Off Key

| May 1, 2014

By Bob Frederickson

Local Hunter should have Passed on this Easy Buck…

Property owners in the rural reaches of eastern Sarasota County have long been frustrated by unauthorized hunting on their land. Unfortunately, by the time a sheriff’s deputy would respond to a complaint, the offenders would often be long gone. Enter Robbie the Robotic Buck, the department’s newest member enlisted to help catch illegal hunters in the act. Robbie, a full size stuffed deer, is positioned by deputies out in the open 80-100 yards from the roadside in areas where complaints have been received in the past. An officer from the department’s agricultural division then takes cover in the brush nearby (hopefully out of the line of fire) and waits to see if anyone takes the bait. Sure enough, the ruse has snared several roadside hunters giddy with excitement over their apparent good fortune at sighting a prized buck out in the open. Adding to the realism of Robbie’s Asolo Theatre worthy performance are servo-controlled motors that allow the undercover deputy to move the faux deer’s head and tail in response to any noise the would-be hunters make as they go about lining up their shot, often from the comfort and convenience of their pick-up or car.

In a recent news report Deputy Jeff Gross recalled an instance in which one unwitting hunter remarked to his companion after missing Robbie with his first shot “Geez, look at that dumb buck, he’s still standing there!”

After being convicted on a third degree felony charge of illegal hunting, we have to wonder, who’s feeling dumb now?

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Lord Have Mercy, the End is Near!

The end is near...

The end is near…

A woman just up the road in Tampa called 911 recently to report a strange ring around the midday sun.

“9-1-1, what is your emergency?”

“Yes, umm, it’s a weird circle up in the sky…and it’s never been in the United States of America before. Never, ever!”

Aliens signaling their arrival? A prelude to the Rapture, fittingly arriving in the midst of the Easter/Passover season?

The caller wanted police to check things out.

Turns out it was just ice crystals forming in the upper atmosphere, the result of a late season cold snap. Many local observers saw the phenomenon in this area as well.

You have to wonder though, if it had been aliens or some other “otherworldly” event, just what did the caller think local authorities would be able to do about it?

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 Quote of the Day

From author Dave Ramsey: “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”

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This Response Just Doesn’t Hold Water…

Did you hear about the municipal water authority out in Oregon that ordered 37 million gallons of water drained from a reservoir under its purview because a young man was observed urinating along its shore?

No similar concern was expressed over the geese above, the fish below or the bears that do you-know-what in the woods of the surrounding watershed.

“For it is written in the Everlasting Gospel of Environmental Correctness, only humans can foul the planet….”

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And in that Same Vein…

Settled science...

Settled science…

Environmental activists presented a petition signed by over 110,000 individuals to The Washington Post recently urging the paper to “stop publishing climate lies” and thus recognize climate change as “settled science” needing no further debate in the media.

And as far as the science goes, maybe we should wait for the 10-day weather forecast to approach the accuracy of a coin toss before we buy into “settled science” that relies on computer models stretching out 100 years or more.

Which brings us to our next item…

Bumper Sticker of the Day:

Bumper sticker of the day...

Bumper sticker of the day…

“Freedom: One Generation Away from Extinction.”

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First the Homeless Center, now the SCAT Bus Station?

We mentioned the controversy over plans to place a new homeless center near downtown in our March edition. Subsequently a site east of U.S. 301 has emerged as the front-runner among the locations being considered. Now some have expressed a desire to move the bus station out of the downtown core as well and again, locations east of U.S. 301 have made the short list.

What’s next to go, Selby Library?

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 Great Expectations? Not For the Next Generation…

A recent segment on The Evening News with Brian Williams reported on how the SATs are being revised to keep up with the times.

“Perhaps you remember the golden oldies like ‘recalcitrant,’ ‘obsequious’ and ‘pusillanimous,’ reported Williams, “the really hard vocabulary words we had to study for the SATs, words that would cause flop sweat to break out on the foreheads of even the smart kids in high school? Well, the newly designed SAT ready for rollout in 2016 will not include questions about obscure words in an attempt to better align the test with high school and college reality. Otherwise, many fear the test will become an anachronism.”

Which won’t matter much in any case since no one will know what an anachronism is, much less how to spell it.

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Musical Anhedonia?

The medical journal “Current Biology” recently reported on a rare and obscure condition known as Musical Anhedonia. Those afflicted derive no pleasure from music and show no reaction to it. Can you imagine?

Not if you were in the audience for the recent Sarasota Orchestra performance of “The Beatles in America: Classical Mystery Tour.” The sold out crowd at the Van Wezel gratefully offered up several standing ovations for the Orchestra and the four rock musicians playing the parts of the fab four as they presented some of the Beatles greatest music in a way it was never heard while the group was still together: live with the band backed by a full orchestra.

Next up for the Sarasota Orchestra? “Spirit of America: A concert at the Ballpark,” at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday, May 10th at 7:00 PM. Violinist and multiple Grammy nominee Molly Cherryholmes will perform along with the local orchestra.

The program will also feature a musical version of “Casey at the Bat,” “Roundball Rock,” “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas and John Williams’ Star Wars and Olympics themes.

Concertgoers can bring the entire family and snack on hot dogs and crackerjacks while enjoying the show and also checking out the refurbished stadium their tax dollars helped finance a short while back.

Tickets are available starting at $15 for adults and $5 for children. VIP tickets are available for $50 and are available by contacting the box office, 941-953-3434 or the day of the show at Ed Smith. For more information go to sarasotaorchestra.org/special-events/outdoor-pops

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Category: Columns

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