HAPPENINGS AND THOUGHTS

I am a creature of habit. I returned to Tavern ‘n Town last night after having been there thursday evening. Two reasons. Dieting, I have to go where I can get the best meal for my diet. There is also Bobby Nesbitt. He entertains friday evenings at the bar. I have enjoyed his singing for over 20 years. He sings songs I know. Songs from my past. I quietly sing along with him.

Tavern ‘n Town was packed both bar and dining room. Mostly locals. They were having an early dinner before heading over to the Tennessee Williams Theater for the Nutcracker Suite.

Key West’s Nutcracker is presented every two years. Artistic liberty taken.  The mice, etc. are chickens and fish to reflect the Key West life style.

I was banking at noon time. Afterwards stopped at Don’s Place. No Don nor anyone I knew. I left.

This diet has introduced me to organic foods. Emily is an organic nut. She finally drove me to shopping correctly in certain instances.

I had heard of the Organic Cafe on Fleming. Had never been there. Stopped yesterday for a sandwich. The Cafe is in a former gas station.

I could not order. The menu was too confusing. The place crowded. A line to place an order. I took a menu home and read it. Interesting. No question healthy food. Also, very expensive. I was shocked. I guess you pay the price for healthy food.

The place unquestionably a gold mine. People buying!

I am into sitting on the deck. Spent some thoughtful time. Much happening in my life at the moment.

I dislike bike riders. Accidents waiting to happen. Electric carts joined the club yesterday.

I was driving up US 1. North, heading home. Just past Cross Street, traffic got heavy. I was in the passing lane. Backed up badly. Hard to pull out because of traffic in the driving lane.

Finally got to where I could pass. There were two electric  carts driving in the passing lane up US 1. Where they were going, I know not. Doing probably 30 miles an hour at best. They were placing their lives in jeopardy. Perhaps even that of a car driver.

While enjoying my diet food at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town, I was watching a basketball game. It was a high school game. Simeon v. St. Rita. Could not understand why a major channel would carry a high school game in prime time.

Turns out it was a national championship round. Simeon #2 in the country, St. Rita #5. These kids played well. College Division I well. I read afterwards that certain players from the two teams are already committed to Kentucky, Tennessee, and Tulane.

All over Key West people are discussing the Cuba thing. All in favor. Not one I heard against. The reason generally being that the U.S. program has existed for 50 years and nothing has changed. The program did not work.

Cuba brought to mind the nuclear showdown between the U.S. and Russia involving Cuba. It was October 1963. Russia had nuclear missiles in Cuba. The U.S. said get them out. Russia said no.

U.S. ships were blocking the way to Cuba. Russian vessels were heading for Cuba and reached the American line. World War III was imminent. Ships facing each other. Within several hundred feet. Russia blinked. I can still see clearly the Russian vessel turning around and heading home.

In the last coupe of days, an al-Qaeda/ISIS group in Nigeria attacked a village. Killed 35. Took captive around 140. Mostly young women, girls and children. The last time this occurred a few months ago, 300 young girls were captured. The word is they were sold into slavery.

ISIS published a manual in Mosul recently. It had to do with slaves and sex. What the man could do and not do. Not much he could not do. Females considered property. Intercourse before puberty permitted.

These people are crazy!

The market has had a good week. Up, up and up. Very upward. I have been a market player my entire life. People should recall that whatever goes up rapidly, comes down even more rapidly.

Syracuse/Villanova today at 1. Villanova a 12 point favorite. The game is ccarried on a major channel. I shall be watching it from the comfort of home.

Enjoy your day!

CHRISTMAS IS COMING

It is starting to feel like Christmas in Key West.

I was wandering around town yesterday. People greeting other people with Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Holiday hustle and bustle evident.

It got me in the holiday mood. I was not till yesterday. So much so that last night I took a ride around Key West to look at the decorated homes. Just as up north, people are into dressing the outside of their homes with Christmas ornaments.

My KONK Life column has been delivered. It will publish Christmas Day. It has to do with Christmas.

I wrote the column for Amazon Kindle in 2010. I thought it fitting for a republication this year in KONK Life. It is a history of Christmas.

Christmas as we know it did not fully evolve till World War II. The  Puritans did not celebrate Christmas. Early Boston made it a crime to celebrate Christmas. Christmas was not celebrated at the time of the Revolution. And on and on.

How Christmas as we know it came to be is interesting. Washington Irving is one of those responsible.

Look for the article next week. You will enjoy it.

This week’s KONK Life already on the stands has a different writing by me. The American Dream Revisited…..Torture Pays. The story of two men who hoodwinked the U.S. into paying them $81 million dollars for a set of copied Nazi and Communist enhanced torture techniques.

Visited the grandkids as they were getting out of school yesterday. Jake still loves me. He gets all excited when I come in.

Dinner was at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. Around 9. Thursday is a happy hour special from 6-8. Cannot do it. Too many people. By 9, there are substantially fewer people at the bar.

My diet dinner consisted of a small portion of risotto and a dish of mushrooms sautéed in oil.

The Citizens’ Voice on page 2 of the Key West Citizen contained an interesting observation today. The writer stated…..In the 1960s, we had an economic war, we lost it…..We had a war on poverty, we lost it…..We had a war on drugs, we lost it.

Not much progress on these battlefronts!

Enjoy your day!

DON’S NIGHT

It was Don’s night last night. Even though we were out together, we did not get very far. Don got comfortable talking with people at the Chart Room and we never left.

We were headed for dinner at Hot Tin Roof. I had to satisfy my pangs of hunger with pop corn.

In spite of no food, the evening was good. Ran into a fellow Manhattan graduate. Jack Kelley. He and wife Sabina used to own a home in Key West. Sold it. Still visit. Their full time home is Washington, DC. Jack is retired, Sabina still working.

Che at the bar. Chastised me for not losing weight. He needs new specs. I told him I had just lost 21 pounds and was still working at it.

Mary bartending. She normally works the beach bar. Emily is on vacation. If I recall correctly, somewhere in one of the Carolinas.

Met RD for the first time. Former manager of Cowboy Bill’s. Consults for several bars in town now. Spent a significant part of his life in the meat packing business.

I found his meat packing experience interesting. During college, summers and each vacation that I was home, I worked the midnight shift at a meat packing house in Utica. I did it all!

When I finally was able to drag Don away, it was too late for dinner. I dropped him off at Don’s Place and headed home.

My first evening stop was Don’s Place. That is where I hooked up with Don. When I arrived, he was sitting at the bar chatting with Sam. I had not met Sam before. Nor had Don. This was Sam’s first time at Don’s Place.

Sam has lived in Key West ten years. He is a civilian employee with the Army at Boca Chica. Interesting and good company. The three of us spent a considerable amount of time talking about Cuba.

Obama announced yesterday that the U.S. is reopening relations with Cuba after more than 50 years. Native Key Westers have always thought that when Cuba opened again, Key West would benefit. Key West is only 90 miles from Cuba. I never thought so. I do not think so even today. The best I see coming out of it is a new ferry boat service Key West to Havana and return.

My initial impression is Obama did the right thing in starting the necessary steps to solidify a friendly relationship with Cuba. The Cuban revolution was in 1959. I was a senior in law school at the time. It is 55 years later. Time to lay differences aside and move on. The Germans and Japanese did more to us and other peoples during World War II. It did not take anywhere near 50 years to put our differences aside and move on.

I made a brief visit in the afternoon to Lisa’s. The grandkids are off from school afternoons this week. Spent some time with Robert and Ally. Robert has a cold and sore throat. Nothing bad. Lisa fears Ally is coming down with the same thing.

Friend Jake met me at the door. I continue to be amazed at how we have become friends.

Enjoy your day!

 

TORTURE

One of the issues I discussed last night on my blog talk radio show was torture. The issue was whether the U.S. is a torturer. My thought was that if we do torture, then we are. The act of torturing in itself is a manifestation of what we are. Of what we have become. We have changed as a people since 9/11. Changed in many ways.

This morning’s KONK Life News E-Blast carries an excellent article on torture by Rick Boettger. Titled Yay! We’re Not Nazis. I recommend it to you. Boettger covers torture from a different perspective than I did on last night’s show. His observations however are right on.

My yesterday was spent fine tuning last night’s show.

Syracuse football in the news yesterday. What I am gong to share does not seem possible. Syracuse’s football attendance at home games this past season was up 6 percent. An average of 40,447 fans. Syracuse was #2 in increased attendance percentage wise. Florida State was first.

The increase accomplished with a 3-9 record. Amazing!

There is an internet video of Boeheim’s interview following the Louisiana Tech game. He was tough. He was indicating that his players are weak on basics. Like catching the ball with two hands. Things that should not have to be taught at the college level. I recommend the video to you. Easy to find on most Syracuse basketball sites.

The plane that would not fly. Sounds like the title to a book. Actually, it is in reference to Orville Wright and the first powered plane to fly. Today is the anniversary of the first flight in 1903. On the  100th anniversary of the inaugural flight in 2003, a ceremony was held at Kitty Hawk. The replica plane failed to fly!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BURN

You are wrong if you think today’s blog is about the Ferguson/Garner demonstrations. There is enough hype in the media. This blog concerns itself with another burning.

Luoyang City is in China. The city burns money for power. To make electricity. Coal is not used.

The money consists of old and damaged banknotes. Instead of burning and trashing the worn out dollars, they are used to save money. Help the enviroment, also. Every 1.32 million kWh of electricity produced via this method is equivalent to 4,000 tons of coal being burned.

You have to give the Chinese credit! Other Chinese cities should take heed and follow in Luoyang’s steps.

My yesterday began with a manicure. Tammy always good company. Many I know now get their manicures and pedicures at Tammy’s Lee Nails. It solved my Christmas buying problem. I got them all gift certificates for Lee Nails.

I spent the afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Topics include the rules for sex handbook the Islamics handed out to Iraqis, Lee Trevino and the Ryder cup, torture being a manifestation of who we are, cops raiding a wrong house and shooting and killing a grandfather laying face down, if derivatives fail how there is not enough U.S. dollars to cover the loss, and more.

A quick moving revealing half hour. Join me. Nine o’clock tonight. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Last night was Don’s Place first. Enjoyed David’s company while there. Then off to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. No room at the inn. The bar was jam packed 3-4 deep. I turned around and went home where I prepared something to eat.

I have a friend Anne in upstate New york. She originally lived in Ithaca. Most recently in Syracuse. Ithaca is the home of Cornell University.

This past weekend Ithaca held its annual winter carnival. At the downtown Ithaca Commons. A three day ice carving contest. Contestants from all over the world. $9,000 in prize money.

Something like Key West’s chalk and sand contests.

Anne sent me a picture of the outdoor bar. Sculpted in ice. Twelve feet long. Bar stools and all. Not part of the contest.  A place where beer and wine were sold. Dancing, too. The only admonition was to dress warm. In the background of the photo, mounds of snow were evident.

My diet is working. 21 pounds this morning. I am into my ninth week.

Some have asked what the diet is. I have dieted my entire adult life. A yo yo. Probably done every diet. This diet is a composition of what I considered the best parts of each.

It’s working!

Enjoy your day!

SUNDAY

Some days are better than others. Satisfying and relaxing. One where nothing in particular occurs. My yesterday.

I spent the morning on the deck reading, sleeping and thinking. Seated in a plastic Adirondack chair. The wind off the ocean was cool. The sun, hot. My body warm.

I wanted to get out for a short time. Had to be home by 4 to watch the Syracuse game. I was still in a meditative mood. Decided to go to Schooner’s Wharf. I had not been there in the afternoon in a long time.

It was typical Schooner’s Wharf. Half tourists, half locals. The locals more of the fishing crew. Looked like transplants from Hogfish. I had two diet Pepsi’s and watched the people and water. The view of the boats/yachts parked in the marina to the front of the bar. A pleasant sight.

Syracuse/Louisiana Tech. I was wrong yesterday when I portrayed Louisiana Tech as an easy foe. They are one hell of a team! Were last year also. Won 29 games!

Syracuse won by two points. 71-69.

It was the best game Syracuse has played this season. Offense and defense both good. As was Louisiana Tech’s. Cooney made some threes and driving shots. Ended up with 25 points. Joseph still the weak one. He plays like a high school senior who is star of the team. He shoots too much. His shoots generally bad. He does not pay attention. The ball was either stolen from him or taken by Louisiana on a bad pass several times.

The last 10 minutes of the game saw Cooney as the point guard. A smart Boeheim move. However, Boeheim needs Joseph as a point guard. I hope he improves before the first of the year.

A new airline to service Key West. Sea Island Seaplanes. Naples to Key West and return. $210 one way. A one hour flight. A four seater.

There presently exists a ferry Key West to Fort Myers and Marco Island and return. Both next door to Naples. A 4 hour trip. $149 round trip, $89 one way.

I do not see the new airline making it. Too much money. The ferry ride I am told is comfortable. A large vessel. I suspect something like the ferry boats I take when I am hopping from one Greek Isle to another.

The finger. Often given. Not nice. Tie it together with f–k you at the same time. Even worse.

But, lawful.

The place Cobb County, Georgia. A police officer was questioning a suspect. A woman went by on her bicycle and gave the officer the finger and said f–k you. The officer went after her and arrested her for disorderly conduct. She spent 24 hours in jail. Part of the time in solitary confinement. Judge threw the case out. Free speech. Constitutionally protected under the First Amendment. She sued for false arrest. Cobb County recently settled with her for $100,000.

I wrote a column for Amazon Kindle about three years ago concerning the finger. A federal court had ruled at that time it was free speech. The f–k you can get you into trouble however as disorderly conduct if people hear it and are disturbed by it.

I suggest neither form of communication be used. Good taste an involved factor also.

Enjoy your day!

BOAT PARADE PICS FANTASTIC

Key West’s Christmas on the water! The Lighted Boat Parade last night.

Pictures are available for viewing in today’s KONK Life News E-Blast. Colorful beyond imagination! Boats decorated the best yet.

Today’s Key West Citizen does not carry any of the pics unfortunately. The Citizen goes to press early. Pics will probably appear in tomorrow’s edition.

I ran around in the afternoon yesterday shopping. Nothing special. Not gift time yet. Christmas shopping is generally a last minute thing with me.

Last night, it was dinner at the bar at Roostica. It kept me away from the DUI check point.

I rarely agree with a Key West Citizen editorial. Generally too far to the right. Also, I suspect most of the editorials are not written locally. This morning however I was overly joyed with the editorial page.

The editorial itself was obviously locally written. It had to do with the new food truck ordinance as proposed. The editorial was right on. It views the proposed ordinance as government run amok.

George Will is an intelligent thoughtful writer. He writes for the Washington Post and is seen regularly on television. It is rare I agree with him. He is too far to the right. However, I wholeheartedly agree with his column carried on the Citizen’s editorial page today. It concerns itself with over criminalization. I agree with everything he wrote wholeheartedly.

Since I am into the newspaper thing this morning, I suggest you read this week’s column written by me in KONK Life. The American Dream…..gone, Gone, GONE. It is on the stands all over the keys at the moment. I suggest the column to you because I believe it covers an important topic which perhaps we do not give enough thought to.

Syracuse basketball at 4 this afternoon. Syracuse plays Louisiana Tech. The Tech tells you this is intended as a warm up game for Syracuse. However based on the way Syracuse has played thus far in the pre-season, I do not know. Syracuse is a 7 point favorite.

I am not sure where I will be watching the game. Home, Don’s Place or the Lion’s Den. First time you have heard me mention the Lions Den. JDL’s Big Ten Sports Pub was sold.  I do not know who the new owners are.  I have not seen John Lukas yet to offer my congratulations and sorrow.

I seem to be into the Key West Citizen this morning. It’s the Citizen’s fault. They finally came out with an edition that has many positives from my perspective.

There is a local column in this morning’s Citizen having to do with the holidays. Christmas trees are a part of th article. It was mentioned that some people today were going into the woods to chop their tree down because it was cheaper. Cheaper now, but not when I did it!

Some forty years ago, I cut my own tree down two consecutive years. On a nearby hillside was a Xmas tree farm. You could go on and cut your own down. The cost was expensive! Probably 3-4 times more than buying it cut already from a street vendor.

Appreciate the snow is deep this time of the year up north. Utica is in the foothills to the Adirondack Mountains. The Xmas tree farm was on one of the initial foothills. Cold like you would not believe! Mouths covered with scarfs. Scarfs sticking to a person’s lips.

I thought it would be exciting for my children. They were all under 10. One or two might not yet have been in school.

Away we went. So many trees! We could not decide on the one we liked best. We kept walking. The more we walked, the farther we got from our car. I had with me a hand ax. We found the tree. Everyone was happy. I had to chop it down at the base. I had never wielded a hand ax before. George Washington I was not. It was a difficult task. A couple of swipes did not do it. The branches were cutting across my face. The ice cold wind blowing. I soon hated the whole idea.

After success at chopping the tree down, I had to drag/carry it to the car. The car seemed like 10 miles away. The kids helped me. We had high ceilings. The tree was  big. 8-9 feet tall and wide.

The kids and I did it again the next year. I seemed more adept with the ax. Still the entire event was a pain! Only to me. The children were thrilled. Which made it worth while.

I never did it again after the second year. Enough was enough.

Enjoy your Sunday!

DUI SOBRIETY CHECK POINT

I have always thought there was a degree of unfairness when police use radar or a sobriety check point. It sort of gives authorities an unfair advantage. The fact that I might be wrong being immaterial.

Florida is a screwy state when it comes to laws. One good law requires police to give notice when and where a sobriety check point will be established. Together with the hours. Fair.

There is a sobriety check point tonight on US 1 and Cross Street for north bound traffic. It has been advertised in the Key West Citizen twice this week. To be forwarned is to be forearmed. Stay away from US 1 and Cross Street from 7 to 2 tonight.

I am. Not that I get smashed and drive. I drink, but very rarely to excess. However, one never knows. Better safe than sorry. I shall either stay home this evening or limit my out of house activities to the three places that do not require me to pas through the check point. Roostica, Hogfish, and Geiger Key.

Sad that a sobriety check point is being conducted this evening. Tonight is the Lighted Boat Parade. To attend would take me into town. On the way back, I would have to drive through the check point.

I would have watched the Boat Parade from Schooners Wharf. It will be cold enough there. Around 62 degrees. On a boat, the experience 20 degrees cooler.

I wrote my KONK Life column for next week yesterday afternoon. The American Dream Revisited / Torture Pays. There is money to be made it doing sick and  distasteful things. Like torturing. The column concerns the two individuals who were paid $81 million to devise and help implement a torture system to be used on Guantanamo and other located detainees.

An interesting article. Especially where it is spelled out how the government got ripped off.

It was cold last night. Mid 60s when I decided to go out. The Chart Room friday evenings seems to be absent regulars. When  I am out and about, I am first looking for the company of friends. My sense was that the Chart Room regulars were doing the outside Galleon bar fridays. The bar is located on the water.

Ergo, I did not even stop first at the Chart Room. Went straight to the Galleon. I was wrong. No friends. No one I knew. Cold as hell! The wind off the ocean. JJ bartending. I had one drink and was gone. I decided it was too cold to stay out and went home.

I mentioned the other day that gasoline had dropped to $2.99 at the K-Mart station on the boulevard. The Shell station near my home was still $3.10. Yesterday, it dropped to $2.99.  This morning’s paper says gas prices will continue to drop. About time! We got screwed for too many years.

This morning’s Key West Citizen carried an article regarding the arrest of two local men. Alleged marijuana charges. The article also advised a continuing investigation regarding an alleged illegal gambling operation. The nick name of one of the individuals is Joe Weed. He is an $85,000 a year computer analyst for  the Monroe County schools.

I do not know whether is he guilty or innocent. I really do not care. His business, his headache. What bothers me however is that he is one of the leaders of the group protesting nudity during Fantasy Fest. Hypocrisy, assuming he is guilty.

Street demonstrations are occurring all over the world. Not just in the United States. This week alone, Greece, Italy and Haiti. Not a healthy situation. Sometimes however, it is the only way a people can be heard.

My friend Anna in Novara contacted me yesterday. There were demonstrations in 50 Italian cities. Union led. No one worked. Brought Italy to a halt for one day. Italian demonstrations are riots. Actual clashing with the police. See the pictures on the internet.

The economy is the problem. As with Greece, the austerity measures imposed on the people have become onerous. They won’t take  it any more is the message.

Interestingly, Silvio Berlusconi is back! You can’t keep a good man down. Convicted of income tax evasion and having sex with a 17 year old, he continues to hang in there. The word is he is maneuvering and pulling strings behind the scenes.

Enjoy your day!

PUBLIC BE DAMNED

Washington continues to abuse the American public. The funny part is we take it. Over and over again.

The latest gambit is an affront to the taxpaying public. I refer to that part of the budget bill passed by the House last night that permits bank subsidiary derivative action to be covered by taxpayer dollars in the event the bank takes a loss. A similar scenario to what occurred because of the 2008 mortgage debacle.

Dodd-Frank passed in 2010 prohibited the taxpayer guarantee. Last night’s vote does away with that portion of Dodd-Frank. It is a step back to 2008.

Permit me to portray the situation in its simplest form. Wall Street reaps big profits from derivative trading. Wall Street gets paid big bonuses for its derivative trading successes. If Wall Street makes mega dollars when it wins, I believe Wall Street should be prepared to handle any losses sustained in a downside.

Tell me any other businessman that has his action covered with taxpayer monies. Businessmen stand the risk. When things are good, they  and their businesses profit. Both live well. When business is poor, they have to stand the loss alone. No government agency steps in and bails them out.

I was impressed with Senator Warren yesterday. She sounds like a breath of fresh air. I hope she stays that way and is not contaminated by the system.

My day yesterday started with a haircut by Lori. She was number one on my hit parade. She exclaimed as I walked in…..You lost weight! At 20 pounds, it is beginning to show. Love it!

Visited Lisa afterwards. Jake greeted me. He was outside. I am amazed how we have become friends. Good friends.

By the way, Jake is healthy once more. Whatever was bothering him seems to have gone away. He looks better and acts better.

Then to Smathers Beach for a walk. The cooler weather makes outdoor walking easier.

Key West is going to stay cool for a few more days. The high today will be 67. Tonight, the temperature will drop to 62.

Christmas is two weeks away. An inexpensive gift is my book. The World Upside Down. The cover Key West. Me sitting outside under the tiki hut typing with the water and mangroves behind me. A big green KEY WEST LOU across the top.

The book’s contents interesting. I cover everything from the Florida keys woman who was shaving her privates while driving to world events to feel good stories.

The World Upside Down is available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

A SIMPLE DAY

Thank you Cheryl and Roger for a great evening last night!

Cheryl and Roger are friends from outside Chicago. They have a good sized RV. Used to stay at Boyd’s on Stock Island. Bought a house in Tampa last year. Their new stomping grounds. They are back in Key West for a month. Leave sunday.

I was their guest for dinner. The Hot Tin Roof. It was a long evening of joking and laughing.

Cold last night. Near 60 degrees. A strong wind off the ocean. The dock at Ocean Key deserted. The band playing to the wind. I was dressed for the weather. Long pants and a heavy shirt. Plus a winter coat/jacket.

I spent the greater part of yesterday working on next week’s KONK Life column. I have two thoughts. One about what is happening in Greece at the present time. A good story. The other having to do with the CIA report. Interesting. The CIA story would involve the two guys who designed the enhanced interrogation techniques and tried them out on some prisoners. They were paid $81 million in taxpayer monies for a three year effort.

I have the two columns researched. Not sure which one I will go with yet.

Enjoy your day!