VENEZUELA’S DESCENT INTO HELL

Nicolas Maduro has been President of Venezuela for four years. His Presidency a steady decline to the gates of Hell. First no toilet paper. Then no food. Finally, pets and zoo animals eaten. Along the way, people disappearing or killed.

Today, Venezuela stands at those gates. It is election day. A special election day. Maduro wants to replace Venezuela’s National Assembly and adopt a new Constitution. The new National Assembly will be composed of persons nominated by Maduro. The new Constitution will give him the powers of a dictator.

I have written about Venezuela the four years Maduro has been President. I was intrigued when the nation ran out of toilet paper.

It has bothered me the people never revolted. They protest in huge numbers. In recent weeks, a handful have clashed with Maduro supporters.

Turns out Cuba is behind it all. Yes, our tiny neighbor 90 miles to the south. Cuba is responsible for everything that has been happening in Venezuela.

Cuba is the power. It controls the levers of power. The government and those who support it.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote an excellent opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal’s July 17, 2017 edition. Titled: How Cuba Runs Venezuela.

Cuba has been trying for 50 years to sow its ideological revolution in South America. Concerning Venezuela, it has succeeded.

Cuba needs Venezuela to transport Colombian cocaine to the United States and to Africa to supply Europe. It also relies heavily on cut-rate Venezuelan oil.

Cuba has established a Soviet type hold on Venezuela. Working in Venezuela are 50 high ranking Cuban military officers, 4,500 Cuban soldiers, and 34,000 doctors and health professionals who are there to defend Cuba’s tyranny with arms if necessary.

Thousands of other Cubans hold high level Venezuelan government positions.

The Cubans have toilet paper and eat well.

Similar to Soviet oversight, each Venezuelan military commander has a civilian minder. A person who watches every turn and reports to higher ups any deviation from expected conduct.

I find it amazing how relatively silent the American media has been over the years re Cuba’s influence.

Today’s election is most important. I fear Maduro and his followers will win. Nothing good can come from the victory for the Venezuelan people and the rest of the world.

Last week when Trump lifted our new relationship with Cuba, I thought he was succumbing to that small group of Cubans who had to flee Cuba fifty and more years ago and now reside in Miami. A poor reason I thought.

Now, I wonder if Trump was motivated to show the world he stood against the evils imposed by Cuba upon Venezuela.

Regardless, the Monroe Doctrine has been forgotten.

Yesterday was Saturday. It became my Sunday. My lazy day.

I never left the house. Read, wrote, napped and watched TV.

Hackley’s journal has suggested, at least to me, that Hackley used slaves. Not as an owner. He rented them.

Further indication of Hackley as a lessee is found in his entry of this date in 1856. Hackley speaks of his cook Black Matilda. It was yellow fever time. He wrote she had “some fever and pains in the head.”

Hackley got Black Matilda out of the house immediately. Delivered her to someone else to worry about.

Some generally unaware history concerning Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West to this day loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. He did so at the Truman Library in Independence. Truman was still alive and attended.

Why the Truman Library and in Truman’s presence?

Truman was the first President to propose national health insurance. Congress opposed. He could never get it passed.

Johnson further paid tribute to Truman by enrolling Truman as Medicare’s first beneficiary.

Enjoy your Sunday!

CABINET KISSES ASS

Trump news overwhelming. Directly and indirectly. On a daily basis.

Yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. The camera went around the table and captured comments by each Cabinet member telling Trump what a great job he was doing.

Actually, sickening. Powerful independent people in their other lives paying adulation to a leader not entitled to their words.

The Cabinet represents the President’s chief advisers. They fail when they kiss ass.

Trump’s comments at the same Cabinet meeting. Claimed he was one of the most productive Presidents in American history. He has passed more legislation at a record setting pace. Only Franklin Delano Roosevelt could come close.

Trump deceives himself. He is a mental case. He and Roosevelt are not even close to being in the same class. Name one piece of major legislation Trump has passed.

Boeing. I thought Trump beat up Boeing early on. Brought Boeing to the table of submission. Trump’s message to Boeing understood: My way or the highway.

Boeing is now building or in the planning stage to build plants in China, Saudi Arabia and India. Boeing says worry not. The overseas moves will not reduce the number of jobs Boeing has in the United States.

What about increasing jobs? Much needed jobs!

Trump is like Nero. One played a musical instrument. Trump keeps looking at himself in the mirror and reciting what a good boy am I. Nero so doing while Rome burned. The other while America dies.

Boeing secured $50 billion in defense and commercial sales from Saudi Arabia during Trump’s recent state visit. The pact included an agreement to complete Boeing Apache attack helicopters in Saudi Arabia.

Boeing is also interested in assembling fighter jets in India. A deal involving more than 100 planes.

Does color matter?

Public Theater has been presenting Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in a modern setting. Donald Trump is portrayed as Caesar. A Caesar dressed in a business suit with a long tie who gets knifed to death on the stage. Hair Trump style.

Delta and Bank of America pulled their sponsorships of the show.

The same play toured the United States in 2012 by The Acting Company. Caesar was played by an Afro-American actor in a business suit. Closely resembled Obama.

No one withdrew their sponsorships nor were there any adverse comments.

Last night began with delivering Terri to Aqua. I did not go in. Hurried to Tavern ‘n Town for a bite to eat and read the newspapers. The season is over and seats at the bar available.

Returned to Aqua afterwards. Enjoyed the end of Terri’s performance. Chatted with Donna. Lynda and Bob Frechette also.

Tom Luna and Rick Dey the Dueling Bartenders.

Key West is fortunate to have Donna and Terri and Lynda and Bob and Tom and Rick as residents and supporters.

Home early. Part of my game plan for the evening. Wanted to catch the Cleveland/Golden State game. A good one! The Warriors have won it all. A new dynasty born.

My podcast tonight. Some Trump and some other things. All interesting. Join me at 9 my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

GRAND GUESTHOUSE

Over the years, I have asked hundreds of tourists where they are staying, happy with the accommodations, etc. Rarely do I meet those owning and/or operating the hotels, motels and guest houses.

Last night at the Chart Room, I did. Mike, one of the owners of the Grand Guesthouse. A place I have heard about from many visitors. Never once a negative response. All high on the place.

Mike and his wife own and operate Grand Guesthouse. Again, met Mike last night at the Chart Room. A nice guy. Apparently taking a couple of hours off.

The Grand Guesthouse is located on the other side of  Old Town. A quiet residential area. So residential that the Grand blends in with the rest of the neighborhood. Difficult to know from the street it is a guest house. Yet it is. One with 10 rooms, a pool, parking, etc. All the amenities.

The Grand can be found in the 1100 block of Grinnell. Adults only. A ten minute walk from Duval and the Atlantic Ocean.

Prices reasonable. Accommodations beautiful.

The Chart Room was unusually busy last night. John was busy.

Two lovely ladies sitting at the opposite end of the bar from me. The Grand’s Mike in between us.

The gals from Pittsburgh. Carey and Tracey. Carey a bartender. Tracy’s job described by her as inexplicable. I left it at that.

John told me Che alive and well. His nurse Cheryl went to his apartment. Che opened the door for her. He told Cheryl he just did not feel like going out. Two months?????

Che is turning into a recluse. Bad. He is 83. I am 81 and still get out most evenings.

Three guys from London showed up. Two getting married this weekend in Key West. The Pittsburgh ladies and Mike tried to dissuade them. To no avail.

Met a contemporary. Terence. A retired police lieutenant and Superior Court Clerk from Wilmington, Delaware. Contemporaries in that he is 80 years old.

His daughter is an attorney. His son in law into a phase of software. Terence’s wife with them. The four and a granddaughter all staying at the Pier House.

Terence and his wife are the designated baby sitters. Their daughter and son in law go out evenings or sneak away part of a day. The grandparents remain with the granddaughter.

They love it!

My yesterday began with a noon manicure by Tammy.

An amazing business she and husband Rick run. People moving in and out with regularity. Chairs  constantly turning over.

A money maker! Tammy and Rick made it so.

A little grocery shopping on the way home. My cupboard always bare.

Kentucky Derby this afternoon! I have decided to watch it at Don’s Place. The festivities begin at 4. The race at 6.

On this date in 1973, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby. His time, 1:59:40. Best time ever! Still stands!

The Kinetic Sculpture Parade at noon today on Duval. Do not miss it! You will love it! The kids will love it!

Bria Ansara involved in everything Key West. An art educator, she will be doing a pre-parade workshop for kids behind the Custom House at 10. Opening them up to the joys of working with metal.

Tomorrow night at Aqua, Bria is hosting BOY-lesque. An all male review.

Bocce continues to be a disaster. I was there thursday night when the team lost 2 of 3 games. Can’t understand the downward trend after several seasons of top notch play.

Don’s Place was beat by Not Don’s Place. The Not Don’s is Larry Smith’s team. Several years ago, Don and Larry had words over I don’t recall what. Larry changed the name of his team to Not Don’s Place to break Don’s gonads.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

PEOPLE WILL DIE

Yes, people will die. The healthcare bill approved by the House of Representatives yesterday is a moral outrage.

Those who voted for it should be required to walk around with MURDERER sewed onto their jackets/shirts. The Scarlet Letter’s Hester Prynne carried Adulterer for a much less serious offense.

Rather than write ad finitum re the many shortcomings of the bill, I set forth briefly some of the items that cause me concern. Grave concern.

  1. The bill provides a huge tax discount for the top 2 percent. to the detriment of those below them on the economic scale.
  2. At least 24 million who presently have coverage will lose it.
  3. Premiums will sky rocket at some point for most with pre-existing conditions. They will not be able to afford coverage.
  4. Fiscal conservatism does not mean people are permitted to die without care.
  5. The vote was taken without benefit of the report by the Congressional Budget Office.
  6. The bill is 1,800 pages. The members received it at 8 pm thursday. They voted around noon friday. They claim they read it. Bullshit!
  7. The Republican Party of today is not the Republican Party of Eisenhower. Nor Nixon. Conservatism has always been the by-line of Republicans. People valued above money, however. Today, the Party’s concerns have been politicized. The lives of citizens have become subservient to money.
  8. My outrage simply stated.
  9. Enjoy your day!

CONCH REPUBLIC DAYS

It was April 1982. Drugs and illegal immigrants were coming in through Key West and the lower Keys. The U.S. Border Patrol set up a roadblock and checkpoint at the northern end of US 1.

Traffic backed up big time. Many locals and tourists were inconvenienced and angry.

A federal court action was brought to have the roadblock/checkpoint removed. It failed.

Key Westers were undaunted. Their mentality prevailed. A group of local citizens decided to protest. In humorous fashion, of course. They went to the roadblock/checkpoint and opened one on their own. Under the auspices of the newly formed Conch Republic. The day, April 23.

History was made!

The men assembled advised the U.S. Border Patrol that Key West had seceded and was an independent nation. They further advised that then and there they were declaring war on the United States.

The group waited one minute and then advised they were surrendering. In addition, they demanded $1 billion in foreign aid.

The aid never came. However much has developed since that 1982 day.

The Conch Republic has won a form of recognition from the U.S. It has a capital headquarters in a yellow conch house on Simonton Street. The Conch Republic flag flies in front.

The Conch Republic has an Army, Navy and Air Force. Officers uniformed. An ocean going fleet consisting of the Schooner Wolf and ten civilian boats. An Air Force consisting of several pre-World War II bi-planes.

A female contingent exists. Young lovely ladies. Their uniform, bikinis.

Even a national anthem. Working In The Conch Republic.

The 35th anniversary of the birth of the Conch Republic is being celebrated with a week long event. Begins tonight at the Schooner Wharf Bar at 7. The event is the Conch Shell Blowing Contest.

A major event is the Great Sea Battle which will take place in a few days. The Conch Republic and United States engage in war!

Off Schooner Wharf, the Conch Republic Navy consisting of the schooner Wolf (a pirate ship in reality) and several small motorized vehicles will engage the big ships of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Conch’s will fire sea water via large hoses at the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will retaliate with fire hoses.

The Conch’s will throw cabbages, eggs and tomatoes at the Coast Guard. The bikini clad ladies will be holding on from the yardarm doing most of the throwing. They will be attired as pirate ladies. The men as pirates, also.

The air battle is terrific. U.S. Navy jets from Boca Chica will engage Conch Republic bi-planes. The bi-planes will also bomb the Coast Guard cutters. With rolls of toilet paper which open up and flutter down on the Coast Guard vessels. Something to see.

Don’t miss the Great Sea Battle! It’s a winner!

Buffalo’s Tom and Fran Dixon are in town. I hope to go out to dinner with them tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

KEY WEST PEACE

Strange as it may sound, Key West is a very peaceful place to live.

Most think it is Duval Street night after night. Once for me. No more. The once being when I first started coming to Key West 26 years ago. After a few years, I had it with Duval. Too much for me. The excitement gone.

I still hit a bar or restaurant occasionally. That’s it. Don’t do one bar after another anymore.

Some things I did yesterday and will do today reflect the peaceful existence I enjoy.

Researched and wrote all day yesterday. Chart Room last night. Only the Chart Room. Sat at the bar and chatted with John. For a while with Phil from Minneapolis who sat next to me.

Phil only 36. A hard worker. Ha already made his mark and a bit of a fortune in an intellectual property firm he founded and sold. He is on vacation with an absolutely lovely lady friend. They are staying at the Pier House.

Enjoyed my time with John and Phil. Stimulating conversation.

A tough day ahead today. A haircut and manicure. Several hours apart. I will read and write in between.

Tonight, bocce. Though I no longer play because of my heart, I am still carried on the team roster. I sit on the players’ bench and cheer my friends on. Enjoying a couple of drinks at the same time.

I had to stop playing a couple of years ago. When I bent over to pick up the ball, I fell over. My  team mates began doing he bending and handing me the ball. Kind of them. Made me foolish.

Then I started losing strength when I threw the ball. That definitely was the end. I was of no value to the team.

I retired from bocce.

Conch Republic Days begin tomorrow. A many event weekend. Adults playing like children. I will watch some of the activities.

The carrier fleet heading for North Korean waters a continuing fiasco. No one assumes responsibility.

The USS Vinson was more than 3,000 miles away heading for the Indian Ocean for war games with Australia. Has been turned around and is now heading for Korean waters. Still around 3,000 miles away.

An obvious screw up. Trump and his people take the position that they were correct when they said the carrier fleet was heading for Korean waters. They never said when, however. Now that the Vinson has turned around, the fleet is heading for Korean waters.

Ergo, no one was misled.

We all make mistakes! Own up to them when they occur.

Trump came out with another beauty yesterday. He said Korea “actually used to be a part of China.” Truth searchers say no.

Tillerson announced yesterday he is seeking an exception for Russia from certain sanctions. Russia and Exxon-Mobile discovered what may be the largest oil deposit ever in Arctic waters. Saudi Arabia’s deposits minuscule in comparison.

Russia and the oil company are engaged in a joint venture/ownership in drilling for the oil. Work stopped because of the sanctions.

Tillerson says let the work proceed. What is he thinking? Here we are investigating Russia for tampering with our elections. Consider also Tillerson was CEO of Exxon-Mobile for 15 years.

Tillerson forgets he now works for the people of the United States.

Enjoy your day!

 

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON?

 

Trump sounds the drums of war. Bombs Syria and Afghanistan. Threatens North Korea with…..Everything is on the table!

Trump, Secretary of Defense Mathis and Press Secretary Spicer announce a carrier fleet is on its way to North Korea waters. Video is shown on TV of the USS Hornet and other ships steaming for North Korea.

A mistake big time! The Hornet fleet was 3,000 miles away and traveling in the opposite direction. On its way to the Indian Ocean for scheduled joint exercises with Australia.

Who the hell is running the shop? Who knows what is going on? If not the President and Secretary of Defense, who?

Who will be scared next when the cry to arms, to arms, the Yankees are coming, is heard?

Suppose North Korea had bombed Seoul in anticipation of the Hornet carrier fleet arriving?

Spent yesterday afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. One of my better shows. Initial four segments devoted to China.

An early dinner at Roostica.

Harlem Suarez, the Key West beach bomber, was sentenced yesterday in Federal Court. Life in prison. Suarez had planned to bury a backpack nail bomb at Smathers Beach.

A proper result. Many people would have been on the beach at the time the bomb blew. Possibly even Lisa and the grandkids.

Ozitec out. MosquitoMate in.

Yesterday killing ZIKA and dengue carrying mosquitoes began. On Stock Island.

Process referred to as Wolbachia mosquitoes. The male is infected with a bacterium that will screw up their semen. When the male mates with the female mosquito, the resulting eggs do not hatch.

It is claimed this process has been utilized for years, is safe, and works.

We shall see.

Big day in American history! The American Revolution began this day in 1775. The first shots at Lexington.

I reported yesterday re the Doolittle raid on April 18, 1942. Eighty American warriors bombed Tokyo and other Japanese cities. Their 16 bombers took off from a carrier 650 miles from the Japanese coast.

Of the 80 who participated in the raid, only one remains alive. Former Lt. Richard E. Cole. He is 101 years old. Cole was Doolittle’s co-pilot.

No question China is our number 1 competitor in every regard today.

China is significantly more populous than the U.S. As with all other countries.

Fourteen percent of the world’s population speak Mandarin Chinese. Only 5.5 percent speak English.

The John Calhoun College name change at Yale University eats at me. The student body forced it on central administration. African-Americans and their supporters at Yale and elsewhere want anyone connected with slavery to no longer be honored/revered.

Four Presidents were slave owners. A reflection of wealth in their times. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Andrew Jackson.

Punish one, punish all. One example, Washington. Takes his name off Washington DC, picture off the dollar bill, and rename the Washington Bridge in New York City. As to Jefferson, take down the magnificent statue honoring him in Washington.

As to Jackson, remove all things honoring him. Jackson is Trump’s hero. I would love to see Jackson’s reaction.

Enjoy your day!

AQUA IDOL…..LYNDA FRECHETTE

The driving force behind Aqua Idol is Lynda Frechette. She and others, the driving force behind the Waterfront Theater.

Aqua Idol is the annual fundraiser to assist the Waterfront Theater. Takes money to keep a theater going. Especially an excellent one!

Aqua Idol is Lynda’s baby! Runs several consecutive tuesdays. The best singers from the lower keys participating to raise money for the Waterfront Theater.

Want an enjoyable evening? Stop at Aqua tonight at 6. The best of the best awaits you.

Stopped at Aqua last night for Dueling Bartenders. No Tom Luna. Understand he is taking three weeks off. Rick Dery holding down the fort with two other vocalists. A typical great evening.

Liz and her lady friends part of the audience. Joined them. Afterwards, Liz and I had dinner at Michael’s. Liz stopped me from ordering desert and coffee. She had it planned for home. Her home. Finished the evening at Liz’s with great carrot cake, ice cream and coffee.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me for a quick half hour of interesting and challenging topics. Guaranteed you will not be bored. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Picture in this morning’s KONK Life: Sheila Cullen and Howard Livingston. A spectacular duo! The pic taken at the Southernmost Castaways fundraiser last friday night.

Love Eugene Robinson! Pulitzer Prize winner, Associate Editor and columnist for the Washington Post and a regular on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Robinson and his wife Avis have been vacationing in Key West the past several years. Last year, he spoke behalf of the Key West Friends of the Library. I missed it. He is scheduled to do it again this year.

At the Key West Theater. March 6 at 6. Arrive early. Line long. Doors open at 5:30. Free.

Water an interesting problem in the days of William Hackley. On this date in 1856, Hackley reported he could not bathe. Water foul. He could take a shower bath, however.

Raises the question in my mind as to whether bathing was done with well water. Does not seem possible. Key West is at ocean level. Nothing but ocean water a foot down.

Was the shower bath by accumulated rain water? Or, previously collected well water?

Whatever, I would like to know. If any of you have the facts, share with the rest of us.

Poor Trump. He is being mocked. In Austria. It is carnival season. Costume shops are selling Trump wigs. A popular item. Most shops sold out.

If Nixon had not screwed up with Watergate, he would be considered one of our great Presidents. A key item would have been his trip to China. He arrived in China this date 1972.

Nixon began the process of re-establishing diplomatic relations with China. A major feat!

On this date in 1848, Karl Marx, together with Frederick Engels, published The Communist Manifesto. What would become the Communist bible. the last few sentences of the work saying it all: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. they have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite!”

Without Marx, there would not have been a Lenin. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin led the world’s first successful Communist revolution in Russia.

Though no longer the case, by 1950 nearly half the world’s population lived under Marxist governments.

This is the best! Alexander Lukashenko is the long time President of the European nation of Belarus. He is reputed to be Europe’s last dictator. A thug, he steals elections, sends opposition politicians to forced labor camps. He even arrested  a one armed man for clapping.

Belarus is in recession. Not enough tax dollars coming in. Hundreds of thousands out of work or working little. Lukashenko refers to them as social parasites. They are not paying their fair share to run the government.

So…..He is taxing the unemployed! During a recession!

Anyone who works less than 183 days a year is required to pay $250 in compensation for lost taxes.

Less than 10 percent of those required to pay have paid.

Enjoy your day!

A FEW COMMENTS

Short blog this morning. Barbara leaving. Have to get her to the airport for an early flight.

Still biting my tongue re Trump. People voted for a change. He is giving us change.

Some food for thought.

  1. The United States does not operate in secrecy. A federal agency media freeze is un-American.
  2. The President works for the people. The people do not work for the Presidnet.
  3. We have a B Cabinet: Billionaires and bankers.

The Key West City Commission has been considering making Key West a Sanctuary City. Still up in the air. Perhaps, fortunately. Trump is expected to target Sanctuary Cities today.

My blog talk radio show last night. A good one from my perspective. A lot of China and Mexico and the U.S. interplay with them.

Pythons back in the news.

I wrote a lengthy column about four years ago in KONK Life re the Florida python problem. Primarily in the Everglades. The bottom line was they are here to stay. In excess of one hundred thousand. The State is trying to manage the problem. Eradication not possible.

The State has hired two tribesmen from India who have had success in India with the problem. The State is also in the process of bringing in dogs trained to sniff out pythons.

Syracuse won a game last night! A close one. Beat Wake Forest 81-76.

Bocce and the Sons and Daughters of Italy hand in hand this weekend. Makes sense. The Sons and Daughters and the Key West Wildlife Center are having a Bocce Night Fundraiser saturday evening. 5:30-9:30. Bocce courts across from the White Street Pier.

Cost minimal. You even get to learn and play or play if you already know how. $20 for adults and $10 for children.

I will be at the fundraiser teaching. It is like riding a bicycle.

William Blakley. Fifty eight degrees this date in 1856. He “made up a fire in the stove.”

Fifty eight degrees in Key West is like 20 degrees up north.

Enjoy your day!

FRIDAY SATURDAY.

Yesterday was friday. For me, saturday.

From the time I rose, I thought it was saturday. While reading the Wall Street Journal, I noticed it had friday’s date. I could understand. The saturday edition is normally labeled Weekend Edition.

Later, while I was at Tammy’s for a manicure and pedicure, she told me she was working tomorrow. I could not understand. She never works on sunday.

Later in the afternoon, I telephoned Liz to finalize plans for sunday evening. We are attending St. Paul’s Christmas show together. I wanted her know what time I would be picking her up “tomorrow.” She said not tomorrow, sunday.

At that point it dawned on me! Today was friday, not saturday. Wow! What a screw up! Was I losing it?

To add more humor, I was planning on attending Larry’s Smith’s Christmas show saturday night at The Studios of Key West. That would have blown me out! I would have showed up friday night to be confronted by locked doors.

Do I add this to falling down all the time?

So…..Larry Smith tonight at The Studios for Christmas with Larry. 8 pm. I will be there. You should, also. Guaranteed top flight entertainment.

Getting back to Tammy, she told me she was returning to Vietnam in June for three weeks. She and her 6 and 8 year old children. Rick staying home to work the business.

A 32 hour trip.

She is going because she has not been to Vietnam in 12 years. Her children have never met their great grandparents on both sides. Her and Rick’s parents live in the U.S.

Then to the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. A couple of weeks since I had been there. No Ruby. Nor the last time. A big young Australian working her job.

I spent my “friday afternoon” reading a book about Cleopatra. What I learned!

Cleopatra was of Greek origin, not Egyptian. She was a direct descendant of Alexander the Great’s right hand man Ptolemy I. Ptolemy I became governor of Egypt.

At some point, Ptolemy I appointed himself Pharaoh. Everything continued Greek. The court spoke Greek.

Ptolemy I wanted to keep the ruling class in the family. Brothers and sisters married. Cousins, also. Had to be a lot of nuts eventually!

Cleopatra was married to her brother Ptolemy XIII before her Julius Caesar marriage.

Cleopatra was not Elizabeth Taylor. Not a beauty at all. Great at sex, however. A seductress. Note Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony.

Since I was not going to see Larry Smith, I took the night off. Stayed home and watched old movies on Turner Classics. It was Myrna Loy night. A 1930s and 1940s star. I did not realize her remarkable talent till I watched her play several different roles last night.

Some followers of this blog reside in Papua, New Guinea. Almost since day one. Like 10 years now.

Papua suffered an 8.0 earthqualke yesterday. A tsunami warning has been issued. I hope God holds Papua in his hands.

Scary.

China can’t wait till Trump takes office to test the U.S. Yesterday, the Chinese stole a U.S. Navy submarine drone from South Sea waters in full view of a U.S. Navy vessel. Election hacking with Russia on the front burner. No peace for Obama in his final days.

Big day travel wise for Key West yesterday. United’s first direct non-stop flight from Newark to Key West. In January, United is going to provide a similar flight from Chicago.

I have been flying to Key West 26 years. I can recall when it was a 3-4 plane trip from Syracuse. Twelve to 14 hours. Assuming no delays. Delays guaranteed during the winter.

On this day in 1903, Orville Wright flew a power driven plane for the first time. Two thousand three was the 100th anniversary of the flight. Wright’s plane was reconstructed. Planned to be flown where Wright had flown 100 years earlier.

The plane did not fly.

Syracuse/Georgetown today at noon. On ESPN. I will be able to watch. Syracuse an 8 point favorite.

Syracuse and Georgetown were bitter enemies starting when the Big East League was formed in 1979. Always great hard fought games!

Big John Thompson Georgetown’s coach. Jim Boeheim Syracuse’s. They disliked each other from day one. Thompson especially hated Boeheim. Hated the correct word.

After Thompson retired and Boeheim was having league problems, the two made up. Actually initiated by Thompson. He came over at a game and hugged Boeheim. Just like that, the animosity of 30 plus years was gone.

Enjoy your day! Yes, I know it is saturday!