These storms are interesting!

Gustav visited Key West periphally. The outer bands were over us and southern Florida. A lot of blustery rain yesterday. Big wind.

I did not think the wind was as bad as Fay. Until last night! I had stayed in all day. Decided to go out for a drink last night. When I was driving home up US 1, my car kept moving sideways! The wind! Gustav!

It is relatively calm this morning. Sun is out. Never made it yesterday. Not even a peek. A touch of humidity. Quite a brisk wind however.

Last night I saw a couple of trees down in Key West. The stop lights were blowing.

This morning I have not left home as yet. However my deck on the ocean is covered with twigs, leafs and all other sorts of small foliage. Was not that way after Fay.

We were on the dirty side of Gutav. That is why it had whatever the impact was on Key West.

Hanna looks like it is going to totally miss Key West. Heading for northern Florida and the Carolinas. Not yet hurricane speed. It may remain a tropical storm.

What a strange way to live! This is the first year I have been in Key West for all of the hurricane season. It keeps you on the edge of your seat a bit.

These storms are intimidating.

Gustav is apparently going to be a 3. Bad! A hurricane is a spiral thing. Bands of wind and rain shoot out in circular bands. Sometimes hundreds of miles beyond the eye of the storm.

Although Gustav is now south of Cuba and will miss Key West, we are experiencing rain and wind from the bands. The ocean outside my house has been moving rapidly for 2 days. Sometimes as fast as it did for Fay.

And the water level is different. The tide has been unusually high and unusually low in the last 24 hours.

Plus it rained unusually heavy last night.

Note the repetitive use of the word unusual. I know no other way to describe it. Creepy!

It is still gray this morning and it is almost 9.

I am more concerned about Hannah. Hannah is the hurricane right behind Gustav.

Hannah has yet to reach any type land. However it is being discussed as being possibly worse than Gustav. Hannah’s path will take it to the Carolina’s. It is projected to take a sharp right turn at some point.

So Gustav is missing the keys to the south. Hannah is supposed to miss the keys to the north. It is like being the meat in a sandwich. Key West is located between the slices. I do not trust the situation. Hannah could squeeze in on us!

Politics.

I think McCain’s choice of Palin as veep is a bum move! Time will reveal the selection detrimental to his candidacy.

Have a good day!

Bocci last night! Opening of a new season! Fun!

It was good to play again!

We won 2 and lost 1. We lost the first game. Opening game gitters, I guess. We killed them in the next 2 games!

We all played well…..after the first game.

David and I teamed together. David lost 60 pounds plus between seasons. He looks terrific! Twenty years younger!

David’s Karen stopped by to say hello. She could not play. She is taking college courses and had an exam last night.

Jules is usually my partner. However she is home recovering from surgery. A tumor the size of a football was removed from her stomach. Fortunately it was benign. She is recovering well. She, too, is going to be thinner when she returns! What a team! We are all beginning to look like athletes!

Michelle is back. Poor Michedlle was playing with a cast on her right wrist. And she was cut and bruised all over. She was hit by a car 2 days earlier. Fortunately she is left handed! So she was able to play! Shades of Tiger!

Don of Don’s Place is our captain. He provided his usuual good humor, ability and leadership. After we lost the first game, his admonition to me was to have a drink before the second game. And he was right! I had a gin and played better!

We have a new guy. Shane. First time he ever played bocci was last night. Young and athletic. He played well and is going to develop into an asset.

Remember Jenny from Walgreen’s? She was back. A pretty young thing! Last season she played for Hyatt. Hyatt is no more this season so she and some friends started their own team. It is called Just For Us or Just Girls or something like that. I talked with her after a couple of gins (at Don’s consistent wise suggestion) and so I do not recall the team’s exact name.

Anyhow, it was nice seeing Jenny again! And her team mate Lindsey! Another young beauty!

Jenny and Lindsey were playing against Larry Smith’s team. He harrassed the hell out of them all night in typical Larry Smith fashion. I do not know who took unfair advantage of the other. However the girls were winning the last game of their match as I left.

I am up early this morning. Dark. Window open. All of a sudden it has started raining big time. I can hear it. Not see it.

Although I stopped at Don’s Place for a drink afterwards last night, I got home in time for Obama’s speech. Fantastic! He came out swinging! We need a change in Washington!

Still dark. I am going back to bed.

Another great day starting! So beautiful here this morning! My desk sits on the second floor. The window in front of me is open. All I can see is endless ocean and the top of a palm tree. Blue and green basking in the sun! A real turn on!

President Clinton was great last night! An outstanding orator! He was one of our best Presidents in spite of his moral slip. We would all be better off if this country was in the same economic and international condition it was when Clinton left office.

My grandkids survived their first day at pre school. However they were both beat by the time they arrived home. I stopped by to see them. Walking zombies! I guess that is the way it is when you are 4 and 3 and go all out all day.

Last night was Wednesday evening. Bobby Nesbitt at Aqua! Great, as usual!

Tonight is special. The bocci season kicks off! We have not played in about 3 months. I am anxious to get started again!

So much for today. I am going outside on the deck, have a cup of coffee and contemplate my navel.

A beautiful morning!

I continue feeling lucky that tropical storm Fay was an insect bite for us. It is still dumping rain on the middle Atlantic states.

However this is hurricane season. And Gustav is on its way!

Gustav is sure to be of hurricane force. Probably a 3. Bad!

It is becoming the talk of the island.

When I went to bed last night the right side of the cone suggested it was going to come over the keys. However Gustav is bumping off Cuba and the cone has moved further to the south. So unless Gustav is a fickle woman, it will fortunately miss the keys.

With a name like Gustav, it cannot be a fickle woman!

One of my best friends up north is Gus Detraglia. Gus is short for Gustav. You finally made it Gus! To the big time! This hurricane is yours!

I watched the Democratic Convention last night. I found the Convention overall unimpressive. I thought Hillary gave a great speech that did not make it to the finish line. As good as the political pundits say she was, there was something missing from my perspective when it came to Obama.

The Democrats should be hitting McCain. Instead they are still uniting and trying to make like one big happy family. The Dems should be on an all out offensive at this stage. I am beginning to worry.

I cleaned the garage out yesterday. With help, of course. After 10 years there was little room left for the car.

Key West is ground level. Ergo there are no cellars. Nor attics, though I do not know why. So there is no where to store.

Fortunately I have a double garage. It filled up over the years.

Everything is neatly lined outside waiting for trash pick up. Even an old stoved that we hooked up in the garage to cook the big meals so as not to heat up the house. Good luck! We only used the stove one time in 10 years!

Today is golf day. Unfortunately I have an appoinment and cannot play. Something must be wrong with me. Nothing is more important than golf!

Appointment actually is not a proper description of the event. My grandchildren are going to pre-school this morning for the first time. I want to be there. And that is more important than golf!

A lazy day yesterday. Other than my mid day walk, I just hung around. Was in the pool floating about on a noodle for quite a while.

Last night I grabbed a bite at the bar at La Trattoria. Chatted with a couple of tourists from different parts of the country.

I am getting nervous. These guys were very down and hard on Biden. Obama, of course, as well. From the gut!

This type political opposition scares me. Many people the past several years cannot have an intelligent political discussion. And generally it is the Republicans who talk this way. No disrespect intended to my friends of a different political persuasion than I.

It has to start with the candidates themselves. And since I view this as primarily a Republican failing, it is there that I look for redress.

I read somewhere yesterday that the last Presidential election where the Republican candidate himself did not resort to negativity, casting ill begot aspersions on his opponent’s character, etc. was Ronald Reagan. Yes, when Reagan ran for President it was generally a campaign of issues.

The moral of the story is we have to return to the high ground. And what better example to follow than that which Reagan set for us.

I must be up earlier than normal today. The sun has yet to rise. It is not dark however. Shades of gray. A lovely gray!

The weather has been fantastic in Key West since tropical storm Fay. Again, we missed the bullet! Luckily! Look at the devestation in central and north Florida. And strange! Remember that Fay never achieved the intensity of a hurricane.

The iguana population continues to be a growing problem. They are all over the place. Eating the foliage and defecating.

Are they infectuous in any way to humans? Some say they carry bad things which will infect humans. Others say no way.

There was a recent comment in the Voice column of the local paper. The writer conceded that iguanas are germ carrying. But he stated that so are children. And we do not go around exterminating our kids because they get colds and and have virus infections.

A stupid analogy!

My understanding is that there is no determination that iguanas are dangerous to humans from a health perspective. However they are from a property point of view. My foliage is expensive to plant and expensive to maintain. Gardening and watering cost money. Especially here in the keys! and my grandkids stepping in iguana poop while playing is also a problem.

So lets get rid of the iguanas!

Studies are underway to effect that end. A merciless disposition is being sought. So far the best extermination method is freezing. Only in America! They will be with us 10 years from now!

The chickens have survived. So too will the iguanas!

I spent a very pleasant Sunday afternoon yesterday.

I bought several different Sunday papers, threw them in the trunk and drove up the keys with the top down on the car.

I ended up at Boondocks outside of Big Pine. Shades of Hogfish and Schooner’s Wharf. Only cleaner and a bit more elegant.

I stayed about 3 hours. Ate a bit. Drank a couple of pina coladas. And quietly read the papers!

A nice afternoon.

It was a day like all days…..

It started yesterday with a stop at Sears. I needed a new pair of kakis. Or chinos as the word may be these days.

Sears is the store of choice in Key West for clothes. Such is island living.

Afterwards I walked the waterfront.

People are in town for the weekend. Tourists have returned following tropical storm Fay.

Lunch and the papers at Paradise Cafe. I could feel the heat yesterday, so I ate inside.

Then to the drugstore and Lisa’s. My poor grandkids are both sick with fever and colds. Robert looked terrible!

I hurried home for the first Obama-Biden appearance at 3. Interesting. I suspect it is going to be a knock ’em dead campaign from this point forward.

My beard was 4 days old and I did not feel like shaving. So I had dinner at Hogfish at the bar. Fish and chips! Always good!

And then home to bed!

Good choice Obama! Joe Biden will make a great Vice President! And is well qualified to be President!

I continue to think I have lived a long time. This does not mean I want the trip to end. No way! It is just that so many things happen that have touched me, even if briefly.

I would like to say I know Joe Biden. That would not be a precise statement. However I have met him on a few occasions. And two of them for several hours!

The first was at Dean Mike Hoeflich’s home sometime in the late 1980s.

Mike was Dean at the Syracuse University College of Law. He was one of two Deans during my tenure as Chairman of the Board at the Law School.

Mike had a group of parents of prominent students in for a weekend. Fundraising for the Law School was always important. Mike had a cocktail party and dinner at his home. The gathering included the President of Mastercard, the CEO of a major tire company, the President of a large labor union and the cattleman from Texas who was the major supplier of beef to MacDonald’s. Heavy hitters all!

And Joe Biden!

Biden was a Syracuse Law graduate. A proud one! Always willing to help. And he was in Syracuse that weekend and attended the gathering at the Dean Hoeflich’s home. He was the Dean’s star attraction.

What a nice guy! You would never know he was a U.S. Senator. Very down to earth. Cordial. Warm. He had the talent that made you think he was interested in hearing what you had to say. I found it very real!

Funny also. I hate to say it this way. But…..the kind of guy you would like to have a beer with!

A couple of years later Biden was in Syracuse for a weekend. He seemed to periodically return to his law school roots.

I had a box at the Syracuse Dome at the time. He stopped in and asked if he could watch the football game from my box. Obviously a gentleman. And we did have a beer or two together!

I ran into him at other type gatherings off and on in Syracuse over the years. One thing I observed was what would be described as loyalty. Every time Biden was in Syracuse, he was with his law school buddies. The local dignataries were there, but so were his local law school chums.This guy remembers his roots!

There came a time when Dean Hoeflich resigned. Mike was a good guy. Actually, he was the best! I was concerned where Mike would work next. He had resigned over principle. So, he had no job to go to and needed one.

I have a recollection that Biden and I had a telephone chat concerning Mike.

Mike could have gone on to work in Washington. However he opted to remain an educator and ended up Dean at Kansas University Law School.

Thus is my Biden connection. Not much. However enough for me to know he is a great choice!

The weather continues to be perfect! All this following tropical storm Fay. While north Florida continues to be battered by Fay and drowns in its rain, Key West is enjoying fantastic post Fay weather.

The days are warm, with just a touch of humidity.

Last night was perfect! I sat outside around 11. Only a slight breeze and absolutely no touch of warmth. Almost like a cool summer evening up north.

The chickens and iguanas survived the storm.

The chickens have come out from where ever they took refuge. The hens continue to look after the chickies. The chickies follow mother hen around in a straight line. And those dirty old roosters continue chasing the hens for a bit of sex. And the hens keep running from them!

The iguanas are a growing problem in the keys. These mammals , who appear prehistoric, continue to procreate. They are all over the place. They personally bother no one. You can stand next to one and the iguana will not move. Nor attack you. They are not flesh eating. However they deficate all over the place and eat the greenry and flowers.

So they have to go! At some point in time someone will come up with a total plan for elimination and we will be saved from them. Until then keep hosing your property to rid it of the shit and continue replanting your flower beds. They seem to especially enjoy red and yellow leafed flowers.

Where did the iguanas come from?

From people.

Iguanas were brought into Keys homes and kept as pets. No problem.

However then came Hurricane Wilma. The devistation in the lower keys was terrible. Especially in Key West. Homes were empty for long periods of time. Pets were abandoned, among them the iguanas. So the pet iguanas became free agents and now are living freely in increasingly larger numbers on the island.

Enjoyed Bruce Moore and Bobby Nesbitt last night at La Te Da. Their evening of Broadway tunes continues to captivate. What great entertainment.

They generally have a guest slot. Last evening it was 2 of the stars from the Burlesque Review which opened last season upstairs at Kelly’s. An immediate hit, it also has played Las Vegas since that time. Strange. If you recall, I did not enjoy the show. It was nothing more than a poor spoof of old time burlesue from my perspective.

The performers are all local ladies. School teachers, mothers and the like who started this thing as a joke. Well, I must have been wrong as to its quality. The show is a gigantic hit! See it when it returns full time during the season!

Time for breakfast!