Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Florida Ranks Third In The Number Of People But It Comes In First With Strange Creatures

Florida is the third most populous state in the country, Texas is second and California is first based on the Census Bureau’s count of residents.

Each of these three states is uniquely distinctive in its population, politics and environment.

California ranks first hosting a massive illegal alien population that its politicians say is entitled to free education, medical care, food stamps, housing, protection from apprehension by federal authorities, and is free to vote. It has as its state song The Internationale, ranks first in the nation with households in poverty, and boasts an entertainment industry of obscenity and boorishness that churns out a steady stream of puerile filth. Meanwhile Texans are so busy remembering the Alamo, forgetting that Alaska is the largest state, and eating the best barbeque on the planet that they have no time to concentrate on being oddballs or thumbing their noses at the rest of America.

These south Florida house eaters are slowly headed north.

In Florida we have more than our fair share of whacky residents, but we also share our real estate with an incredible variety of bizarre critters that fly, swim, crawl, run, slither, growl, howl, hiss, sting, bite, stink, and poop all over your back porch. And that’s just the Democrats. Just kidding! The Florida critters I’m talking about will eat your lawn, trees, your flower beds, and even your house. They consider Fluffy and Fido hors d’oeuvres. We even have deadly giant snails. Just a few years ago giant African land snails as large as rats that can eat their way through stucco, recycling bins, puncture car tires, and spread deadly diseases were discovered in south Florida inching their way north.

There’s an entire industry in Florida of people who make and sell signs reading: “Do not feed the alligators, sharks, coyotes, sea gulls, snails, mosquitoes, bob cats, swamp apes, tourists, politicians, etc.”

The most frequently asked question at neighborhood cocktail parties hereabouts is: “Did you (see or hear) that thing that ate Bob’s Buick last night?”

The gator can be seen shading itself under the driver’s side of the car.

So I wasn’t surprised when over a few beers recently friend Charlie Callison told me about the six-foot alligator discovered napping in girlfriend Donna Haynes’ North Fletcher driveway, under her Mercedes.

Alligators are scary looking creatures. However, they don’t do much but lay around motionless  looking scary. Most haven’t moved since the Truman administration and exert about the same amount of energy as a Lazy Boy recliner.

A couple of alert neighbors spotted the slumbering North Fletcher gator and sent a text to Ms. Haynes informing her that she might want to exercise caution when opening her car door. And even though Ms. Haynes was in no hurry to go anywhere she and Charlie thought it best to call someone to extradite the gator.

So they called the cops who summoned a guy named Jungle Larry, an area wild life wrangler, to corral the wayward reptile.

Jungle Larry’s prod annoying the dozing gator.

According to Charlie the sight of five police cars, and Jungle Larry on the back of an alligator attracted a caravan of cars stopping up and down Fletcher to watch this reptile rodeo. Larry, equipped with a long pole with a loop at the end, prodded the trespassing alligator from under the car then hopped on its back and covered its head with a jacket in an attempt to calm down the now irritated, snorting, growling critter. Charlie handed a courageous cop a roll of Gorilla Tape to bind the creatures jaws closed and after that it was loaded into Larry’s truck and hauled off to wherever Larry hauls wayward gators.

California could use some talented people like Jungle Larry.


Interesting & Alarming Facts: According to the recently published Jerry Wert authored book “Civil War Barons” when the Civil War broke out in 1861 “barely more than 36,000 civilian employees worked for the federal government and 85 percent of those worked for the post office.” I looked it up and today — excluding the military — the federal government employs 2,711,000 people with some 36,000 alone employed by the Department of Commerce, an agency that didn’t even exist until 1903. And the U.S. Post Office, now a quasi-governmental agency, employs 617,000 workers, making it the third-largest civilian employer in the United States behind the federal government. The long-standing Republican platform of smaller government makes sense when you come across statistics like this, but then the Democrats went and unionized all those government employees ensuring their votes. Good grief!


Bar Talk: While enjoying a beer at PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden  this week a friend told me that his girl friend left him a message taped to the refrigerator door that read: “It’s not working. I can’t take it anymore. I’m going to my mom’s place.” He said: “I opened the door, the light came on, the beer was cold…..what the hell is she talking about?”


Speaking of “What The Hell Are They Talking About”: A handful of desperate local Democrats bought two half page advertisements and one full page ad in three local News-Leader editions prior to the November 6 election pleading with Nassau County readers to vote for all of the Democrat candidates on the Tuesday ballot.

The ads consisted of a long litany of reasons why the signatories claim Democrats would make our lives better if we would just vote them into office and how our traditional social order and morality as we now know it would collapse if we didn’t do as they suggest. In other words their list of reasons was lifted right out of the Democrat party’s talking points, with no original thought and certainly no creativity in writing or design. They were insomnia-cure-boring and silly, and a complete waste of a reader’s time and the purchasers’ money.

Last Tuesday’s Nassau County election results reveal that this group’s cash would have been better spent on a post election keg party so local Democrats could have drowned their collective sorrows.

Nassau County Democrats reacting to state election results.

Nassau County residents overwhelmingly ignored the ad’s begging, pleading message of impending doom and strongly supported Republicans with GOP gubernatorial winner Ron DeSantis racking up 72.74 percent of their votes. Democrat candidate Andrew Gillum, received almost half of the state vote but just 26.31 percent of the Nassau County vote. In the U.S. Senate race, county residents preferred Republican Rick Scott over Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson with  Scott receiving 72.96 percent of the local vote to Nelson’s 26.82 percent. Congressman John Rutherford, the District 4 representative, was re-elected receiving more than 75 percent of Nassau’s votes. County voters also picked Republican Ashley Moody for Attorney General with 74.91 percent of the vote, Republican Jimmy Patronis for Chief Financial Officer with 75.42 percent of the vote, and Republican Matt Caldwell for Commissioner of Agriculture with 74.27 percent of the vote. I believe an angel gets its wings every time a leftist is voted out of office for their outrageous and unapologetic abuses of power and incompetence.

For example, following the election, in which Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, I have yet to hear what their platforms are. I did hear that they want to impeach Trump, get his tax records, keep investigating the phony Russian collusion nonsense and other such drivel. But I hear nothing about what they will do for the American people. They are too consumed with hate for Donald Trump to think clearly.

I know some of the people who signed that News-Leader ad and they are no different. One of them, a very well educated PhD, and a normally delightful and pleasant person, seethes with hated for the President and told me so during a conversation recently.

Another one of the ad’s financial contributors and signers is my former neighbor, Robert “Bullet Bob” Weintraub, an unhinged old fool, who publically threatened my wife and me with his “…loaded shotgun, loaded rifle and new handguns” in a public Facebook post two years ago following the presidential election because we dared to publically express support for President-elect Trump. We had to involve the police to intervene with this cowardly loon who is no different than the Antifa thugs that threaten politicians and conservative commentators they disagree with by physically attacking them and threatening their families in their homes and public places. The News-Leader ads didn’t threaten physical violence if readers didn’t comply, but I’m sure this whacko’s name on the list of contributors didn’t do their cause any good, just the opposite I would think.


Clang,Clunk, Caplunk: Close to 1,000 competitors and fans from around the globe have converged on Amelia Island to participate beginning at 10 a.m. this morning, Friday, November 9 in the largest Pétanque event in the Americas — the Pétanque Amelia Island Open. The event, which involves competitors tossing small metal balls on a dirt and gravel court to see who can come closest to a small wooden ball called a pig, will be conducted at downtown Fernandina Beach’s south side harbor front. It will not only host competitors from many foreign countries, who have booked every hotel room in the vicinity, but will also feature food, live music and alcohol booths on the tournament grounds. Entry is free. The game is designed so players can hold a drink in one hand while tossing the small metal ball in the other, while spectators nod off and also drink.  Belgian native Philippe Boets, Amelia Island’s favorite expatriate, is responsible for introducing the game and this fun event to the island and if you see him this weekend offer to buy him a Ricard pastis or a Tripel Karmeliet beer. The fun tournament ends late Sunday evening and competitors begin departing Monday.


Who’s Paying Taxes? In 2016, the top 50 percent of tax payers paid 97 percent of individual income taxes, and the top 1 percent paid more than one-third. The bottom 90 percent combined paid less than one-third. Source: Bloomberg via Georgia Public Policy Foundation.


Think Robo Calls Are Bad Now? Just Wait: A report by First Orion, which provides caller ID and call-blocking services for cell carriers, says that nearly half of all cell phone calls next year will be from scammers. It says the number of fraudulent calls increased from 3.7 percent of total calls in 2017 to 29.2 percent in 2018 and is expected to jump to 44.6 by early 2019.


Something I Just Learned: In 2016 Americans spent $80.5 billion on lottery tickets according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. Before issuing stock became a common way to raise capital lotteries did the trick. For example, in 1607 when the British firm, The Virginia Company, founded the settlement of Jamestown and other early colonial settlements, they raised the money to do  so by selling lottery tickets in London and other British cities.


Where’re The Media Now? Now that the Brett Kavanaugh senate hearings are over and Judge Kavanaugh is a member of the Supreme Court, where are all the follow-up articles about the women who accused him of attacking them without  any evidence or corroboration of any kind whatsoever? There are none, because the Democrat party and its media allies were only interested in preventing Kavanaugh from being seated on the court, even if it meant destroying his  life, putting his wife and two daughters through hell, and using these sad, pathetic women as tools to meet their objective. These are not good people and those who vote for them need to seriously rethink their future decisions.


Economic Sunshine: Florida is ranked the most economically free state in the country with a 7.87 score according to the fourteenth edition of the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of North America 2018 report.  Our next door neighbor Georgia is ranked seventh. The 2018 report released by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation (GPPF) and Canada’s Fraser Institute is based on tax freedom. The GPPF says that number is likely to improve when the 2018 reforms are included as the report is based on 2016 data.  After Florida, the most economically free states were New Hampshire at 7.65 and Texas at 7.52. Tennessee is fourth at 7.43 and South Dakota is fifth at 7.37. The least-free state was New York at 3.90, following Kentucky at 4.45. West Virginia was 48th at 4.48, California was 47th at 4.71, and Alaska was 46th at 4.80.


Hey you! Help support the local VFW and American Legion this weekend.

Drinking, Dining & Dancing:  Two local Veterans Day/Armistice Day events will be held this weekend with the first being the annual American Legion Post 54 parade tomorrow, Saturday, November 10, in downtown Fernandina Beach beginning at 11 a.m. starting at Veterans Memorial Park, the corner of South 10th and Atlantic. Following the parade the legion will host an “old-fashioned” cookout at its 626 South 3rd St. location that is open to the public. Tonight, Friday, Nov. 9, join me at the legion for live music featuring Hupp and Ray and cheap drinks beginning at 7 p.m. This Sunday, November 11, the “Smoke N Da Cockpit” Bar-B-Que team and the Green Turtle Tavern present “Bar-B-Que and Brew 2018”, an event featuring live music to raise funds for the Fernandina Beach VFW Post 4351. A $10 dinner includes pulled pork and a choice of baked beans or green beans. A side of pork ribs for $5 will also be offered.  The Green Turtle is donating a portion of its sales to the cause. A limited number of advance tickets can be purchased at the Fernandina Beach VFW located at 96086 Wade Place Fernandina Beach or from a BBQ team member if you can find one. The Surf Restaurant at 3199 South Fletcher will hold the first of what it hopes will be an annual chili cook off to benefit a Nassau County “Toys for Tots” fund raiser Sunday, November 18 from 2-5 p.m. The entry fee to compete is $50 for a three person team. For additional information contact Allen Elefterion at 904/753-7631 or Joey Ledet or Steve Crady at 904/556-4189. Every Wednesday evening at the now two-year-old PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden regulars pitch in to purchase and share chicken wings, most of the time picking them up at Publix, where about 20 spicy and crispy ones cost less than $12 and have been voted by PJD’s regular beer-swillers as possibly the island’s best. However, occasionally wings from other joints are offered and this past Wednesday Island Bar-B-Q at 1925 South 14th Street got the nod, with 20 Buffalo flappers added to the mix. The consensus was Publix is still tops, but a lot of thirsty folks said they really liked the BBQ joint’s 10-wing $9.95 offering. Speaking of Island B-B-Q, it now has fried chicken livers and gizzards on its menu with 12 for $4.50 and six for $3.50 or make a dinner of it for $9.50 that includes two sides and a drink. Pit maser Rodney Stubbs‘ popular Island Stew, his version of Brunswick stew, is also back for the fall for just $6.50 a pint. Mr. Stubbs also makes what many hereabouts say is the best fried chicken in the county and it’s available on their weekday buffet, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m and on their regular menu.  Call ’em at 904/624-7811. I’ve heard rumors that North 3rd Street’s Cafe Karibo will put Theresa Poynter‘s muffuletta on the menu as a regular offering soon. I like the $19.00 one the Surf’s Joey Ledet creates but Mrs. Poynter’s gives it a run for the money. In the past it was only offered during Shrimp Festival and I’m hoping the rumors are correct.

  • Comment (10)
  • It’s sad that the debacle between the Judge and the Doctor continues to be aired. Do I believe Dr.Ford? Yes. Do I think the whole thing should have been conducted behind closed doors? Yes. Both the Dem’s and Rep’s should be ashamed of the way both were treated. The sad part is the hearings will follow Kavanaugh the rest of his career, and Dr.Ford will have to live with being shamed as well. Not one of our better moments in history….

  • Fake news? How can you report that Texas has the best BBQ in the country? Have you tasted BBQ from all of the other 49 states?

  • Dave, I am surprised at you, It appears you must have dosed off, which is a common tendency for the elderly , when Fox announced that De Santis did not in fact win the race and a recount is likely. Those little facts keep getting in the way it seems. If by some miracle you switched from Fox to a ” fake ” news station you may have learned that the Democratic House has a rather strong platform. Inter structure , health and prescription care and education are among the top issues. OHHHHHH yes they are going to get President Trumps tax records as well. Every ask yourself ((why)) he won’t show them. It seems obvious to most who walk and chew gum without tripping he has something very big to hide. OHHHHH and yes they are going to try to get to the truth to find out just what Russia’s involvement is in our election process, hey about 17 intelligence agency’s said they did it, but lets just blindly believe a reality TV star that they didn’t. Never forget the 10 Benghazi investigations on your High School sweetheart that cost 7 mil and found bupkes. Fact is it is going to be a very interesting next two years so try to stay awake my friend

  • An especially fine post this week, Dave. Put an attaboy in your service jacket. Quite right that subtropical Florida (it’s NOT a dry heat) is the home of some exotic and unappealing creatures. The further south you go the more exotic and less cuddly they get. Some of the strangest and most destructive work for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office (known locally as the Gang That Couldn’t County Straight). Governor Scott (will he ever be Senator Scott?) has accused Brenda Snipes & Associates of fraud and incompetence. We’ll have to wait for the evidence of fraud, if such exists. But on the available evidence the case for incompetence is more than solid.

  • It amazes me how the dems have managed to equate health insurance with medical care. Insurance is who pays, medical care is a description and how and to whom care it is provided. Recently, one of the dim bulb dems was asked who will pay for Medicare if it is made available to all. Her comment: the government. Anyone who says the government pays for anything, as if the money just drops out of the sky, is a few cc’s short of a light dose of economics.
    Medicare is already not sustainable in its current fashion in which it is the primary insurance for most of those over 65 in age. Wait till the politicians make it the national insurance program! It will be a Ponzi scheme on steroids.

    • These are the same people who claim that the $1.7 / $4.5 million airport terminal was somehow “free” to local taxpayers. Either they don’t understand where the money comes from or they don’t want to tell you that the free (local) money in your front pocket comes from your (state & federal) wallet in your back pocket. Either way, it’s YOUR money.


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