My dining room walls are empty. So too my center hall. Two spots in the living room. Three wall spaces upstairs.

My Jack Baron paintings are gone!

Tonight from 6-9, Joy Gallery at the corner of Simonton and Eaton is exhibiting Jack Baron’s works. More than fifty. Fourteen of which are mine.

The exhibit is a tribute to Jack Baron. Jack was my friend. A close friend. I miss him to this day. He passed on some six years ago.

An e mail announcement went out yesterday by Jim Wallace. Jim is the curator at Joy Gallery. It announced the exhibit this evening. Two Baron paintings were shown on the face of the announcement. Both mine!

My home is naked. My dining room was all Jack Baron. Except for two mirrors, nothing remains. A lonely feeling.

I suggest you visit the exhibition this evening. From 6-9. See the great work Jack did with acrylics and black people.

The season has changed in Key West. It is now humid all day. Need air conditioning all day. Besides being uncomfortable without it, the humidity invites mold inside a home.

I spent my daytime yesterday working on next week’s KONK Life column. A story about Thomas Jefferson and how he died poor. The title: He Died Broke.

Bocce last night. We have not done well this season. To say we sucked would be accurate. Not last night. We played the #2 team. They will end up #1 before the season is over. They have been champions three times.

I stayed for the first two games. Played in the first. We won both! The first one that I played in 16-8. The second 16-15. My ass was dragging so I left at the start of the third game. The two wins a major victory!

John and Ali are good friends from England. They live outside London. They spend every December in Key West.

Last night Tom introduced me to Phil and Joelle. They live in Guildford, just outside London also. Phil is into landscape gardening and Joelle works for an engineering exhibition company. They have visited Key West six times. This year for two months. Joelle said, next year for three!

Phil and Joelle are good friends with Tom. I figured they should be good friends of John and Ali, also. I called Larry Smith over. Made the introductions. He is going to contact Tom to set up a meeting between Phil and Joelle and John and Ali.

My age was evident last night. Someone asked me Erika’s name. She was score keeping. I know Erika. I love Erika. I could not remember her name. I asked team mate Norman her name. He is 15 years younger than me. He looked at her with a blank expression. Finallly, her husband Hershel said…..Erika.

This Russia/Ukraine mess appears to have no end.

The book I recently published The World Upside Down contained a chapter entitled Floras’s Story. I also wrote a blog about Flora last year while I was in Greece. Flora lives in Albania. She was in Greece working at a summer job.

Flora is 41. A school teacher. She has lived in Albania her whole life.  Albania was part of Soviet Russia as Ukraine was. Flora lived her first 21 years under Russian rule. She told me being independent was better. Things were very tough under the Russians. I mentioned her comments in this regard in Flora’s Story. You might want to read the tale in its entirety.

I have a busy day today. A business meeting at 2. The Baron exhibit at 6. Two things in one day is busy for me!

Enjoy your day!



Here it is mid October and still humid. Fantastic weather!

I walked my island yesterday. Early to beat the humidity. I live in Key Haven, three islands north of Key West. All of 2.5 miles.

Key Haven was originally known as Racoon Key. The maps still call it that. The reason for the name was that raccoons lived on the island. Many.

When I first bought my home here 16 years ago, there were raccoons all over the place. Ergo, the  name was appropriate. Today, there are none. Why, I do not know.

I spent most of yesterday glued to the TV. The Washington political mess intrigues me. Stupid! Thank you primarily to the tea party group. I might add….. And to the people who elected them!

While watching, I fined tuned last night’s blog talk radio show. The show was at 9. Went off with out a hitch. Two topics particularly interested me.

One was Congressional pensions as opposed to Social Security. Over 400 former Congressmen are receiving Congressional pensions from $40,000 to $71,000 a year. Not bad.

Whereas, the average Social Security benefit paid is $1,160 a month. Roughly $14,000 a year.

And Congress wants to cut Social Security! Cut the retired Congresspersons’ pensions first!

The other topic involved Germany. Germany has benefitted the most economically from the euro situation. Most European nations are suffering under Germany’s oppressive thumb.

When the European nations entered into the euro agreement some 15 years ago, there was a provision that one military be formed for all the nations. It has not happened yet. Germany is pushing the concept now. Germany wants to be the head of the air force and navy.

Germany gave us World Wars I and II. They helped give many euro nations a weak economy. Now, they want to head the military for all the euro nations. I would not trust them.

While screwing around on the internet yesterday, I came upon an interesting article involving Albania. You will recall that Albania is Flora’s home. Flora of Flora’s Story that I wrote about this summer.

I learned from the article that Albania is the other Riviera. As opposed to the French and Italian ones. However considerably cheaper. The article said the cost of lodging and drink was 1/10th of the other two Rivieras. I know the cost of the Italian Riviera. I visited there twice. Once each of the past two summers. I stayed in Camogli. Next door to Portofino. Perhaps I should visit Albania next year.

My hand is getting better. The swelling is down 95 per cent. No more itching.

The two bite marks remain pronounced, however. You can see the bites and the red skin around each. I am beginning to think I was only bit once. By some wide mouthed bug. The bites remind me of those on a person’s throat in a Dracula/vampire movie.

Enjoy your day!


History repeats itself.

Last year I was stranded on Mykonos four extra days. The sea was too choppy. The ferry boats would not venture out.

It is happening again in Amorgos. The ferry boat did not arrive yesterday. Sea too rough. As I write this morning, I have been told it is doubtful the boat will come in today. Perhaps tomorrow.

I minded the inconvenience last year because I did not like Myukonos. I do not mind if I am forced to stay another night on Amorgos, however. Amorgos is one the best places in the world!

The only problem is where do I stay. I lose my apartment today. Eleni says she has a room for me on the third floor. A hike up long steep stairs. At least, I will have a place to sleep.

The funny part of all this is that I only need a ferry boat for a one hour trip. I am returning to Santorini for a few days. Santorini is one hour away.

I had dinner at Mythos again last night. He told me his fisherman said there would be no ferry boat today. The water beyond the bay is too rough.

There ia a boat in the area which gives me concern. The Greek military vessel at the opening to Amorgos’harbor. It is still there. I am sitting outside doing this blog. The monster is directly in my vision.

The vessel is big. I find it intimidating. I keep waiting for a few shells to fall on this small inconsequential island.

I started asking questions yesterday. Turns out the ship is a Greek Coast Guard vessel. I have never seen anything this big in Key West. Most refer to it as a battleship. I doubt it is. However, believe me, it is huge! Even has a big helicopter perched on the rear deck.

There are two versions as why it is here.

Apparently, the Turks flew two planes over Greek soil last week. The Coast Guard vessel is in response to the unauthorized flight. I amn aware Turkey is close by. Not that close, however.

The other version is the boat is part of a training exercise.

The vessel will not leave till friday. It will have sat in the entrance to Amorgos bay for ten days. Many are pissed it is there. Greece is hurting economically. Manuy island people consider it a waste of money for the big boat to sit idle.

Flora stopped by last night before I went out. All dressed up! Lovely! A bright red skirt and black armless top. The colors of Albania. The Albanian flag is red with a big black bird in the center.

Flora and I have become friends. We moved the relationship forward last night. We became Facebook friends.

Before Flora arrived, I was sitting outside on the terrace half asleep. Rita from the other day came by on her bike. To say goodbye to the third American on the island, as she described me. It was nice of her. Her next stop was her garden.

Everyone has a garden on this island. They grow their own vegetables. I suspect they can the foods for the winter.

Canning is a throw back in time. I can recall as a young boy in the late 1930s helping my parents can tomatoes and peaches. Fun, but not easy. Hot work. No air conditioning back then. We lived on the third floor of an apartment building. The top floor. The roof was flat. The tomatoes had to be boiled. Contributed to the heat. Then peeled. Then canned in Bell glass jars. Following which the bottled tomatoes had to be boiled again. The heat and sweat big time.

A full day job. Many jars of tomatoes to be done. We ate pasta at least three times a week. The tomatoes necessary for the sauce.

Last night, a wonderful evening. One of the best. I dined at Mythos.

I decided on lamb chops. Vangelis said no. I have a goat. A whole goat. Cooked it myself. Have the goat. You will enjoy. His food has been so good, I did not argue with him.

A whole goat had been roasted. My plate was overflowing with slices and pieces of goat meat. Some covered in a crispy skin. It was fantastic! Tasted just like the pigs we roasted outdoors for parties in Utica. Great flavor and texture.

After dinner, Vangelis and Suzanna sat with me. It was late. Their work was done. Others were cleaning up. We chatted for well over an hour.

Terrific people! Vangelis is Greek. Suzanna, Albanian. As Flora is. I told Suzanna her name was from the old South in America. I sang the first line of Old, Susanna to her. She knew of it.

They met when Vangelis was on vacation in Albania close to 20 years ago.

Hard working people. Suzanna cooks. Vangelis does everything else. He hosts, takes orders, serves. Their 15 year old daughter works incessantly. Without complaint. These people go seven days a week for three months. The daughter is as good as the father in what she does. The ten year old son serves and cleans tables. Then there is the 13 month old baby. Lovely! She is in someone’s arms all day.

Suzanna said she gets to bed about 3 in the morning and is back in the restaurant at 10. Vangelis gets to bed the same time. However, he has to return at 8 to get things going.

They have to make it in the three summer months. Just as Key West restaurants have to make it in the three month winter season. The difference is that Key West has locals to carry them during the off season. Not on Amorgos. Everything closes down. Most on the island have just enough to sustain themselves.

Vangelis and Suzanna have one of the top restaurants. Perhaps the top. They have operated the restaurant for 13 years. They do not own the property. They lease. They have yet to purchase their own home. A home remains too expensive for them.

Vangelis works another job in the off season. He and his brother operate a remodeling business.

Some one telephoned the ferry boat company. They still do not know if the boat will be running today. They will not know till the afternoon.

I really do not care. The only problem is similar to flying and a snow storm shutting down an airport for a day or two. There are not enough seats available for everyone on the first day’s boat out. I could end up staying on Amorgos for two or three additional days. Wonderful! Though I love Santorini, I will not be unhappy to get the additional time on Amorgos.

Enjoy your day!


A true to life tale reflecting on how well most of us have it. If you do not agree, complain not. For if you do, Flora’s story will put you to shame.
Who is Flora?
She is the cleaning lady at the pensione I am staying in on Amorgos. She cleans my apartment and every other apartment in the complex once a day. I do not know the exact number of apartments. The building is four stories high and wide, built into a mountain.
She cleans toilets, washes the floors, changes the sheets and otherwise keeps each apartment neat and tidy. Seven days a week. Eight to nine hours day. For three straight months. Not for $25 an hour. For 4 euros an hour. Six dollars American money.
Floras speaks excellent English. Also, Albanian and Italian.
Flora resides in Albania. She has lived in Albania all her life. She is 41 years old. Single, never married.
Albania is a small country in southeastern Europe. Greece borders Albania to the south.
Albania has an interesting history.
Until 1991, Albania was socialistic. A Communist nation. Being small, it thought it needed the protection of a great power. First, it was in a protectorate of China. Then Russia and Yugoslavia. Following the fall of Communist Russia, Albania became a democracy. A parliamentary democracy.
The language is Albanian. The country is considered a top ten place for visitors.
Religion is a strange combination. Fifty seven per cent are Muslim, seventeen per cent Christian. Only forty per cent pay attention to their religion, however. Albania is ranked the 13th least religious country in the world.
Russia is primarily responsible for the lack of religious fervor. When Russia took over Albania following World War II, it banned religion. All religion. As a result, Albania acquired the distinction of being the world’s first atheist state.
Today’s Muslims and Christians get along well. Tranquility exists between them. Many Muslims are Muslims only because their ancestors became Muslims during the 500 years Turkey controlled Albania. Muslims and Christians intermarry. No problem. Muslim husbands neither dominate nor mistreat their wives as in most other Muslim countries. The partners to the marriage are equal and treat each other accordingly.
When Russia initially took over Albania, the illiteracy rate was 85 per cent. Russia initiated immediate steps to rectify the problem. Within 12 years, the rate was corrected dramatically. Today, 98.7 per cent of the people are literate.
Health care is a problem in today’s Albania. A national health program does not exist. Under Russia’s domination, everyone had health care. Today few. If a person has not money to pay, doctors and hospitals will not provide treatment.
There is very little HIV-AIDS in Albania. Less than 100 cases.
I thought a little Albanian background would be helpful in understanding Flora’s life.
Now to Flora.
Flora grew up under the Communist system. Her father died when she was seven years old. As indicated, Russia made Albanians literate. Education was important.
Flora was a good student. Russia would look at a student’s record and decide what that student would be in later life. Doctor, lawyer or Indian Chief, so to speak. It was determined when Flora was 10 years old that her talents were best accommodated if she became either a teacher or nurse. Teaching became the choice.
High school in Albania is eight years. At age 18, Flora graduated. High school can be described as a professional school. Flora at 18 upon graduation from high school was qualified to be a teacher. She immediately was assigned to a school and started teaching.
She continued her education at the university level. Her college degree did not affect her earnings significantly. She earned just a bit more after acquiring her degree. Money was not an issue for her. It was the security of the job. Albanians are put into a mold and can expect job security throughout their lives. Money, no.
Flora teaches third class. Notice, not grade. Our grades are their classes.
Russia’s drive to eliminate illiteracy obviously helped Flora. Without it, she would not have acquired an education nor have become a teacher.
Without a father, Flora has been her own decision maker in life.
Flora lived under Communism her first 20 years. She says Communism was no good. She and her family, everyone, did not have enough food or clothes. Things have been considerably better under a democratic form of government.
Flora presently earns 300 euros a month as a teacher. Her salary continues through the three summer months when school is closed. Though she says it is not enough, she considers herself middle class. I suspect because she is a teacher.
Twelve years ago, she bought a house. A small one. One bedroom, a small kitchen, a living room area, and a very small bathroom. No tub. Just a shower. She borrowed money from friends to purchase the home. The mortgage was recently paid in full. She now owns her home free and clear.
She related it was not easy to make the mortgage payments. Her first year as a homeowner, she was earning only 190 euros a month teaching. The house was important to her and she sacrificed. She claims, and I believe her, that she ate only beans  for a whole year. She could not purchase even a quart of milk.
She has been working summers to help pay off the house. Now that the house is paid, she works summers to renovate it. New windows, new doors and the like.
Her home is everything to her. She describes it as “…..the most beautiful place in the world.” She says, “I find peace in  my house.”
Simplicity best describes the previous paragraph. It also reflects well on the state of her soul.
She is glad to have summer employment on Amorgos. It is hard work as she describes it, however. She works long days. Earns four euros an hour. Her employer pays half her rent. Flora does not live in the pensione complex. She rents a room elsewhere. She describes it as dingy. But it works for her.
Her share of the rent is 90 euros a month. She also pays the utility bills. Her employer provides her with lunch each day. That is all Flora eats. She buys no other food. She does not go out after work. She saves every penny. Her sole source of enjoyment is viewing the ocean. She claims in the absence from her home, it gives her peace.
Flora is obviously on a mission. Her home. To put together enough monies for its renovation.
Flora’s widowed mother is 76. She lives with Flora. They share the same bed.
Medical is a major concern. Flora puts some money aside to pay doctor and hospital bills in the event her mother becomes ill. As she put it, “…..if you have no money, you die.” No medical attention is available without money up front.
Interestingly, Albania provides her mother with a pension. Sixty euros a month. Ten of those euros are retained by the government to cover the mother’s prescription drugs. Her mom has a bad heart.
She would like a husband. She stated it in no uncertain terms. “I want a husband!”
I was curious as to what she was looking for in a man. She is 41 and still unmarried. By the way, Flora is an extremely beautiful woman. Looks 30. Thin. The face of an angel. Magnificent eyes.
Flora says money is not important in her selection of a husband. She prefers “…..a good boy…..a good person… who works.”
Do you go out evenings and try to meet a man. “No, no!”, she responded. She never goes out evenings. I am not sure if it was because she did not want to be considered a bad girl or could not afford it. Her sole out of the house activity besides teaching was coffee in the afternoon with female friends.
Her best friend is a 20 year old niece.

I inquired what she liked to do best for pleasure. Dance was her response. If you do not go out evenings, how do you dance? At parties. How often do you attend parties. Two times a year. Teacher parties.
Teaching gives her the next best pleasure. Especially students who may be handicapped in some fashion. She presently has a boy who cannot hear well, but has the ability to speak. She has another boy who is mentally slow. She works extra time with them both.
Flora claims there is a benefit to her summer jobs. She gets to travel, to see the world. Last year, it was Italy. This year Amorgos. She considers Amorgos “…..a wonderful place.” She believes that people on Amorgos live better than she does in Albania.
Her health is good. She tries to take care of herself. There is no money for medical attention were she to get sick. I asked about yearly check ups, she laughed. What check ups?
I asked this simple woman what she would like to have that she does not. Her answer came quick. “A car!” She “…..dreams to have one.” She walks everywhere, even to work. If the trip is too far, there are buses. Small vans.
I asked about vacations. She responded, “For poor people winter is all year, there is no summer.”
The cleaning job is the most difficult she has had. She has to move swiftly to get all the rooms cleaned. The hours are long. She is tired all the time.
I was curious how she got to Amorgos from Albania. First a 16 hour bus ride and then a big ship. The trip took three days. Not bad, she said.
Besides a car, what else would make her happy? To only work one job with more pay. She went on to point out that the money here in Amorgos was better than her previous summer employment in Albania. In her home country, she worked every day in the summers for three months from six in the morning to midnight. For 150 euros a month!
Teaching hours are not bad. She teaches four hours in the morning. Then is expected to spend three hours at home in the afternoon preparing for the next day. However, she has been teaching third grade for over 20 years and so preparation does not consume that much time.
She told me prices in Albania were no different than on Amorgos.
She neither drinks nor smokes, except for an occasional wine at those two teacher parties a year.
Her English is self taught. She wanted to learn. Started with children’s books and worked her way up. She speaks and writes the language well.
Her home town is called Rubik. She tells me it is large. Four thousand people.
Such is Flora’s story. She has less and wants more. A universal desire. She is working toward her goals. She will attain most of them, if not all. I wish her a car, a husband, and good health at the very least.
Americans as a whole have more than most of their brethren world wide. Flora is an example. We complain. Some of us do have less than others. Some very little.
In the overall picture of things, Flora makes up for less with hard work. There are no social agencies, welfare, governmental help or Stephanie Kaples for her. She continues without complaint. 
We could learn from her.


The wind is fantastic! Never stops blowing! Strong! Last night bent me over when hitting me from behind. Pushed me back when I was walking into it.

I have never felt wind this strong. The exception of course would be a hurricane. However, who goes out in a hurricane!

The locals tell me the wind comes in three day cycles. Last night was the fifth day in a row. Apparently no one told the wind its three days were up.

Yet, it is interesting. No one lets it inhibit their activities. The only change is in attire. You dress for it. The wind is cold. A sweatshirt for me.

My landlord Elini changed the Wi Fi system. Her previous one sucked. Of little use. Low frequency/power. The system has been upgraded. Yesterday and today I have been able to do the blog from my kitchen table. No need to wait till 10 for the internet store to open.

I intend to continue visiting and chatting with Spyros, however.

I just heard a strange noise. I am working with the door open. Two goats! Yesterday the albino. Today, what appear to be a father and child. Two weeks no goats where I am living. All of a sudden, they are my neighbors.

They looked at me with sad eyes. I thought they might be hungry. Ran in and got some bread. They would not eat it. What do I know? A goat expert I am not.

Yesterday morning was easy. I sat on the terrace and read. Went for a swim. Back to reading. I love it!

Lunched in. Made myself a sandwich. Then napped. Napping a lot.

The goats are back. Baying. Is that the proper word? They are eating the greenery around the terrace. Bread no, shrubbery yes.

Flora and I had coffee together at the end of her work day. I wanted her to read Flora’s Story. It will be available in the Florida keys in this week’s KONK Life which comes out tomorrow. I have decided to run Flora’s Story as my blog for tomorrow, also. For those outside the keys who might be interested.

This blog is far reaching. The last statistics I saw indicated in was being viewed in 49 countries. Amazing! An example is a woman who I heard from today. She lives in Ireland.

Yesterday, I wrote about having observed two Greek women rolling their own cigarettes. Apparently rolling your own is not uncommon in Ireland. Cost being the reason. Cigarettes are cheaper that way. I can understand. Cigarettes have gotten very expensive in the United States. Eight to $13 a pack depending where you are. Cost alone should be enough make smokers give it up!

Flora enjoyed the article. She wants me to mail a hard copy to her at her home in Albania.

Walked to the other side of the bay in the evening. In the dark of the night.

The Le Grand Bleu Restaurant was showing the Le Grand Bleu movie. Outside. About 40 people sitting around watching. I stopped for a while.

Le Grand Bleu is a French film that was made in English with French subtitles. Last night’s version was in French with English subtitles.

It was after 10. I had not eaten since my sandwich at lunch. I was hungry. Stopped at Mythos. Spaghetti bolognese. The same taste and texture as a few evenings earlier. Good!

Nothing like a pasta filled stomach when going to bed!

Vangelis’ wife’s name is Susanna. Learned it for the first time last night. A strange name for a Greek. Is Susanna from the deep South? She speaks excellent English. I will have to chat with her to learn from whence she comes. She is at the restaurant all the time. The cook. A very good one.

Met Claudia yesterday. Two times. First in the morning when I was coming out of the water after my swim. Then last night when I was walking around.


Claudia is Italian. From Verona. Thirtyish. Thin. All Italinas are thin. Tall. Taller than me. She had to be around 6′ 3″. Spoke excellent English. More than bilingual. She speaks several languages fluently. She has spent a significant amount of time working in Austria. I never got around to learning what her work was.

Enjoy your day!


Amorgos is the Key West of Greece.

It is not the night life that compels that judgment. There is no night life on Amorgos. It is the laid back atmosphere that Key West is so famous for. The locals here have the same laid back attitude.

The observation was arrived at last night while I was having dinner at Mythos.

The view from Mythos suggested a further similarity. The feeling, not the actual eye view itself. The same feeling you get at the Reach Restaurant’s back porch and the Pier House deck.

The wind is back. Blew last night. It was a cold wind. I had to wear a sweatshirt. This morning the wind is even stronger. You can hear it whistling. There are small whitecaps all over. The sun keeps you warm by day. A t-shirt suffices. The nights are another story.

Tonight, I intend to visit Chora. The oldest city on Amorgos. There is a Chora on every Greek island. Always the oldest town. Always on top of a hill. Always old white buildings. Always with Greek seniors sitting in front of their tiny white houses dressed in black.

The top of the mountain means cold. Colder. Definitely a sweatshirt or jacket.

I did Chora last year. The steps are steep and too many. Up, up and away! For me, it was no fun. We shall see if I can handle it better this year. My plan is to have dinner somewhere in Chora.

I carried through yesterday morning on my plan to walk immediately on arising. Forty five whole minutes. Up and down, some steep steps included. I thought I would try for a whole hour this morning.

Good luck! I never made it out of bed!

My computer system is now generally working. No thanks to Verizon. It still goes in and out. I am told the problem is with Vodaphone. Vodaphone is Verizon’s partner in Europe. The Verizon signal is strong. I have to get Verizon first. The Vodaphone signal weak. I cannot understand.

I sat and talked with Flora yesterday afternoon. The cleaning lady. Her story is fantastic! Guaranteed you will enjoy. I will do it as a blog one morning soon. We in the United States do not know how good we have it. Even the least of our citizens are in a better place than Albanians.

Cats have never been a favorite of mine. One appears to have adopted me yesterday.

All of a sudden, there was a cat curled up under one of the terrace chairs. Escaping the sun. I said get out. The cat apparently did not understand English. The cat stayed with me the rest of the afternoon. Later, I went inside to nap. I leave the door open so the ocean breeze runs in and cools the apartment. I forgot about the cat. No, the cat did not come in. However, when I woke the cat was laid out sleeping in front of the door stoop.

My visitor was nowhere to be seen this morning. I have a feeling he/she will be there when I return in a couple of hours.

My choices were twofold for dinner last night. Fried smelts at Dimitris’ or grilled vegetables at Mythos. Mythos won out. I wanted a drink. Dimitris has no hard liquor. Mythos has gin.

Grilled vegetables were an appetizer. My main course was fried calamari. Not like in the United States! Here like big pieces of octopus. Not what I wanted. I was hoping small breaded pieces as in the States. Still good, however. My problem was vision. Big pieces of head, tentacles and body. Affected my enjoyment.

My pants are staying up. I am not sure why. Either I lost weight or gained. At first, I thought lost. Now I am not sure. I am not drinking that much. Eating big time, however. Whatever, I no longer worry about losing my drawers.

Enjoy your day!


Before I get into the down and dirty, let me tell you how happy I am! No, I did not get married nor did I meet a lovely new woman. My data port connection is talking to my computers! Took two years. A shame.

I blame Verizon. I go into their Key West store and all the staff really do is sell. They know from nothing. They make like they do, however. Even Verizon’s alleged telephone professional staff is wanting.

I am on a little island called Amorgos in Greece. I keep saying the island is a hundred years behind the times. It is. On this tiny out of the way place, I discovered Spyros. Spyros Tsimelas. He lives on Amorgos all year long. He operates a small five computer internet store. The only game in town. I have been arriving at 10 every morning when he opens to do my blog and take care of other matters.

We got to talking about my problem. He asked to take a look at my equipment. Said he enjoyed working things out. Twenty four hours later, it all works. He figured out the two major problems and corrected them. He made a couple of other adjustments.

I label him a great man! He succeeded in less than 24 hours where Verizon failed over 2 years!

His bill was 15 euros. I said no way. I gave him 50. He was reluctant to take it. He finally did. Things are not valued as highly on Amorgos as back in the States.

Toilet paper has recently been in the news. Venezuela has a shortage. A real problem. They use 125 million rolls a month. They are coming up 40 million short. People are without. They are having to make do in other ways. It took one woman two weeks to find one roll of toilet paper she could buy.

Toilet paper on Amorgos is a problem, also! Though not in the same way as Venezuela.

I went into the men’s room at Mythos’ restaurant yesterday. Over the toilet was a sign: DO NOT THROW TOILET PAPER IN TOILETTE. Back at Eleni’s pension where I am staying, Eleni herself told me not to flush the toilet paper down the toilet.

There is a waste basket next to a toilet. The directions everywhere are to place the used toilet paper in the basket.

I suspect the problem has to do with the overall antiquated sewage system on the island.

There are some things I cannot do. Man has only one orifice requiring the use of toilet paper. I could not, I repeat, I could not, open the waste basket and drop my used toilet paper on top of the other tainted toilet paper. Gross!

Instead, I do it the usual way. I flush it down the toilet. If a disaster occurs or I am caught, I will say I did not see the sign, I forgot, I did not know, or what have you.

We all have limitations.

My yesterday was pleasant. I am doing basically nothing every day. Floating along.

I enjoyed lunch at a cafe on the port. Drank an ouzo afterwards. The view was spectacular. Magnificent probably a better description. The mountains, the clouds below the top of some, the white houses with blue trim, a blue sky, and water equally blue. I enjoyed!

Took a walk. Not 3 miles or anything close. About one mile. That was all I felt like doing. Then it was a nap for me. A two hour one.

Flora has come in to my life. She is the cleaning lady at Eleni’s where I am staying. She saw my clean but unpressed clothes on the couch. Maria washed them one last time, but could not get the ironing in. I have been wearing shirts and shorts out of the wash. Crushed also in the suitcase from the trip from Santorini to Amorgos. Wrinkled is not an apt description. Worse.

Flora said she would be happy to iron. She needed the extra money. Go to it, I said. I told her I was going to bed for a nap. Wake me when you are finished.

I woke two hours later. She was still at it. Finally, finished. Total time 2 1/2 hours.

We had made no deal as to how much. I handed her 20 euros. $30 American money. She said too much. I said, no. Keep it. She said no, again. Finally, she relented. Her eyes were tear filled as she did. Turns out Flora is from Albania. She is a college educated woman. 41. Teaches school. Single. Owns a home. She has a mortgage. Her teaching earnings are 300 euros a month. $400 American money. She does not get paid while not working. So she came to Amorgos for summer work. Ended up as the cleaning lady at Eleni’s. She is happy to have the job.

With the tears starting to slide out of her eyes, she said you have no idea how much money this is to me. My teacher salary amounts to 10 euros a day. Twenty euros represents two days’ pay. You have given me two days’ pay for 2 1/2 hours work.

Sometimes we do not know how good we have it.

Dinner was at Sunset. Mythos. I enjoyed the finest meal I have had thus far on the trip. Started with steamed greens covered with oil. Then the very best…..Roast lamb with potatoes done in the oven. I was told I would have to wait a half hour as it was cooked fresh. Where was I going? The meal was worth waiting for! Wow!

Of course, the meat was not lamb. It was that other little animal. Goat. I did not have the heart to confront the owner with the issue. I have become knowledgeable. I can tell the difference. It is not in the taste. It is in the form. The bone structure accompanying the meat is different.

There were five people sitting nearby. Early 20s. Four young ladies and one man. They caught my attention. They were all laughing and talking in sign language. Two of the ladies were apparently deaf and dumb. The two were talking everyone’s ears off, so to speak. The two were also absolutely beautiful! Hair, make up, attire all perfect. These were today ladies on an Amorgos holiday.

Another experience evidencing we do not know how good we have it. I was enjoying a conversation with two Italian ladies sitting at the next table. We were idling the time over coffee. Mythos gave us a dish of fresh watermelon on the house. Black seeds galore.

I mentioned that we have watermelon without seeds available in the United States. They were surprised. No seeds? Italian watermelon comes only with seeds.

I told them about seedless grapes. Again, surprise. They had never heard of them.

The conversation stayed on food. They told me they now have egg whites in bottles. New to Italy. I told them we have had egg whites for years.

An interesting world we live in.

Enjoy your day!