Sep 27
Low-tech devices kick my buttocks

Strictly Drivel

Technology can be a great thing. It can also cause one to go (more) prematurely gray (than I know I already am) when it, for reasons unknown, decides to go on the blink.

There are times I believe I hear some technological piece of gear actually laughing at me as I struggle to figure out why it worked just two minutes ago and won’t work now.

This crazy machine that sits in front of me on the desk for hours and hours at a time is one of the leading cohorts of fun at my expense.

And twice in the past four weeks, the culprit, which I thought was a spawn of Satan seeking some form of demonic possession, was a piece of low-tech gear that has been around for decades, and is something we too often take for granted.

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Sep 27
Health care changes not enough

Florida residents without health insurance, a large chunk of the population that makes Florida ninth on the list of uninsured population among the 50 states, got a first peek earlier this week at what it might cost them to comply with the Affordable Care Act.

That Act requires US adults to have some form of health insurance by some time next year. It was the Presidential and Congressional answer to rapidly escalating health care costs with rapidly deteriorating health care delivery.

We’re not sure we understand how a windfall for the health insurance industry addresses either of those concerns, but we’re told it does.

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Sep 20
Put that bakin’ hot sun to some good use

Strictly Drivel

A very common refrain these days from even the longest-term locals is that it’s very hot.

True, in my experiences here August and then September is usually the hottest month, with the highest relative humidity. For those of us who enjoy heat for both personal and medicinal reasons, a simple smile and nod of the head is the usual answer to this complaint.

But, when those slightly warped synapses get to working inside those slightly warped brains (most of us who live here and enjoy it have to be somewhat warped) there are many other answers that come to mind.

If the heat is really such a prime topic of conversation, why not start playing off the heat?

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Sep 20
Let’s start insurance talks now

Most of the time, Monroe County’s Board of County Commissioners conducts its financial affairs in a fiscally conservative fashion that avoids huge tax increases to the residents of this island chain.

There have been exceptions, and the populace worked hard to toss those folks from office.

The seated commission has overall been a good one in terms of leveling the tax burden.

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Sep 13
I have named a new disease just for old me

Strictly Drivel

I have a completely new disease

I read an interesting think piece yesterday on Huffington Post.

Yes, I readily admit to reading Huffington Post because it’s one of the few news agencies that still tells a story from the perspective of what it means to the people reading it and not what it means to the political analyst telling the story.

I don’t listen to much television news. MSNBC is lopsided in one direction, and anytime I steel my guts long enough to turn on FOX News, I can virtually listen to the entire day in the span of 10 minutes.

The first talking head that appears on FOX might say something that, taken all together, sounds like “That stupid elitist who currently occupies the oval office….blah…blah…blah bad, ignorant.”

I hear the same thing from a different talking head hours later, to be repeated by the same talking heads ad infinitum into the wee hours of the morning.

I don’t call that news. I call that propaganda.

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Sep 13
We must continue Citizens fights

It seems as though there is a definite disconnect between governmental perception of Monroe County and actual ramifications of governmental actions on Monroe County.

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Aug 30
There are reasons I keep sight of my keys

Strictly Drivel

I am a fanatic about my keys.

I readily admit that I have a fixation with knowing where my keys are at all times. Some might call it an obsession. Others might call it a bent toward obsessive-compulsive behavior. Still others might call it a leaning toward the social equivalent of cranial/rectal inversion, also known as anal retentiveness in some circles.

Whatever you may call it, I have it.

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Aug 30
Use care in changing traffic rules

Monroe County will soon take up the issue of how to measure traffic level of service here in the coming years. How to get cars through and around the Florida Keys has been  an issue for several years. At one point, traffic level of service became such an issue on Big Pine Key that the state declared a building moratorium for nearly eight years. No one could build a new house. Commercial entities could only rebuild on an existing foot print.

When the state came along and fixed the US 1/Key Deer Blvd. interchange, traffic started moving again enough to lift the moratorium. When the widening project was completed, traffic began to flow a little more smoothly.

But over the years, traffic concurrency issues have made any further development a little dicey in several other locations in the Keys.

So county staff is seeking ways to end the problem for good.

We’re not sure, however, that the preferred method at this time is the right move to make.

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Aug 23
Out is in; in is out? I really think not folks

Strictly Drivel

I know that I promised I wouldn’t make fun of crazy drivers for a few months, but that is a resolution I’m going to have to be forced to break because, well because I’ve just been handed so much easy fodder in the last two weeks.

It’s kind of like passing up a bet that the rock falling from the top of the building will hit the ground. You just have to take someone up on it.

Three weeks ago, wait. If it happened prior to the time I made the resolution, it doesn’t really count does it?


Every Thursday we drive to the Miami area to pick up our newspapers and bring them back to the Keys, delivering as we go from Marathon to Key West. It makes for a long day, made even longer when the behind-the-wheel crazies are out in full force.

That week, we ran across, and almost into, two separate crazies, one in Marathon and one in Big Pine.

Continue reading ‘Out is in; in is out? I really think not folks’

Aug 16
And I thought attention was a bill always paid

Strictly Drivel

Wednesday was a day for the proof of the human condition called “Lack of an attention span.”

In my less sober moments, I call these episodes an outbreak of hedupyerassitis, otherwise known as cranial/rectal inversion.

Before I got started for the day, I wanted to go to a local convenience store and purchase my daily quota of caffeine. I have all but given up Mountain Dew and replaced it with Pepsi Max. I’m told it has fewer calories and is less harmful to my system.

But it sure doesn’t handout the immediate charge that a good swig of Mountain Dew does.

But that’s another story.

Continue reading ‘And I thought attention was a bill always paid’

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