FOREVER FAMOUS

I went to Smathers Beach yesterday morning. Not to sun or swim. To attend the plaque dedication in Diana Nyad’s honor. A good sized crowd present.

Last year, Diana swam from Cuba to Key West. Without the aid of a shark cage! The swim itself a  first ever feat. She did it at age 64. Another feat.

A plaque was dedicated honoring her and the event. In addition to the plaque, Diana was made an honorary Conch. A bigger tribute than the plaque!

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me for a fast moving interesting half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Nine my time.

Topics tonight include the question why the U.S. bombed Somalia over the weekend instead of Syria, a police officer who believed he did not have to follow the Constitution in making arrests because he claimed Obama was not following it, personal data of thousands of Homeland Security personnel hacked, an exploration of whether the U.S. is becoming a third world country, U.S. Tripoli abandoned embassy pool being used by jihadist militants for fun and pleasure, Monsanto and American justice, Russia/China gas line construction  begins, Berlin trying to build one church to house 3 religions: Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Plus more.

It was mid sunday afternoon yesterday. What to do? Decided to take Robert and Ally to No Name Pub for a late lunch. They love the place! They were not home. At the beach.

Decided to go alone. I had visions of a Philly cheese steak sandwich. They make the best!

It was the car top down and my baseball cap on backwards.

I enjoyed the sandwich. Sat at the bar. Chatted with people around me. A typical Florida Keys time in a back woods bar.

Bad sleeping night! My back started up again. Could not get comfortable. Caused me to place too much strain on the injured shoulder when I turned.

Enjoy your day!

FDR…..COMMANDER IN CHIEF

Enjoyed Sunday dinner at Roositca last night. The spaghetti special which includes a salad, three huge meatballs, two huge sausage links, and great bread for $14. A buy! I ate all the meat. Little of the pasta. Too much food for me.

The place was packed. A gold mine!

Guy de Boer came in with a big party. He stopped to talk with me. I asked about his sister Dawn who I had never met. However, we are friends via the internet. She lives somewhere in north Florida and edits my weekly KONK Life column. Guy said she is here with me. I want to meet her, I said.

Off we went to her table. We were both overjoyed to have finally met each other in the flesh. Dawn is a lovely person in every respect.

When I eat alone, I bring something to read. Generally, a newspaper or my tablet. Last night, it was the FDR book The Mantle Of Command I have been reading. I finished it while dining.

A great book! One of the best historical novels I have read. It covers a small time frame during World War II. Eleven months. From December 7th to the following November when the Allies successfully landed in North Africa in what was known as Operation Torch.

The book was written by Nigel Hamilton. Published this year. Would make a great movie!

The novel shows a side of Roosevelt not before seen. He was a hard ass do it my way leader. Forget the generals and admirals, he was the commander in chief. He conducted himself accordingly. Rarely did he have to pull rank. He was a smoothie who manipulated and turned people to his way of thinking.

Many tried to manipulate him, stand up to him. Each failed. Churchill, Marshall, MacArthur, and Stimson were no match. They opposed him, fought him. Went behind his back. None prevailed, whatever the issue.

Hamilton had some intimate relationships that assisted in writing the book.. While a student at Cambridge, Hamilton resided with Churchill’s parents. Hamilton spent hours discussing Churchill with his quasi grandfather Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery. He also spent considerable time interviewing people who knew Churchill intimately. Churchill is a major figure in the book after Roosevelt.

This is the first book written from the perspective of Roosevelt as a controlling commander in chief. Not only of his generals and admirals, but also world leaders.

As he was to all Presidents he served under, MacArthur was a pain in the ass. Nevertheless a military genius. FDR kept him in line waiting for the American Pacific war to begin.

One thing reported about MacArthur in the book bothered me. Corregidor was about to fall. MacArthur would soon be ordered to Australia. The Philippine people and American troops were being brutalized by the Japanese.

Within days of MacArthur leaving and the Philippines falling into Japanese hands, the Philippine government gave MacArthur $500,000 which MacArthur was able to secure and get out of the Philippines. A sort of legal payment. The Philippine government was always rewarding people who helped them. This was the first time MacArthur was so rewarded.

Roosevelt was not happy about the payment and its acceptance. He kept quiet, however. He needed MacArthur for another day. The payment remained secret until 1979 when it first came to public light.

The payment did not appear proper in and of it self. It also did not look correct when men were dying in droves. Keep in mind Bataan and Corregidor.

There is a contrast. Eisenhower served under MacArthur in the Philippines from 1936 to 1939. He was a major at the time and acted as MacArthur’s chief of staff. Eisenhower was offered $60,000 from the Philippine government at roughly the same time as MacArthur received the $500,000. Eisenhower turned down the $60,000. He did not consider it in good taste.

Read the book. An interesting eye opener.

Enjoy the last day of your Labor Day weekend!

 

BACK CONTROLLED MY SATURDAY

Everything went to the side yesterday. My aching back determined my activities. Which amounted to little.

I left the house to go to Walgreen. I was out of certain heart pills. Did not want to screw around and go a day or two without. Stopped at Lisa’s on the way home for lunch and to visit with Robert and Ally. Had an afternoon scheduled with friends. Canceled it. Dinner planned with other friends. Called that off also.

I spent most of the day in bed trying to find a comfortable position. Watched college football off and on. Had a good deep sleep at one point.

Georgia impressed me. I forget the player’s name, but he was fantastic. Running, scoring, doing everything.

I noticed that the State has added an additional feature to the Boulevard. Pedestrian island stations. That is how they are called. Concrete islands in 3 or 4 spots in the center lane so people crossing have an island of protection.

A benefit? I am not sure. People have been getting across for years. I worry that the stations will invite accidents. Some turns will be difficult because of the concrete slabs.

There are no traffic lights to stop traffic so pedestrians can cross. The islands will mean people running across to a station in the middle and then waiting for an opening to hurry to cross the other half of the highway.

I am beginning to wonder whether it is old age that is causing me to be upset with new portions of the Boulevard. It could be I am reluctant to change.

IS keeps bothering me. We are told within a month London and the U.S. will suffer a terrorist attack. Obama seems to be vacillating. Maybe not. Perhaps merely a cover. Whatever, I say wait not for the terrorists to attack us on our home soil. Wait not for another 9/11 and close to 3,000 lives lost. Hit them now and hit them hard. Destroy them. Worry afterwards how a strike might appear to help Assad. Our primary concern should be for our people here in the USA.

Enjoy your Sunday!

OH, MY BACK!

It never fails. When I least expect it, my back goes out. I woke in the middle of the night with pain in my lower back. Turning over extremely painful. Hurts like hell this morning! Takes my breath away.

I am a double invalid. My right shoulder a problem as well.

It has to be the aging process that makes medical problems occur so frequently.

I did my duty for God and country yesterday morning and part of the afternoon. Wrote next week’s column for KONK Life. Scopes Monkey Trial…..A Fraud. The Scopes trial was interesting in and of itself. It becomes even more interesting when one becomes aware the whole thing was rigged.

Watched golf on TV for a couple of hours in the later afternoon. A lot of money at stake in the Fed Ex.

Spent a most enjoyable three hours at the Chart Room last night. Never made it to dinner.

Don and Chris are back in Key West for the long weekend. Good people from the Syracuse area. World travelers. Additionally visit Key West 3-4 times a year. In the next month, one or both will be in Hong Kong, Seoul and other Asiatic spots working.

Emily joined in on our conversations. David showed up. It was like old home week.

Kim and Donna joined us. Visiting from the Tampa area. Kim has been to Key West before. This is Donna’s first time. Kim is originally from Wisconsin. A Green Bay Packer fan. I hope to run into them again before they leave.

As I was preparing to leave, Andrea came in. Sat and chatted with her a few minutes. Then a kiss on the cheek and good night.

Syracuse football last night. First game of the season. Syracuse played Villanova at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won in a double overtime 27-26. A disgrace!

Syracuse should have drubbed Villanova. Most sport columnists this morning said Villanova was the real winner. What a way for Syracuse to start the season!

I am nervous about the rest of the season.

Oh! Be carefull tonight. If you need to drive up US 1, do not drink at all. Or, have a designated driver. It was announced there will be a DUI check point on US 1 at Cross Street from 8 pm to 2 am.

Enjoy your day!

SURGERY IN THE NEAR FUTURE

I have finally figured out why people have to retire. They need the time to doctor. Visiting doctors is almost a full time job as one gets older.

I missed doing yesterday’s blog because of a busy several hours starting 8 in the morning. Recall I fell six weeks ago. Missed a step to my front porch. My right shoulder was bothering me. I had an MRI last week. Received the results yesterday.

A torn rotator cuff. Complete tear. Surgery required. Not a big deal. However if I let the matter go unattended, in a year sewing up the tear will have become a right shoulder replacement.

My plate is full right now. Told the doctor I would get back to him when. He said he needed two weeks notice. I figure I will do it in November.

The Grand Jury has reported re the Charles Eimers matter. The police were not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing. If my memory is correct, 32 witnesses testified. There may be another step. I suspect the Eimers family will bring a federal suit. The rules are different in a federal trial and an opposite civil result could easily come about.

I personally experienced a bicyclist on the Boulevard yesterday. I was heading up the Boulevard on my way home. It was a busy time. Traffic heavy, but moving. I was in the outside lane. All of a sudden the traffic to the front of me in my lane slowed down considerably. Like 10 miles an hour or less.

It continued. Moving into the passing lane was difficult because of the traffic. Cars in my lane were moving over as the opportunity arose. Finally, I was able to.

As I drove along in the passing lane, I discovered the reason for the holdup. There in front of a long line of cars in the middle of the lane was a woman riding a bicycle. She appeared oblivious to all around her. Both sidewalks were paved, open and available for bike traffic. There were no cars in her lane for 200-300 feet in front of her.

I had seen the brilliance of the State engineers in operation. As I have suggested several times, permitting bicycles on this heavily traveled road is an invitation to disaster. A given.

Less anyone say I am unaware of the law, I am aware that the law permits bicycles to be operated on roadways. I further understand that bicycles have the same rights as cars. Such does not mean the law or the Boulevard determination is correct.

Bocce last night. My shoulder does not hurt when I let the bocce ball go. Probably because no big back swing and the ball is generally thrown with very little speed.

We lost the first two games. Badly. Won the third. A close battle. As Don said afterwards, we won the last game because of the girls. Jennifer and Clare. They played terrific! Stan was a big help all night. His off the board shots were right on.

Labor Day Weekend starts today. Have a great time! Drink and drive carefully. Don’t maim or kill yourself or anyone else else while enjoying the holiday.

IS, or ISIS as some still describe the organization, threatens the U.S. often. In the last 48 hours, the Pope has been in touch with the family and has made public statements re the beheading of the American reporter. As a result, the Pope has made the Vatican the recipient of IS’ most recent threats.

IS announced yesterday that it “…..will arrive in the Vatican” and that the “…..Vatican will become Muslim.”

I received several e mails yesterday from Italian friends regarding the threats. A big deal in the Italian media. I could find no reference in American news.

Readers comment daily regarding statements made in this blog. Some days only a few comments. Other days a nerve is hit and many are received. This morning, I received the most ever. People commenting on the Uzi/9 year old girl story. Regardless of whether a gun supporter or not, the comments were 100 percent to the effect that the 9 year old girl should not have had a Uzi in her hands.

Enjoy the beginning of your Labor Day Weekend!

ML FANTASY FEST QUEEN

ML is a candidate for Fantasy Fest Queen. I think she is a winner. A charming woman. She has a good business sense. Beat cancer several years ago. Is well liked. More importantly, she and Guy de Boer are a pair. The thing I like most about ML is that she brings out the best in Guy.

There is an AIDS/ML fundraiser friday night. From 8-11 at th Key West Pub. The theme of the event is the 1970′s. Guests are asked to dress as their favorite 1970′s sitcom character.

A guaranteed fun time for a good cause!

My yesterday began late morning. Needed a few things from K-Mart and Office Max. Decided on an early lunch. Cheeseburger in  my head. Drove to 5 Guys in Winn-Dixie Shopping Plaza. As I was walking in, I saw the ice cream store next door. Opened about a year ago. The hell with the cheeseburger I thought. Time for a chocolate milk shake!

I generally only drink chocolate shakes when on vacation. I overdid them in Greece. especially Santorini. Since no trip this summer, it has been a year since I enjoyed a chocolate shake.

I got one at 2 Scoops. Heaven blessed me! So good!

2 Scoops is small but well decorated and clean inside. Take the kids! A good place for ice cream!

My physical was at 1. Took 2 hours. On top of the 2 hours last week taking all kinds of tests. This was with the good Dr. Jackie Lefferts herself. A thorough physician.

I am going to live.

Got home and reviewed my material for last night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. The show went well. A bit of Syria, a baby factory story, and much about police officers. Closed with some food stories re cheese and butter products coming into the U.S. from China. A full evening.

Before the show, I had dinner at the my usual tuesday night haunt. Roostica. Two nights in a row. I enjoyed an order of lemoncello wings. You have not tasted wings till you have tried Roostica’s lemoncello ones.

Yesterday was primary day here in Florida. Key West is in Monroe county. Covers the keys all the way up to the mainland and then more.

I sensed driving around yesterday that the primary would be light. Very few supporters on corners holding signs and waving.  The turn out was small. Depending on who is correct, it was either 27, 30 or 33 percent. The results provided no surprises.

What  did surprise me was the Key West Citizen describing many races as close. 55-45 percent is not close.

Guns, guns, guns. No matter how we cut it, we are a gun crazy society. An occurrence yesterday proves it.

The place a driving range in Arizona. A 9 year old girl was being given lessons on using a Uzi. Her instructor was 39 and duly qualified. One of the rounds was too much for the 9 year old to handle. The gun recoiled and kicked back. Shot the instructor in the head. He died.

Trauma to the instructor. Life time trauma for the 9 year old girl.

Enjoy your day!

A LIZARD IN THE HOUSE

There was a lizard in my kitchen yesterday. I was not sure at the moment precisely what it was. However, no question it was a member of the lizard family.

I was working at the counter in the kitchen on tonight’s blog talk radio show. I happened to look up. There at the far end of the kitchen was this reptile of old sitting. I yelled hoping to scare him. I did. He scooted off as fast as he could.

I had seen him/her before. For a couple of months, in my garage. Running around. I was not concerned. Figured it was a good neighbor. Ate the bugs.

Somehow junior got in my kitchen. Probably the other day when I left the door connecting the house and garage open in order to bring in the groceries.

The garage was ok for the reptile. Not the house itself.

I opened the door to the deck and got a dust mop. The lizard was hiding behind a plastic garbage bag. In ten seconds, prodding him delicately, I had the lizard out the door and running like hell!

The body of the lizard was 6-8 inches. Plus, a curled tail of 4 inches. Light to dark green in collar. Sort of fat. The body was like a thick cigar. About 1.5-2 inches in diameter. The body smooth.

What was it? At first I thought a gecko. A member of the lizard family, also. Too large and the color too dark. Then I considered an iguana. A lizard, also. No way. None of those things sticking out of the head and body.

Keith and Jenn stopped over for a while. I told them about my lizard experience. Did they know what it was? No. However, an hour later Jenn e-mailed me and said a rock lizard. She gets the prize! I looked rock lizard up on the internet and there it was. There are many species of rock lizard. My visitor fit one of the pictures.

Can you imagine waking in the middle of the night with one of those things running across the bed covers?

I finalized my blog talk radio show for tonight in the morning. Half the show will be dedicated to unholy police activities in recent years. A discussion of beheadings. My thoughts on chasing IS into Syria.

Overall, an interesting and thought provocative show. Join me. You will enjoy. Nine in the evening my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Ray the pool man came over in the morning. Fixed the motor. No big deal. A joint blew out. Pool wall needs a little something to cover the seam opening. This will be done sometime in the next few days.

Lisa and the grandkids took me to dinner last night. Roostica. Robert and Ally did the pizza dough thing at the table. I helped to flatten the dough even more after they were done. Robert showed me how to do it. You make your hand into a fist and pound.

Three pizzas were ordered. Lisa wanted pizza also. The grandkids’ pizza was the same size as an adult one. I wanted baked ziti and wings. We had too much food!

I took the leftovers home. I could have a pizza party with what is in my refrigerator. I did. This morning. I had a cold slice for breakfast. First time in years. Delicious!

This is primary day in Key West. Those of you here be sure to vote. Primary races for Mayor, Judges, and School Board.

I have the second half of my physical today at 1. I get the test results from last week and the Doctor herself will do today’s prodding. My internist is Dr. Jackie Lefferts. I have a lot of respect for her ability. I remember the year she told me I had a heart condition. I told her she was crazy. She was correct. A year later, she told me I had a new and separate heart problem. Again I told her she was wrong. Again, she was correct.

I respect her judgment.

Enjoy your day!

A SPECIAL SUNRISE

I was out of bed early this morning. As I walked outside, the sun was rising. Breaking over the horizon. There was a light gray cloud bank. It muted the bight orange ball to a radiating pale yellow.

A beautiful sight! I was a lucky man.

Bicycle riding on the newly paved Boulevard is an item under much discussion by locals. To a person, everyone thinks it is down right stupid! Don’t write and tell me it is the law. I understand. It makes no difference. Bicycle riding on the new road is an invitation to disaster.

The ten foot promenade remains on the ocean side. Such has always been the place bicycle riders have used. Hopefully common sense will prevail and the promenade will continue to be the path of choice. It will for locals. It will not for some visitors. They will see the bicycle markings on the roadway and opt to drive in the road. Families. Parents and children. Little children. The same persons that would not ride a bike thusly back home.

Sean Kinney wrote an excellent article on the issue in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. You may want to read it.

My sunday was quiet again.

I had breakfast at Harpoon Harry’s. Ham and eggs. The best eggs in town. Taste fresh all the time. I know that last statement may sound strange. However, there is something to Harpoon Harry’s eggs that makes them taste better.

I spent part of the day lying around. Watched some golf. Amazing golf. Spent a couple of hours researching this week’s KONK Life column. It will have to do with the 1925 Scopes trial. The trial concerned itself with evolution and the Bible. Turns out the trial was a phony. It was rigged from the beginning.

The Key West Citizen in its Crime Report section told the story of a couple allegedly ripped off at a local adult entertainment club. Not the first time such has been reported at this particular club.

My problem is with Key West police in such a situation. Credit cards are generally involved. Sometimes a higher number is charged to a credit card. Significantly higher. There are other games played. Generally again with credit cards.

Police policy is to regard such matters as civil, not criminal. A contract is involved and one party claims the consideration was not as intended. The police advise the persons purportedly cheated that if they wish to pursue the matter, to sue civilly.

Wrong! Credit card abuse of this nature is larceny on its face. If the police were to make one or two arrests, this sort of thing would come to a glaring end.

The police should reconsider how they handle these cases.

Key West is an adult fun community in many respects, People visit here to dance to a different tune. To do what they might not do back home. Ninety nine percent of the tourist businesses play by the rules. They all should.

Enjoy your day!

IN ONE ERA

In One Era! A cute name. Learned of it last night for the first time. A beautiful place offering an electic mix of antiques and collectibles. It is located in Bahama Village on Petronia Street near Blue Heaven.

I met Leda and Stuart last night at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. They were enjoying a bit of dinner as I. We started talking. Leda owns In One Era. Stuart is a retired firefighter and now has his own general contracting business.

I checked In One Era out on the internet before writing this morning. The store front is amazing! Truly a work of art! It is a giant mural. The whole front. Appeared to me to be two murals combined.

There was as a time I frequented Bahama Village often. In recent years, not. The problem for me is parking. A pain in the ass in that area that the City of Key West has yet to deal with. Ergo, I have not seen Leda’s store. I will soon. I will walk the extra blocks required to do so. In addition, I can use the exercise.

When I arrived at Tavern ‘n Town, the bar was full. Only a couple of seats available. Fifteen minutes later, there were a total of four patrons including me.

Rob Distasi was playing. He was introduced to me. Plays well. An excellent entertainer. He has been around the island for 20 years. Last night was the first time I heard him. My loss!

Steve bartending. Steve bartended for years at the Pier House’s Wine Galley. A first class bartender and great server. A charming personality. Warm hearted. Steve and I have been friends for years.

Judy is the manager of the room. Last night she was helping Steve behind the bar for a while. Two people out. Judy runs a tight room. Top food. Great ambiance. She has built up a tremendous local following.

I had dinner with Andrea. A Norwegian by extraction, she speaks six languages. She appeared to know everyone at Tavern ‘n Town.

I finally got down to work yesterday afternoon. Wrote this week’s KONK Life column which will be published wednesday. Something Stinks in Ferguson.

Initially, I was reluctant to write about Ferguson. It has been all over the news. Everything that should be known was known. Not the case, however. There were some tidbits of information that I had come across that I wished to share. Other matters  though known where I wanted to express an opinion. Something Stinks in Ferguson was born!

The pool broke down yesterday. The water level had dropped eight inches. I could not figure out why. The machinery for the pool is on the side of the house. A place I rarely visit. I did yesterday. Water spraying all over the place. I turned the water off and called Ray from Pool Groom.

Today is sunday. I have no idea what I shall do.

Enjoy your day!

 

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!