture capitalists must have sucked out hundreds of millions of dollars by leveraging up the company, right? (Answer: wrong. Ripplewood Holdings injected a total $150 million in three dollops as Hostess sank deeper into trouble.  It lost every dollar.)  The unions will say management had given itself millions in pay raises while demanding worker cuts. (True, but the raises were barely a rounding error at a company that had lost almost half a billion bucks in two years; and Rayburn rescinded the raises anyway, making the brass work for a dollar a year apiece.) 

So, how does Obama fit into this mess? Unions, unions, unions.  Richard Trumpka is the top Devil Dog at the AFL/CIO. He called the strike. He called the strike knowing that it would kill the company. In an interview last year, Trumpka bragged: “I’m at the White House a couple times a week. Two, three times a week. I have conversations everyday with someone in the White House or in the administration. Everyday.”  Trumpka most recently bragged that Obama will deliver on his promise to do away with secret balloting in union organizing efforts.  Yep, Trumpka promises to prevail on Obama to wipe out prospective union members right to secret ballot.

Well, well, well, as this is written news is coming out that the brand Twinky and a slew of its cousins hawked by Hostess, just might survive. But the union jobs will be gone.. AdiosUSA, Olah Mexico.

Part 2) Deer Friends, while some of the CT community bitch and moans about criticism of Obama, we still do not know which failure(s) of the State Department and sundry other facets of the Obama administration caused the deaths of our American heroes in Benghazi more than 60 days ago. Even though we know for certain that Obama’s managers had full knowledge of the threat yet they still refused to protect or even rescue the Bengasi four. We have permitted ourselves to lose focus on the abomination that is the Obama foreign policy.