Jet lag continues to have me screwed up. I was awake from 1 this morning to 6 in the morning. Then slept till 11.

Therein lies the reason today’s blog is late.

I was tired the rest of yesterday. Dead tired. Tried watching the PGA in the afternoon. Kept fading in and out of sleep.

What I did see was Jason Dufner hitting some great approach shots. A foot or two from the pin. Made for easy birdie shots.

Jim Furyk did not play as well as Dufner yesterday. He did not deserve to win.

I was pulling for Furyk. I got to meet him once and spent some time talking with him. It was not his day, however.

Tomorrow, Tuesday Talk With Key West Lou. My blog talk radio show. I return after a nine week absence.

Join me. I will be chatting about the Nazi party’s rise to power the past two years in Greece. Unbelievable! The show will be a hard hitting and revealing half hour.

As Porky Pig at the end of his cartoons would say…..That’s all folks! My yesterday was undramatic. I stayed home.

Enjoy your day!


It finally hit me big time. Jet lag! It is 2:30 in the afternoon and I am just getting to today’s blog. My head is not functioning, my body tired.

Interestingly, today is the first day I have knowingly experienced it.

I tried working on this week’s KONK Life column this morning. Good luck! No way, Jose!

I have been pacing myself since my Wednesday night return.

Yesterday, I worked a while with Sloan. A pleasure to have her!

Then visited the grandkids. I had not seen Robert and Alley in two months. They just returned from a two week vacation at their grandparent’s home in north Florida.

Both grew. Especially Ally.

They make me feel good.

Laid in bed and watched some golf. Hope Jim Furyk wins. I met him several years ago at the Indian Casino outside Utica. Turning Stone. He was staying there a few days with his family. Soft spoken. A regular guy. He has won 16 times on the tour. One of the wins a major. He has not won in a few years. A win here would be big. It would guarantee him a place in the Golf Hall of Fame.

The Chart Room was packed last night. Like sardines in a can.

Saw JJ, Peter, Jean, and Sheila. Met Dori, a friend of Sheila’s.

Though I was not able to observe, Dori has some sort of disability. Ergo, she has a specially trained dog to assist her. I met the dog.

Big!!!Bigger than that!!!

A great dane. Great being the operative word. He had to be the biggest dog I have ever seen.

White with black spots. Like a Dalmatian. It would take at least four Dalmatians to make one of him.

Very quiet and reserved. Sat by Dori. Never moved in spite of the people mulling around. Then laid down behind Dori’s bar stool.

When I went to leave after kissing Sheila good bye and meeting Dori, I stepped on the dog’s paw. He never moved. Lucky me!

A bug and fish are in the news.

The lower Keys has a Mosquito Control Board. It does an excellent job. Without the Board, living in Key West would be primitive.

This year the Board started introducing something into the mosquito population that made the males sterile thereby preventing the females from getting pregnant. Pretty smart, I thought. The results of the endeavor are not known yet.

Starting late in August, the Board is going to experiment with drones. Planes without pilots.

Water pooling is a natural habitat within which mosquitos breed. The drones will fly around and identify the locations so personnel can go out and get the pools cleaned up.

The Keys mosquito guys do not screw around!

Now comes a crocodile. The croc has been named Crocodolly. Keynoter recently reported the following.

Crocodolly is eight feet long. A female. She has been showing up in an area off Plantation Key since 2010. She has been captured three times. Tagged the first time so there is no question it is the same crocodile. The tag on her tail is #5 in case you run into her.

Crocodiles are endangered species. Each time Crocodolly was captured, the authorities took her far out into Florida Bay. Crocodolly returned each time. Like the dog that can find its way home from many miles away.

The people of Plantation Key do not fear her. They look forward to seeing her in their canals.

Crocodolly has over 400 friends on Facebook.

What a world!

I am back on the air Tuesday night. Blog talk radio. Nine in the evening. A quick interesting half hour. Greece and the growing power of the Greek Nazi Party will be the topic. Join me. I guarantee you will find the talk revealing.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Yesterday, I looked like a homeless man coming out from under the bridge in the morning. Ravished! Could not make myself look good. Did not feel good. Did not care. The condition is called jet lag.

The first thing I did was the last two days of my blog. The travel blog. Today, back to normal. I shall miss the travel portion. However, I am glad to be home and writing again about the mundane things in my life.

In my Key West wanderings yesterday, I missed something. Something I saw on an almost daily basis in Europe. Clotheslines full of wash. Things do look better howeverr without the wash hanging outside.

There is one thing I definitely do not miss. The computers. European computers have different key pads. Italy was the worst. Many letters were not where they are on American computers. @ was different on Italian and Greek computers. Both in different places. These thingst made doing the blog at least one third longer in time. So many mistakes to correct!

Epilogue comming. I have a double disc of over 600 photos. Doing it beyond my capabilities. Need Sloan. We will start in the next couple of days.

I lost some weight on the trip. Thought I did. Only 5 pounds. But, 5 pounds is 5 pounds. It was the hills and stairs. Not the food. I ate everything. My stomach is down. More than 50 per cent. Again, the hills and stairs.

Unpacked a bit off and on yesterday. Plain did not feel like doing it. Have more to do today. Need to get Anna over. I have a ton of dirty clothes. The longer I was away, the less I washed.

Need a couple of naps during the day. Went to sleep at 7 last night. Up now at 3. I stayed up as long as I could last night.

Needed a manicure. Saw Tammy at Lee Nails. She did not like my beard! Crushed me! The first one who did not. Even my daughter Lisa liked it. Tammy said it made me look older.

Tammy followed my blog day by day while I was on the trip. Made me feel good.

The cupboard really was bare. Anna had cleaned out the refrigerator. I had to go to Publix. I only got half of what I needed. No fruit. My head was screwed up.

Ran into Ryno as I was pulling into the Publix parking lot. Ryno is one of Key West’s premier radio people. Every day for several hours. Ryno started me out on radio at KONK three years ago. He was the station engineer. He is from Watertown, N.Y., about 15 miles from my hometown of Utica. A sweet person.

I rolled the window down and we chatted a bit. He referred to me as the globe trotter. He was reading the blog, also. Thank you, Ryno.

I need a haircut. I have hair for the first time in years. Growing out every which way. I am going to keep some hair. Needs trimming bad, however. Even Tammy said…..Get a haircut!

My appointment with Lori is 10:15 this morning. I should look beautiful and ready for my Key West world afterward.

Two stops definitely today. Don’s Place around 4. Then the Chart Room at 6. Then I will really be back!

When I left Key West, the sun was shining. Little, if any, rain. I return two months later and Key West is into the rainy season. Night and day. Pouring outside right now. Thunder and lightning over the ocean. Nothing like ocean lightning at night! It joins you in bed.

Enjoy your day!



Goodbye Athens!

Hello Santorini!

I am sitting in the most beautiful place in the world writing this blog. In one of those white caves on the side of a mountain. The ocean, islands and a dead volcano before me.

Santorini. But Santorini is for tomorrow. I want to share first my last full day in Athens.

As is evident from my previous blogs, I love Athens! Athens is easy to love, however.

I started my last day in Athens at a small outdoor cafe on a back street. Glad I did! The menu set forth a prosciutto and cheese toasted sandwich. It was cheap. Sounded like a Greek version of Cuban cheese toast with tomato. I ordered it.

I was correct! Two very thin slices of white bread without crust. Toasted. A slice of prosciutto and a great tasting cheese pressed between the slices of bread. Outstanding.

The hotel of hotels in Athens is the Grand Britannia. I stopped in to look it over. Magnificent! Decided to have a cup of coffee.

The Greeks do things in a big way. My coffee was served in the main dining room.

I ordered turkish coffee. Had never had it before. Will never have it again. Did not like it. Turkish coffee is thick. Your spoon can almost stand alone in the cup. That is how thick it is! Coffee grains come with the coffee. They end up sitting in the bottom of the cup. A good amount. It is not easy to drink turkish coffee without occasionally having to deal with the grains.

In addition, I did not like the taste. Try turkish coffee if you have the opportunity. You might like it. Different strokes for different folks.

The Grand Britannia dining room was elaborate. At one end there were two palm trees sitting two stories high. Palm trees in Athens? I walked over to take a closer look  The maitre de came over. Real I asked. He said yes. I said no. We had a language problem. He was trying to tell me the outer trunks were real and stuffed. The palms not real.

I figured I had seen the only palm trees in Athens. Turns out I was wrong. The rest of the day I saw several. Smaller than the ones in the Grand Britannia dining room. Real.

I was tired. The heat was getting to me. I decided to walk back to my hotel and take a nap.

As I walked towards the hotel, the air and temperature must have been just right. All of a sudden I could smell the outdoor food stands, cart foods and outdoor cafes. The smell was unique. The last time I experienced it was in my college days in New York City. Bronx and Times Square times.

I finally made it to the hotel and my air conditioned room. Television in Athens is in Greek. I know no Greek. I turned it on anyhow to look at the picture screen. Better than nothing! I watched Top Gun with Tom Cruise and Key West’s own Kelley McGillis. I watched it all. In Greek. I had seen the movie enough times to understand what was going on.

It was my last night in Athens. Still no Greek dancing and throwing of dishes. Walked through the Plaka area where I had been two evenings earlier. Stopped at the outside cafe where I had done my drinking. The manager recognized me. He gave me directions to the place I wanted to go. I stayed with him a while. This is pro basketball play off time in Europe. I do not know who was playing. I whooped it up with my friend and his friends. Our team lost by 20 points.

European professional basketball is not up to the same standard as American ball. It was obvious. I never mentioned it, however. I told every one the teams were great, Especially their team.

The restaurant turned out to be on the poor side of Acropolis and the Parthenon. Outdoor cafes galore. Acropolis and the Parthenon plus other smaller temples sitting up on the hill. A bit farther away than the restaurant I had enjoyed the view from the night before. Drinks and food seventy per cent cheaper.

I sat their enjoying the night lite version of ancient Greece. Then the music started. Greeks are fun people. Their country may be going down the tubes economically They are partying as the ship sinks. Good for them!

The other side of the mountain is also known as the Rockefeller side. Much of the Rockefeller Foundation renovation money was spent on the poor side. An interesting mixture of wealth and those not so fortunate.

There was music. All night. Two players. A piano board player and a guitar player. A singer. Looked like and sang like Key West’s Peter Diamond. Even down to the hat.

Dancing started with the women. All ages. Even into the 80s. All kind of dances. On some occasions, a man would get up and dance alone. He reminded me of a swan. Why, I don’t know. Just so graceful.

Every one smokes in Greece. The piano and guitar players. The dancers. Even the guy who danced. A cigarette was hanging from their lips.

No dish breaking. I was disappointed. It was outlawed several years ago.

I finally got into it. Ended up on the dance floor. Every one took pity on me. I was shown various steps. Within minutes, I was Greek.

Greeks are happy. They sit at their tables and sing. Warm, also. I saw many couples touching and kissing each other. Generally those 50 and older.

I had to hustle this morning. An early plane to Sanitori. I am here. Tomorrow a different Greece.

I cannot close without expressing myself on an issue. The Catholic Church and its attempted hit on the nuns. I believe the Vatican and U.S. Conference of Bishops are on the wrong kick.

As you are aware, the nuns have their own union type organization. It is known as the Leadership Conference. Some 80,000 nuns strong. And being women, they are strong. Strong willed.

A former spokesman for the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement yesterday knocking the nuns. The nuns have come out in support of things like contraception.

He said…..”Does it occur to them (the nuns) that they might need some help?” He was referring to the fact that the number of nuns diminishes each year.

A nonsensical observation on his part. What of the Catholic Church itself? There are fewer Churches today that 20-30 years ago. Most have closed because there are fewer Catholics or fewer supporting organized Catholic religion. As many as up to four Churches have been closed at one time and combined into one parish.

Fewer and fewer those of the male gender are entering the priesthood.

It appears that whoever made the statement on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Bishops was in effect the pot calling the kettle black.

Interestingly, the nuns are also advocating that women be permitted to become priests. Threatening to the Church hierarchy?

Rome through the U.S. Conference of Bishops have told the nuns to stand down. To cease and desist. I doubt it will occur.

So there is no misunderstanding, I am a Catholic. A fallen away one, so to speak. Nevertheless a product of a Catholic education. Grammar school, high school and college. Also a husband at one time whose wife had five consecutive pregnancies in five years. We lost the last one. There was a reluctance back then for Catholics to practice birth control.

Rome would have done better to pick its battle. Especially when the Catholic Church is still dealing with its own problems. Like the Catholic Church covering up pedophilic activities on the part of priests for more than twenty years.

Enough spouting off for today.

Enjoy your day! Join me tomorrow for another part of fabulous Greece!



I cannot believe I have been in Novara only three days. It seems like a lifetime. Especially in view of my experiences.

Earthquakes still in the news big time here. Much destruction to Northern Italy.

I reported being in two earthquakes yesterday. Turns out it was three. Maybe five. Three hours after publication, I felt another one. I was sitting at the computer at that time also. I did not consider it of any consequence. After all, I had been involved in two already that day. Last night while watching television, it was reported that Novara had suffered two more quakes around eight in the evening. I never felt them.

Many dead. Much damage. Sad. The people of Novara spoke of the earthquakes much yesterday. It was like being in Key West following a hurricane.

Speaking of hurricanes, I was thinking yesterday whether an earthquake or hurricane was worse. One is short and the other prolonged. Both cause significant loss of life and damage. They ended up equal in my mind. Better that both not occur, however.

Earthquakes are not common to this region. So I have been told. The word on the news is that whatever problem there is in the San Francisco area exists now in northern Italy. A shelf or whatever and it is moving. Italian news describes it as a mountain rising to the surface. The scientists have predicted at least 70 more earthquakes over time as a result. We shall see.

Lisa got Skype yesterday. We skyped for the first time in the morning Lisa time. The grandkids had already left for school. Corey joined in. It was exciting to see them both. I hope I get to speak with Robert and Ally soon on Skype.

Around 5, I decided to take a walk. I rambled up and down the streets of the historic centre of Novara. It was a high knowing that most buildings were a thousand years old. The first floor the best quality shops. Top floors great apartments. By the way, people live in apartments here. Homes are considered too expensive. I do not understand. Most of the apartments go for $1 million dollars plus.

My walk led me to discover the Piazzetta Delle Erbe. Piazzetta means little piazza. I am learning.

In English the Piazzetta is the Little Square of Herbs. Back when, probably a thousand years ago, growers and merchants came from all over Europe and Asia to buy and sell herbs at this market.

Close by, I made another discovery. The Broletto. I do not know what the term means. It was the place where the first market in all of Italy was established in medieval times. Everything and anything sold. It helped the Novara area at the time to gain financial independence

The best was yet to come. The Partigiani. It is at the Piazza Dei Martiri. Partigiani means partisans. The Piazza translates to the Plaza of Martyrs.

I learned the story of this special place while sitting at an outside cafe having a drink and watching the world go by. Two gentleman at the next table engaged me in conversation. They spoke English. Americans are revered here. I am being treated with kindness and respect because I am an American. It was not unusual for them to engage me in conversation. They started the conversation with…..American?

Novara was occupied by the Nazis during World War II. Some of the locals were not pleased.They became partisans. Guerrilla types working as the underground. Five were captured. They were placed against a brick wall and shot by the Nazis. In full view of the citizens of Novara.

After the war a small monument was placed near where they were killed. A tree was also planted. It still stands today. The tree. By itself against a large red brick wall.

It dawned on me that the medieval thousand year buildings I have been speaking about were in good shape. I asked were they not destroyed during World War II? Bombs, artillery and tank fire. No, I was told.There was never any fighting or bombing or what have you in and to Novara. The Nazis walked out and the Americans walked in. The people of Novara were very lucky. Other communities in the area, such as Milan, sustained significant damage.


My walk took me past many fine stores. I was particularly impressed with the shops featuring apparel for women. The most beautiful clothes I have ever seen! Absolutely magnificent! Bright, shiny and smart for summer wearing. The thought struck me it would have been nice to have a woman to take into the stores and buy a new wardrobe for.

Remember the 124 steps I spoke of yesterday. There are not 124. I counted them again yesterday. At a time when I was not suffering from jet lag and a bad stomach. There are 68. Still a lot of steps for this old man!

The fefects of jet lag are still with me. I went to bed at nine last night. Did not sleep one minute. Finally got up at 5:30 in the morning to start this blog. I will pay for the no sleep later in the day.

Never got to Milan yesterday to view the Last Supper. The trains were out of commission because of the earthquake.

I cannot let this experience pass. At the dinner party three nights ago, one of the meats was a dark one. Deep purple. Sliced thin. Everly one was going crazy over it. They loved it! A bit of lemon and they ate away!

I had a few pieces. Did not particularly like it. Other guests were surprised I did not.

Yesterday similar meat was served to me for lunch. I again was not crazy about it. I asked what is this? It was horse meat! Horse meat is legal in Italy. There are specialty butcher shops that sell horse meat. And lest I forget, donkey also. That was it. No more of for me! I explained that horse meat was not legal in the United States for human consumption. My fellow diners were shocked.

The big deal today is for me to go to the bank. I have no euros. Only American money. The exchange process should be interesting. Is cash or a credit card required? Can both be used?

Stephanie Kaple is one of the loves of my life. She lives in Key West. She is known as the Island Shoe Girl. She only wears expensive shoes with high high heels. Looks good in them!

Stephanie now plays bocce. She joined the same bocce league I play in. She wears heels while playing. Not wise from my perspective. But that is Stephanie!

She writes a blog as I do. A recent one was interesting and funny. Take a look at it if you have the time. A short read.

That is all for today folks! Sorry for the length but there is much to share regarding my trip. Tomorrow I leave for Athens to start the Greece phase of this trip. Athens, Santorini, Mykinos and some deserted island. Five weeks will be spent in Greece. Then back to Italy for a while. Portofino and Morocco under consideration for the scheduled end of my trip. If I return. I am enjoying everything so much I might stay.

Enjoy your day!






Jet lag is still with me. It hits suddenly and I am dead. Went to bed last night at 10:30. Woke at 1 and could not get back to sleep.

Apparently, I have been spelling the name of this community wrong. It is Novara. Not Novarro. It was easy to become confused. There are signs all over the city spelling this place. In typical Italian fashion, the name is spelled differently each time. I have it correct now, however.

I took a walk at lunch time yesterday. Once more I was impressed with the downtown area. It is referred to as an historic centre. Medieval buildings constructed between 1100 and 1300. Still standing in all their glory as if new today.

For whatever reason, Novara has been sacked and destroyed from earliest times. Even Attila the Hun beat up Novara. The Romans came. They constructed a stone walled city. The wall surrounded the entire city. The wall remained until demolished for purposes of urban development. Not twentieth century development. Rather construction of buildings such as I have seen. Buildings constructed between 1100 and 1300. The time referred to as urban development.

The new Novara was built on the ruins of the old.

I saw part of the old yesterday. The Roman constructed walls were discovered. They had been hidden for centuries beneath the ground. The Roman walls in small part have been excavated and are there for the world to see. I found the walls astonishing! At least three feet thick. Looked like poured concrete with outside coverings of stone. No weapon of the time could have penetrated the wall.

This downtown area is interesting and lovely. I walked up and down the streets open only to pedestrian traffic. Many people. Though not crowded shoulder to shoulder. I discovered cars are allowed. Those owned by the apartment residents. Makes sense. Otherwise they would have to walk several blocks to get home.

The cars came and went occasionally. Not often. Typical of Italian drivers, the cars moved fast. I noted that without looking, the walkers automatically moved over for a car to pass. The car was never seen. The people nevertheless moved out of way way.

I watched this wonder for a while. Then I figured it out. The buildings across the street from each other are very close. Ten to twenty feet. The road is worn brick. The noise of the approaching car is amplified greatly by the buildings and road. It is acoustical. The noise bounces off the buildings loudly. Pedestrians hear it and automatically move to the side.

The car drivers speed. Never slow down. As if they had no concern for the walkers.

The people are strange. They never make eye contact. I noticed this 25 years ago when I was in Rome.

The people are beautiful! No one is fat in Italy. The men must have 28-32 waists. I last saw 32 in college. Male and female alike dress elegantly. Even in  jeans. Most men wear jeans. Topped by a crispy shirt. Crispy is the only way to describe the attire of both men and women.

The people never seem to smile. I noticed this 25 years ago, also.

All of a sudden, I was hit by jet lag. I had to lie down. Rest. I was desperate for it.

I returned to the building I am staying in. There are 124 steps to the apartment. I counted them. Getting to the apartment is like climbing Mount Everest. I had to stop three times to rest.

I was with a group of locals last night. The husband and wife who own the rice paddies, golf course and castle on the hill were there. We found we enjoyed each other. They invited me out for a bite to eat. The wife spoke English. She had majored in it at universities in Italy and London. Her husband spoke no English. She interpreted for the both of us. The couple is in their mid 60s.

We went out for pizza. At a trattoria. Not a Pizza Hut or Dominos type place. A restaurant with tablecloths and cloth napkins. Real silverware. Clean.

We ordered pizza. Neapolitan pizza. Made with anchovies.

I was shocked when the pizzas arrived. We each were served with one whole pizza. Larger than a small and smaller than a large back home. How could I eat it? In Key West, I am a one slice person. Rarely two.

When in Rome…..

We dug in. It was very thin pizza. Crispy. I did not like it. The anchovies were baked into the mozzarella. I am an anchovy lover. But not served that way I discovered. Cooked anchovies were not to my liking. What to do. I ate it. What else. I could not insult my hosts.

They each devoured their whole pizzas. Again, I could not be the impolite guest. I ate all of mine. Horrible!

I noticed a couple of things in the restaurant. One was that every one drank bottled water. My friends, also. I ordered, as I do back home, a diet Coke. I asked why everyone was drinking bottled water. Because it was cheap, I was told. Much cheaper than my can of diet coke.

The other thing I noticed was that none of the people in the restaurant smiled or laughed during dinner. Strange. My table was roaring, primarily because of me.

Afterwards, my new found friends wanted to show me the golf course. We drove through miles of rice fields on each side of the road. They own all of it. They ship rice all over Europe, to Central America and to South America. None to the United States. I did not ask why.

The golf course was to the side of the rice fields. A nine hole course. Tees laid out differently if one wishes to play 18 holes. A nice clubhouse and several other buildings. The drinking/dining area warm and inviting. I was sorry I would not have time to play this trip.

They built the course themselves 20 years ago. The land was not suitable for rice. They wanted to put it to good use. Ergo, the golf course was born.

It was getting dark. I stepped outside. I could see trees every where. I could sense the area. It had the taste and smell of Fourth Lake in the New York Adirondack Mountains on a July evening.

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS! We just had an earthquake! They had a big one in this area last week. The one today lasted about ten seconds. Everything moved. The chandeliers are still moving. Some of the ladies panicked. Screamed. Still yelling. Italians are very demonstrative. I just sat here and thought…..Oh, shit!

What a trip this is going to be!

Getting back to last night, I returned home with jet lag upon me once more. I fell asleep as I was being driven home. On top of which, I had a sick stomach. The 124 steps were not easy.

Some odd ball items. Nothing can top the earthquake, however.

There are three churches in the area. They all have bells. Apparently large. Each clang very noisy. They all go off on the hour. Fortunately, only by day. They do not go off at the same time. They must be planned. One church at a time with a short separation between each. It is like living in New York City by the elevated subway train.

Everyone drives too fast for me. Most of the roads are narrow, especially in the countryside. One lane. Not each way. Both ways, the same lane.

When an approaching car is seen, both vehicles play chicken to see who is going to move onto the shoulder first.

There is a Catholic church in Milan that has the Last Supper. The real one. I may take the train into Milan this afternoon to see it.

Thursday I leave for Athens. After this earthquake, I think it is time to leave Dodge.

Enjoy your day!

Note: While I was doing spell check, the after shocks came. Trembling. Chandeliers moved again. Someone just ran in to tell me TV announced the disturbance as a severe earthquake. I have been hearing for the past few minutes sirens. Probably fire engines and ambulances. Another person just ran in to tell me that the quake was a 5.8 on the Richter scale. What I thought was the aftershock turned out to be a second quake. 4.0 on the Richter scale. I must admit my stomach is getting a bit queasy. I am uncomfortable. My thought process tells me that if I must be in an earthquake, this building is a good place. It has withstood quakes, floods and wars for over a thousand years and still stands. Hopefully, I will blog you again tomorrow. I am not leaving you yet. TV announced all trains to Milan have stopped running. I do not know specifically why. I doubt I will be viewing the Last Supper this afternoon. It was further announced that a  thousand year old cathedral about a one hour drive from Novara collapsed. So much for my theory that thousand year old buildings are a safe place.