WHAT A GLORIOUS FEELIN’…..I’M SINGING IN THE RAIN

The deluge has begun this morning. Amazing! So much rain on such a consistent basis.

Interestingly, no one appears to be upset with the rain. Including the tourists. They have been able to sneak in a few hours of sun bathing here and there.

The rain reminds me of Gene Kelly’s singing/dancing scene in the 1952 movie Singin’ In The Rain. A smile on his face.

Though the movie was produced in 1952, the title song was composed in 1929. Took a while to gain popularity.

The movie was not much of a hit when released. It took a few years. Today is considered the fifth best movie of all time.

The song rings in my head. The first 8 lines the most significant: “I’m singin’ in the rain / Just singing in the rain / What a glorious feelin’ / I’m happy again / I’m happy at clouds / So dark up above / The sun’s in my heart / And I’m ready for love.”

A lot of rain is best signified by what has fallen on Key West this month: 9.68 inches to date. The whole year to date: 13.25 inches. The numbers speak for themselves.

Now the good news (written with tongue in cheek). A tropical storm or hurricane is forming. Big rain. Will hit northern Florida sunday night. Alberto. Not expected to be bad. A category 1 if a hurricane.

After Irma, I find it difficult to believe anything re hurricanes. Hurricanes are fickle. They do  not move as anticipated. Nor are their winds always as projected. The storm has a will of its own.

Alberto can impact the lower Keys rather than northern Florida.

Alberto will be the topic of conversation in homes, around bars, etc. for the next 48-72 hours.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on next week’s KONK Life column. May actually write it this afternoon.

Driving to the Chart Room last night, I was surprised how little traffic there was. US 1 was not crowded at all, nor was the Boulevard.

It will all change beginning today. Heavy traffic anticipated for the Memorial Day Weekend.

Quiet at the Chart Room. Just John and I for a while. Then Omar came in. Met Omar for the first time.

Omar’s mother of Italian descent. Made for interesting conversation. Which got even better when Omar revealed he had gone to Syracuse University College of Law for a couple of months. He did not enjoy it. Left and got a Masters instead in Economics. Then worked on Wall street for years.

We live in scary times. Uncalled for, except for Trump’s antics.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis gave the commencement address to the Air Force Academy last night. Nine hundred eighty four new lieutenants. Four hundred heading for pilot training.

Mattis told the graduates to prepare for war…..They must be ready to fight and win.

A news item came to my attention this morning. The Air Force is considering calling 1,000 pilots out of retirement. For stints up to 48 months. A shortage of qualified pilots exists.

A U.S. war declaration has to be on most minds these days. The question arises as to who has the right to declare war. Most people believe it is Congress. Technically, yes. However the Presidency has usurped that power since the Korean War.

My KONK Life article on the stands at the moment is titled Right To Declare War. Read it, if you can. It explores the problem.

KONK life also publishes a daily internet news letter. E-Blast. This morning’s news letter carries the KONK Life column Right To Declare War, also.

Good basketball tonight. Cleveland/Boston. Boston up 3-2 in the playoffs. People are saying LeBron James older and tired whereas Boston’s players young and have more energy.

Cleveland has to win tonight or the season is over for them.

Wish you could be sitting with me and hear the rain in the background. The heavy rain driven by the wind. Sort of ominous.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?

“What hath God wrought?” Bible, St. James Version (numbers 23:23).

A brilliant message sent by a brilliant man. Samuel Morse. Inventor of the telegraph. The message was sent this day 1844 by Morse from the U.S. Capitol to an Alfred Vall at a railroad station in Baltimore. Sent, received, and returned.

The test a success!

The Biblical quote used to show the magnificence of the invention. Morse anticipated it would favorably affect future events in American life.

It did. Transformed America. Within 10 years, there were 20,000 miles of telegraph lines across the United States. Western development and the transcontinental railroad primary benefactors.

A late morning visit to the dentist yesterday. Dr. George Lindner. The best!

I have implants. I refer to them as mechanical teeth. A minor problem had developed. Ten minutes in the chair and rectified. No pain.

A far cry from my first visit to a dentist some 78 years ago. He hurt me! So much, I jumped out of the chair and ran out of his office and building. My father could not convince me to return.

Lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Nice people. Good food. Inexpensive. My lunch runs $4 and change.

Spent part of the afternoon researching next week’s KONK Life column. The subject matter interesting. An in your face column. Could be one of the best I have done.

Intentionally not mentioning the title at this time.

Chart Room last night. John bartending.

Met a terrific couple. Newly weds. Married three weeks. Older. I suspect second marriage for both.

Interesting cupid background. They met when 12 years old in Jr. High School. Never dated. Did not see each other for thirty years. Then met again. Became best friends. Now married.

Dan and Stephanie. From Ohio. Dan spent many years affiliated with two major insurance companies. Now a government affairs manager with an auto company. Stephanie an accountant.

They have rented a condo for a month. They have done this in previous years also. Love Key West!

David came in. Enjoy David. A Key Wester for many years. Knowledgeable concerning Key West.

David, John and I were discussing the abnormal rain activity. David said don’t complain. Rain this time of the year discourages hurricanes. He said the rain chills the water. Two or three degrees. Enough to thwart hurricanes.

We shall see.

I wanted a pure diet meal for dinner. Stopped at Five Guys on the way home. Two cheeseburgers wrapped in lettuce. No bread. A perfect Atkins meal.

An interesting Letter to the Editor in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast from an Eddie Yo. He disparaged the recent dispute between the City Tree Commission and a Karen De Maria.

The dialogue which ran over several weeks concerned which tree should be designated the Official Key West Tree. Yo was of the opinion there are more important and pressing issues for City officials to concern themselves with. Like affordable housing, parking, hurricane protection, etc.

I agree.

Such is not why I write of Yo’s letter. A comment in the letter attracted my attention. Yo again thought the time spent on the tree issue was too much. It reminded him of the squabble at one time concerning which end of an egg should be cut…..the bottom or the top?

I have come to know Laura Richardson in recent weeks. Initially at Dueling Bartenders where she exhibited an outstanding voice. Also evidenced her abilities as a bartender. Then I became aware she owns an art gallery. The Salt Gallery.

Met her parents this past monday at Dueling Bartenders. Both retired attorneys now living full time in Key West. Nice people.

Yesterday, lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. I was reading the Florida Keys Weekly / Key West Edition. Who is a reporter writing major articles? You got it! Laura Richardson.

A multi-talented woman!

The new NFL anthem rule un-American. Un-American to the nth degree. Kneeling while the National Anthem played not permitted. Players must stand or remain in the locker room. Failure to abide by the rule will result in big time fines.

Protest is the American way. Built into our Constitution. A bunch of extremely wealthy men sitting in a room decided on the rule. Why? One league official said the “…..league is fucking terrified of Trump. We’re scared of him.”

Disgraceful. We need people to stand up to Trump, not capitulate to him. If not the powerful like the team owners, then who?

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

RIP-OFF RAPID RESPONSE TEAM

Several years ago, a new type sales store appeared on Duval Street. A cosmetic shop. Sold all kinds of goodies to enhance a woman’s facial features.

Soon there were more such shops.

Each engaged in overcharging. Significantly. Unknown to the purchaser. A $300 purchase showing up on a customer’s credit card billing as $3,000 for example.

The police did not consider the problem criminal. The ripped off customer was left to suing the store directly. A long tedious process uncertain of success.

A handful of Key West citizens decided to do something about it. A vigilante committee of sorts.

The group organized the Rip-Off Rapid Response Team. They fought the cosmetic shops not with guns. Rather with signs and picketing. The signs reflecting the fraud involved.

The group almost immediately became successful. The cosmetic merchants did not want a bunch of vocal crazies (from their perspective) spoiling business.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has a front page story and photo of the group in action.

One of the cosmetic stores had overcharged/ripped off a 54 year old Vermont visitor to the tune of $9,752. It took sign carrying picketers 1 1/2 hours to get the store to capitulate. The cosmetic store reimbursed the ripped off man the $9,752.

Congratulations to the do gooders!

I have a concern, however. What continually happens in these situations is fraud. Clear and simple. Why do the police not deal with the problem?

Key West’s finest are the finest. I think our police force does an excellent job. However in this regard, they fail the public they serve.

My understanding is the police consider the rip-off a civil matter. Not a criminal one. Ergo, the defrauded person has to resort to civil remedies.

I don’t buy it. It’s like passing the buck, I don’t want to get involved.

A similar situation existed with the former Scrub Club on Duval. Men would go in understanding a “massage” was $300. When the credit card bill was received, it was $3,000. The police refused to get involved. Considered the wrongdoing a civil matter.

Comcast. A pain the ass! Finally got a repairman. Took five days.

Learned something I did not know. The repair people do not work for Comcast. Comcast contracts out the repair work. To a Tennessee company. The company maintains 7 repair men in the Key West area.

From what I could determine, the repair people are overloaded. My repair man showed up around 6 last night. Was due between 1 and 3.

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for my podcast show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Then the show at 9.

I have become sick and tired of Trump, Trump, Trump, in the news. All around us. Last night I did a show 95 percent non-
Trump. A change of pace. There are other things happening in the world we should be aware of, think about, discuss.

A point to be made with most of the topics. Of course, I made the point in each instance.

The show is archived. You can listen to it at any time at your convenience. You might especially enjoy listening to last night’s show. www.blogtalkradio/key-west-lou.

This week’s KONK Life on the stands. My column Right To Declare War. Congress’ right Constitutionally. However one that the Presidency has usurped since the Korean War. Interesting reading.

Pythons a dramatic problem in south Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Pythons sexually inclined. Now number in excess of one million. Most centered in the Everglades.

They can never be eliminated, eradicated. Too many. Hopefully, contained.

The State of Florida is always declaring war on the pythons. Last year, the State authorized 25 hunters to catch and kill them. A joke! Since March 2017, the 25 have caught 1,000 so far.

Like a drop of water in the ocean or adding a grain of sand to a beach.

Dentist appointment at 11:30. I think the endoscopy procedure might have screwed up an implant.

Enjoy your day!

GOING TO NEED NOAH’S ARK SOON

In my 30 years of living in and visiting Key West, I have never seen rain like we are experiencing. Especially this time of the year. May is normally a dry month. People talk about needing rain.

It poured again yesterday. All day! Heavy!

Streets are flooding that never flooded before. Amazing!

The Comcast saga continues. Repair man due yesterday between 1 and 3. Got a call at 2. Three to four hours behind. Will come tomorrow (today).

I have been without TV since thursday.

Visited Dr. Jones late afternoon. Received my various test results. No cancer. Do have a problem, however. Cleveland Clinic next for consultation. Surgery probable in due course.

I am ok. Mentally in tune with what is occurring.

Aqua after Dr. Jones. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Guest performer the lovely Laura Richardson. Laura the owner of Salt Gallery.

Met Laura’s parents. Both retired corporate attorneys. Key West residents. Enjoyed my conversation with her father. Her mom seated too far away for any meaningful conversation.

Rick Dery a director, also. He has directed Pride Follies for several years. This year’s show is June 2 at 8 in the evening at the Key West Theater.

Always a winner!

Word on the street is Bank of America on Southard closing. I have not been able to verify the information. If so, the building would make an excellent dance facility. I have always thought downtown Key West needed a place where everyone regardless of age could get out there and do their thing.

Zombies in southern Florida! Reported by a power outage alert sunday in Lake Worth. The outage affected 7,880 residents.

The “alert” reported power was lost “due to extreme zombie activity.” Obviously a bogus report. Or was it? Actual cause remains unknown.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Interesting topics. My opinions shared. Though not necessarily the same as those who are tuned in.

The show’s audience gets larger each week. I love it! My advertisers love it!

Join me for a fast moving half hour.

Pope Francis a breath of fresh air in the world of Catholicism. Two weeks ago, he said in speaking to a gay man: “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.”

The second time Francis has spoken in acceptance of homosexuality. A man of courage and conviction. The Bible tells us homosexuality is a sin.

Trump makes me laugh. He does not accept Venezuela’s election results. Phony, a sham. Earlier had threatened invasion. Now has fallen back to severe sanctions.

There are many tyrants elected in phony elections world wide. Putin, for example. Trump should threaten him and all other tyrants with invasion and/or severe sanctions.

Why pick and choose. Go after everyone.

The Trump administration continues on a fast track to dismantle Obama signature policies. Could Obama have been that wrong? Or is there another reason?

I suspect it may be because Obama is a person of color and Trump a racist. Or, it could be because Obama made fun of Trump at a White House Correspondents Dinner. When slighted, Trump has the memory of an elephant.

The Trump/Kim summit almost blew up. Trump may have saved it. John Bolton appears to have been the cause.

Bolton is crazy. A neo-con. A war hawk big time. Scares me.

In preliminary talks with North Korea, Bolton told the other side the U.S. supported a Libya Solution. Gaddafi was convinced to give up his nuclear program. Several years later, Gaddafi was found hiding in a sewer pipe, captured, tried and executed.

The North Koreans are not fools.

Some have suggested that Bolton’s meeting with his North Korean counterparts was an amateur hour.

The recent U.S./China trade talks another example of amateur hour play on the part of those representing the U.S. Nothing resolved. Problems kicked down the road.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mulchin should be sent back to Wall Street. He is neither qualified to be Treasury Secretary nor engaged in trade talks on behalf of the U.S.

Yesterday, Trump described Congressman Devin Nunes as “a very courageous man.” For pushing the DOJ and FBI for the name of an informant.

Recall Nunes’ support of Trump since day one. Running to the White House to report something that had happened in his Committee. More recently, having the House Intelligence Committee, which he Chairs, issue a majority report saying in effect no Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

I consider Nunes a stooge for Trump, an informant of sorts. He has forgotten his Congressional responsibilities in sucking up to the President.

An Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday causes me great concern. Note it was authored by Brigadier General Ronen Manelis of Israel’s Defense Forces.

The Jerusalem opening of the U.S. Embassy last week proved a disaster. At least initially. Now, I am not sure.

It was reported many Palestinians were protesting at the fence. On the Gaza side and unarmed. Israeli forces unloaded on them. Missiles, small fire, etc. Sixty two killed. Eight of them children. Two thousand seven hundred injured.

The world, including me, dumped on Israel.

Now it appears things may not have been as they appeared. Further investigation is required.

The Opinion claims the protest was funded by Hamas as a terrorist propaganda operation. Hamas provided free transportation to innocent citizens to the border, including women and children. These people were hired in effect as extras: $14 per person, $100 per family, and $500 if anyone was injured.

What is truth? The world should know.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

FIRST MOTOR VEHICLE SPEED LIMIT: 12 MPH CITIES, 15 MPH COUNTRY ROADS

It was the turn of the century. The 20th century. 1901 to be specific. Automobiles were ripping up the streets and highways. Scaring horses, endangering people.

Connecticut became the first State to impose speed limits on motor vehicles. 12 mph in the cities, 15 mph on country roads.

Hard to believe. Everything starts somewhere, however.

Began my sunday working on this week’s KONK Life column. Right To Declare War. A power Constitutionally Congress’. One which has been usurped by the Presidency since the Korean War.

Comcast absorbed an hour. Second day in a row I had to spend considerable time on the phone with Comcast and I still am without TV.

Friday, I was told it was the remotes. Get two new ones. I did. I was not able to coordinate them with the sets. Meant I still had no TV.

Back on the phone yesterday. After an hour was told it was not the remote. It was the box. Someone would be at my home between 1 and 3 today to fix.

In the several hours following yesterday’s repair call, I received 4 calls from Comcast personnel. All real people. Wow! To remind me how sorry they were for my problem, was it still continuing, someone would be there tomorrow (today) to fix.

Why all the bullshit? Just get some one over here to solve the problem.

Early evening, Kate Miano’s Gardens. Kate just returned from 3 weeks at her home in France.

I enjoyed Kate and friends. Chatted the time away. All great people.

Met Jeff and Linda for the first time. From Chicago. Bought a home here 3 years ago. Snowbirds. Can’t wait to be full time residents.

Can’t blame them.

Decided on Hogfish for dinner. Second time in recent days. Enjoyed hogfish again.

Key lime pie was a featured dessert. I craved. Capitulated. Went for it. Delicious! A little cheating here and there has not affected my diet.

It rained mid-day yesterday. As it has in recent days, a monsoon/hurricane storm. For quite a while. Would not end.

Unusual weather for this time of year.

As I was listening to the howling pouring rain, Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head ran through my mind. Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s song from 1969.

The theme in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. My mind returned to Paul Newman riding a bicycle with Katharine Ross perched on the handlebars.

This morning’s Key West Citizen in the Keys History section mentioned that on this day in 1929, the Improved Order of Red Men and Degree of Pocahontas opened its 56th annual Great Sun Council at the Strand Theater on Duval. The old theater now a Walgreens.

My curiosity was aroused. Who were these people? Such a strange name.

We have to go back to the Boston Tea Party in 1765 for the answer. The Patriots who dumped the tea overboard were known as Sons of Liberty. They were disguised as Red Men. Also known as Indians. Now Native Americans.

In 1813, a group of white men formed a fraternal lodge known as the Society of Red Men. Named after the Boston tea party Patriots.

From a  handful of members in 1813, the organization grew to 519,000 in 1921. Its numbers  fell. To 15,000 in 2011. The organization is still alive and active in spite of its reduced membership.

Only whites were permitted to membership till 1974.

The group’s structure is similar to Freemasonry.

A female auxiliary was formed in 1885. Degree of Pocahontas.

Time changes everything. The Red Men significantly reduced in number, the Strand Theater now a Walgreens.

Starbucks was recently confronted with an embarrassing situation. Two black businessmen wanted to use one of its rest rooms. They had not purchased coffee and apparently did not intend to do so. Local management prohibited the use of the bathroom. Words were exchanged. Police called. The men arrested.

Within a short period of time, the Starbucks national office had the charges dropped and apologies extended.

Starbucks has gone even a step further. It announced a new policy. People can sit at a Starbucks without buying anything.

I always thought such was the case. Many the Starbucks I have sat, read a newspaper or worked on my computr while not ordering anything. For some reason, I thought Starbucks was for people to enjoy without purchase if they wished. What wasn’t, now is.

Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Enjoy your day!

POT SMOKE vs. TOBACCO SMOKE

I smoked my first cigarette back in high school. And my second and third, etc. The high school was Catholic and run by Sisters of Charity. Smoking strictly prohibited, of course.

When the good nuns caught us sneaking a smoke, we were forced to learn a little diddy which we were compelled to recite each time caught: The cigarette is a dirty weed and from it the Devil doth proceed.

I was reading this week’s Jasper Jottings. A Manhattan alumni news journal published weekly by John Reinke. An e-mail from a 1973 grad got into smoking. Close to what I had to memorize in 1950. With pot added. I paraphrase: Pot smoke created by God and good for us, tobacco smoke created by Satan and will kill us.

We did not know what pot was in 1950. Marijuana? Never heard the word till I was in college. Had not yet gained popularity. Pot hit big time in the 1960’s and 70’s. Now being legalized.

A…..You’ve come a long way Charlie Brown!

I wrote about the royal wedding yesterday. All good thoughts. Yet last night when out and about, I was confronted by racist statements from several persons I ran into. As with tobacco smoke, racism adversely affects our country.

Will we ever be free of it?

Chart Room first last night. John bartending. The new John. Has been working three weeks now. Different from the other John. Both bartenders named John. The new John has returned to Key West after several years in Palm Springs.

Ran into Don and Linda from Fishkill again. Enjoying celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary.

Met Mark and Amy from Charlotte. Mark a physician’s assistant, Amy a school principal. Fun people.

Walked over to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner.

Sat next to Clare at the bar. The bartender introduced us. She and her husband have had a home on Ash Street for years. I till recently in Key Haven for 21 years. We never met before. We discussed how often it happens. Meeting other long time Key Westers. Difficult to understand why many locals do not meet earlier. The island is small.

Hot Tin Roof has added a trio and singer Saturday nights. Great music. The only problem is the ensemble takes up a third of the room.

Must be successful. The bar was packed with people standing listening to the group.

Trump was on his soap box yesterday beating the hell out of Amazon and how it is purportedly bleeding the Post Office economically. Nothing is farther from the truth. Amazon package delivering is the Post Office’s life line. It keeps the Post Office afloat. A moneymaker.

I wrote a lengthy column on the subject a few weeks ago in KONK Life.

Trump is on a personal tirade. Not knowing what he is talking about. He has an ax to grind with Amazon’s owner who also owns the Washington Post. Trump does not like the way the Washington Post reports his antics.

Whether a Trump fan is immaterial. It is wrong to use the power of the Presidency to try to harm or destroy one who disagrees with you. Especially when the facts relied on are wrong to begin with.

There is a new glamour product on the market. Popularly referred to as a penis facial. A serum used in making the product is derived from the foreskin of new born Korean babies.

Its use on the rise. Two well known movie stars using it and shouting how it makes their skin glow like that of a new born baby. They have no financial involvement with the product. Thrilled however with what it is doing for their fifty year old faces.

One problem is getting enough foreskins to make the serum. Such concerns me. Circumcision is not medically required nor that common worldwide. The last thing desired is the demand for foreskins does not turn into an organ type selling thing.

We know historically that the Jewish faith circumcise new born males. I suspect it is part of their tradition because of disease centuries ago that could have plagued the new born males.

In reading about the cosmetic, I learned two things I did not know. First, circumcision was introduced in English speaking countries in the late 1800’s. To control or prevent masturbation.

How terrible. The circumcision, not the masturbation.

The need for male circumcision was compared to female circumcision which had been ongoing in some societies for centuries. The female’s clitoris and labia were removed. To prevent female masturbation.

With male baby circumcision these days, anesthesia is not used. I thought it was because a 3-4 day old baby boy could not feel pain down there when the procedure was done. Not the case. The baby feels pain! Anesthesia is not used because of possible dangers of interactions in the infant.

It is pouring like hell at the moment. Actually for the last 20 minutes. Hurricane/monsoon type rain. Almost every day. Something strange. This is not the rainy season.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

ROYAL WEDDING…..THE MOUNTAIN MOVED

Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding this morning a sight to behold. A royal wedding in all its splendor, yet simple.

I shed a few tears.

It was a wedding the likes of none would ever have thought could occur in stately conservative England. Megan a person of color. The ceremony combined her ancestry with that of England’s. The ceremony equally combining the traditions of the black and white races.

This coming together did not have its beginning today. It started with Prince Harry’s mother Diana. Were it not for her, the mountain would have not moved.

The ceremony signified the coming of a new age. A cultural togetherness. The door to a new era completely opened.

Comcast! Will the company ever learn? How Comcast has become the giant it is, I do not understand. The company cannot take care of the simple problems of its customers.

Yesterday, I could not change channels on my two TV sets with either remote. Spent a half hour on the phone. Comcast’s representative extremely helpful. But, could not solve the problem.

Advised me to go to nearest Comcast and ask for the XR-15. Comcast’s most recent remote. I told her service at the local Comcast completely inept. I had no choice, however.

Brought the old remotes as directed. Asked to trade for 2 XR-15’s. Was told they had no XR-15’s. Only 2 of the model I had brought in.

When can I get XR-15? I don’t know. I pressed, explaining I was told to get the XR-15. Asked her to bring my record up on the computer. No time. I was the only customer with 2 Comcast employees in attendance.

Seeing I was adamant (politely so), she now told me she had made a mistake. The 2 remotes she gave me were XR-15’s.

Who was bullshitting who here? I took the remotes and walked out. Too old to wage war. I assume the 2 new remotes should work bevcuse they are the same model I had returned.

My next problem is doing whatever has to be done to get the remotes synchronized with the sets. This is a task my generation was not prepared for.

The Chart Room and Hogfish last night. Especially enjoyed Hogfish. Sat at the corner of the bar and people watched.

A Conch train and a pedestrian came into contact early last evening near the intersection of Truman and White. The train was empty. The pedestrian thought to be homeless. He was helicoptered to Miami.

No further news available.

Bocce playoffs begin today. Assuming the courts are dry.

I miss playing.

My team Don’s Place did not make the playoffs. Sad. Maybe they need me back.

Larry Smith’s team Not Don’s Place did make the playoffs. I telephoned Larry to congratulate him.

Another school shooting yesterday. This time outside Houston, Texas. The Santa Fe High School. Ten dead, ten wounded.

Trump was on TV almost immediately. His usual utterings. Terrible, been going on for years, no decades. Like it is not his fault in any fashion. Claimed  he is committed to putting an end to the shootings.

Trump speaks with a forked tongue. He rattled in a similar fashion following the Parkland shooting 3 months ago which resulted in 17 deaths. Recall, he even brought students, teachers and parents to the White House. Said he was not afraid of the NRA. He was going to do something about the shootings.

Two weeks ago, Trump spoke before the NRA Convention. He was clear in his support:  You have a friend in the White House.

Relationships are disintegrating. Swifter than in previous times. Even world leaders speak openly in disparaging terms with those they disagree. Respect lacking.

Trump bears significant responsibility. He bad mouths everyone. A tough talker. The bully standing on the corner.

License to orally degrade has spread swiftly. Benjamin Netanyahu’s son an example. His name. Yair. Yesterday, Yair redid the wording on a Turkish flag and ran it on Instagram: Fuck Turkey.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

WHO PUSHES THE CART?

Yesterday, a Key West day all day. Rare.

The most important event was taking Terri grocery shopping at Publix. Donna is out of town for a week.

Terri could not take herself. She is not driving any more. Her eye sight is failing.

I volunteered.

I had a concern. How was Terri going to maneuver around the store. The first thing that struck me was whether she could direct the cart.

I asked her: Who pushes the cart?

Her response: I PUSH THE CART!

Sorry I asked.

We shopped. Pleasantly.

Next, she wanted to stop at CVS to pick up a prescription. I did not even bother to go in with her. I was confident she could handle it.

Love Terri!

Terri was the third scheduled event for the day. I started earlier with a haircut with Lori. It takes all of 2 minutes to cut my hair. She never wants to charge me. I give her $20.

Ran into Lori later in the evening. I was having dinner at the bar in Roostica. There was Lori and her husband at the end of the bar. A good looking couple. We chatted a bit.

Stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for a quick lunch after the haircut. Sandy’s and Lori’s are like 5-6 doors apart on White Street.

Then, it was Terri’s turn.

I had one more appointment following Terri. A manicure with Tammy.

Tammy always a pleasant experience. Admire what she and her husband have accomplished developing their business Lee Nails.

Business was slow. The season over.

Last night, a lecture sponsored by KWAHS at the Custom House. A history of Duval Street from its beginnings to 1970. I was disappointed. Insufficient detail.

Always a smart ass or two in the audience. Three or four asked questions whose answers were known to God alone.

I was early for the lecture. Ran into Karen who was early also. We went across the street for a drink.

A pleasant half hour. Karen and I have not talked alone that long in 15 years.

Then to the Chart Room.

Packed! John busy!

I stayed a couple of hours. I was the only local. Unusual.

Met two charming ladies from New Jersey. Their 16th year visiting Key  West. Doing it up big. An ocean front room at the Pier House.

One a hospital comptroller. The other, retired.

I am always interested in how people feel about Trump, did they vote for him, etc. Apparently neither I nor the questions are offensive. People are happy to share their thoughts.

The retired woman a Trump supporter. Voted for him and thinks he is doing a great job. Making up for Obama’s failures. She was also thrilled with her retirement account. The market is up.

My stomach was growling. Time to eat. Stopped at Roostica’s on Stock Island on the way home. Great Italian food at reasonable prices. Seated at the bar next to me was Jim Clark. I have not seen him in a while.

We first met at bocce. I used to hate playing his team. Jim good! He shot first for his team. The polina always long, always down the middle. His ball on top of it. I always followed him. Rarely did I get close.

Jim into into social media, advertising, etc. He publishes Best Key West Restaurant Menus.

The weekly KONK Life publishes an internet paper daily. KONK Life E-Blast.

My column this past week in KONK Life was Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. It was run this morning on E-Blast. Unusual. I suspect the column was a filler.

Sometimes a piece of news leaves you feeling empty. Following is one that did.

Scott Peterson was a Broward County Deputy Sheriff. He was the deputy on the scene at the Parkland high school shooting three months ago. The only one. He heard the gun shots and ran to them. He never opened the door to enter the school. He remained frozen outside.

Peterson recently retired after 25 years on the job. He is 55 years old. His pension $104,000 a year.

We worry about China and trade wars. Meetings at the moment in Washington between the U.S. and China.

China has been struggling with a declining birth rate over the years. The matter has become of concern to the government. One which limited families generally to one child per couple.

All of a sudden, the U.S. is experiencing a similar problem. The birth rate hit an all time low in 2017. Three million eight hundred thousand. Two percent lower than 2016, the lowest ever recorded in 30 years.

The cause is attributed to economics. Although 2008 is behind us, economic uncertainty remains. Such concern does not bode well for those wishing to have children.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CRITICISM ANTI-SEMITISM

Israeli comment two days in a row. People are going to think I am anti-Semitic. Far from the truth. However certain actions call for reactive comment.

Monday, it was Israel shooting over the fence into Gaza killing 59 Palestinians. Injuring 2,700.

Yesterday, a new South Carolina law that defies conception. One which goes into effect July 1.

The law boils down to any criticism of Israel and Jews will be considered anti-Semitism. It targets halls of education. Public schools and universities. Not the public as a whole.

The law will be in effect for two years.

Those supporting its passage had trouble getting it voted on favorably via the normal course. They arranged for the proposed law to be passed through the back door. The law was slipped in by adding it into the State’s 2018-19 budget.

Monday and yesterday, actions that went a step too far. Even more. Steps that do not reflect well on Israel and Jews. Actions that cause them more harm than good.

Last night, the Chart Room. A friendly evening. Good to see John again.

Met interesting people.

Don and Linda from Fishkill, N.Y. Their third visit. Celebrating their 9th anniversary this time.

Don owns a plumbing and heating company.

A fun couple. They will enjoy Key West to its fullest.

Bob Labeskis sat next to me. Could have been a Key Wester. Straw cowboy hat, white beard and tache. Visiting from somewhere in northern Florida.

We had a terrific conversation. Bob is a voice over artist. We talked about voice overing, writing, shows, etc. Bob knowledgeable in all areas.

His business is SPOTS Recording, Inc. bob@boblabeskis.com.

It rained while I was in the Chart Room. Big time as it has most every morning for a week. A wall of water cascading down.

Unusual weather for this time of the year. Not expected to end for several more days.

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home for a prime rib. My diet food. Still holding at 38 pounds.

Met two different couples. Both residents of Key West for several years. None of us had ever met each other.

I find this amazing since Key West is such a small island. Nevertheless, it happens often.

A busy day ahead. Haircut with Lori. Then pick up Terri and take her to Publix to shop. Donna is visiting one of her children in Detroit. Followed by a manicure.

Tonight, I hope to be at the Old City Hall at 6. KWAHS is sponsoring a talk re Duval Street’s history. Should be interesting.

This week’s KONK Life on the stands. Pick up a copy. My column this week Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. Interesting.

Jean and Joe Thornton sleeping in their own bed once again. They returned from a 30 day European trip tuesday. Jean telephoned me sunday night from some Nordic country advising their return. She and Joe plan on returning to Key West May 29.

Jean Key West’s Golden Girl. She discovered gold and emeralds while diving with Mel Fisher back when. Changed her life.

Trump is making old friends new enemies and old enemies new friends. We did not need the changes.

Europe is obviously unhappy with Trump. For good reasons. European Council President Donald Tusk said yesterday: “With friends like Trump, who needs enemies.”

He added, ” Trump has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.”

Bottom line from his perspective, Trump “selfish and capricious.”

The world is changing in more ways than politically. Another, work force. Robots replacing humans.

Within five years, a significant percentage of Americans will be ordering their groceries over cell phones. Food to be delivered to their homes within a one hour window.

Wal-Mart for one already testing the approach in several areas.

Kroger is the United States’ second biggest grocer. Locations in 35 states, 2,800 supermarkets.

Kroger apparently sees the handwriting on the wall. They entered into an agreement with Britain’s Ocado which will transform Kroger into a technology provider.

Ocado already successful in Great Britain. It provides groceries to 65,000 households each week.

Ocado operates out of a huge warehouse. Utilizes 1,100 robots. The robots pack the groceries. Do it without ever running into each other.

Kroger will operate from a robot run warehouse.

Ocado’s stock went up 62 percent the day its agreement with Kroger was announced.

Progress is progress. My concern is the 1,100 jobs lost to robots. As a Nation, we are not preparing our people to learn other and new tasks.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

SUB-HUMAN…..ANIMALS TO BE KILLED

Monday was a disgrace. A shame.

Israel killed 59 Palestinians, eight of them children. Injured 2,700. So many that the hospitals could not handle them all. Medical personnel, medicines, dressings, etc. were insufficient.

Palestinians were protesting. On their side of the fence. The power and might of war machinery on the other side of the fence. Israel sending drones and missiles,  in addition to shooting over the fence.

Ian Welsh is a noted blogger and editor. He wrote, “The simple fact is that too many Israelis now think of Palestinians as sub-human: animals to be killed if they are inconvenient.”

I recall when Israelis were abused. Those who abuse tend to become abusers. Such has happened to Israel.

Finally got my car back yesterday. The brake light problem was not a simple one involving a new fuse. Needed a brake switch. Had to come from Miami. First one that arrived the wrong one. Returned to get another. The order got lost in Miami. Finally, the correct brake switch arrived.

Lights worked. Voila!

Problem: Brakes were locked. Could not drive. Car had to remain at garage overnight.

Whatever, I was happy to have my car back yesterday. Decided I was entitled to a feast of sorts.  Lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee. Always delicious!

Then home. I still had to finalize, revise my podcast to be delivered last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Dinner before the show at Lisa’s. Robert’s birthday. Fourteen years old. Blew out the candles and sang Happy Birthday!

Robert and Ally had to leave the table immediately following the cake. They begin final exams today.

I enjoyed delivering the podcast last night. So many exciting, interesting, and disgusting events occurring worldwide. Kim Jung Un threatening to call off his summit with Trump, American Embassy opening in Jerusalem resulting in 59 dead and 2,700 injured, and American designated evangelist Pastor Robert Jeffress offering a prayer at the Embassy opening, among the topics. Jeffress especially interesting. He has repeatedly said over the years that “Jews will go to Hell.”

The best of the best however was the China/ZTE/Trump story. A quid pro quo. Three days before Trump announced we have to help China retain jobs, a Chinese bank loaned $500,000 million to an Indonesia theme park in the making. Trump’s company is part of the theme park. A Trump hotel, golf course, and condominiums.

A recent study re States and healthcare has Florida in poor standing. It ranked Florida 48th among all 50 States and the District of Columbia.

Two great white sharks traced near Florida Keys. Hilton and Savannah. Yes, they have names. They were tagged several months ago and are being followed.

Hilton a male, 12’5″, 1,300 pounds. Savannah a 8’6″ female.

They are moving north. Will travel up the Atlantic coast line. Expected to move closer to Key West the next few days.

Beware!

Enjoy your day!