2021 October

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

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

Submit a post  Contact Us
[Carbon Dioxide Emissions] Who is the largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions on Big Pine Key? Big Pine Key used to be a superb carbon sink, an area where carbon is stored in the ground and in vegetation. No more, half the mangroves were destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017. They were a substantial carbon storage area along with the acres of other trees killed in the storm. But Big Pine Key has lost tens of thousands of uplands trees as well since 2015.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service in the role of Key Deer Refuge has been the largest releaser of carbon dioxide. Large releases of CO2 occurred during the 2019 and 2020 burns. The areas burned on the north end of Big Pine Key have not only completely change the landscape and ecology of these areas. They have also reduced the number living trees by more than half. More than 130 acres of endangered pine rockland habitat, already severely impacted by Hurricane Irma has been cleared. Tens of thousands of native trees have been ground up into debris by giant forestry mulchers, all emitting vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.Enough land has been cleared to build 14 Big Pine Shopping Centers. Why?
[Coach Jon Gruden Quits] Raiders coach resigns after homophobic and misogynistic emails. In emails detailed by The New York Times, Raiders Coach Jon Gruden casually used misogynistic and homophobic language to disparage people even when three quarters of the players are Black! Video
There’s no such thing as a grouchy old person. The truth is, once you get old, you stop being polite and start being honest.
Blood donor Halloween shirts are back this month plus $20 eGift cards.  Click a link below to sign-up to donate blood next week.
Sunday, Oct 17 – 8:30am-12:30pm at the Vineyard Church
Monday, October 18 – 12:00pm-5:00pm at Bealls
I think restaurants with large menus don’t do everything very well. How can they keep all those different fresh ingredients fresh? Especially in a resort with its boom or bust customers.

USPS is improving service by raising prices and further slowing down delivery. I don’t know how their thinking goes, but slower is not better! Video

[Sing along with Steve and Eydie and Go to Heaven] Link

Hallelujah, sing a song. Hallelujah, we’ll follow along. With a simple word, a single word. We bless the sky, the tree, the bird. And we fill our heart with joy, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, sounds of love.Hallelujah, the sunshine above. Hallelujah, the bells will go ringin’. And dingin’ from dawn till night, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, day by day. Hallelujah, don’t throw it away. Fly and spread your wings, have a try. Be free again like a butterfly. Come along and sing with me, Hallelujah. Hallelujah, hand in hand. Hallelujah, all over the land. Hallelujah, let’s try from the start. And sing it with all our heart, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, sounds of love. Hallelujah, the sunshine above. Hallelujah, the bells will go ringin’. And dingin’ from dawn till night, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, hand in hand. Hallelujah, all over the land. Hallelujah, let’s try from the start. And sing it with all our heart, Hallelujah.
Hallelujah, sing a song. Hallelujah, we’ll follow along. Hallelujah, the bells will go ringin’. And dingin’ from dawn till night, Hallelujah


[Solitaire] Take some time to play with yourself. Link

Everybody’s suing everybody for fun and profit. Why don’t we read about the suer’s legs being broken or their lawyers taken “fishing”? Enough of the “It’s not my fault, it’s yours, so pay me” BS.
[Why Do We See Ghosts] Are ghouls real? That depends. Current science can’t prove that there are spirits walking through walls or screaming below floorboards. Our spooky sightings, however, have certainly felt real. Humans have been spotting specters for as long as we’ve been around, and to some degree we can explain why. These seven mental and physical factors can account for almost any creepy occurrence—including some famous ones ripe for debunking—and help to make sense of our perpetual urge to sleep with the night light on. Link


Cuban migrants arrived at Smathers Beach on Oct. 10. A Key West resident captured the scene. Video

Old people like classical music and lemon-flavored sweets and Reader’s Digest


Imagine the stink belowdecks on Noah’s Ark!

I’ve been watching Court TV since the Derek Chauvin/Pink Floyd trial. I’m almost ready to pass the Bar exam, but the most notable thing I’ve observed is that most of the trial lawyers, no matter how well coiffed or dressed, have bald spots.

National Wildlife Refuge Week has finally arrived!  Tuesday is kayaking, Friday is bird watching and sunset viewing, Saturday is the plant give away and Sunday is clean up day.  We look forward to seeing you at least one event! Link

[The Great Pumpkin] It was a big day in the St. Croix River Valley on Saturday, as hundreds of people gathered for the Stillwater Harvest Fest to see a variety of pumpkins — different shapes, colors and sizes — compete against each other, the most important ranking being weight. A crowd formed around the pumpkin-weighing area in downtown Stillwater, and laughter, cheers and joy echoed from each of the 40-plus giant pumpkins. In 2020,  producer, Bev Anderson, unveiled her pumpkin, nicknamed Tiger Kitten, inspired by North America and Minnesota’s 2020 record pumpkin The King of the Tigers, which weighed 2,350 pounds. Link
[Ship Shiping] This is a ship shipper. Have you seen this ship, it’s a shipping ship. Right now its shipping ships, so it’s a ship shipping ship, but t he ships that the ship is shipping are also shipping ships. So it’s really a shipping ship shipping shipping ships ships. You know what I mean?

[Cat Smell] Do your cat have any smell at all? I’m not talking about their sand box but their fur. Mine doesn’t have any smell at all. My last cat had a nice, faint animal smell, but this one doesn’t have any. It’s solid grey, maybe grey cats don’t smell?

I should be ashamed of my behavior. Let’s be clear, I’m not, but I should be!
[Rattlesnake or Plant?] When we first moved to the keys we lived in a Fred Balland conch house on Naples Road, up by the Blue Hole. Occasionally when walking thru the woods I would smell this pungent sent that I was informed by locals was a rattlesnake! This was back in the early’80 when the snakes were plentiful on BPK.
After some studies I found out that there is a plant called a White Stopper found in S. Florida and the Keys which has a rather musky sent often falsely identified as either a rattlesnake, a Pygmy rattlesnake, or a copperhead snake (Copperheads aren’t usually found in the Keys). White Stopper

Anti Vaxxers
should have to pay the entirety of their medical care. Why should we pay? There is a cure! If they want to continue to spread the virus, let them pay for their ignorance.

[Movies] Dramas are always filmed darkly. Everything is in the dark except for the flash of teeth, cheeks or eyes.  My living room is very bright, and the movies are filmed to be very dark. It’s hard to figure out what is happening on screen because it’s so hard to see. No one lives in the dark like these movies portray. Doesn’t anyone ever turn on a light? Does no Sun ever enter these houses? Does the whole movie happen at night?


Does anyone even think we will go to war to protect Taiwan? I know the outcome—nuclear winter and zombies.

[“Reader’s Digest predates Facebook”] Reader’s Digest surely was the predecessor to the Internet. If you saw it there it was gospel. I did enjoy how the poster was anti-vax yet believes something published in Reader’s Digest will protect them. Hey, if it works for you, I say go for it. As long as you don’t take up a hospital bed someone really needs.
[YouTubeTV] I’m actively searching for another live tv stream as I can’t bear to hear the Glockenspiel jingle in the placeholder slot where they are missing a commercial advertiser. I can’t stand that jingle. It sounds like a creepy horror film background.
[America Is Running Out of Everything] The global supply chain is slowing down at the very moment when Americans are demanding that it go into overdrive. I visited CVS last week to pick up some at-home COVID-19 tests. They’d been sold out for a week, an employee told me. I asked about paper towels. “We’re out of those too,” he said. “Try Walgreens.” I drove to a Walgreens that had paper towels. But when I asked a pharmacist to fill some very common prescriptions, he told me the store had run out. “Try the Target up the road,” he suggested. Target’s pharmacy had the meds, but its front area was alarmingly barren, like the canned-food section of a grocery store one hour before a hurricane makes landfall. Link
[Moonshine] Whoda thunkit?  Kentucky recognizes Kentucky Mist Moonshine as the US Senate Small Business of the Week! Kentucky Mist Moonshine is a family business nearly a century in the making. In the 1920s, during Prohibition, Little Henry Holbrook started distilling and bootlegging corn liquor in the Appalachian Mountains. Despite a 17-year stint in a federal penitentiary, Henry continued bootlegging moonshine until he passed away in the 1980s. The times they are a’changin’. Link

[Mountain Bodies] There are about 200 dead frozen bodies on Mount Everest. Many of which you must pass to get to the summit. Some are used as waypoints.

[Captain Doom and Gloom] People wonder why planet earth is falling apart when the most important things are the media, advertising, entertainment, actors, politicians, tourism, manufacturing, religions, overpopulating and war, among many other useless things that waste our natural resources. No wonder the smart ones are heading for the hills!
[1950s remembered]
Ike was in the White House
In that land where we were born
Where navels were for oranges
And Peyton Place was porn.We learned to drive in drivers-ed
Washed our hair at dawn
We spread our crinolines to dry
In circles, on the lawn.

We longed for love and romance
And waited for our prince
And Eddie Fisher married Liz
And no one’s seen him since. Link

Real fans!

[Columbus Day 1492] On Thursday October 11, the night of all nights of American discovery the little flotilla was running through big, rolling seas breaking white in the bright moonlight. They were 33 days out of sight of land after sailing from Gomera, Canary Islands – 40 men and boys in the ship Santa Maria, 26 in the caravel Pinta, and 24 in the caravel Nina – and they were filled with anticipation, for signs of land had been increasing. Sticks were spotted floating in the water.  The Admiral (Columbus) says here that “those signs were from the west where I hope in that mighty God in whose hands are all victories that very soon, He will give us land”. On that morning he says that he “saw a white bird which is called a tropic bird and which does not usually sleep at sea”.

After nearly two months, Columbus was near his goal.

The course was W.S.W., and there was more sea than there had been during the whole of the voyage. They saw sand-pipers, and a green reed near the ship. Those of the caravel Pinta saw a cane and a pole, and they took up another small pole which appeared to have been worked with iron; also another bit of cane, a land-plant, and a small board. The crew of the caravel Niña also saw signs of land, and a small branch covered with berries. Everyone breathed afresh and rejoiced at these signs. The run until sunset was 27 leagues.

After sunset the Admiral steered on his former course to the west. They made about 12 miles each hour and, until two hours after midnight, made about 90 miles, which is twenty-two leagues and a half. And because the caravel Pinta was a better sailer and went ahead of the Admiral it found land and made the signals that the Admiral had ordered. A sailor named Rodrigo de Triana saw this land first, although the Admiral, at the tenth hour of the night, while he was on the stern castle, saw a light, although it was something so faint that he did not wish to affirm that it was land – a light far ahead – “a dim thing.”  — {was that famous light a figment of imagination, wishful thinking or the distant glow of torchwood as Lucayan Indians, like modern Bahamians still do, fished and crabbed with lights by night}.

At two hours after midnight, the land appeared, from which they were two leagues … Friday (October 12, 1492).  The vessels were hove to, waiting for daylight; and on that Friday they arrived at a small island, called, in the language of the Indians, Guanahani. Presently they saw naked people. The Admiral went on shore in the armed boat.  Having landed, they saw trees very green, and much water, and fruits of diverse kinds. the declarations that are required, as is now largely set forth in the testimonies which were then made in writing.”

The first anchorage in the new World was likely on the southwest corner of Samana Cay where the reef opens.  The fleet rounded the west end of the island to reach it as noted in Columbus logs.  “This island is quite large and very flat and with very green trees and many waters and a very large lake in the center, without any mountains.  Then they saw naked people, and the Admiral went ashore in the small armed boat … set upon shore, they saw very green trees and many waters and fruits of various kinds”.  Columbus named this new found land San Salvador (Holy Savior).

Columbus wrote “The people gathered at the beach were all young, under 30, including a girl. They were a handsome and sturdy people with the widest foreheads and heads ever seen (the result of the Lucayan custom of head binding).  They were decorated, some a little, some a lot in black, white and red paint, and all were “naked as their mother bore them.”

The word ‘Indian’ came to be used because Christopher Columbus believed that he had reached the shores of South Asia (‘Indies’ in 15th century Spanish). Convinced he was correct, Columbus fostered the use of the term “Indios” (originally, person from the Indus valley) to refer to the peoples of the so-called New World.

The now un-inhabited Samana Cay fits the navigational requirement.  Site exploration by National Geographic archeological team uncovered ample evidence of long-ago inhabitants including palmetto ware and Zemi idols (Lucayan religious deity)- (Palmetto Ware (also known as Palmettan Ostionoid) is the shell-tempered ceramic made by the Lucayan Indians, the indigenous people of the Bahamas archipelago).  Columbus navigational notes and the island topography exactly match Columbus’ diary description. “The island is quite large and very flat with very green trees and a very large lake in the center (Laguna en medio) without any mountains.”