2013 October

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


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Our vacation picture. We packed up the car, filled up the tank, had neighbors watch our pets and headed down from Big Pine Key. We drove through the Torches and finally arrived at our destination. We found a tourist bar on Ramrod Key and decided to stop because, after all, we were tourists on vacation. We watched this banjo player named Terry Cassidy. He’s not bad, but not as good as the musicians on Big Pine. On the way out, it was a long drive home, my wife took this picture. She said we shouldn’t go on vacation anymore because nothing beats the sunsets on Big Pine. I guess my planned vacation to go over the bridge has been dashed. (Ed: Terry Cassidy has lived on Big Pine Key for over thirty years so you can like him now. ha. P.S. Great photo.)


beret9[“John Donnelly Critic”]  Serving with Marines from several nations during combat operations, John Donnelly shared in their sacrifices.  As a token of appreciation and in remembrance of their enduring bond, John Donnelly was presented with one of their Berets.

Marines from this nation wore Berets that were Green in color. The critics of Mr. Donnelly are incorrect. There are Marines who wear Green Berets.

The beret worn by John Donnelly in the picture that has caused a poster to strike out against him, is the “Marine Green Beret” that was awarded to him. It clearly displays the Marine Corps Emblem he affixed upon the appropriate insert, for all to see.

You are entitled to hate and rage at John Donnelly if you so desire. However, you are not entitled to demand that he live his life in accordance to your requirements and desires.

The “Green Beret” given to Mr. Donnelly was bought and paid for by the  sacrifices of the Marines that he fought and bled with. It is his beret to wear whenever and wherever he so desires.

I stand by my distaste for anonymous assaults upon the character of another, particularly when the detractors base their arguments on faulty and incomplete information. Rushing to judgement, with ones harsh words and threats, is not the mark of a sound mind. I maintain that there is an element of cowardliness behind defaming an individual in secret. There are laws against such behavior.

When posters personally attack another individual, I believe that they should be required to identify themselves. Mud-slinging is a particularly harmful activity when it is directed at a person for ‘no just cause’.

For some, no explanation will put their mind at ease. Fault finding, contempt and anger are the fuels that sustain their lives. For others, no explanation is necessary.  

At last year’s Marine Corps Birthday Celebration a United States Army General and Sergeant Major congratulated Mr. Donnelly for his outstanding management of the event. They asked to ‘pose’ for a picture with Mr. Donnelly, while he wore his “Marine Green Beret”.

It’s my sincerest hope that the poster unhappy with John Donnelly will reconsider their decision. Maybe they will attend the celebration on November 10 and see for themselves the makings of this man? Perhaps after viewing the stimulating ceremony, like the general and sergeant major before them, they will ask to ‘pose’ for a picture with Mr. Donnelly.

Through the 40 plus years that I’ve gotten to know John Donnelly, I’ve witnessed  an individual who doesn’t need hats, emblems nor any other attire to affirm his integrity and the enormity of his character.



[Flea Market Is Open] Deer Ed, I understand that living here on an island your calendar might be a day off now and then.

This time your calendar is working on being a month off. The Big Pine Flea Market is open. The ad here says it will be open October 1st. Surprise, Surprise.  It’s the middle of October. The Flea Market is now open every Saturday and Sunday 8 to 2. Come on in, we will get you a calendar. (Oh, oh, I changed the ad on last Friday’s CT but forgot to change it on my master CT form. I’ll do it now. Sorry!)

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[Sewers] How do I flush my grinder pump without power? Oh, in the canal, again. Huh? No? Hold it?

nira tocco realtor 9.12

[Powdery Drywall] I have drywall that got wet and turned powery. When I try to paint over the repair I made to it, the powder just clings to the roller. Is there anything I can spray on the powdery drywall that will seal it so that I may paint it with a roller and latex paint? I’m not looking for advice on how to replace the drywall just on how to paint it without clogging the roller. No guessing please.

an_heart sm

Women who believe the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach are aiming too high!

The insurance companies control the government!


Larry-Murray00[School Superintendent Sneaky Guy] On Sunday, October 6, 2013, I filed a complaint with the Inspector General’s Office of the State Department of Education.  The subject of the complaint is the procedure whereby Ms. Christina McPherson, Director of Assessment & Accountability and principal at Poinciana School was given a substantial salary increase.  Attached is a copy of the complaint.  

  As you know, when I recently filed suit against the School District for failing to comply with three Public Records Requests, two PRR’sconcerned the salary and supplements, if any, that Ms. McPherson was receiving.  After I received the documents from the District, someone in the media asked if I had found a “smoking gun”.  My initial response was “No”, though that proved to be premature.  

  Because of information provided to me by several sources, I went back to the School Board meeting, the minutes and video, of August 15, 2013.  That was the meeting at which Superintendent Porter announced that he was asking Ms. McPherson to take on the additional responsibility of being principal at Poinciana School.  I was curious as to what was said regarding her salary and the complaint outlines what I found.

  When I discovered that Ms. McPherson might have inappropriately, perhaps illegally, been given a substantial salary increase after Superintendent Porter told the Board that he would not be doing that, I assessed my options as how best to address the issue.

Among other things I considered was whether some sort of favoritism was involved.  Did anyone else receive a salary increase without the knowledge or approval of the Board?  In acting as he did, was Superintendent Porter guilty of a criminal act?  Because of these questions and others, I thought that a thorough investigation was called for and that it would be best for that investigation to be conducted by someone or an agency outside of Monroe County.  Thus I filed my complaint with the Department of Education in Tallahassee.  ~Dr. Larry Murray



[“Don’t understand this fear of corporations”] Corporations have no one to answer to if they cross you. At least with the government if it crosses you you can vote — not so with corporations. They only exist to get as much money from you as possible. 

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[Shutdown] It’s a shame about the WWII Memorial and the Panda Cam, but at least the Congressional Gym is still open! 

[Boat-In to Oppose Shutdown] Good luck to the hundreds of boaters in Key Largo who will go out and protest the closing of Fla. bay. The bay belongs to the people, not some bureaucrat who is gracious enough to allow the people to use it when they feel like it. the Bay belonged to the people long before the Feds sunk their claws into it and it still belongs to the people. If they all get arrested for trespassing and plead not guilty, please call me as a juror.



[“Which One’s Pink?] “Hey you” The Wall tells the story of Pink, an alienated young rock star who is retreating from society and isolating himself. In “Hey You”, Pink realizes the mistake he made in shunning society, and attempts to regain contact with the outside world. However, he cannot see or hear beyond the wall. Pink’s call becomes more and more desperate as he begins to realize there is no escape.

“Together we stand, divided we fall” ~Pink Floyd 

[Plastic] BPA, found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, has been connected to breast cancer.  It can be found in the linings of metal food cans; plastic bottles; bicycle helmets;eyeglasses and medical equipment,etc. Knowledge is power.

Southernmost Coconut Castaway’s Monthly “Jump Up” social & to benefit the Kevin Piper, Jr. Memorial Fund to raise awareness and funds to help purchase a hyperbaric chamber for the Keys.

Saturday, October 12 from Noon – 9:00 p.m. at the Looe Key Tiki Bar, Ramrod Key. Free live music scheduled: Eric Stone Trio, Ericson Holt Band, Key West Chris Rehm, Captain Josh, Roger Jokela,  &  Captain Ron. Pig roast, beer specials, drawings, giveaways, raffles, prizes, silent auctions. All proceeds go to the Kevin Piper, Jr. Memorial Fund to have a hyperbaric chamber in the Keys. Everyone is welcome to attend! Events

melt9[NSA Data Center Failure] Chronic electrical surges at the massive new data-storage facility central to the National Security Agency’s spying operation have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery and delayed the center’s opening for a year. There have been 10 meltdowns in the past 13 months that have prevented the NSA from using computers at its new Utah data-storage center, slated to be the spy agency’s largest. One project official described the electrical troubles—so-called arc fault failures—as “a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box.” These failures create fiery explosions, melt metal and cause circuits to fail. The causes remain under investigation, and there is disagreement whether proposed fixes will work.  The data center spans more than one-million square feet, with construction costs pegged at  $1.4 billion—not counting the Cray supercomputers that will reside there.

They should have hired Google engineers instead.

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signal beam


Airport WiFi Access Chart – Airfarewatchdog domestic & international. Link

If the maxi skirt ever comes back into style, and you know it will,  Fox News will go out of business.


[Shutdown] Due to the situation in Washington, all USCG Auxiliary activities are on hold until further notice.


[The ‘Right’ Vacation] I enjoy reading F.T.R’s posts describing his vacation, while at the same time being well aware some may not, however I certainly hope that I would possess enough clairvoyance to recognize this simple fact and realize that because I hold certain opinions has nothing to do with the opinions of others.

dole9[“Welfare recipients never contributed one cent”] I have worked for the last 40 years and contributed heavily to the system. When my employer suddenly went bankrupt, I got public assistance – what you call welfare – for 4 months until my next job.  How dare you!  Keep your uninformed-bigoted-ignorant-generalization-stereotyping to yourself. 
[“If I don’t pay taxes, I go to jail”] Just start a church or not for profit charity and live like those leeches do, with free everything and air heads serving you. 

sprite9[Hangover Cure!] If you’re searching for the magical elixir to cure a hangover, Chinese researchers may have found it. The solution: lemon-lime flavored soda Sprite. But if you prefer to skip the sweet stuff, soda water is a good alternative, findings showed.

Some of the adverse effects of alcohol are thought to be caused not by the alcohol itself but by the process of the body trying to break down the alcohol.

After drinking, the body goes through two stages of a metabolic process to break down ethanol. First the liver metabolizes it into acetaldehyde by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and then into acetate by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Unlike acetaldehyde, acetate is considered harmless and may even be responsible for some of the positive health benefits of alcohol consumption. But exposing the body to acetaldehyde actually causes the symptoms of a hangover, including nausea and a pounding headache.

To see what beverages could help the body better metabolize alcohol, researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou analyzed 57 different drinks, including herbal infusions, teas, and carbonated beverages. The team measured their effects on ADH and ALDH, finding that each drink had a different effect.

Interestingly, some herbal teas actually slowed down the process, prolonging a hangover. But the best beverages were Xue bi, the Chinese version of Sprite, as well as soda water, which were found to speed the enzyme’s process, shortening the body’s exposure to ALDH. Still, before guzzling Sprite or soda water after a few too many, the team said that more research is needed to further support the evidence.

The results, announced October 7, were published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Food and Function. Link



Dolphins are really just gay sharks.

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Radio Shack Ad pixlr9.16.13

[Waterspout Safety] Those waterspout guys could have gotten brain damaged and then I, as a taxpayer, would end up having to pay for their care.  They should have to wear helmets.

spear fish snorkle


[Lionfish Invasion] Let’s open up all areas to kill lionfish on sight anywhere, anyplace, anytime including the coveted NOAA SPAs. The only way to reduce their impact is to kill as many as we can. Anything less, like rodeos and derbys are a waste of time and resources.

[Type] How come the capital I (i) and lower case l (L) are the same on my computer?



[On the Road Again] I like FTR’s travelogue and hopes he keeps them coming and has a great vacation.

[Local Author] Coming soon from DonnaInk Publications is a series of action/adventure novels penned by author BP Pryor featuring Big Pine Key and the surrounding area. There is no search window on the site. Link


[TSA Security Breach] A 9-year-old boy evaded airport security and stowed away on a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas.

And me, I’ve got to take my belt off or they won’t let me board!


Today in 1967, guerrilla leader “Che” Guevara was executed for attempting to lead revolutionaries in Bolivia. 

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[Grinder] A couple of weeks ago someone sent in an awesome suggestion using a dry toilet and heavy duty garbage bags with the drawstring.  Well, I tried it. It took about two weeks to fill (including the annual family chilli cook off) and I pulled the bag out, tied it tight and took it to FKAA. They said they weren’t ready for my “stuff” so I shipped it to Washington D C (freight collect). It hasn’t been returned yet.  So far, so good!

[Trailer Trash] Having a low paying job is no excuse for being a slob.


United Way annual meeting and workplace campaign kick-off is Thursday, October 10th at Hawks Cay Resort 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. $10 donation requested. Cash bar & light hors d’oeuvres.

If we haven’t heard from you, please RSVP today! Events

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[Pearl Jam] Interview from NPR with Pearl Jam. Especially enriching is Eddie Veder discussing the influence of Pink Floyd’s “Quadraphenia” in his life. Link 

[More School Problems Exposed] Monroe County Schools watchdog Larry Murray has filed a complaint with the Inspector General’s Office of the state Department of Education, over an administrator receiving a $9,950 raise. The complaint states that dur­ing a personnel shuffle on Aug. 15, Superintendent Mark Porter, without a vote from the School Board, raised the pay of administrator Christina McPherson after she took on dou­ble-duty as principal of Poinciana Elementary.

coconuts lounge and liquor 9.12
[Flexible Screens] Samsung Electronics and LG Display have developed prototype flexible displays that can be gently bent while continuing to show images. The displays are the latest in a line of research projects from major display makers that point to growing interest in screens that can be bent, curved or flexed. Video 

kate upton groove


[Order Hookers Online] The lack of suitable females in the Keys has forced me to check out other means of gratification. I recently discovered Check it out- for around $1000 a month or less, you can hook up with one of these cuties on a regular basis. No nagging, no divorce lawyers, just a good time-and it is legal. Now I can pass on those nasty one night stands with Jersey girls. Link 

[NSA Has the Internet Rigged] The NSA places secret servers, code named Quantum, at key places on the internet backbone. These servers intercept requests for legitimate websites and respond before the legitimate server can reply. The Quantum server’s response redirects the target’s browser to an NSA-controlled web server that sends the browser malware. Link

bette davis[Who Said What] The Who,Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd, The Who, whatever … Katherine Hepburn did not say, “Getting old ain’t for sissies.” It was Bette Davis. So there! 
[“Don’t understand this fear of corporations”] Excuse me, splane Lucy! Lets just use Halliburton Inc for an example okay? 

[Cancelled] Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has cancelled the Advisory Council meeting in Islamorada, FL on October 15th due to the lapse in appropriations and federal shutdown.  When the shutdown has ended, I will work with Advisory Council Chair Ken Nedimyer to reschedule the meeting.   I apologize for any inconvenience and request providing your constituents and colleagues with this update.

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[Captain Doom and Gloom] Every day some poster knocks FTR with belittling remarks like a six year old, but the poster never posts anything worth reading on his/her own. Why?

Am I wrong, but years ago, didn’t you have to pay back Welfare? Who screwed this up? 



religion politics zone

The President of the United states will not openly say he wants one trillion dollars in the debt ceiling hike. That means he wants one trillion more than we have. He wants to borrow more money. When does it stop ? 17 trillion – 18 trillion – shit it’s just paper right ? No it’s our future and our country’s future that he’s pissing away.

Should our guys in congress give him a blank check?

I know we can pay our bills without the hike. Most americans just see what Obama wants them to see – and that is not the real way things are. He will put a hurt on people just like he is doing with the National Park Service.

It’s stupid and I ain’t buying it.

Stop spending money we don’t have and stop the government now. Stop ! Stop ! Stop ! Don’t give in to the tantrums of our commander in Chief and take away his credit card now!

A poster on the CT wrote “Lets think, just for a moment how screwed up the ACA has to be. Team Obama had nearly 4 years to put it together, and they still cant make it work”.

Its not like they showboated in front of a “Mission Accomplished” sign a decade before a war was over. That would be the definition of screwed up.


[Shutdown] Look, regardless of your affiliation or your stance on politics the simple true fact is that the leader of this nation has allowed this country to go bankrupt. No if’s and’s or but’s our leader has to have the ability to run this nation despite the hurdles and obstacles facing him. If he were the ceo of General Electric he would have been fired by now.

[No Surplus] f anyone cares to make even the most minimal amount of research one can easily ascertain that the Clinton-Gore budget illusionary surplus was arrived at by simply elementary shifting accounts mixed with a quick wink of the eye and a bent for some good old fashioned chicanery,not to worry it is nothing more than what passes for ho-hum in our hallowed halls of integrity ,known commonly as the present system being practiced by our present brand of politicos of all stripes.  An honest 18 Yr old. child would be a huge improvement, If one could only remember when embarking on a new Gov. program immediately, otherwise honest folks will begin to rationalize ways to use the program to their advantage in ways the program was never meant to be used. after living for seventy or eighty years one begins to realize that as sure as the sun rises in the East certain human traits are also constant.


[Save the Rich] New music video from the GOP-MTV. Official Video by Garfunkel and Oates. Video 

[Obamacare] At age 76 today I went to the doctor for my monthly B12 shot that I have been getting for a number of years. The nurse came and got me, got out the needle filled and ready to go then looked at the computer and got very quiet and asked if I was prepared to pay for it. I said no that my insurance takes care of it.

She said, that Medicare had turned it down and went to talk to my Dr. about it. 15 minutes later she came back and said, she was sorry but they had tried everything they could but Medicare is beginning to turn many things away for seniors because of the projected Obamacare coming in. She was brushing at tears and said, “Some day they too will get old. I am so very sorry!”

[Obamacare racking up failures] Not only does the Federal site fail to work due to sloppy coding and not enough servers to handle the initial demand. It only covers 36 States, requires one to register and run tons of unknown purpose code on their computers, including the ability to upload files when there isn’t any clear need for it at this time. IT experts are claiming there is too much code going back and forth between the ACA site and users computers for the intended purpose, that’s what is causing the main problem.

[Affordable] Certain revelations about the existence of “Five Eyes” to get around laws designed to prevent spying by the NSA on Americans may be the reason a Canadian firm was chosen to code the ACA site.

People are attracted to the name “Affordable” of the ACA, thus the near 9 million unique hits so far. But many who managed to complete the complicated enrollment to shop for rates, after giving up substantial personal information, are finding out there is nothing “affordable” in the ACA at all.


[Shitty Website] Finally one thing both the Left and Right can agree on is that the ACA website is a failure.

[“National debt has increased by about 60%”] Should have thought about that before you built the GOP bridge to nowhere in Alaska. Yes, those things are finally coming due for payment.

from the right

debt27CT readers are well aware that this Olde Fart rarely agrees with Mr. Obama, but fair is fair, and when he’s right, he’s right.  In what follows, he’s right. Not so long ago there was an argument raging about the debt limit, Obama said: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure … Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.” He was right! That was in 2006.

He also said: “It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. Over the past five years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is ‘‘trillion’’ with a ‘‘T.’’ That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers.” He was right again. That was in 2008. When the issue came to vote, every single democrat and some republicans voted against raising the debt limit.

Then in ‘08 he said: “The problem is that the way Bush has done it in the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion from the first 42 presidents. No. 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome. So we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. $30,000 for every man woman and child. That’s irresponsible, that’s unpatriotic.”  Right again. The proof that he was right and Bush was wrong is all around us.

Look at us know. Then Obama was complaining about our having $9 trillion in debt, that was only about 4 years ago. Today, he has managed to increase that debt by nearly 90% to $16.7 Trillion, with a capital T. Nonetheless he demands that we raise it even higher. Now every American man, woman, and child, has a debt, much like the Catholic concept of original sin of about $55 thousand dollars. On the other hand, if you happen to be a tax payer, it is $155 thousand dollars.

Many will have forgotten that increasing the debt limit is a long standing problem and year after year has led to raging arguments. In 2005 a debt ceiling increase called for by Bush was defeated in the Republican controlled House of Representatives. Then the Republican Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp urged members of his party to vote “no” on the bill, and they all did. “Today we are making clear that Republicans will not accept an increase in our nation’s debt limit without substantial spending cuts and real budgetary reforms.”  The Republican House was right then, and they are right now. Please recall that in ’05 GWB, a Republican was President.

The difference between Bush and Obama, the then and now, is that then the parties negotiated. Today, Obama and the Democrats, in a deeply disturbing display of hubris, refuses to consider any cuts in spending or even engage in any discussions as to how to at least attempt to attack the problem of our government’s horrific addiction to spending. Deer Friends, that’s crassly unpatriotic and deeply un presidential. Perhaps even unpatriotic.

By the way; yesterday a poster wrote: “The reason we cannot keep our old health insurance is due to a Republican Senator tacking on that bit at the end of the Bill. The Right won’t talk about that.” Given that not a single Republican voted for the ACA, I sure would like to see the poster provide some proof of his posting.

diningrm9Part 2) Caution! If travelogues offend you, read no further!!! Thanks for the kind words from the Thendara expat. What follows is for you.  As in Old Forge, nearly nothing has changed all that much in Thendara.  The Adirondack train is getting loads of tourists for the leaf season. The train now regularly runs to Utica. The old train station is little changed except that they have placed a gift shop in the main building where the old telegraph office was when I was a kid. Standing by the tracks brought me back in time to when my grandfather would take me to the station to watch the trains come and go.  I still remember the smell of the oily steam from the old steam locomotives, watching the oilers topping off bearings, and I can remember marveling at the size of the huge wheels and the clouds of steam and smoke as they began moving. The ground would shake. The chuff-chuff-chuff sound of the accelerating train and the incredibly mournful steam whistle wail will always remain in my heart

Van Auken’s Tavern is now Van Auken’s Inne. It is still the center piece of the tiny hamlet. It was built in 1892, but has been renovated so that it looks like a nearly new 19th century establishment with a huge airy porch that overlooks the train station. During the summer it’s a favorite place for lunch or drinks. They have redone the rooms and the interior, but they have retained the period look and feel.  Not too long ago Mrs. FTR and I had a really incredible dining experience there.  It was off season, so the place was nearly empty. We had a couple of drinks at the bar (the Rob Roy’s were superb). We asked if the dining room was open. It was, the owner took us into the dining room which looked like it had come from a time machine set to 1890. It had polished wood floors, deep red wall covering, pressed tin ceilings, brass chandeliers, and a fireplace. As it was midweek and off season we were the only restaurant patrons. The background music was Andrea Boccelli and other light classical music.  We had our own private server, the food was exquisite and the service above reproach. We really felt like royalty. The evening was one of a kind. Check out the attached pic of the dining room.  Today we are leaving Old Forge and regretfully saying so long to Deer old friends, friendships that have spanned nearly 60 years.