2023 September

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The un-social media since 2002 with 60,000 followers.
Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage pick-up days,
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[Waterspout] There was a terrific waterspout this morning a little after dawn in the southeast direction or so of Big Pine Key. I don’t see too many waterspouts any more. I used to see a couple a year and many more ‘starter’ waterspouts that don’t make it down.

“There’s a lot of angst over the recently revealed proposed increase in the Monroe County budget for 2024. The BOCC and staff are out of touch with what most residents want.  The BOCC seem to pre-judge their decisions and act for their own interests resulting in residents no longer speaking up. The significant impact on rent increases for the local work force, unprotected by homestead exemptions, has been ignored.  The proposed budget is excessive, has many studies, projects and purchases that are not needed at this time. It needs to be reduced to a 9% maximum increase. The budget planners have to find ways to cut this budget and bring it into reality with what residents will accept and can afford. Residents are already struggling to deal with sharply increased rates for wind and flood insurance.  Within political and social groups residents are discussing how to redirect the BOCC attention to affect a more affordable budget.  Maybe ask political fund contributors to withhold all 2024 campaign donations to the current BOCC who vote for this $667M budget?  Maybe follow the rules of the political parties of FL and not endorse current BOCC for re-election next year? The upcoming budget vote will be important in determining the 2024 BOCC election outcome.”
The world’s first 3D-printed salmon is hitting store shelves, and it looks kind of good. This fish ‘filet’ is made from mycoprotein and comes with a European dance soundtrack. Link
[Guns] No one on this rock needs a firearm except a game warden or someone in the wilderness. No handgun can match a hunting grade rifle against a wild animal. The bad guys will always have weapons to harm their victims. If all weapons of any sort were gone, what would replace the military industrial complex?

Are superstar athletes good for the economy? The world’s best athletes make us happier. It’s harder to tell if they make us richer. Link
[Tipping] Assuming the service has been acceptable, if my waiter/waitress puts my change on the table or counter and says thank you, they get 20%, but if I am asked “do you need any change” (like they will help me to not toss it in the canal by keeping it themselves) the tip goes down to 15%.
[Patriot’s Day Ceremony] Key Largo School conducted an inspirational and superbly orchestrated Patriot’s Day Ceremony in recognition of our nation’s September 11th tragedy. The students were majestic and magnificent in their personalized presentations of the meaning and understanding they have of this event.
The Key Largo School Band, under the direction of Band Director Susan Bazin, played their instruments brilliantly. They performed with beauty and grace, for the enjoyment of all those assembled for this remembrance. The Safety Patrol’s elegant appearance energized the ceremony with their awe-inspiring singing of the National Anthem, while their flag raising detail raised the American flag.
Sheriff’s Department Deputies, Fire Fighters, EMT’s, Paramedics, First Responders, Teachers and Parents; all dignified this prestigious ceremony via their distinguished presence and exhilarating contribution.
Principal Darren Pais, along with his accomplished and gifted administrative staff and extraordinary teachers, produced a powerful, inspirational and positive experience for our students and community. Thank you so very, very much.
~Sincerely, John Donnelly
[Artificial Intelligence] I don’t know about you, but this AI crap scares the hell out of me.

[Ripple] I knew it!

[Algorithms] As long as you have people in power that rely on algorithms to rule their actions and thoughts, you have a world you can control and steer to your desires, again, go back to the first thing your IT teacher taught you, “Always remember that computers are a slave to this acronym, GI-GO (garbage in, garbage out).”

[Ring of Fire] On October 14, the moon will cruise between Earth and the sun during an annular solar eclipse, casting an immense shadow on our planet. It will be a sight to behold.

In July, the median price of a Manhattan apartment hit a record $4.4 thousand a month. All that for just 740 square feet on average? No wonder the city never sleeps.
[The Big Pine Key Hydrology Project Is A Big Mess] This project which was supposed to restore 100 acres of wetland is in no way a restoration. It is however a substantial emitter of greenhouse gases. The CO2 from the seven acres of native vegetation cleared is slowly being released back into the atmosphere as the mound of cleared trees decomposes. But wait, there are the thousands of hours of bobcat, backhoe, front end loader and excavators working on a project that is likely to have a negative environmental outcome. This, all the while emitting more greenhouse gases over many months.
The project also involves clearing an acre of wetlands to fill them in with non-native rock trucked in from distant locations. The project also involves removing a hundred yards of native soil that will also decompose if it is left out in the sun.
The project was not conceived very well. The final insult to the environment and one of the biggest CO2 producing aspects of the project is that all the fill removed from the project is being trucked to Key Largo at great expense. Trucking the fill 65 miles on an already overcrowded US1 is just such a tremendous waste of money. The fill should have been used locally, to raise roads, like Watson Blvd. or Key Deer Blvd which will soon have high tide moving over them.
But then again, this entire project was a waste of money. The $1,000,000 could have been used to raise the entire Watson Blvd over a foot and prevent the tidal floods which will be occurring in the near future. There would have been money left over for other worthwhile projects.
[Grammar Rule: I before E except…] When efficiently exploring eerie, enigmatic forests during their leisurely, exhilarating hike, they eagerly anticipated encountering elusive wildlife, envisioning encountering elusive creatures like foxes or birds.
[Full Moon Kayaking] The Florida Keys Wildlife Society is gearing up for another season of Full Moon Kayak events.  We want some more guides so if you’ll be available for at least 3 of the following dates, we’d love to train you.  Our 2023-24 season consists of:  Oct. 26th, 5:15-7:15 p.m.; Nov. 26th 4:00-6:00; Dec. 18 (sunset tour) 4:00-6:00; Jan. 24 4:30-6:30; Feb. 23 4:45-6:45; Mar. 24 6:00-8:00; Apr. 23 6:30-8:30; May 22 6:45-8:45.  Guides will have 2 1 hour training periods, the first held at the Old Wooden Bridge Marina/Resort for land training with an optional kayak ride so you can get an idea of the route and conditions.  The second will be held in a canal on Big Pine for learning to use the safety gear.  Dates have not yet been set for either session, but they will be sometime the first half of October.  Everyone 18 or older is welcome to volunteer.  All gear is supplied by our sponsor, Big Pine Kayak Adventures.  These are fundraising events with 100% of the proceeds going to our County’s 4 wildlife refuges.  To sign up or just get more information, please email
[Merkel Cell Carcinoma] Why the rare skin cancer that killed Jimmy Buffett may become more common. There’s growing evidence that global warming’s heat and influence over UV light contributes to skin cancer diagnoses. Link

Well, many of you have been wondering what I’ve been doing since I’ve retired. Well, I’ve started a new business. I was going to call it The Tom Sawyer Hustle.

It took us 3 ½ hours to get from Miami Airport to Homestead. We were actually having a good time until then.
[Wanted Used Scaffolding] I’m currently in search of used scaffolding equipment, and I’m open to finding it anywhere along the range from Mile Marker 0 to Mile Marker 90. If you have any available or know of any leads within this stretch, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Your assistance in locating suitable scaffolding would be greatly appreciated. (305) 731-6910 Eric
Do people who run in marathons know they don’t have to?

Does anyone know what this floating sensor does? It is just off the Looe Key marker.
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The proposed County budget is full of big expense items based on poor science and opinion.  The flooding issues and the massive studies and experimental engineering solutions are a waste of taxpayers’ money.  Some roads need to be raised, some areas were developed using poor judgement — that’s it.  I don’t think there is a climate emergency, it’s all political hype.  Why are the commissioners insisting on spending massive amounts of money for sea level rise when it’s not proven to me that we actually have a problem?  Show me the proof sea level rise is a big problem.  Read this: Link  not this: Link

[Spray-on Duct Tape] The answer to all of life’s mysteries and the universe in just one can.

[No Place Like Home] Never, ever will I complain of Key West traffic or law enforcement.  Spending 2 weeks in Rome was crazy!  Traffic was out of control. Pedestrian crosswalks, don’t give a darn. Historic. Heck. yeah, dirty. Garbage on every street. Trying to get something done, Keys time x 100. It’s cheaper to buy beer (Peronis) for $2 than water at $2.50.  Traveling different cities and needing an EMT? You’re gonna pass before help arrives.  USA need emergency services, just call 911.  In Italy — your doomed!
[?] Hello, I found one of your dad’s flasks up here in Skyvalley, GA. I’m a freshwater conch based out of Big Pine Key, Port Pine Heights. My family owns the local ice cream truck in Key West called Tropical Vibes Cones & Bowls. The flask I found looks to be one of the earlier dated flask. It’s got a dark purple hue to it, something I’ve never seen in a glass color. I’d like to return it to you. I told the antique shop when I bought it that I’d be bringing it back home where it belongs; and then I found this website. I won’t be home for another month or so, but I’d like to personally hand deliver the flask to you. Thanks for your time and I hope your get this message.
[The News] It’s getting worse. The web displays the news about the most useless lowlifes and demented people and only bits of the news is really important to our lives. The publication industry is causing most of the problems on this rock. Maybe my dog is right about how he regards the newspaper, his computer and TV.
[How Hollywood Insures Its Biggest Stunts] When Tom Cruise drives off a cliff, insurance companies are standing by in case something goes wrong. On the set of Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, somebody made the mistake of telling Tom Cruise he couldn’t jump off the Burj Khalifa, a stunt Cruise had been dreaming about for 15 years. So the actor made the obvious choice. He fired the insurance company and found another one willing to assume the risk.Once new insurance was secured, Cruise, who has long been famous for trying ever more dangerous stunts as the franchise evolved, set about rehearsing the scene, in which agent Ethan Hunt hangs, runs, and jumps over the side of the world’s tallest building. He nailed it on the second try. “We all kind of looked at each other and were like, ‘Well, that’s why he’s Tom Cruise.’ We shot it the next day,” said Skydance Production CEO David Ellison after the film came out. “It was spectacular.”
From Marvel movies to the Mission: Impossible series, audiences love watching stunts. But it’s a Hollywood reality that they require insurance, which limits the risks actors and directors take on set and forces studios to weigh costs and safety against producing the most epic blockbusters possible. It’s a balancing act as tricky as the stunts themselves.
The narrator says these EV fires are “rare”.  I wonder how he arrived at that? Lithium battery fires cause many deaths.  In China over 19,000 EV fires were reported. Video
[Falling] In 1966, an SR-71 Blackbird disintegrated at 78,000 feet. The pilot’s first thought was, “No one could live through what just happened. Therefore, I must be dead.” Watch as The History Guy describes falling from 15 miles high. Video
The current Coconut Telegraph was published on 9/19/23 at 9:57 am.