Water continues to be in the news!

This morning I have seen 3 times already on national news a picture of a waterspout here in Key West. Yes, we had one yesterday afternoon. It appeared near the Naval Base on the Boulevard.
Apparently no damage, no problem.

I also received several telephone calls last night asking if I had seen the spout. No was my response. While every one was getting excited as the warterspout approached, I was seated in a corner of Borders reading Buchanan’s Churchill, Hitler and how WW II might have been avoided. Oblivious to all going on outide the building. Borders, by the way, is on the Boulevard also and about a mile from the Naval BAse.

Waterspouts can be dangerous. They are in form and substance a tornado. What you see is a round cylinder shaped funnel running from the water to the sky and moving in a particular direction.

I have only seen one. Several years ago. I was on the Boulevard. Must be the place for waterspouts. And where I was standing was about a quater of a mile from the Naval Base. The Naval Base is apparently not a good place to be. Anyhow, I had never seen a waterspout till that time. Not knowing what it was, I stood there gawking. It was interesting! Fascinating! And it was moving toward me! I had no fear because I knew not what I was viewing. To me, it was an interesting freak of nature. And then it veered away and never made land.

Now to what happened in Washington yesterday.

We have idiots representing us in government. Party affiliation is immaterisal. Republicans and Democrats alike deserve the title. Watch out my fellow citizens! If something is not done soon, we are going to be in deep shit trouble! Main Street will suffer and suffer greatly!

I had a bite to eat last night at Hogfish. They are remodeling!

Hogfish is not much to look at. However the food is good and cheap. Appearance wise, the place has character. Hogfish now has a new roof. One of those big tall bamboo and palm roofs! Just like Boondocks.

It looks terrific! Opens the whole place up.

Antonia’s is one of the finest restaurants in Key West. Also one of my favorites. Christopher and Patrick own Antonia’s. Another fine restauant before it closed was Alice’s. Bart was one of the owners of Alice’s.

These three guys obviously know good food! While I was downing my fish and chips at Hogfish, they came over to say hello. They had just finished dinner. Their presence speaks well for Bobby and the Hogfish he runs.

Today is actually Lisa’s birthday. 44! My baby! Who now has two babies of her own!

We are celebrating Lisa’s birthday again tonight. This time at home where we will sing Happy Birthday! But first we all have to go to the soccer field. Four year old Robert is playing his first league soccer game!

Back to water. I watched when high tide came in yesterday. It was not abnormally high as it had been for the past 3-4 days. So whatever that was is hopefully over. No one is certain as to what caused the unusually high water. Sure, we all know it has to do with the moon and tides, but I have heard nothing beyond that. It makes me wonder and a bit concerned.

Until tomorrow…..

It was Venice in Key West last night! Gondola time!

Flooded streets everywhere!

It all started at high tide just after noon time. The water the last few days has been unusually high at high tide. Higher than the water level during the two tropical storms we just experienced.

Yesterday it was at its highest!

Lisa, Corey and the kids were over to swim. Corey knows about these things. The water and its treasures are his life’s work. He said it was celestisal. Had something to do with the moon. However, he conceded it was unusual!

Corey swam in the ocean off my dock. Robert and Ally also. This was the first time they jumped in. They recently learned how to swim and being young, fear not!

Then around 5 it rained. Big time! Heavier than it had rained during the recent tropical storms!

It rained for about 2 hours.

The streets were flooded like I have never seen. Remember, we were doing happy birthday for Lisa at the Yacht Club. I have never seen as much water in the streets of Key Haven where I live as last evening when I went out. Streets that are never flooded were. I grudgingly plowed through. Stupidly also, perhaps!

It reminded me of driving up north during a bad winter snowstorm. You hit the pedal and hope you plow through the snow drifts! Water is just as resistant as snow. It felt the same way.

The Boulevard in Key West was down to 2 narrow lanes from 4. Water flooding the 2 driving lanes.

After dinner, which was fun by the way, I headed out for the Pier House to enjoy Larry Smith and his guest Vasnessa Di Gennaro. Good luck! The streets on the gulf side were badly flooded. There was water where I had never seen water before. And it kept getting deeper!

I was beginning to get fearful for my car. The water was that high!

I got to within 3 blocks of the Pier House before I gave up. I took some back streets away from the shoreline and made my way home. Home and bed at 8! An exciting evening!

It is low tide as I write this blog this morning. I wonder what high tide will bring in about 4 hours!

These weather deviations are different and dramatic. Do they foretell anything? Is this all a passing thing or is the island to be totally covered at some point? Something to think about. People are and they are talking about it.

Sunday! Sunday!

Love Sundays!

I am writing late this morning because of my Sunday habits. I was up and out early to buy the papers. Then made coffee and sat and liesurely read the papers. Out on the deck by the water. What a life!

Of course, Sunday morning means Meet the Press! A habit and a love! The program feeds my political junkie nature.

Now it is a little after 11 am. Time to plan the rest of my day.

This afternonn I will be at Don’s Place to watch pro football and visit with local friends. Don’s on Sunday during football season has become a local tradition.

Tonight I am having dinner at the Yacht Club with Lisa and the family. Lisa’s birthday is Tuesday. We are celebrating it this evening. I look forward to singing happy birthday to her with the grandkids!

Yesterday afternoon I went to Borders to continue reading Buchanan’s book on Churchill, Hitler and how World War II could have been avoided. A mistake! Saturday afternoon is children’s time. Dozens of them! Noise everywhere! There was no quiet place to hide and read. So I left.

Last night I had dinner with my friend Donna Barnett. She bought! Nice of her!

We ate at the bar at Antonia’s. It was quiet. In fact, the whole town is quiet. September is the dead month of the year for tourists here in Key West.

Clayton was his usual pleasant self. He is one fantastic bartender. And intelligent! But then again aren’t all bartenders! Clayton really is!

Good company! Good food! A very pleasant evening!

Afterwards we went over to Square One to see Patrick. Another bartender! A good guy!

Patrick’s partner of 26 years, Lester, recently had a stroke. He is up in Hollywood doing rehab. A difficult time for Lester and a difficult time for Patrick.

I was home in bed and asleep before 11.

The weather is absolutely beautiful! The temperature has dropped. Days it is now mid to low 80s. Evenings mid 70s. No humidity. Comfortable.

I see a hurricane is beating up the Maine coast. Bad! Our weather is screwed up. I am glad that those who claim there is no global warming have become less vocal. We have weather problems, economic problems, international problems and on and on. Not a good time. Oh, for the days of Eisenhower. It was a different world!

Tonight is Larry Smith’s Showcase at the Pier House. One of my new found favorite singers is guesting. Vanessa Di Gennaro. At 9 pm. Go! You will love her!

Talk with you tomorrow!

Political leaders have stupid motivations and because of those misdirected motivations make stupid decisions. Decisions which lead to the ruin of socieities.

I continue to read Pat Buchanan’s book on Churchill, Hitler and how World War II could have been avoided. Churchill is one of the heroes of World War II. But the political blundering of he and some other leaders of the time, for whatever reasons, led England into that war. Read the book! It is eye opening.

Now we have the Mc Cain/Obama battle. The first debate was last night. I thought Obama had the edge. But who knows. I am watching TV this morning and who won and lost apparently depends on whether a person is Rebublican or Democrat.

Quite frankly, Mc Cain scares me.

Regarding the economy, last week he first took the position the economy was in bad shape. Five days later he recognizes a major financial crisis, suspends campaigning (not really) and is not sure whether he will debate. It all goes to judgment. He was all over the place in a short period of time.

Another judgmnet factor is his choice for Vice President. I watched Palin respond to Couric’s questions. I do not want her negotiating with Putin or any other world leader on my behalf!

Then there is the war. He was for it. That alone speaks tons.

Mc Cain speaks of the success of the surge. Yes, the fighting is way down. However we still have over 140,000 of our troops over there. The actual success of the surge is yet to be answered. I continue to have a feeling of impending doom.

I would like to say that a man who has 7 homes and 13 cars cannot understand every day problems. But then Roosevelt and Kennedy were rich and did. So that criticism does not apply. Never the less I continue to have this gut feeling that Mc Cain just does not understand.

Judgment does come into play.

Then there is the age issue. No one seems to want to directly talk about it. The issue does not appear politically correct.

Well, I do not mind talking about it. This John Mc Cain is too old to be President. There have been other mature men who have succeeded. Reagan being one. Each individual has to be evaluated standing alone.

Mc Cain looks and acts old to me. He is not mentally quick.

And I can be critical here. I am 73. I could not be President! No way! And I think I am in much better shape physically and mentlly than Mc Cain. I know my limitations. Those that age has brought. I have a hard time thinking about two problems at one time. A President has many! I tire easily. He has to also. His body language speaks loudly in this regard.

The job of President is a killer!

Mc Cain’s time has passed him by.

Bocci last night! Great fun!

However we lost all 3 games.

Without intending to make excuses, we did play a very good team. They were third in the overall playoffs last year. Third out of 60 teams! We did not make the playoffs. Not even close.

I feel good about my play last night. Even in defeat, I played the best bocci I probably have ever played. So the evening was a personal plus for me.

Don of Don’s Place is our captain. He says we have now played through the best of the best teams in the league. The rest of the season should be easy. And we will probably win a lot of games! May it be so! Our opponents last night were spectacular. I would like to play a team we have a chance of beating.

Larry Smith is captain of one of Don’s other teams. We watched Larry and his team play after our defeat. By the way, our 3 games were over quickly. Larry’s team was just starting its second match when we went down to defeat for the third time

Drinking is part of the bocci experience. From the streets of Italy to the courts of Key West, it has always been such. And as with everything else, there are those who drink too much and their ability wanes as the evening progresses.

Such was the problem with Larry’s team last night. It appeared one or two of the players overindulged and were sufficiently dissipated by the third game so that it was lost.

The White House charade yesterday further contributes to my fear of the manner in which our government is being conducted. And at a time when we face the most severe economic decline since the depression of the 1930s.

Back in 1931 when Hoover was still President, he had passed and signed into law something to strengthen a failing banking industry. Hoover’s plan turned out to be a band aid. It lasted all of 6 months before disaster befell our country.

Is what is being proposed the same? I do not know. And I believe very few do! However what is certain is that something must be done. Too many former economic giants are failing on almost a daily basis. It is already affecting you and me. Soon it will swamp even us.

So something must be done!

What irritates me this morning is the political gameship being played in Washington with such an important issue. Shame on our leaders for having brought us to this point and now failing to come up with a solution! I do not want to sell apples on a street corner!

Golf was good yesterday!

My game is improving!

I won $12!

Yankee was the big winner. $37. Tino the big loser. $33. Don and Larry somewhere bewteen Tino and me.

It was fun! I pared the first hole to win it. Then lost the next 3 holes where I shoot an 8 each hole. Who knows?

The problem is that after 2 consecutive weeks of better golf, my friends want to take some strokes from me. No one cared when I was losing $15-20 every week. It is an eternal battle!

Ally is beginning to like school. Robert is older and so in a different class. She walks her brother to his class room each day, kisses him good bye and tells him not to cry. He never cried! She was the one that was crying! But the system apparently works and Ally has is becoming acclimated.

Vanessa Di Gennaro last night! At Aqua. She is sitting in for Bobby Nesbitt who is in Europe.

I enjoyed her performance. She has much gusto!

Her father was with her. He is always with her. He is the Mayor of Monroe County. A proud Dad!

Then to Antonia’s for dinner at the bar.

Great grouper last night! Spectacular!

Seated next to me was an interesting lady. Her name is Jeannie. Jeannie is sister to Patrick, one of the owners of Antonia’s. Patrick and Christopher are in Provincetown on vacation. Their 2 dogs needed sitting. So sister Jeannie came down from Baltimore to house and dog sit.

Jeannie works in the administgration of the Governor of Maryland. I forget his name. He is a Democrat. She worked for him when he was Mayor of Baltimore and he took her with him when he became Governor.

So we had an exciting conversation! Politics!

I hurried home to catch Bush’s address over TV. I don’t know what to make of him or this whole mess. Most things we have been involved in under Bush have been crisis situations requiring immediate last minute solution. No way to run a business! No way to run a government!

Mc Cain is grandstanding with this lets adjourn the debate thing. What bullshit! A President doesn’t multi task? We all do every day. Look at the number of people with more than one job to work every day.

Bocci tonight. Hope we play. The talk is that a storm is coming in. Not a bad one though. Just a lot of rain.

Enjoy your day!

Good morning!

I am up early. Still dark outside. When you live on the water, there are no lights out on the ocean to be seen. So dark is black. Black black!

The nice thing is I can hear the water. My desk is next to an open window on the second floor. Even though there is nothing to see, the sound of the running water is delightful!

I spent yesterday glued to the TV. This banking crisis intrigues me. It also scares me.

I cannot claim to totally understand it. Or even closely understand it. But obviously we appear in deep shit trouble! And time is being portrayed as of the essence!

A couple of random thoughts I would like to share.

The written 3 page instrument submitted by Secretary Paulson and the administration provided for no oversight and no accountability. A good deal for the Bush crew who permitted this problem to occur and develop.

My problem is that Paulson in his oral remarks stated clearly that he wanted oversight, etc. What a dramatic turn around!

I spent 46 years practicing law. If I ever dramatically deviated from the printed word in a court room, the judge would been all over me. But apparently not in government. Write one thing today and articulate another tomorrow. And no one deficates on you!

Strange. Especially where $700 billion dollars is involved.

Another concern is the quality of the security. These defaulted properties are described as “toxic.” Which means they suck! I wish I could go to the bank with lousy security and borrow money! All I ever heard in my banking experiences was what do you have for security and how good is it.

Maybe I was not borrowing enough money. It seems the more you want to borrow, the riskier the security can be!

Every one loves to spread blame. We are hearing words like greed and irresponsibility. Perhaps so. No, probably so. However it appears that what was done in making these loans was legal. The rules were lessened over the years. Deregulation became popular.

However when there is a problem of major concern, some one has to pay the peddler. Some one has to be responsible. So now the FBI is investigating AIG, Bear Stearns and the other companies involved. The witch hunt is on! Get the bastreds responsible! Some will be indicted. Many will be investigated. Persons and their familirs will live in fear. Lives will be destroyed.

And why? Because in our culture some one has to be responsible. After the fact, that is.

And that is what I do not like. Every one has a skeleton or two in the closet. Look long and hard enough and they will be found. And some one will pay.

But are they really the ones who should pay? I have no objection to pursuing and punishing those flagrantly wrong. However I do cry out that it is wrong to chase those who just happened to be there doing their jobs. And doing them properly under then existing laws.

However some one must swing from the gallows! Because that is the way it is.

I prefer just voting the actual wrongdoers out of office! Bring in new people. We need a breath of fresh air in Washington!

One last thing bothering me. This haste factor. Hurry up and pass this proposed legislation in a week. For that kind of money!

If any of us ran our businesses that way, we would never have succeeded in business. It sometimes scares me how government is run.

My primary concern again is this immediacy factor. Cheny was before the Republican members of Congress yesterday pushing them to support the legislation. The last time Cheny did that was when Bush wanted approval to invade Iraq. Remember, weapons of mass destruction!

I do not know the answer. But I hope Congress is not fooled again. They get paid to make the big decisions. I hope the right one is made, no matter what it is.

And now I have more important things to think about. It is Wednesday. The golf course awaits.

I continue to be intigued by the beauty of the keys!

I had to be in Marathon yesterday. A 1 hour drive north on US 1. I put the top down on the car and away I went! Green water on both sides of the road as far as the eye could see. No radio. Just the sound of the wind to hear and the water to see. What could be better!

Dinner at the bar at La Trattoria in the evening. Kathy bartending. I like Kathy. Probably because she is from the north country also. Albany. Beecha was her usual beautiful self. And I like Beecha, too!

Then to the Chart Room at the Pier House. Hemingway’s old haunt. A small cluttered bar. Really an enlarged closet.

It was Donna the bartender’s last night. She leaves friday for Knoxville, Tennessee. We shall see her no more! Sad! We have all enjoyed her company and charm. A sweet southern belle! Accent and all!

This banking problem is a major scare! No one was paying attention! Except those who were benefitting, of course. Does government intercede? Apparently it must. It seems that decision has already been made. But in what fashion? And how much? And who watches how the money is disbursed? And on and on. And these decisions must be made in a week or less. Wild! Major screw up!

It seems like the American people are being asked to buy a pig in the poke. No good.

And the dynamics of this thing change daily. No, hourly! So confusing!

We are in trouble!

My friend Roland Grimm died.

Sad! Very sad!

Roland was the best. A good guy. What more can one say of a person.

We met about 10 years ago when I bought my home in Key West. Actually I met Roland’s wife Jackie first. And thru her Roland.

Jackie and I first hooked up at Jack Baron’s art gallery. She would stop in to solve the world’s problems with the rest of us. It continues to amaze me how many friendships were developed at Jack Baron’s.

Roland and I would occasionally have dinner or lunch together. The dinners were heavy nights. We would sort of drink to excess.

The dinner conversations were fantastic and endless. Roland was the smartest money man I ever met. He knew and understood money. It had been his life work. It was his passion.

Roland was born in a small community on the Hudson. Saugerties. His father was President of the local bank. Roland at some point ascended and succeeded his father as President of the same bank.

At some point in his life Roland decided to spread his wings. He was off to Boston and became a financial advisor. Apparently he did very well as such. He developed a national reputation as an investor and finacial counselor.

It was in Boston that he met and married the lovely Jackie.

Roland was proud that he had been a memebr of the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame University. He used to describe himself as the token Wasp on the Board. That token comment reflects Roland’s subtle sense of humor.

I shall miss Roland. His company, his counsel, his friendship.

I believe in the Hereafter. I think people meet there again and in some instances for the first time. Two people who are there are my Mother and Jack Baron. I think Roland should hook up with them. They are the same kind of people.

I was glued to the TV yesterday. Ryder Cup time! Great golf!

I had dinner last night at Square One. Saw many people I had not seen in ages. It was like old times! I enjoyed myself.

After dinner I walked over to La Te DA. Had a drink at the outside bar.

It was a perfect location. A seat on the world. I watched the bikers going by.

A fierce looking bunch. But ever so mild!

There was a news release that because of the bikers Key West merchants, hotels/motels and restaurants will experience a $7.5 million weekend. Good! After Fay and Ike, they need it!

My blog is intentionally short today. The Ryder Cup starts at 8. Have to run!