JENNA AND IRIS

Jenna asked to interview me for the TV talk show she hosts. The interview took place yesterday. It will run next week or the week thereafter. When I know for certain, I will let you know.

The interview was taped in the living room at my home. The cameras and everything else were lugged in and set up. Jenna was assisted by her summer intern Iris. Jenna is 28 and has been doing TV work for seven years. Iris is 24. She is presently attending Boston University where she is working on a Masters in TV work.

The ladies told me to stay out of the living room. They needed ten minutes to set up.

The set up, Jenna’s questions, Iris’ filming, all professional. The ladies knew what they were doing and did it.

What did Jenna ask me? When are you going to take me out to dinner again, Louis? Not really. She covered my legal career as an environmental attorney to retirement in Key West. Followed by an internet show, then a TV show, now blog talk radio, and of course my book The World Upside Down.

Fun and interesting.

Since I was up, dressed and shaved, I decided to go out for lunch. The humidity was heavy again. I needed a place with air conditioning. I opted for the closed in dining room at the Pier House. I sat looking out at the water and bathers while reading two local newspapers. Quiet and comfortable.

My intention in the afternoon was to write my KONK Life column for this week. Never got to it. I was in a lazy frame of mind.

Dinner last night was at Boondocks. Boondocks is an open air restaurant just short of Big Pine. About 30 miles up US 1.

The overhead fans kept me comfortable. The mosquitoes were a problem. The Big Pine area is loaded with them. Fortunately, the locals in the area came to Boondocks prepared. Everyone seemed to have a spray can to ward off the mosquitoes. The woman at the bar next to me was kind enough to share her spray with me.

Mitsutoki Shigeta is a name in the news. He is a 24 year old Thailand businessman.  He provides surrogate babies for sale world wide. Sixteen this year so far.

His operation a bit different than most. He fathers the children. All of them. He pays the women and cares for them. Sixteen this year. He is in good shape and never tires. He wants to continue the business till he dies.

Everything appears legal. His name goes on the birth certificates as father. Nevertheless, the police are investigating him. They cannot seem to come up with any illegal activities. They refer to the matter as the Baby Factory Case.

The placement of the babies is private. The going rate for a Thailand child is from $15,000 to $40,000. The babies are sought by prospective parents world wide.

Enjoy your day!

HUMIDITY A KILLER

The humidity has been unusually heavy the past couple of weeks. Yesterday it was extremely heavy. Coupled with no wind, it was hard to take.

We played bocce last night with the extreme humidity in force and effect. Wow! Instantaneous sweat Even before playing. Just standing around was an effort.

Overall, the team did well. We won 2 out of 3 games. Should have won all 3. Lost the last one 16-15. Won the first two handily.

I woke Don this morning to get the result of the last game.

I only played in the first game. I was beat afterwards. Left at the start of the third game. Even the car was hard to operate by that point.

The first game was interesting. We were up 14-2. Needed only 2 points to win. We had a lapse and the other team a run. Suddenly, it was 14-10. We finally got our heads together and won 16-10.

Enjoyed a great lunch yesterday at Azur. With my publisher, Shirrel Rhoades. A knowledgeable guy. Interesting to talk with. I promised him a book by year’s end. He is a gentleman . He placed no time limit on me. Merely admonished me to keep writing.

Spent my afternoon researching next week’s KONK Life column. I hopefully will write it this afternoon.

Big morning! Jenna is coming to my home to televise a one hour talk show with me. She will run it next week at the scheduled time for her TV show. I am not sure whether she will have the show shot indoors or outside. The humidity at 11 will determine the site.

Yesterday’s blog was title Kayon. I misspelled the name. It is Kavon. Sorry, Kavon. Mea culpa.

Enjoy your day!

KAYON

Met what I perceive to be an outstanding young man last night.

It was dinner time. I was in the lobby of the Marriott Beachside. A young Afro-American came in with a bundle of newspapers. This week’s KONK Life. I went over to get a copy. My habit is to check my column for printing errors.

The young man said I know you. He thought for a moment. Key West Lou! Louis Petrone! You write for KONK Life. He then went on to profusely apologize for a mistake he made. He appeared embarrassed. I did not initially understand what he was talking about.

His name was Kayon.

Besides delivering for Konk, Kayon also works in house. One of his tasks is to take my weekly column and reprint it in KONK E-Blast one day a week. Last week’s column was screwed up. E-Blast was one big paragraph. No separation of paragraphs. I complained to publisher Guy de Boer in an e mail.

Turns out Kayon was responsible. He explained he failed to hit a key.

I was embarrassed by how embarrassed and sorry Kayon was.

We chatted a bit. Kayon impressed me. He is a winner!

Spent a couple of hours early afternoon yesterday at a business meeting. Two hours is too much time for business in Key West.

Then visited Lisa. Jake was chewing on a branch he brought in from outside. Fortunately, he did not swallow any of it. Just messed up the living room floor with chips.

Spent some time afterwards at home working on Growing Up Italian. I roughed out a chapter. I have a luncheon meeting today with my publisher Shirrel Rhoades. He is going to ask how I am doing. I am two books behind at the present time.

Wanted to enjoy dinner at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town last night. Looked like rain. The Marriott has indoor parking.

There was room for my car, but not for me. The bar was jam packed. I have never seen it that crowded. It was hello to bartender friend Steve and entertainer Mike Emerson. Then I left.

I tried the Chart Room. Emily bartending Had a couple of drinks and chatted with two couples from one of the Carolinas. Repeat visitors. Their next stop was Pepe’s for dinner.

I think the drinks have gotten smaller at the Chart Room.

I was reading USA Today. There was Ron Grossman’s name. Ron was a Utica attorney. Eight to ten years older than me. I have neither seen nor heard of him in years. His name was in USA Today together with his wife Doris’. The article concerned retirees and the places they picked to settle. Ron was interviewed. He and Doris are living in Sarasota.

I always liked Ron. We had a congenial relationship. Professional, not personal. The reflection that sticks clearly in my mind was a job interview with him. The time 1960. I had just graduated from law school. Looking for a position in a law firm. Ron offered me a job. He pointed to a desk off his reception area. He said you will work there and share your fees with me 50/50.

No salary. No way could I accept his generosity. I had one child and another on the way.

Bocce tonight!

Enjoy your day!

 

ANNUAL PHYSICAL

I had the first part of my annual physical yesterday. Two hours. I will complete the physical next week with Dr. Jackie Lefferts herself. Yesterday, her staff mauled me over.

I have been doing an annual physical since I was 32. Now, 79. A lot of years. I was very sick when 31. Spent four months in bed. Turned me into a hypochondriac of sorts. I worry about my health probably more than most persons.

Physicals have developed over the years. Longer. More detailed.

We started with a urine sample. The nurse used to hand me the bottle and I understood what it was for. Now I get questioned first. Will you be able to do it?

Then an eye test. My eyes have been a problem my entire adult life. I jokingly always say I can’t see. A semi-true statement. I find as one ages, the eyes get better. Yesterday, I did the eye test without glasses and missed not one letter.

Blood pressure, weight, oxygen. My weight a disaster! Blood pressure under control. All the pills I take work.

An EKG. Followed by some kind of a test where both the nurse and I could hear my blood flowing. Tested at both ankles and arms. It was a gusher!

My blood next. I hate giving even a small amount of blood. When I was 21 and ready to marry, New York required a blood test. I passed out. Ever since, I think I am going to pass out again. I look the other way and close my eyes.

It has been years since blood has been taken from my arm. The veins are too soft and move around. It is now from the back of my hands.

The final test involved blowing hard into something. Purpose I assume was to test my lung capacity. You blow till you think your eyeballs are going to pop out.

Two hours of fun. None of it bothered me. However, I was tired when we were finished. I return next week for the results and some doctor prodding.

Stopped at Lisa’s afterwards for breakfast. I was starving.

As a result of the physical work up, I was late doing the blog. Started around noon.

Spent a bit of time in the afternoon fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show. All Ferguson! The show went well. I hit a lot of points big time radio and TV people do not touch. If you wish to listen, the show is archived and can also be found on Facebook and Key West Lou.

Per my usual tuesday pre-show custom,, dined at Roostica’s. Delicious buried in oil wings. Megan came from behind the bar to wait on me. She has taken me under her wing.

One of my observations re Ferguson is that a grand jury had not heard the case yet. Today one will start. I do not understand why we are now 11 days post the shooting and no arrests. If black Michael Brown had shot the white police officer, he would have been indicted by now and sitting in jail awaiting trial.

IS is crazy! They love to behead people. I read yesterday that IS beheaded 700 people in Syria the past two weeks. Last night’s news blew me out when I read IS had beheaded an American reporter who they have held captive for two years. Then posted the video on the internet. the reason given was in retaliation for the American bombings recently in Iraq.

Sick people!

Enjoy your day!

JOIN ME TONIGHT ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Tuesday. Time once again for my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. This evening at 9. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Most of the show will involve Ferguson and the militarization of our police forces. I have been talking about the militarization problem for two years. I was beginning to think I was a voice in the wilderness. Now everyone is into it.

Specific topics will include how police officers killed more Americans than terrorists in 2011, the New Orleans police officer who turned off her body camera before shooting a man two times, the shoot first/question later attitude of most police departments, and how Ferguson is a preview of the future.

Late with the blog again today. I spent the morning at my doctor’s office getting my yearly physical.

Great dinner companions last night! Tom and Fran Dixon from Buffalo. Lovely people.

We had drinks before dinner with their daughter Frances and son in law Jeremy. Both 30ish.

I was introduced to another generation. Both have served in the military. Jeremy in Afghanistan. Frances as an expert in getting food supplies to people who need them.

They are out of the service now and live in Northampton, Massachusetts.

They volunteered to serve because of 9/11. I sat in wonder as I listened to Frances explain how she was so moved by 9/11 that she decided to enter the service as soon as she was out of college.

The two are representative of a new generation. They are givers. They seek to help. Not like the generation before them. The baby boomers who expected everything to be given to them with nothing owed in return.

I have a busy afternoon. Have to finalize tonight’s blog talk radio show.

Enjoy your day!

SUNDAY…..DAY OF REST

Sunday…..Day of rest! I bought it yesterday. I rested till dinner time.

The only interruption, not really an interruption, was when Lisa and the family showed up. They had been to Sugarloaf dropping off Cameron at his mother’s. Cameron was returning to FSU yesterday.

Robert and Ally are starting school today. All excited! These kids love school!

My rest time was not lying around necessarily doing nothing. Though it did take up a portion of the time. I read a bit. The FDR book. The Mantle of Command.

This week’s KONK Life column has to do with the surrender of Singapore without a fight and the refusal of Indian and Australian troops to assist the British if there was to be a fight. I became aware of the circumstance while reading the FDR book. It motivated further research and resulted in the column.

Dinner at Roostica. Me and the FDR book.

Yesterday was also my 57th wedding anniversary. Rather would have been were I still married. We only made it 52 years. For some inexplicable perverted reason, I celebrated the 57th at Roostica’s. There are still memories.

Ferguson, Missouri again last night. The National Guard had to be called in. The mess is getting worse with the looting and destruction. On the other hand, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The police militarized assault at the beginning struck the match that got the thing started.

Ferguson reminds me of the 1950′s Hungarian Revolution.

Government will win in  the end. That is the way it is. At what price, however?

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

AU REVOIR ERIKA AND HERSHEL

Good bye Erika and Hershel! Good friends! Great people!

Erika and Hershel came to Key West several years ago. Erika became Comptroller at the Key West Citizen. Hershel an engineer with Keys Electric and most recently has been working at Don’s Place. Both fun people!

They are leaving Key West. Sad. They are returning home to Indiana.

A going away party was held in their honor last night at Don’s Place. A huge crowd to bid them farewell.

Erika and Hershel were given many going away gifts. Stefanie was in charge of the gifts. Stefanie just returned from a month in Indiana where she and Don have a summer home. Indiana winters and Key West ones are not the same. She gave Hershel a long hand knitted scarf for the Indiana winters. She knitted the scarf herself. Erika got one even bigger. Store bought. Plus a series of other gifts. Most representing the winters they are going to face in Indiana. David and some others also gave gifts.

Erika and Hershel have been the best. Key West will be a little less because of their absence.

Earlier in the day, I spent several hours writing. I am back to Growing Up Italian. I have  departed Greece for a while.

Yesterday’s weather was deadly. Extremely hot and humid. I could not find yesterday’s numbers. However, Jimmy told me last night the temperature was up to 98 and the heat index 120. He should know. He was outside all day on a ladder painting a house.

Today will be cooler. The high projected at 89 and the heat index 97. Jimmy should be painting today!

I presently have three complaints about the new North Roosevelt Boulevard.

It was announced in yesterday’s paper that there will be a back up for cars coming down US 1 to Key West on Monday. Work will still be ongoing at the triangle. The back up is projected at 30 minutes. The article claimed it will back up cars to Key Haven. That is where I live. Means a 2.5 mile back up rarely moving.

With the old Boulevard, there never was a problem for cars coming down US 1 which would make a right onto the Boulevard. There was never a light. A sign several hundred feet before the turn saying in effect cars turning right keep going.

Now there are two lights controlling traffic going in the same direction. Sometimes they will be red. I have noticed the past several days that each time the lights are red, the backup on US 1 has gone beyond College Road to the mid point of the golf course. And this is not season with its increased traffic.

I have been told the lights are for pedestrians to cross. Pedestrians have crossed for years without any lights. I am aware of no accidents.

Finally, the driving lanes in both directions are marked for bicycle traffic. Death on wheels in the making! The worst place for bicycle traffic! No bike paths marked. The sidewalk along the water is huge enough to handle pedestrian and bike traffic as it has for years.

The Ferguson curfew did not work last night. Armored cars, tear gas, and some arrests after midnight.

Today it is Ferguson and race. I worry that tomorrow it will be several communities and the issue salary inequality.

Enjoy your Sunday!

A GOOD TIME LAST NIGHT

I had a good time last night.

Stopped first at the Chart Room. A quick hello to Emily and left. Did not have a drink.

Crossed the street to the Hot Tin Roof. Jenna was joining me for dinner.

Jenna was late. Joseph and I chatted a bit. The man is an intellectual. I enjoy our brief moments together. He made mention that he very much enjoyed my KONK Life column on Detroit. Thought I set forth the necessary background data and frankly represented the situation.

Jenna arrived! We had not seen each other in close to two months. It was reunion time!

We talked about everything. I enjoy her company. She, mine. Too bad she is 52 years younger than me.

I stopped at Don’s Place on the way home. Don was there. We sat and talked quite a while. Big party tonight at Don’s Place. A going away party for Hershel and Erika. They return to Indiana later this week.

Megan came over to say hello. Megan the bartender from Roostica. I have mentioned her before. An excellent bartender. Always makes sure I am well taken care of. I introduced her to Don. The three of us chatted for a while.

Megan looked terrific! Under 30 I suspect. One beautiful woman. Gracious and pleasant.

Jenna and Megan in one night. What could be better!

My day started at the bank with Yeleini. She has been my bank person for years. I needed some information.

Then to Publix. I bought nothing. Cost $51. How do families do it?

When I was in high school, I worked in what was then called a supermarket. The time 1949. Supermarkets then were not the huge stores of today. Not even close. One of my jobs was to stock the shelves. One of the items was Campbell Tomato Soup. Five cents a can. I noticed Publix was having a Campbell Tomato Soup sale. Four cans for $4.95. $1.24 a can.  Although more than 60 years later, still a major increase!

I mentioned Pine Tyme the other day. The 80 pound sick loggerhead turtle that had spent three months at the Marathon Turtle Hospital getting better. Pine Tyme was released into the ocean yesterday. With a satellite tracking device so we will know where her travels take her.

A huge crowd was present for her walk over the sand to the water. Many children. Plus Congressman Joe Garcia. A good guy. Also a politician who knew the best place for him to be yesterday.

Ferguson did not die down. One night of calm. Then Ferguson erupted again last night. Some of the armored trucks were brought out to keep the crowd at bay.

I have an interesting inquiry. Military equipment has been distributed to large and small police departments all over the country. From two sources. The Department of Defense/Pentagon. No cost. Supposedly left over and no longer needed military equipment. Also the Department of Homeland Security. The municipalities have to pay, but get a special deal.

Ferguson is a community of only 21,000 people. Key West is larger. Twenty nine thousand. Has the City of Key West Police Department received from either source military equipment of any nature? Similar to what was seen on the streets of Ferguson. What of the Monroe County Sheriff Department?

The public has a right to know. Transparency is required. Let not the first time we become aware be the day we have public disturbance and the armored vehicles suddenly appear.

Enjoy your day!

BOCCE RETURNS

The weather recent mornings has been glorious. All the good things. Like the sun, a bit of a breeze, calm waters. No humidity. The humidity hits as the day gores on. The temperature runs over 90. The evenings are unbearable till the sun goes down.

The new bocce season began last night. The heat and humidity were heavy. Instantaneous sweat. Conditions continued until the end of the first game when the sun disappeared behind some clouds before setting.

Hot or not, it was great to be back playing bocce! Nothing like it! About 150 of us. All happy to be there. Hellos and hugs all over the place.

We won 2 of 3 games. A good start to the season. We were losing 8-1 in the first game. Then came back to win 16-12. The second game was close till the end. We lost. I played the second game. The third game was ours all the way.

My day time was easy. A haircut with Lori. then lunch again with Robert and Ally. They start school monday. Both are ready and anxious to go.

I spent the afternoon writing next week’s KONK Life column. Glory and Disgrace. The Air Battle for Britain and the Fall of Singapore. We all know about the air war which the British won. Few know why Singapore fell. Singapore was surrendered by the British without a shot being fired. The reasons why are extremely interesting.

This Ferguson, Missouri thing continues to bother me. I do not agree with the way the President is handling it. Martial law should have been declared and the Missouri National Guard federalized. The bad guys in this thing are the militarized police. Failure to take extreme action makes it look like there was enough wrongdoing on both sides that a softer approach was warranted.

It make work in Ferguson. However, it sets no example for the rest of the nation. Militarized police in other areas will not be worried that the roof will fall in if another Ferguson occurs.

The militarization of our police is an interesting subject. I have been talking and warning about it for two years. On my TV and radio shows and in my writings. There is more to this than just the over militarization of police.

The NRA got a big boost out of Ferguson. I suspect in short time the NRA will be saying the reason the people need guns is because of what happened in Ferguson…..To protect themselves against an over zealous government.

There is a new Baseball Commissioner. Robert Manfred. I make mention of him because he grew up in Rome, NY. Rome is 14 miles from my home town Utica.

The Key West Citizen ran a Walter Scott quote in its World Almanac section this morning. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” I used a slightly different variation in summing up to juries when I had caught a witness in a bald faced lie…..What a tangled web we weave, when first we seek to deceive.” Spoken slowly. Repeated one time. The juries loved it!

Today is the anniversary of the opening day of Woodstock. Three Days of Peace and Music as it was titled. I was 34 at the time. Did not attend. Had no desire to attend. Other than the great music that came out of Woodstock, I see no value today in glorifying 400,000 drugged persons rolling around in the mud having sex for three days. And, a prude I am not.

Enjoy your day!

BOCCE AND SOCIAL SECURITY

Bocce and Social Security. The two are related. Sort of.

Tonight the new bocce season begins. August 14, 2014. Exciting!

On this same day August 14 in 1935, President Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. Exciting, also! Without the law, there would be no Social Security and Medicare today.

A point of information. People are always saying Social Security is broke. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If the United States honored its obligations.

President Johnson needed money for the Vietnam War. He looked at all the money sitting idle in the Social Security Fund. He legally devised a method by which the government could take the unused funds for its own purposes. The government keeps taking and never pays back.

The United States owes the Social Security Fund $2.7 trillion. Social Security is the government’s biggest creditor. Number 2 China is owed less than $1 trillion.

When people yell Social Security is broke, they either intentionally forget or do not know what I have set forth. Even today the government continues to  borrow money from the Social Security Fund. Your money and mine.

My yesterday began with a manicure at Lee Nails. Love Tammy!

I spent the afternoon researching further next week’s KONK Life column. Glory and Disgrace. About Great Britain in the early days of World War II. I plan on writing the column this afternoon.

Don’s Place was my first stop last night. Don is back. I was glad to see him.

I chatted a while with Stan and Clare and Hershel and Erika. Bocce, of course. Said hello to Grant.

Then to the Chart Room. Buffalo’s Tom Dixon is back in town! A rabid Syracuse fan. A Buffalo Bills fan, also. I asked Tom how the football team was going to be this year. He said terrific. I could not understand. Syracuse football has not distinguished itself in years. Turned out he was talking about the Buffalo Bills.

Tom’s wife Fran joined us. A charming lady.

We were together quite a while. We agreed to dine monday night at the Hot Tin Roof.

I had dinner at the outside bar at La Te Da. Always an interesting venue.

The people of the Keys and the turtles who live in its waters are lucky to have the Marathon Turtle Hospital.

Pine Tyme is an 80 pound loggerhead. In June, some fisherman found him in the ocean off Big Pine unable to dive. They got him on their boat and brought the turtle to the Turtle Hospital. Where he was named Pine Tyme.

Pine Tyme’s problem was gas in his intestines. He was not expelling it. He was full of air. No wonder he could not dive.

Pine Tyme has been treated and cured with antibiotics. He will be returned to the ocean friday.

I have been discussing on my various shows and in writing the past two years what I describe as the militarization of our police. Police departments across the country are receiving left over war machinery from the government. Police have also become cocky since 9/11. An item I discussed on my blog talk radio show this past tuesday.

Validity for my remarks is what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri at the moment. People are demonstrating. Some looting. The police have prohibited protesting in groups. Last night, the police were out in military gear. Armored vehicles. Repeating guns on top of them. The police used smoke bombs and tear gas to stop the demonstrators. At this point the demonstrators were merely walking down the street in group fashion.

You cannot defecate on a people. The demonstrators retaliated with molotov cocktails.

See the pictures and videos on television and the internet. Decide for yourself whether the police went too far, whether the police incited the retaliatory violence by the crowd.

Enjoy your day!