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

“Oh, Say DID You See……”

Do you have a cause or an issue that you care deeply about?

Do you want to generate publicity and inform others in the community?

Then why not raise a banner to prominently display your passion at City Hall in downtown Fernandina Beach and let it fly under the U.S. flag and next to the State of Florida standard?

Oh, Johnny oh, Johnny!

This week Mayor Johnny “Moonbeam” Miller, the City Commission’s resident Inspector Clouseau, was rummaging through a closet at home and came out of it waving a rainbow flag that he had hoisted on the city’s flag pole during the last few days of June, to commemorate what I’m told is Gay Pride Month.

I’m all for folks peacefully and publically celebrating any particular issue they support— LGBT issues, women’s rights, the NRA,  pro-immigration, anti-immigration, free love, vegetarianism, PETA, Make America Great Again, and so on. I’m just confused on how the city selects which issues to champion on behalf of its citizens. Nobody has ever asked  me — a local homeowner, registered voter, and tax payer — which banner I wanted to see flapping in the breeze in front of 203 Ash Street.

City Manager Dale Martin sent those of us that asked copies of emails between City Attorney Tammi Bach and City Clerk Carolyn Best regarding Moonbeam’s request to add the Gay Pride flag-raising issue to last Tuesday’s City Commission agenda.  During the meeting, when Moonbeam explained what he was proposing, his comments were met with silence by the other commissioners without a vote being taken, so the flag went up by consensus. “Did Moonbeam say something while we were admiring our shoe shines?”

Does it matter to the commissioners if the rainbow flag raising set a precedent and opened the flood gates to any other banners folks might want to send up the city’s flag pole?  Certainly nobody in city hall wants to be accused of being a homophobe, so the rainbow flag shot up the pole. Others will soon follow. Commissioner Len Kreger implied that the rainbow flag raising would set a precedent but apparently nobody paid him any attention.

“I wish I was in Dixie, etc, etc., etc..”

I’m guessing it won’t be long before the guy who drives around the island in a car painted to resemble the Confederate bars and stars, with the two Confederate flags flying from it and has Dixie blaring on his sound system shows up at city hall saying: “OK boys tell me how soon ya’ll can get this Confederate Battle flag up that pole?” In fact it’s already started as a fellow was spotted Thursday parading back and forth in front of City Hall waving the Confederate Bars & Stars, pictured here.

I’m sure that Moonbeam, who in a campaign talk during his last election campaign told a Green Turtle audience he was all in favor of legalizing pot among other programs,  has many other wacky banners in that closet of his.

Our moonbeam is getting dimmer and dimmer……


The “Who Cares” Department: My high school classmate, friend, and gifted writer for the American Spectator, Larry Thorneberry, recently penned a letter to the Tampa Bay Times sports editor that reflects my sentiments, particularly as tourists with strange accents pop into local island watering holes and request kickball on TV.

There I sit,  perfectly content sipping a cold beer while watching the surprisingly good Atlanta Braves baseball team maintain their hold on first place in the National League East or gleefully watching as the hated NY Yankees frustratingly try to knock Boston off in the American League East, when some guy in leather shorts and a cap with a feather in it wanders in and bellows: “Vill you put on zee Verld Cup?”

Life was good until the bartender decides to practice world diplomacy because this guy who thinks the entire planet should watch kickball, wants to turn the baseball game on the TV off  to witness Serbia battle Nigeria in a 0-0 insomnia cure. And he wants sound too.

This isn’t kickball territory pal!

My pal, Larry, agrees according to his letter to Times Sports Editor Mike Sherman complaining about that paper’s excessive coverage of kickball getting more exposure in that paper than the two stingy paragraphs about Florida’s Gators in the College Baseball World Series, saying: “It’s not clear how I’m better off for knowing about Switzerland’s high scoring (for soccer) 2-1 win over Serbia. Be still my heart. This is the one where one of Switzerland’s players, who made a gesture only recognizable in the Balkans after scoring a goal, was lectured thus by his coach: “You should never mix politics and football.” I hope this word reaches the NFL. I’m still trying to parse the significance of Nigeria now being second in Group D behind Croatia. I just got back from an hour-plus at my gym where sports talk, seasonally adjusted, is the lingua franca. If any of these scholars had an opinion on this development, he kept it to himself.

“Name three things 99 percent of Americanos give less of a big rat’s rump about than soccer.

“OK, name one.”

If bars with TVs want to attract foreign tourists then offer them bowls of sauerkraut and snails or hire a chanteuse or a polka band. But please don’t put the most boring sport in the world on TV in the middle of baseball season. The World Cup runneth over with apathy hereabouts.


Just Saying: Justice Elena Kagan: “Without a fair-share agreement, the class of union non-members spirals upward.”

Congressional Budget Office: “Repealing the [ObamaCare] mandate would … increase the number of uninsured people by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.”

Benita Dodd, Vice President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation: “Wait a minute. You mean if people are not FORCED to do something, they might actually CHOOSE not to do so?”


Drinking Dining & Dancing At Home: I haven’t had a meal or an experience in a local restaurant recently that would merit a comment in this space, but I accomplished something in the culinary department that caused even my wife, Linda, to pat me on the back this past weekend.

In our home I do the menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking while Linda handles the cleaning and yard chores, a tradeoff  I’ve never regretted. I get whatever I want to eat and always have a sparkling clean house and a tidy yard to enjoy.

While skipping through a magazine recently I stumbled on a recipe for grilling hamburgers that had one item that  looked interesting. The writer added liquid marinate to his burgers, something I’ve never tried before, but sounded intriguing. So I gave it a shot.

I plopped one and a quarter pounds of 93 percent lean ground sirloin that I bought on sale at Harris Teeter, in a bowl. I added just over one ounce of  Pirate’s Gold Original Marinade, a product produced by an organization called West Indies Spice Co. and which contains soy sauce, granulated garlic, chili powder, cumin, pineapple juice, lime juice and a few benign ingredients. I think I paid $6.50, also at Harris Teeter, for a 16 ounce bottle of this stuff. The label says it’s made in Middleburg, FL and lists its website as if you’re interested.

I thoroughly mixed the marinade into the meat, covered it and let it sit in the refrigerator for about three hours. I didn’t add any other ingredients, no salt, no pepper, nothing. I made five patties that I  grilled for four minutes on each side, served them with sliced red onion, cheese, and slices of tomato. Mustard and mayonnaise were on the table. Corn on the cob, a marinated cucumber, tomato, and red onion salad garnished with cilantro and cole slaw were sides. Ice cold beer was also available.

The burgers were the tastiest and juiciest I’ve ever grilled. The ones left over were eaten the next day and even though they were heated in a microwave, they were equally tasty. Linda backs me up on this.

Is this a recipe that’s well known and I’ve been living in the dark ages or am I on to something here? Anybody have any other simple burger recipes? Let me know.


Did You Know? You can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally


Fill That Pot Hole With Cheese, That One With Anchovies, And …: Domino’s!  The pizza company unveiled a “Paving for Pizza”  initiative to partner with customer-nominated towns to fix potholes, repair road surfaces and otherwise help provide a service many Americans think of as an exclusively public responsibility. Athens, Ga., is one of four towns already benefiting, according to Domino’s. Folks can nominate a town for a paving grant at according to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.


“Fist I must find zee butt.”

Punish Success & Reward Failure Department: In its convoluted attempt to win back votes of the blue collar crowd, the Democratic Party’s loopy winner of the Ebenezer Scrooge look-a-like contest — socialist Bernie Sanders — is proposing that the government hire every American who wants a job and pay him or her $15 an hour plus health care benefits and a free pony. Even without the pony, where would they get the money? Easy, says the left-wing nimrod — raise taxes on those that earn $200,000 and more annually. He makes no mention of how devastating this would be to small businesses who would have to compete with an employer who guarantees wages and benefits. Oh, and what would all these lay-a-bouts and ne’er-do-wells do? Don’t we have enough government slugs doing nothing and living off the taxes extracted from our earnings? Good grief! Hey Bernie, unemployment is at 3.8 percent and falling, the lowest it’s been in more than 50 years. By the way this is the same Bernie Sanders that our current Mayor Johnny “Inspector Clouseau” Miller, says he would have tattooed an image of on his butt if Sanders had won the 2016 Democrat primary. The next time Moonbeam is up for election is an opportunity for Fernandina Beach to rid itself of this embarrassment.

  • Comment (20)
  • Well, this do by default is pretty bad regarding the example of the flag. I , too, am tolerant but NO one agenda should take precedence over the other anywhere never mind on our little Island. Thank you, Dave, for enlightening us more on this issue and so many others!

  • Dave:

    Great blog; love your writing style. Until now I thought you were simply one of the genus Deplorabilia. Now I see you are more specifically one of the species Deplorabilia Homophobus. Sad!

    I always called it “penguin football” but like “kickball” better. Do you think this Verld Cup class trying to insinuate kickball into our public places is part of the Russian collusion thing? How else do you explain the ongoing conspiracy to infect American children with this perverse foreign ritual? Fortunately, our children seem to come to their senses with advancing age. We can only hope all our young liberals will also come to their senses in time. I think we need to get Donald to add kickball to the growing list of Unamerican threats.

  • You need to look further into the unemployment numbers. A lot of people having to have two jobs and a lot of people working for minimum wages.

  • Agree with you on the gay pride flag issue. I’m fine with hanging one from your home but like you said it is setting a precedence running it up the town flag pole. That could become a huge can of worms as you state. Actually surprised this was allowed.

  • Dear Dave, due to the antics of our local govt., it appears your blog can almost write itself…what it seems to come down to is what’s being foisted on us common folk. From LGBTQ flags to new beach laws, each day brings a new pitch that like your beloved Braves, us locals attempt to swat to the outfield. Baseball metaphor, gotta love that. Regarding the World Cup, it appears America has evolved into a curtural bouillabaisse. Want more proof? Went to Pogos for lunch with my neighbor, David Mills. Imagining a delicious cheeseburger, I had to settle for a roast turkey Banh Mi (a Vietnamese sandwich with pickled veggies and other good stuff, served on a French baguette). There is NO cheeseburger on their menu. While delicious, it tasted like a sign of the times. I’d continue, but Romania is playing the Maldives in the World Cup. Gotta go. Good blog. Keep it up!

  • I Enjoyed your blog, Dave.

    I still play softball in the over 65 league so you know I would have an issue with someone coming into my favorite saloon and changing the station from baseball to soccer.

    Go Isotopes! 🙂

  • For a fair and balanced flag display, next month the Confederate Battle Flag will be raised. It’s only fair.
    While the LGBT population is less than 4%, I would think champions of the Old South here are at least that many?
    What about the Neo-Nazis ? Don’t they get a say?
    Do conservative Christians get their flag displayed?
    Do fans of the Dodgers get their flag up there for awhile?
    Look, obviously my humor is poor, but City Hall has made a slight mistake here. The taxpayers and voters would rather have the Commissioners taking care of OUR business, not jumping on a national debate.
    I could be wrong, and often am, but this seems like poor judgement, sorry.
    Frankly, there is a lot more disagreement with this display than most people are willing to speak out about for fear of being shouted down and insulted. Oh wait, that was the First Amendment……

  • I demand my “University of Georgia SEC Championship 2017” flag to fly in September and at the start of the college football season.

  • With reference to our Mayor Moon Beam. His actions indicate a level of immaturity by not understanding time and place. It’s unlikely he understands how his actions could be considered inappropriate for a city official. His response to some on Facebook, when someone disagrees with him…. “So impeach me”, confirms this level of immaturity. I have no issue with the flag on private property, it is inappropriate for a city official to advocate for rather than just accept. Enjoy your blog…. and also agree that often it could write itself. If nothing else, our City Government provides entertainment value. When watching the Mayor…. I remind myself, no one is worthless, if nothing else you can always serve as a poor example.

  • The gentleman waving the Bars and stars IS the same who drives the Confederate car! Oh Johnny. What a mess you have created.

  • 1. If you’re going to fly a flag for one special interest group, you’d better fly all requested flags. “Go Isotopes”.
    2. If you’re watching a ball game on TV in a bar, it stays on until over. Easy rule. Up to the bartender to request if anyone minds switching. If one dissent, he doesn’t do it.
    3. What happens when someone asks the bartender to fly a special interest flag that covers the TV? Call Dave to mediate?

  • Dave, I share your distaste for soccer, but I do believe the younger people like it more than we older guys would guess. Two years ago I was visiting Manhattan in the fall and stopped by a “sports bar” on Seventh Avenue on a Saturday afternoon to watch some college football. Every one of at least twelve TVs were showing European soccer. The old-time Irish bartender told me that was what the “young crowd” wanted. I complained so much that I got a free Guinness.

  • When Historians use the phrase “stars and bars” they are actually referring to the first official national flag adopted by the Confederacy in March of 1861. That flag had seven white stars displayed over a blue field next to three stripes – two red and one white. The “Battle Flag” (also called the “southern cross”) is the flag mentioned and seen in the photo above, not the “stars and bars.”

  • My son played soccer when he was seven at the goalie position because he could kick the ball way down the field.It was the most boring few weeks we ever spent.Never had any interest in this game since.Can’t see why they get so super excited over a one to one score.Oh well,guess these folks don’t have a helluva lot to cheer about for sure.As for the weird mayor never regretted not living in the city limits.

  • Hello, I am the one who drives the “General Lee” around Amelia Island for all to see and hear. I am very passionate about my Southern Heritage and my ancestors who fought in the War of Northern Aggression. Mayor Johnny Miller has opened a can of worms. Now, the Tree Lovers will be mad, because their flag will have to come down. If you are going to allow specialty flags, everyone will want theirs up. I want the Battle Flag up for the entire month of April, because Governor Lawton Chiles back in 1998, declared it Confederate History Month. So, whats it going to be Johnny, all or none. I would suggest putting up the city of Fernandina Flag, its blue and white with the city seal in the middle, problem solved.

  • Wish I could take credit for these questions – but they were posed by an author whose book I am reading. Once the best burger in town has been decided, perhaps people may want to consider these issues: “Is there a link between the growing global inequality of wealth and global inequality in the distribution of power? What are the roots of the inequality? Does the nature of the distribution of power in the global era call into question the relevance of our global legal and governmental institutions? In our effort to preserve national sovereignty in an era demanding transnational governance, are we hampering our ability to address global challenges? Will the divide in interests between the global superclass and national elites be one of the central conflicts of our era, potentially rivaling and in some ways echoing the divide between capitalist and socialist doctrines in the last century? Is this the superclass we would choose if we could choose one? How does the superclass fail to reflect in its composition the public at large, and what are the implications of underrepresenting a number of prominent populations? How is the superclass evolving and what will that mean for us? If the rise and fall of elites is part of the story of every era, what does the nature of this group and its likely fate suggest about our own?” (Rothkopf, David (2008-03-18). Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making (pp. 49-50). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.)
    Yeah right! Pigs don’t fly. Back to the important stuff. Which is better Corona or Bud Light?

  • If the recent flying of the Rainbow flag upset you, then you need to be down at the city commission on July 3rd at city hall and complain during the public comment portion. I will be there, I cant do it alone. This is your chance to say NO to special interest flags. If you dont, you might just say the Rainbow flag flying for one whole month next June, is that what you want Fernandina to be know for?? Think about it, the Key West of Northern Florida.

  • Well I went to the city commission and complained about specialty flags in front of city. I was the only one there complaining, so, I guess the people of Fernandina dont really care about the Rainbow flag flying, alot of facebook warriors, who wont stand up. sad

  • I can understand how many Americans (including Dave) may find soccer boring (after all, to each his own). But what amazes me is how a subset of those people feel threatened by its presence on American soil*; it will probably be played/watched by those who are into it anyway (yes, this includes white Americans who even oppose immigration), and likewise those who have an aversion to it will avoid it. And if soccer does not become as mainstream as baseball, basketball, hockey or football, let alone overshadow them in popularity, would it make a difference?
    I’m not a fan of sport in general and would care less about the popularity of soccer in the US compared with baseball, basketball, football or hockey. I’m simply surprised at how some people see the presence of soccer on American soil as a threat.

    *I recall reading once that soccer was played in America as early as the late 19th century, long before Hispanic immigration was a thing. The US was even a participant in the first ever World Cup in 1930.

  • Regarding the low scoring in soccer, I think there’s a cultural aspect to how viewers in other countries (the ones that follow it) tolerate it. It seems to me that for them, there’s much more to the game than scoring.


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