Jan 17
Hey guys, get ready to run somewhere this Leap Year

Strictly Drivel

For those who may be unaware, 2014 is a leap year. A leap year is one that has an extra day. And just because February has always felt slighted by its diminutive stature among months, the powers that be have decided that February will get the extra day and for leap year there will be 29 days in February.

Most of us believe that there are 365 days in a year, and that the number of 24-hour days is determined by the length of time it takes for our planet to circumnavigate its orbit around the sun.

But the Earth actually is just a little bit slower than that in making the trip, whether because it’s getting older or just because Mother Earth has raised so many species that she’s getting calmer in her older age.

Continue reading ‘Hey guys, get ready to run somewhere this Leap Year’

Jan 17
Fund the safety concerns first

It appears as though our do-nothing 113th Congress, led by a bevy of Republicans in the House of Representatives, who by the way have already said they plan to do nothing again in the coming year, has found a way to do nothing and still effect negative change.

Continue reading ‘Fund the safety concerns first’

Jan 10
I dumped the burgers, why didn’t the weight follow?

Strictly Drivel

The secret came out a long time ago. I am a hamburger addict. It’s no secret that I am a hamburger addict. I freely admit I am a hamburger addict.

I have spent most of my adult life searching for great hamburgers. And if I didn’t find it, any old hamburger would do.

I am most fond of hamburgers that are char-broiled in some fashion. I like blackened outsides and really juicy insides.

Actually, I am such a hamburger addict that even a bad hamburger is better than any other meal.

Continue reading ‘I dumped the burgers, why didn’t the weight follow?’

Jan 10
Step up to help clean up islands

With the dawning of a new year come promises from all levels of government that things will get better, even if there are no concrete plans to make them so that we are privvy to.

And except at the ballot box come November, there is really we as ordinary citizens can do to influence what it is that government will decide to do in the coming months.

Continue reading ‘Step up to help clean up islands’

Jan 03
Why gas-sniffing lizards?

Strictly Drivel

I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t anywhere a gecko can;t get to if they want to bad enough.

My lovely wife bought me a classic sports car last year after she made me give up my Jeep for a Jeep SUV of the four-door variety. So for the first time in three decades, other than my brief four years living overseas, I am not tooling around every day in a Jeep of some kind.

Of course, there’s still one in the driveway, but that’s her car. I get to drive it once in a while just to whet my appetite.

But my new/old car has a rear deck gas intake. I lift the lid on the rear deck and there is the gas cap to put fuel (lots of it unfortunately) in the tank. Yes, that means I don’t have a trunk. All I have is a rear deck inside the passenger compartment that passes for a trunk, and storage cubbies in that rear deck inside to store small items.

The lid is well sealed, and the gas tank, since it rides just behind the passenger compartment, is also in a well sealed compartment. There are no rain issues, and I figured that if water couldn’t get in, neither could lizards.

Boy was I wrong.

Continue reading ‘Why gas-sniffing lizards?’

Jan 03
Start with an accurate deer count

As 2014 rolls into our sights, there is a lot of activity surrounding our herd of endangered Key Deer, from how to proceed with further recovery efforts to how to handle inevitable sea-level rise.

And the two appear to be at cross purposes with one another.

One recent study claims that sea level rise on the two islands with the primary deer herd, Big Pine Key and No Name Key, will inundate as much as 50 percent of the prime forage range for the Key Deer over the next 30 to 50 years. Continue reading ‘Start with an accurate deer count’

Dec 27
And so be it resolved by me for the new year, maybe

Strictly Drivel

It seems nearly impossible that another 12 months has slid by. Never has the term “where did the time go?” meant so much as it did last year.

As the New Year prepares to meet us in five days, it is time to go over our list of resolutions from last year, or perhaps just throw those out and make new ones for this year.

I personally would like to do the latter since I can’t remember what resolutions I made last year anyway, so with your permission (and even without it) I will regale you with my own personal list of resolutions for 2014.

Continue reading ‘And so be it resolved by me for the new year, maybe’

Dec 27
Flood insurance needs first look

As usual, those affected by the unintended consequences of Congressional action are unable to get their concerns addressed by the do-nothing 113th Congress, all of whom thought it was more important to go on holiday break than take up important business for those other than themselves.

Continue reading ‘Flood insurance needs first look’

Dec 20
Give the gift of a little knowledge this holiday season

Strictly Drivel

Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t see the silliness that surrounds us every day. Or perhaps we’ve just become so accustomed to the silliness that we overlook and accept it as part of every day life.

That’s so sad.

I guess silly is a way of life these days. More and more we have someone or something to do anything for us, and we tend to forget how to do the simple things.

When I was a teenager, the be-all and end-all of daily existence was to own your own car and be able to get from place to place without having to wait hours for someone to come available to take you there, and then make arrangements hours in advance to get back where you needed to be.

These days, two in four teenagers don’t even have a driver’s license, let alone their own mode of transportation. Now some would feel this is a good thing, keeping the inexperienced drivers off the road and making room for those who know better how to crack up and kill….ooops…did I really say that?

Anyway, part of owning your vehicle was knowing how to keep it on the road. You didn’t need to be a mechanic, but you needed to know basic safety things, like how to turn on the hazard lights if you got stuck somewhere, or how to rock your vehicle out of a ditch or snow patch to continue on your way. But most of all, you needed to know how to do some really simple and basic stuff like CHANGE A TIRE.

Continue reading ‘Give the gift of a little knowledge this holiday season’

Dec 20
Time to search out other money

As if just managing day-to-day operations for a county that is more than 100 miles in length with a transportation system dependent on more than 40 bridges, a water system tied to a dedicated water source by a single pipe and a power grid fed by single high-power lines spanning more than 130 miles, weren’t enough, 2014 will prove to be a watershed year for Monroe County officials.

For this is the year Monroe County officials must get serious about protecting our island chain from runaway gentrification.

Continue reading ‘Time to search out other money’

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