BOCCE PLAYOFFS

Yesterday, the bocce playoffs! The games started at noon.

We were eliminated in the first round. I doubt any of us felt bad. We got killed in the first game. Came back to kill the other team in the second. Got killed again in the third game.

We played well in one of the three games. Sufficiently so that we were able to walk off the court with our heads high.

I thought we were equal to the opposing team. Most of my team mates thougt not. They were of the opinion the opposition was better.

We were missing three players. Not offered as an excuse. Merely for information purposes. Don was at his brother in law’s funeral in California, Clare and Keith working.

There is an excitement that goes along with making the playoffs. For us Key Westers, the day of the playoffs is like the World Series, Super Bowl and Final Four rolled into one. Thrilling is the only way to describe it.

Syracuse lost again yesterday. Lost a football game to Pitt 30-7. We have only won two games this season. There is one game left to play.

I have a feeling the basketball team may not be as good as in recent years. Then there is the investigation. Could be a bad time for Syracuse sports.

Things have to improve. Dramatically.

One reason is that a lot of money is involved. Millions of dollars from TV alone. The universities have come to rely on that money. However if a team is not up to snuff, there is less prime time TV involved and the dollars diminish.

2015 is going to be an interesting year for the Syracuse University sports program.

Enjoy your Sunday!

A COLE PORTER EVENING

It could not have been a better evening! Cole Porter tunes sung by the best of Key West. To mention one or two would be remiss. There were twenty performers in all.

Cole Porter created his music back in the 1920s, 1930s and into the early 1940s. Tunes like Begin the Beguine, Night and Day, and From This Moment On.

The evening thrilled me. Everyone in attendance, also. It was obvious by the reactions to the performances. The Waterfront Playhouse is to be commended.

My seat was perfect. Third row. Jenna to my right and friend Susie to my left. The lovely Jean Carper in front. Old friend Skip behind me.

Dinner with Jenna beforehand at the Hot Tin Roof.

We made the bocce playoffs! Won 2 out of 3 games thursday night. At noon today, I will be throwing the pollina.

The playoffs are a big deal. Tents over the benches for the players. Food and drink. All for the players and free. A huge crowd watching.

I hope we win the first match. The playoffs are tough. You play the best of the best.

The Chalk Festival got rained out for today. The concrete must still be wet. I hope the bocce playoffs do not get canceled. The clay should absorb last night’s rain. The courts will be a bit slower, however.

Back to the Chalk Festival. It will be tomorrow on the promenade next to the USCG Ingham on the Truman Waterfront.

Enjoy your day!

WOE IS SYRACUSE

Immigration, Ferguson, Ebola, bocce, nudity…..all take a back seat to the Syracuse basketball story. I mentioned recently I was concerned about this year’s basketball team. Concern being a rare occurrence. It has been many years since Syracuse has had a team not up to snuff. This may be the season.

I watched the Syracuse/California game last night. Not since Pearl Washington’s days have I seen  a Syracuse team that had neither a defense nor offense. The fabled Syracuse zone was not working. California was penetrating at will. As to the offense, there was none. Most of the time, Syracuse looked like a bunch of guys playing pick up ball. Everyone shooting. Shots forced. The ball not going in the hole.

Can Boeheim weave the team together? I think not. The talent is there. If he does, it will be the miracle of miracles.

The Syracuse basketball team is my team. Right or wrong. Good or bad. I am with them to the bitter end!

I spent much of yesterday writing next week’s KONK Life column. Why Decapitation. The story of what is behind the ISIS beheadings.

I only stayed for the first bocce game last night. I left early to watch the Syracuse/California game. We won the first game 16-15. A squeaker. Tom is back from New Jersey. He won the game for us. His last shot a bocce one. The opposing team could not knock the shot out.

My cell phone is dead. I do not know how we fared in the next two games.

Last evening was the last night of the season. Playoffs are saturday. We were on the bubble to make the playoffs. I do not know how we and the other teams on the bubble fared.

I am excited about tonight. I cannot wait. I will be attending an evening of Cole Porter music at the Waterfront Playhouse. Porter’s music thrills me.

Jenna is joining me. We will probably have dinner first at the Hot Tin Roof.

The President has spoken. An executive order is forthcoming re immigration. I think he was correct in doing what he did.

What concerns me is how off the track the Republicans are. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma was one of the worst. I have always admired Coburn. Yesterday, he had it wrong however. He said on television before Obama’s talk that what the President was going to do would cause or was anarchy and that violence could result. Violence by the people.

I think some Republicans sit in a small smoked filled room with their glasses of bourbon in hand beating the drums about what a bad person Obama is. They do it so much, they start believing themselves. Lunacy.

Gail Collins, the syndicated writer for the New York Times, had an interesting observation in a recent column. It had to do with Republicans and Democrats. I do not share it with you in that vein. I share the following as an odd ball happening in today’s world.

Collins reported that a recent South African study revealed an off the wall happening in the Antarctic. Fur seals are having sex with penguins.

I wonder if someone will blame this relatively new development on global warming.

Enjoy your day!

 

SOME PEOPLE KNOW EVERYTHING

The cold spell leaves today. The temperature will be 77.

I feel sorry for my friends up north. Especially in the Buffalo area. Tom Dixon, who I mentioned yesterday, actually lives to the south of Buffalo. He is in the middle of it all. News reports say 4-5 feet of snow yesterday. Could be as much as 3 feet more today.

I lived with snow for 71 years. I miss it not!

The title to today’s blog is not meant for Patrick. Though it could apply. Rather, I am referring to Harry Bethel. Bethel is the leader of the pack regarding nudity and Fantasy Fest. He has taken to the task with fervor. His right.

I was reading this week’s Keynoter last night. There was an article on the Fantasy Fest nudity/sex issue. The article stated that Bethel admitted he had never attended a Fantasy Fest. A blind man leading the dissidents.

Had dinner last night at Tavern ‘n Town. Packed, as usual. There was an empty seat next to me. A gentleman took it. We ended up conversing. His company most enjoyable. His name Elias Gerth.

Gerth is a local physician. His speciality internal medicine. His office is on Flagler near Government Road.

I look forward to running into him again.

On the way out after dinner, I saw Allan Wimer and Robin Weiss. To know them is to love them. We hugged, kissed and chatted.  I see them both not often enough.

Jake has become a Key West icon in his own right. I thank the many who have e-mailed with concern for Jake and the medical attention he is receiving. Lisa reports this morning that Jake appears ok. However, he is medicated. He was sick during the night.

Jake is a fortunate animal. He has Lisa and the family. Others are concerned. Jake is loved. More than loved, Jake is lucky. He was adopted from the animal shelter about 1 1/2 years ago. Jake might have ended up being put to sleep if Lisa and the family had not discovered him. It may have been Jake who discovered them. His face says it all. He is adorable and lovable.

Syracuse basketball tonight! Syracuse plays California. The game is in Madison Square Garden. The first round in a pre-season tournament. Syracuse is favored by 5 points.

Madison Square Garden is no stranger to Syracuse. When in the Big East, many games were played there. Season and post season. I rarely missed the Big East Tournament. St. John was always a big game. I used to schedule my New York City work so I could be overnight in the City when Syracuse played St. John in the Garden.

All Garden games were exciting. It was the flavor of the place. The home of big time basketball.

In addition to the Syracuse game, there are two other biggies this evening. The President speaks at 8 re immigration. I will miss his speech. I will be playing bocce. I will leave bocce early to get home to watch the Syracuse game which begins at 9. The President I will see in one of the reruns which will be on television all night.

Let me close with Ferguson.

Both sides are getting ready for the anticipated storm. The governor already has called in the national guard. The protesters  are not standing idly by. All over the St. Louis area they are staging dry runs on how to face the police.

Nothing good can come from all this.

Enjoy your day!

 

MARY LOU HOOVER…..WONDER WOMAN

Mary Lou Hoover can do and does do everything! Nothing is beyond her capabilities.

Her credentials are lengthy. Most prominent is Girls’ Night Out. A couple of years ago, Mary Lou thought women needed a place to meet and network. From a first meeting in a living room with a handful of ladies, it has grown into huge numbers. The ladies meet one night a month. However, in much larger quarters.

Mary Lou has also been a Fantasy Fest Queen. 2007. A tough race to the title and an even more arduous job the year following.

She is involved with Helpline. She is fund raiser and coordinator for the organization.

Mary Lou recently acquired an added interest in suicides. She came up with some figures that indicate a big time need for additional assistance in order to prevent suicides. In 2012, there were 4 homicides and 19 suicides in the Florida Keys. In 2013, there were 2 homicides and 32 suicides. Clear evidence that help is needed.

Mary Lou is working to have Helpline add to its suicide awareness efforts. A worthy and needed endeavor. She will succeed. It is in her nature to succeed. She is a woman who gets things done.

My blog talk radio show was last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. For those of you who may have missed and would like to listen, the show is archived and also available on Facebook and You Tube.

Post show comments indicated that my critical comments re the Keystone Pipeline and Immigration issues garnered the most interest.

My thrust was it has been 6 years that Keystone has been waiting for a vote. The final vote was last night. It took an effort of political expediency to bring about the vote. With regard to immigration, the issue has been bouncing around for 6 years also. A vote could not be reached. Now the President says he is going to move by Executive Order.

Not the way to run a government! We should not have to wait six years to get an up or down vote on the important issues of the day.

Can you believe the weather? The Key West weather. It dropped to 61 last night. It is 63 degrees as I write. The high today will be 69. Wow! Cold! A long pants day.

I will hear from many of you regarding the previous paragraph. Especially my friends up north. Where it is really cold! Tom Dixon e-mailed to tell me they already have four feet of snow in Buffalo, with more coming today. Temperatures across upstate New York are in their 20’s. So too most of the rest of the nation. This morning’s weather report says the Florida panhandle will be below freezing later today and tonight.

And not even Thanksgiving yet!

Today is the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln delivered the famous speech on this day in 1863. It was less than 300 words.

Two things I would like to share with you re the Gettysburg Address.

The first is that Lincoln wrote his speech on a ripped off portion of a brown paper bag as he rode to Gettysburg. His lunch had been in the bag. He used a stub pencil to write.

When Lincoln completed  delivering his speech, applause were minimal. There was no off the wall reaction to his words. It was subsequent to the speech that the speech’s special qualities were noted.

It continues to be a sad day at Lisa’s. Jake is still sick. Lisa continues to take him to the vet every day. They still do not know what is wrong with him. He is being tested for everything.

Poor Jake!

Enjoy your day!

 

NUDITY NUDITY NUDITY

Sixty thousand to seventy thousand people come to Key West each year to enjoy Fantasy Fest. They come because it is an adult party. Adult means some degree of nudity.

A small handful of local citizens want to change things. They cry there is too much nudity and sex.

I have never seen open sex during Fantasy Fest. I have occasionally seen some nudity. Generally, the female vagina. Not that many, however. Maybe a total of a dozen in the 16 years I have been attending Fantasy Fest.

Local ordinances require a woman’s nipples to be covered. That means pasties. Plus, the privates of men and women. I can live with that and so can the 60,000-70,000 who come to party.

There is a vocal minority that wants to change things. How much I am not certain. They probably total no more than 40 persons. They are the squeaky wheel, however. If church goers, the ones who sing the loudest at services. They are getting a lot of attention. As evidenced by this morning’s Key West Citizen. The headline read Nudity Tops The List Of Fest Complaints.

The group sounds like the religious right. I am offended that they seek to impose their moral standards upon me and the 60,000-70,000. I  believe most Key Westers would agree with me.

Walked again yesterday. I am proud of myself! From one end of Duval to the other and back.

This weekend is the Waterfront’s Cole Porter show A Swell Party. Jenna and I will be going together. I was lucky to get tickets. The show is apparently a sell out. Someone had just canceled two adjoining seats in the third row. It is called being there at the right time.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting and stimulating talk. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics tonight include Ferguson and the KKK, genetically modified potatoes approved by USDA for sale in the U.S., Obama changing his tune re immigration, a tough on drugs governor pardoning his son’s drug conviction, a British/Iranian woman who is to receive a public lashing because she wanted to attend a volley ball game, and more.

Ferguson is a hotbed in the making. A tinderbox that could and probably will erupt. Missouri’s governor announced yesterday  he was declaring a state of emergency. The national guard has been called out. The governor is getting ready for whatever occurs when the grand jury report comes out.

The governor’s move is stupid. He is sending the national guard in in advance. Such is an invitation to aggravation, dissension, and violence. It says to the black community we know you are going to blow up and we are ready for you. In a sense, a we dare you move.

Missouri’s political leaders leave a lot to be desired.

Enjoy your day!

 

JAKE STILL SICK

I am concerned. Jake is still sick. It has been a week thus far.

Lisa takes him to the vet daily. He receives shots and pills. Also fed intravenously so he does not become dehydrated. He is not eating. He still has diarrhea. He has been x-rayed and had blood work.

Vet does not know what is wrong yet.

Jake was lying on the bed when I visited yesterday. He reminded me of how young children look when they are sick. Sad sunken eyes. No reaction to anything.

My Sunday’s normally involve a visit to Don’s Place to watch pro football. Don set up a special area in back of the outside bar for himself and his friends. The Don’s friends group has grown. The games start 1. People arrive at 11:30 to get a seat.

Not my cup of tea. It does not make sense to arrive an hour plus early to get a seat. It is like staying at a resort. Certain people want the best located lounges by the pool. They are down to the pool at sunrise.

My out of the house time was limited in the afternoon. A visit to Lisa’s. Picked up a prescription at Walgreens. Needed some food. Stopped at Publix. On the way  home, I stopped at the new CVS on US 1. It is close to my home. I wanted to check it out.

I did not like it. Two reasons. The drive in off US 1 is not worth visiting the store. Also, the aisles are set up in a confusing fashion My old head does not want to learn new. Ergo, I will be staying with Walgreens.

I also took a walk. A long one. Along Smathers beach.

Saw my first Syracuse basketball game late in the afternoon. Syracuse played Hampton. Syracuse won 65-47.

The Syracuse team I saw yesterday least impressed me of all the Syracuse teams I have seen this early in the season.  Syracuse’s zone defense in the first half was not there. Hampton was getting inside at will. The defense did improve in the second half, however.

The Syracuse offense did not have the sharpness it has had this early as in previous seasons. There appeared to be uncertainty in the way the team moved the ball around.

Hampton used a zone defense. Syracuse runs into a zone defense rarely. Syracuse has difficulty penetrating a zone defense. As was evident yesterday.

I suspect it is going to be a tough season. That does not mean I contemplate a losing season. It merely means the games will be harder to win and most probably very close.

I discovered something which excited me no end. The game was on ESPNU. I have Comcast. I can get ESPN1. Sometimes ESPN2. Never ESPNU.

I was screwing around with the remote trying to see if the game might be on a higher numbered channel. It was. Channel 396. Mark it well, friends. That is the place.

Enjoy your day!

 

CHALK ART

When I was a young and lived on Jay Street, there were no backyards or lawns. We played on the sidewalks in front of our apartment dwellings. The concrete was our lawn.

We did not miss lawn covered backyards. We could not miss what we did not know existed. We were totally unaware there were kids who had backyards and lawns to play on.

One of the many games played involved the use of chalk. Only white. We did not have other colors. We would draw huge pieces of art on the sidewalks. We would also use the chalk to outline games on the concrete.

This coming week Key West will sponsor its Third Annual Chalk Festival. An international event. Artists from Holland, Italy, and Russia will participate. Those from these three nations are considered stars in the field. Additionally, more than 20 locals will be participating. Part of the program includes artists who paint in 3-D.

Sidewalk chalk art has come a long way.

I was a home body yesterday.

Watched the Alabama/Mississippi State game from the couch. I only watched the first half. Then became bored. Alabama was winning 19-6 and out playing Mississippi State. When I returned to the TV after the game, I learned it turned out to be a close one. Alabama won 25-20. Apparently the final minutes were the most exciting of the game.

I was very impressed with what I saw of Alabama in the first half. It was the third time this season I watched them. I would not be surprised if they won the national title.

I have no idea what this Sunday will bring. I do know I will be getting out of the house for a while.

Enjoy your Sunday!

KEY WEST MODEL RAILROAD SHOW

Key West has a model railroad club. It has an annual show. This year it is at the Moose Lodge on Eisenhower. Today.

It has been years and years since I saw a model railroad. They were a big deal back in the 1930s through 1950s. Remember, people primarily traveled by trains in the 1930s and 1940s. Significant commercial aviation did not come into play till the late 1940s.

My parents bought me a Lionel model train for Christmas 1940. Actually, it was from Santa Claus. They had to have saved all year to buy it. It was top of the line. A very heavy engine, several cars, and an oval track. Motorized, of course.

Christmas Day, my father and uncles monopolized the train. They were on their hands and knees around it. I could not get close. I recall my mother coming into the room and telling them to let the baby play with it. I was the baby. A lot of good it did.

I played with the train set for years. When I became older and lost interest, we placed it around the base of the Christmas tree every year and ran it.

Somehow, I lost it. I recall it being in a box in the attic of our first home. Where it went from there, I do not know.

My yesterday began with a manicure with Tammy. We talked about Thanksgiving. I asked if she would cook a turkey this year. She said no. She did it last year and no one ate it. Fortunately, she cooked a Vietnamese meal also and had it on the table. She told me her 5 and 7 year olds do not like American food. Even MacDonald’s. At some point, there will be an Americanization of Tammy’s children. She will then have to cook American food special for them.

I walked afterwards. Back into a good health kick. Parked the car at the airport and walked Smathers Beach and back. Got a little difficult towards the end.

I spent several hours writing next week’s KONK Life column. Putin The Winner So Far. Compares Putin and Obama’s accomplishments this year.

I went off the beaten track last night. Had dinner at the Boathouse. A seat at the bar on the far side. Gave me a view of the whole restaurant.

The place was packed. It is strictly a tourist spot. Rush them in, rush them out. No chatter with the wait staff. Prices about $2 higher than a comparable eating place elsewhere in Key West. In spite of my comments, it is a place to stop and enjoy. It sits on the waterfront. A dock immediately in front. Boats lining the marina.

I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to see the Cole Porter show at the Waterfront Playhouse. I called Jenna. She agreed to join me this evening. Later when I was reading this week’s KONK Life, I noticed that the show is next week, not this week. I keep making these mistakes.

Jenna and I will be going next friday.

This morning’s Key West Citizen in its Today in History section notes that on this day in 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for the Jefferson Memorial.

Two years ago,  I did the tourist thing for a week in Washington. I was most anxious to see the Lincoln Memorial. The imposing figure of Lincoln sitting in a chair. I saw it and was duly impressed. A WOW, until I saw the Jefferson Memorial. More imposing and impressive. Jefferson stands about 20 feet tall. See both the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials if you have the chance. Take the kids. The trip will be good for them.

Nicholas Kristoff is a syndicated New York Times columnist. In a recent article, he wrote that one third of American teenage girls become pregnant. He claimed a birth by a teenager occurs one every minute. The thrust of his article was that our young people need to know more about sex and have available to them birth control.

Alabama and Mississippi State this afternoon. The game of the season thus far. Should be terrific! I plan on watching it either at Don’s Place or home on the couch.

Enjoy your day!

 

BEWARE OF HIDDEN CAMERAS

Cameras have become an integral part of our lives. They are everywhere. From cell phones to hidden ones in stores. Cameras have helped in disclosing police brutality situations. They have assisted in identifying criminals.

There is a photo that has gone viral. Its story told. It happened somewhere in Florida a month ago.

A woman was in a liquor store. She was with her small son. The son appeared to be 3-4 years old. The picture shows the mother with dress lifted, squatting, and stealing a bottle of brandy by shoving it into her vagina. A virgin she was not.

Amazing!

Tropic Cinema is one of Key West’s most successful ventures. Everyone loves the theatre.

When Tropic Cinema was still only a thought in the minds of a few, it was hoped that someday it might become the venue for a Key West Film festival. The dream has become reality. This weekend the third Key West Film Festival is taking place.

One of the thoughts was to get movie stars to visit Key West for the event. Similar to the Cannes Film Festival. One is participating this year. A star of note. Marisa Tomei. An Academy Award winner for her role in My Cousin Vinny, she has starred in roughly thirty films.

One of the movies was My Silent Heart. Her co-star was Christian Slater. Several years ago, Slater was a fixture in Key West off and on for a year. And then no more. Too bad. Many were hopeful he might buy a home here.

Another actress came to mind yesterday. I was watching the 1960 movie Where The Boys Are. One of the stars was Dolores Hart. A lovely, She had starred in ten films. Her co-stars included Elvis Presley, Montgomery Clift, George Hamilton, and Robert Wagner.

Still in her 20s, she decided to change careers. She gave up the excitement and notoriety of Hollywood for God. She became a Catholic nun. She entered a nunnery in Connecticut. She is still there today where she serves as the Prioress of the convent.

Tonight and tomorrow evening, the Waterfront Playhouse is featuring A Swell Party. Twenty Key West entertainers singing Cole Porter tunes. It has to be an over the top show. I hope I can get a ticket for one of the evenings.

Yesterday was a simple one. Productive, however. I spent most of the day writing. My publisher will be happy. I am happy.

Besides writing some good narrative, I took time to get a haircut with Lori. She has been cutting my hair for more than 15 years. Love her! Dinner was a quick stop at Roostica.

Enjoy your day!