It was bocce playoff time yesterday. Our team participated in the Big Pine portion. It was my first time playing in the Big Pine Tournament. I labeled it the NIT of bocce. Like we were second class citizens.

Turns out the Big Pine Tournament is one of the finest Key West events I have participated in over the years. I would be pleased and proud to play in it again next year!

As in Key West, Big Pine has four nights of bocce. The top team of each night’s competition comes to participate in Key West in what is labeled the Big Pine Tournament. One team from each of the four Key West nights is added to the Big Pine Tournament. The number 6 team from each evening. The top five teams play in the regular play offs. Which I would label as the big guy playoffs.

There was a difference between the two playoffs. The Big Pine one was fun. Big time fun!

Each team played til it incurred two losses. We played 6 games. Our second loss came in game six. Had we won, we would have played in the final game for the championship.

We won 4 out of 6. Not bad. Too bad we did not win the last one. It would have added to the day to have come out the overall winner.

One of the things that makes the Big Pine Tournament more fun is the competition overall. It is a step down from the big guys. More competitive in the sense that everyone has a chance to win. In the regular playoffs, only the very best have a chance to win. And they are the same teams every year.

There was an ambiance to the event. It was like an old time family picnic. Whole families came. Babies included. The league provided the goodies. Free hamburgers, hot dogs and ribs. Beer and soda. Everyone brought their own alcohol in addition.

Chairs were necessary. Many brought their own or sat on a blanket or grass in the shade. Don sent back to the bar for chairs. Made the day more comfortable. We sat around and watched the other games when we were not playing. We chatted and drank. Some of us slept. I usually nap from 3-5. I did not miss my nap. I fell asleep sitting in one of Don’s chairs under a palm tree.

There was a strong ocean breeze that made the day easier to handle.

Everyone on our team played well, except for me. Seriously. As those who were there would attest. As well as I played Thursday night, I sucked Saturday. I could not get the ball to the pollina. I constantly came up short. I played in the second game which we lost. No one asked me to play in the other games. I don’t blame them. I had no desire either to play after my performance in the second game.

It was a day long event. I arrived at 10:30. The first games started at 11. I finally left at 7 after our second loss.

It was a fun day! A different kind of Key West day!

I snuck out at 5:30 for Robert’s birthday dinner and cake. Always enjoyable. Afterwards, I returned to the bocce courts to watch my team play.

The annual Truman Symposium is this weekend. Tonight at 5 at the Little White House, there will be a discussion regarding Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb. The event is titled Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Several survivors of the bombings will speak. I plan on attending.

Enjoy your Sunday!



I am not looking forward to bocce this morning. We play in the infamous Big Pine Tournament at 11. The NIT of bocce. It is for the also rans. Our team missed the big time playoffs by one game.

While we will be rolling on two courts at the end, the regular playoffs will be ongoing on the other courts.

The best part of the day will be lunch. Free burgers and chicken for the players. The burgers are the best! I ran into Frankie last night at Square One. He agreed, the burgers to die for!

I started yesterday with a noon manicure. Tammy at Lee Nails. I have to say it again…..What a business! She and her husband have captured the American dream.

Then to Publix for groceries This time the refrigerator was really empty, as was the freezer. My breakfast yesterday consisted in a cup of green tea and two old frozen pancakes. Publix got me good. I spent a ton of money stocking up.

The price of groceries is ridiculous. And nothing to indicate it is going to reverse itself and go down. I read somewhere this week that the cost of meat experienced the largest one month increase in years last month. Add on the 19 percent increase for 2013. We are taking a beating!

Dinner last night was with Stephanie Kaple at Square One. Dining with Stephanie is always  interesting. Stephanie is young, vivacious and full of drive. Her life is totally committed to the homeless.

I met a couple at the bar who also play bocce. They play in the tuesday night league. They came in first this season. They understood Big Pine Tournament background. Meeting them was like pouring salt on an open wound.

Betsy had dinner at the bar with friends. Betsy and I have spent the last eight Christmas Eves and Days together. Betsy is a good friend of Lisa’s and is always a guest at Lisa’s home for the occasion.

We exchange modest gifts. My gift to Betsy this past Christmas was a copy of my then recently published book The World Upside Down. I did not have a copy to give her, however. The book was back listed / wait listed till January 15. I told Betsy I would get it to her.

I am ashamed to say, I have not delivered the book yet.

As luck would have it, I ran into Betsy twice this week,  Square One being the second time. Where is the book, she asked. I promised this week.

Enjoy your day!



Robert was 10 years old yesterday. Happy birthday, Robert! Poppa loves you very much!

Robert’s birthday might not have been. He was born with cancer of the liver. Fortunately discovered at birth. He had two major surgeries at Miami Childrens Hospital within the first eight days of his life.

We thank God all went well.

There has been no Happy Birthday celebration as yet. Robert is in Disney World and some other such places for three days with his Montessori classmates. Wonderful!

Even for animals, mammals and fishes there has to be an almighty overlooking them. One who provides them with a sixth sense.

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon has a new patient. An injured green seas turtle swam into the boat basin of the Turtle Hospital yesterday. The turtle weighed 46 pounds. A fishing line was wrapped around the turtle. He had lost his left flipper. The other was cut to the bone. He also had swallowed some of the fishing line. Additionally and not related to the fish line, he had ten herpes type internal tumors.

The turtle is obviously in critical condition. The hospital will work hard to save him.

This was the second time a turtle showed up at the Turtle Hospital boat basin on its own for medical attention. The last time was 1986.

Bocce last night. We had to win all three games to make the playoffs. We won only two. I played in the one we lost. I had one of my better evenings shooting. However, I missed a basketball 3 pointer at the end. My last throw was an open shot a bit long. I came up short. Way short. A few throws later by the opposition and we were yesterday’s news. One game short of making the playoffs.

We were on the bubble re the playoffs going in. There is a consolation prize. We are eligible for the Big Pine Tournament. We play tomorrow morning at 11.

The Big Pine Tournament is comparable to the NIT in basketball. A hollow victory having been invited.

The Players Golf Tournament was last weekend. I played in a pool. I rarely gamble. Came in first. Won $340. Those afternoons I lie in bed watching pro golf paid off.

I shaved my beard last friday. No one noticed till wednesday evening. Emily finally did at the Chart Room.

Cool today. Overcast. Strong wind from the north. No tee shirt today.

Enjoy your day!