SHITHOLE COUNTRIES

“Shithole countries…..”

Racist. Bigoted.

Nordic. Aryan.

Authoritarian today. Totalitarian tomorrow.

Democracy being tested as never before.

Finally! Got new eyeglasses yesterday. Took 2 months and 3 prescriptions. I can see! Everything distinct and visible. Street signs, buildings, etc. Colors vibrant. Like when I had cataracts removed 35 years ago.

Dinner last night at La Trattoria with Jean Thornton. My  Birmingham hostess following my escape from Irma. Husband Joe was supposed to join us. He has pneumonia. Very tired.

They return to Birmingham today. Will return 3 months from now. Two months at home in Birmingham followed by a one month trip to some part of Europe.

Following dinner, Jean went to Vino’s and I to the Chart Room.

I was to meet Kentucky David at the Chart Room. He was waiting when I arrived.

Met David here a few years ago. He and his wife are snowbirds. They own a second home in Bahama Village. Kentucky home. David a die hard Kentucky fan.

The blog brought us together. Occasionally, we watch a game together at Jack Flatts. On an evening when both Syracuse and Kentucky are playing. Though not each other. We sit at the bar next to each other. Two TV sets in front of us. One with the Syracuse game, the other Kentucky.

David has taken to writing. A mystery. He told me about it.

Takes place in Key West. His fact pattern amazing. David has a vivid imagination. Characters and events I could never come up with.

My publisher advised me once to write a mystery or love story. They sell the best, he said.

I could not get into the mystery. I lacked the necessary imagination. Tried a love story. Publisher said lots of sex. Thought the writing would be a snap. No, again. I found it difficult to put on paper that which I might have experienced.

Met Laura and Jamey. From Iowa City, Iowa. Told them how much I admired Iowans. Shared with them the loving story of my Iowa friends Cindy and Tom.

Jamey sells financial products. Laura a stay at home Mom. Three children.

Laura and Jamey were married at the Pier House 9 years ago. They have returned to Key West once a year since.

Walmart announced yesterday that the new tax law made it possible to do something for its employees. The starting hourly wage was raised to $11 an hour, employee benefits expanded, and bonuses up to $1,000 depending on length of employment.

Sounded good.

Walmart failed to announce plans to close  60 or 63 Sam’s Clubs. Affects 11,000 employees. They received notices of the closings via FedEx during the day. Some went to work before receiving the notice to find locked doors and signs indicating the closing.

Give with one hand and take back with the other. Hero and heel at the same time.

I am old enough to remember Amos ‘n’ Andy. A popular radio show when I was a kid. A comedy.

Two fast talking black men from the Deep South who moved to Chicago to seek their fortunes. However, the black men were not black. They were white men imitating black men. Freeman Gosden and Charles Carrell.

Amos ‘n’ Andy became the most popular radio program in American history. Ran 22 years.

I mention Amos ‘n’ Andy because I recall frequently listening to it. And because on this day in 1926, the show first aired.

Broadway Joe Namath. Alabama football star. New York Jets star quarterback.

Super Bowl III time. Pro football divided into two leagues. The NFL and AFL. The AFL relatively new. The NFL tried and true. Considered superior.

Two teams met this date in 1969 in Super Bowl III. New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts. The money on the Colts.

Three days before the game, Namath announced to the world the Jets would win. In fact, he guaranteed it.

The Jets did win. 17-6. One of the greatest upsets in American sports history.

Enjoy your day!

 

IRMA AND ME…..5 HOURS

Spent five straight hours working on Irma and Me yesterday afternoon. Noon to 5. Completed rough draft and sent it off to the publisher.

Still have to work on the Index, Introduction, Acknowledgements, a FINI segment, add pictures, and put together a cover.

Poor Liz. My dear friend. I visited her in the hospital early evening last night. She has been in 8 days. Her diabetes out of control. She has been a diabetic since birth.

Liz is my older friend. She is 83, one year older than me.

I admire her. She has an excellent mind. Liz was Dean of two law schools.

One of the things discussed was how the NBA would handle its basketball players from a legal perspective should they opt to kneel when the National Anthem is played. The NBA season begins soon.

We discussed death also. Quite a jump from basketball to death. Death is something persons my age and Liz’s think about on occasion. Not a morbid talk. I would characterize it as inquisitive.

An excellent Chart Room last night. Many tourists. Interesting because the streets were empty.

Met Lisa and Greg. Visiting from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Two children. A son 23 and daughter 16. Lisa especially charming. She is a school proctor. Greg manager of a distributing company.

They visit Key West 3-4 times a year. Plan on some day buying here.

Then came the Cat! Her name. Actually a nick name. Short for Catherine.

Cat was at the other end of the bar. Told Shaun to buy me a drink. We had not talked yet. Not even a hello or nod of the head. I first refused, then said why not!

Cat is from Iowa. One of my favorite places. Told her of my dear friends Cindy and Tom. I do not recall what city Cat was from.

Cat a sharp woman. Had to be to buy me a drink! I joke. Smart because she is a CPA. My greatest asset for more than 40 years was my CPA Bill Hatfield. I made no economic moves without his advice. Which I always followed.

Cat’s husband is Kenny. A cattle baron of sorts. Sells cattle.

Cat returns for Fantasy Fest. Bringing a group of friends with her. We discussed beads, Sloppy Joe’s toga party, etc.

Cat a fun person. Hope I run into her at Fantasy Fest.

Now came Jill. It was my night!

Jill has been in Key west 30 years. We never met till last night. She is a bartender at Rum Barrel. Studied English at Western State and Colorado. Most Key West bartenders are college educated. Bartenders because they make more money at bartending than they would in another pursuit.

Jill benefited when Irma hit. She was vacationing in Portugal and could not return. Lucky her!

It was after 9 and I still had not eaten. Drove to Tavern ‘n Town for the 9-11 Happy Hour. Sat at the bar, read the newspapers while enjoying an order of fried calamari.

This Las Vegas incident horrific! Fifty plus dead, 200 plus wounded. Described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Crazy people are always with us.

A truism. One which involves Trump. Never fails. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction.

Trump does not listen. He shoots from the hip. Does things his way. Fails to take into account repercussions. Fails to follow the advice of advisers.

He knows everything.

A wonder!

Trump decided to pick on Venezuela. Felt sorry for the people. He sanctioned Venezuela, banks were restricted from doing business with Venezuelan entities, etc.

He also threatened Maduro. Made comments that sounded like a military effort might follow.

I understand Venezuela. I have followed Maduro since he became President more than 4 years ago. A bad President. A corrupt one, also.

Venezuela ran out of toilet paper soon after he first took office. Venezuela still does not have enough toilet paper. Then Venezuela ran out of food, jobs, etc. Terrible conditions have existed for more than 4 years. Increasingly worse with each passing day.

I have maintained that Venezuela’s problems are their own. Within. A civil war is required to change things. The problem is the people of Venezuela do not have the balls to stand and revolt. They threaten, come close, but never make it.

Venezuela is not our problem. Venezuela presents no threat to the United States.

I suspect Trump might be interested in Venezuela because of its oil reserves. It has the largest oil deposits in the world. Invade under one pretense and take control of Venezuela’s oil might be the Trump motivation.

Sorry for the long introduction re the point I want to make.

Years ago, the U.S. got a rule into effect which most countries to this day follow. Any purchases of oil must be accomplished by the use of U.S. dollars. OPEC supported. Referred to as petrodollars. Keeps our dollar sound.

Maduro has said screw you to Trump. He announced last thursday that all businesses signing contracts with  Venezuela would do so in a foreign currency other than the U.S. dollar.

He intends for Venezuela to primarily use the Chinese yuan. China is thrilled. As is Russia who is in the middle of everything.

China wants its yuan to replace the dollar. Other countries are already in China’s fold.

China is and has been in an economic war with us. They are subtly beating the U.S. At every turn.

Trump does not see it. He would rather threaten military action rather than understand the ongoing economic war and its consequences.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Enjoy your day!