I was wondering why I could not sleep a couple of nights ago. I blamed it on the diet. Specifically that my alcohol consumption had dropped to zero. However 14 of you wrote back and corrected that assumption.

I advised that on the diet I had consumed 2 cups of regular coffee and 2 diet Pepsis. All within 2 hours of going to bed.

The 14 told me why I could not sleep. It was obvious! It was the caffeine that kept me awake!

Last night I skipped the diet soda and had only 1 cup of coffeee, decaffinated. And I slept like a baby!

We live and learn!

Yesterday was Sunday and breakfast at Camille’s. With Lisa, Cory and the grandchildren. Fun! With this diet, I have become a cheap date. Had only 1 cup of coffee!

It was humid. However I needed to walk. Walked from the Atlantic to the Gulf and back. I was soaking wet when I finished.

I spent the rest of the day hanging out at home. A nap or two, some sun, some reading, watched golf on TV. Lisa came over with the grandchildren to swim. Always fun! Always interesting!

This deepening recession is being felt in several ways here in Key West.

The town is normally dead in the summer. However the past several weekends have been terrific. People from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other Florida points north are driving in for the the weekend. It appears people are taking shorter/closer vacations.

A friend of mine owns a popular local bar. Local is the key word. It is a locals hangout. Very few, if any, tourists. Serves only alcohol. He tells me his gross is down $600 a day. A lot of money! He blames it on the lack of construction in the area. Many of his customers are carpenters. They are not working. Ergo, drinking less. At least outside the home.

A small condo, 1 bed 1 bath, went on sale in Old Town for $158,000. It sold for $114,000. Four years ago that same property would have brought in excess of $400,000!

I lost another pound. Four pounds in 3 days. Sixteen to go!

Sunday! A wonderful day!

The first thing this morning was stepping on the scale. I have completed 2 days of my diet. I lost 1 pound. That makes for a total of 3. Seventeen pounds to go!

Yesterday started with a long bike ride around the island. It was humid and windy, so a bit difficult.

Spent the rest of the day home. Payed bills and read.

Decided to go out last night. Showered and shaved and all that sort of thing.

Started with the bar at La Trattoria. No food. Only liquids. Erin was great as she served me. One water, 1 diet Pepsi and 2 cups of coffee! It also gave me the opportunity to visit with people.

Then to La Te Da to listen to Debra and Patrick. And chat with friends. Ordered 1 diet Pepsi, which I did not finish.

Then home to bed.

I slept poorly last night. Not sure why. Could be withdrawal. Besides consuming food, I enjoy drinking. Not that much, but every day. Cutting alcohol off abruptly probably disrupts sleep for a while.

I heard from Anna again. I beleive I have mentioned her in the past. She lives in Venice.

Anna reported she just completed a month’s vacation in Greece. Visited Tinos, Mikonos and the Santorini Islands. One day while there, she found a small quiet cove and beach. Desolate. No one else around.

She advises she sun bath topless. I love these Europeans! Especially Anna who is in her mid 60s!

While enjoying the sun and solitude, a large yacht pulled into the cove. Soon a small boatload of people joined her on the beach.

It was Elton John and a group of friends. She partied with them all afternoon.

Anna is now back in Venice visiting her elderly mother. Then she is off to Germany for a granddaughter’s confirmation. Following which she is returning to the Greek Isles for a few more weeks.

Anna lives well! Bless her! God has!

Sunday means breakfast with the grandkids. At Camille’s. Only this morning my breakfast will be limited to a glass of water and cup of coffee!

Day 3 of the diet is upon me.

Every journey starts with a first step.

Yesterday was day 1 of my diet.

I weighed myself upon rising this morning. Lost 2 pounds! A start!

I also exercised yesterday. Swam a whole hour in the pool. Oh, what a good boy am I! May this enthusiasm continue for another 18 pounds!

Overall a quiet day yesterday. Hung around the house. Did some paper work. Lisa and the grandkids showed up to swim in the afternoon. Such a joy to have them around!

Bars and restaurants are not part of the diet regime. They are near occasions of sin. And must be avoided!

So I went to the movies last night. No popcorn. Just Diet Pepsi. Saw the Get Smart movie. Good! Funny!

Kathleen Peace was singing with Larry Smith at the Pier House last night. I wanted to hear her. Love Kathleen and her voice! However I feared I was not strong enough to handle the bar scene. So I did not go! Home to bed immediately after the movie was out!

Boring.

Where do I begin…..

Chickens continue to be in the local news.

Two years ago the city fathers decided to hire a chicken catcher to capture the many chickens running around town. After capture, he was to transport them to a chicken farm in northern Florida. Apparently chickens are some sort of endangered species and cannot be destroyed willy nilly. Only by human plan for consumption purposes. Quite frankly, I doubt anyone would want to eat the Key West chickens.

Anyhow, the chicken catcher was to be paid $20 per chicken. Taking into account the time factor in the capture and the transportation costs, I question whether it was a great deal financially.

He caught about 2,000 and shipped them out.Then he quit. Said the natives were so enamoured with the chickens, they made his job difficult. Protecting the chickens and the like. He claimed he would set traps and cages, and the local citizens would set the chickens free after capture.Typical Key West!

At the time the chicken catcher started, it was estimated there were 4,000 chickens. That left 2,000 when he resigned.

There was an article in the local newspaper this week that the chickens were a problem again! I did not need the paper to tell me! They are all over the place!

The news article was informative. A hen’s gestation period is 26 days. And she delivers 10-12 eggs. Now I know why there are so many eggs and chicken wings available for sale! And why Key West has well over 4,000 chickens running around its streets. Maybe it will become like Planet of the Apes and the chickens will some day take over!

I begin my diet today. Nutrisystem. Where, by the way, I will be consuming 2 hardboiled eggs a day!

I did the diet last year. Lost 50 pounds in 4 months. Twenty of it has been gained back. I want to get rid of those 20 pounds before it gets worse. So I ordered Nutrisystem again. The food came in yesterday. I start today.

I anticipate I can lose the 20 pounds in 5 weeks. Based on last year’s experience, I should lose 8 pounds the first week and then a steady 3 pounds every week there after.

Five weeks brings me to August 1st. I start the diet at 226. Lets see what happens. How often will I weaken? Will I succeed or fail?

Last night was my last supper! Ate at Michael’s Restaurant. Thought I would pig out! However my normal self preservation and reservation prevailed. I only had 2 drinks. Did have an appetizer. Scallops with brie. Then hogfish for my entre.

Hogfish is a the best of local fishes. Absolutely delicious. Expensive. And bears a very common name for the king of Key West fishes!

My day yesterday started with a Key West Symphony board meeting. At the Westin’s Bistro at noon.

I was there. No one else was. The table was set up for the meeting. The staff said a meeting was scheduled. But no one was there but me.

I called several other board members. No one was home available. Only answering machines.
So after waiting a half hour, I decided the meeting had been cancelled and someone had failed to convey the cancellation to me. Such respect!

Actually the time was not wasted. I am rarely in the area of the Westin by day. So I walked around. A cruise ship had just come in. It was interesting to see all the day time activity around the Hotel and nearby museums.

I have a new cell phone. An experience learning it! I am from the generation that is not mechanically inclined. I frustrate easily. And the instruction book is too confusing for me. However I am getting there. I spent the afternoon playing with the phone and entering numbers into it.

The Democratic primary was exciting! The general election is not as yet. I am finding it boring. Not good for a political junkie! At some point it should heat up like the primary. I hope so!

Time to go downstairs and start my Nutrisystem diet. Day 1! Thirty four to go!

I had a good time playing golf yesterday!

Except for the heat! The humidity was overwhelming! There was a strong hot breeze!

I played well till the heat got to me.

It tired me out on the back nine.

I played with Larry smith and Yankee Jack. Two good guys! It was a fun round.

We played a money game. It all came down to the last hole. We were tied up to that point.

Larry won. Yankee and I lost. Cost me $5. It was worth it to play with these 2 guys!

I spent the afternoon in bed in my air conditioned bedroom. Under the covers!

I am going on a diet soon. I am waiting for my shipment of Nutrisystem foods.

You will recall that last year I lost 50 pounds on the diet. Twenty have been gained back. Time to get serious again!

My mentality is such that I prepare for a diet. It is a form of training. I eat a bit more!

Last night it was a few drinks and dinner at Alice’s restaurant. A fantastic tuna roll appetizer. And then her famous crispy duck!

It was 9:30 when I went to bed. The beating I took playing golf had finally taken its toll!

Had lunch with Victoria McFadyen yesterday.

Victoria is a Key West attorney. Competent and respected. Gracefully charming. A real winner!

Afterwards I decided to be nice to Louis. So I opted for the pleasure of a pedicure.

It’s a tough life!

Hot yesterday. Lisa and the grandkids came over around 5 to swim. I joined them in the pool. The water was warm. Like bath water.

Robert hit me in the head with a noodle. It hurt! It was learning time for Robert!

Last night it was La Trattoria for dinner.

Beeca is back. Good! She had been to Georgia for a week visiting family.

Erin was her usual brilliant self bartending and serving. Bartenders such as Erin are attractions. They are personalities. Stars in their own right. Customers are attracted to a particular bar/restaurant to visit with persons such as Erin.

Then early to bed. And yes, I did sleep! All night!

Golf this morning. The sky is overcast. Intermittent showers predicted. Hope we get 18 holes in without getting drenched!

Busy day yesterday.

Worked much of the day.

Part of my labors involved purchasing a new cell phone. What an ordeal! Took over 2 hours!

I wanted the new I phone. Was told it cannot be purchased till July 11. So I opted to buy a cheapie till then. $39 and it does everything! Fortunately the salesperson set the phone up for me. The e mail wouldn’t hook up with Yahoo. Three different phones were tried. Can you picture me at home with the instruction book doing it and having no success!

It turned out the whole batch of that cheapie model were defective. So I had to upgrade to $59 to get a working model. Still a good deal!

Last night I had dinner at Tavern ‘N Town at the relatively new Beachside Resort.

I had been there for drinks in the past. Never dinner.

First, the place is absolutely beautiful! New York/Chicago atmosphere in Key West.

And the food was equally great!

I highly recomend Tavern ‘N Town to everyone! A dining experience!

The hostess was a young Ukranian lady. Twenty years old. She is here for 3 months as a working intern. She also was in Key West a year ago for a brief period.

She is studying in the Ukraine to be a dentist. She is in her fourth year of university. Has 1 more year to go and then a 1 year intern as a dentist. All toll, it takes 6 years to become a dentist in the Ukraine. She was young, but university study starts at 16 in her country.

I asked her if dentists made money in the Ukraine. She exhuberently stated Yes! Then I told her about my cap which recently had to be replaced and which cost $1200. She was shocked. One cap she asked! Surprise covered her face! Turns out dentistry does not pay that well in the Ukraine.

She is firm in wanting to live her life in the Ukraine. I doubt the money factor will influence her in any way.

It was nice meeting and chatting with her. Bright, cheerful and ready to take on the world!

I was tired from my “work day” yesterday so I returned home to bed immediately after dinner. Around 9:30. For some reason I woke at 3 am. Just as the Michael Keaton/Kim Basenger/ Jack Nicholson Batman movie started on TV. I had never seen it. I got hooked. So my tired body never got back to sleep.

It is going to be a tough day!

Sundays are a pattern. A good one!

First, breakfast at Camille’s with the grandkids.Then to the coffee house to sit on the front porch and read the New York papers.

Later pool time with Lisa and the grandchildren. An event!

Lisa forgot to bring a change of clothes for Robert. He came in his bathing trunks. Robert just turned 4. So I gave him my smallest tee shirt. We lost him in it! He reminded me of one of the seven dwarfs!

Last night I had dinner at the bar at La Trattoria. No Becca. I was disappointed. Spoke with Kathy the bartender. She is originally from Albany. Our chatter involved a comparison of upstate New York and the keys. Obviouly the keys won!

After dinner I needed a Larry Smith fix. So it was off to the Pier House for his Sunday Night Showcase. As usual, good music! All orchestrated by Larry.

Key West is jumping. I am surprised. Apparently there is a second season. The summer season! The streets are crowding up, as well as the restaurants. And everything is cheaper! That is probably why there is a second season this year.

Enjoy!

It is a lovely Sunday morning in Key West!

Sun bright, sky blue, water moving and a cool early morning breeze in the air. Going to be another great day in Key West!

Several weeks ago I wrote concerning the death of a friend. Bob “Woody” Warren. Yesterday Woody’s Key West friends celebrated his life. Some of his family came to Key West to join in the occasion.

Woody’s remembrance started with a 2 o’clock church service at the Metropolitan Community Church of Key West.

The Church was packed! Standing room only! To be expected as far as Woody was concerned. He was respected and loved.

It was my first attendance at a service at the Metropoitan Community Church. It represents itself as the religious home for gay parishioners, though all are welcome. I was impressed with the service and the ministers. All very moving and insightful. I held hands, sang and prayed. And shed an occasional tear as Woody was remembered.

It is only after death that we sometimes learn interesting things about people. The little things that go unnoticed in life.

One of the ministers pointed out that every Saturday, Woody was in the Church hall packaging meals for the elderly and homeless. Every Saturday for years!

There were two other functions scheduled following the Chruch service. Unfortunately I could not attend.

At 4 there was a party at Square One Restaurant. Square One was Woody’s favorite haunt. He could be found every evening at cocktail time at the bar. With a warm greeting and kind word for all!

Then at 6 was the event of the day! With a number of friends in attendance, Woody’s ashes were strewn into the Atlantic Ocean from the White Street Pier. A fitting place for such a memorable event! A fitting place to recive Woody’s remains! Woody is now part of a greater scenerio not only in Heaven, but also here on earth. As I look out my window at the water this morning, I have a sense of his presence.

Woody touched a lot of hearts. Woody, we all loved you!

Last night I went to dinner with my friend Donna Barnett. We went to Martin’s. A great meal!

We wanted to sit outside. However it was a bit muggy and there was no breeze. The lack of a breeze means those tiny bothersome bugs called no-see-me’s were out and biting. So we opted to move inside to no bugs and air conditioning.

It was a long dinner. We talked much. It had been a while since we had seen each other.

Then to La Te Da for a drink. Only one drink. We both were tired.

However we said …..why not one more! And so we stopped at Square One for a last drink. It was not late. Around 10. However Patty Cakes was locking up Square One, so it turned out to be a quick drink, talk about Woody and we were off!

I almost forgot! Donna won an award! A big deal one!

Donna works at the Days Inn. In guest services. The lodging association presented her with the Florida Keys Human Resource Excellence in Service Award. A mouthful!

The award covers all of the keys. From Key Largo to Key West. Some150 miles. And my Donna, our Donna, was the sole recipient. The winner from all those employees in all of the hundreds of hotels/motels which make up the keys.

Good job Donna! Congratulations!

Today is Sunday. Sunday is breakfast with Lisa and the grandkids at Cazmille’s. I love it!