ONE VOTE

Better late than never. Blog late. Sorry. Something arose that had to be dealt with. Pushing 2 in the afternoon as I begin.

Tomorrow will tell if Kavanaugh has made it to the Supreme  Court. The final vote.

Today, the Senate voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination Under Senate rules, the actual vote cannot take place for 30 hours.

It appears the matter will be settled by one vote. Two votes against required to defeat Kavanaugh’s nomination. Murkowski has advised she will be voting against. That leaves two additional no votes. Collins and Manchin.

Does either have the courage?

Chart Room last night. John, Steve and Cindy. Good conversation. Some dwelled on David Wolkowsky. Steve and Cindy lived in Key West in the 1970’s and observed Wolkowsky’s activities first hand. They also knew him. Cindy for many years was secretary to Jimmy Buffett. Wolkowsky and Buffet were partners in various business ventures.

My bedroom TV down again. This time for good. I cannot blame Comcast. The set is shot. Need to buy a new one.

The weather seems to be adjusting itself. Temperature down from 90 to 80. Last night cool. Weatherman predicts tonight will be clear and breezy. His heart tells us…..Stars on the water.

My dear friends Tom and Fran Dixon in Santorini. Envy them! One of the most beautiful places in the world. They sent me a photo of themselves. The look of happy honeymooners.

Tomorrow at 12:20 Syracuse/Pitt. Syracuse a 3 point favorite. I believe Syracuse will win by more than 20 points.

The International Monetary Fund is concerned the world economy might be at risk of another financial crisis. It reports debt is above the 2008 level. That and the fact that the banking system has failed to reform itself makes the Fund uncomfortable.

There are suspicions J. P. Morgan might be the Lehman Brothers of 2008. Several reasons. China’s debt is growing too rapidly. It is becoming volatile. Regulators are complacent. Finally, breaking of international agreements, especially by the Trump administration.

The talk is of a Great Depression.

Getting back to Kavanaugh and the Senate vote, it comes down to a battle between good and bad. From my perspective, Kavanaugh brings disrespect to the Court and could be the seed for a slow but deadly erosion beginning first with respect followed by decisions contrary to the public good.

The authoress Becca Fitzpatrick wrote: “Sometimes bad things have to happen before good things can.”

I hope she is correct.

Authoress Mackenzie Herbert wrote: “Bad things happen to good people. Rain always falls on the people who deserve nothing less than the sun.”

Happening to the women of the U.S. at the moment.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

RIP-OFF RAPID RESPONSE TEAM

Several years ago, a new type sales store appeared on Duval Street. A cosmetic shop. Sold all kinds of goodies to enhance a woman’s facial features.

Soon there were more such shops.

Each engaged in overcharging. Significantly. Unknown to the purchaser. A $300 purchase showing up on a customer’s credit card billing as $3,000 for example.

The police did not consider the problem criminal. The ripped off customer was left to suing the store directly. A long tedious process uncertain of success.

A handful of Key West citizens decided to do something about it. A vigilante committee of sorts.

The group organized the Rip-Off Rapid Response Team. They fought the cosmetic shops not with guns. Rather with signs and picketing. The signs reflecting the fraud involved.

The group almost immediately became successful. The cosmetic merchants did not want a bunch of vocal crazies (from their perspective) spoiling business.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has a front page story and photo of the group in action.

One of the cosmetic stores had overcharged/ripped off a 54 year old Vermont visitor to the tune of $9,752. It took sign carrying picketers 1 1/2 hours to get the store to capitulate. The cosmetic store reimbursed the ripped off man the $9,752.

Congratulations to the do gooders!

I have a concern, however. What continually happens in these situations is fraud. Clear and simple. Why do the police not deal with the problem?

Key West’s finest are the finest. I think our police force does an excellent job. However in this regard, they fail the public they serve.

My understanding is the police consider the rip-off a civil matter. Not a criminal one. Ergo, the defrauded person has to resort to civil remedies.

I don’t buy it. It’s like passing the buck, I don’t want to get involved.

A similar situation existed with the former Scrub Club on Duval. Men would go in understanding a “massage” was $300. When the credit card bill was received, it was $3,000. The police refused to get involved. Considered the wrongdoing a civil matter.

Comcast. A pain the ass! Finally got a repairman. Took five days.

Learned something I did not know. The repair people do not work for Comcast. Comcast contracts out the repair work. To a Tennessee company. The company maintains 7 repair men in the Key West area.

From what I could determine, the repair people are overloaded. My repair man showed up around 6 last night. Was due between 1 and 3.

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for my podcast show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Then the show at 9.

I have become sick and tired of Trump, Trump, Trump, in the news. All around us. Last night I did a show 95 percent non-
Trump. A change of pace. There are other things happening in the world we should be aware of, think about, discuss.

A point to be made with most of the topics. Of course, I made the point in each instance.

The show is archived. You can listen to it at any time at your convenience. You might especially enjoy listening to last night’s show. www.blogtalkradio/key-west-lou.

This week’s KONK Life on the stands. My column Right To Declare War. Congress’ right Constitutionally. However one that the Presidency has usurped since the Korean War. Interesting reading.

Pythons a dramatic problem in south Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Pythons sexually inclined. Now number in excess of one million. Most centered in the Everglades.

They can never be eliminated, eradicated. Too many. Hopefully, contained.

The State of Florida is always declaring war on the pythons. Last year, the State authorized 25 hunters to catch and kill them. A joke! Since March 2017, the 25 have caught 1,000 so far.

Like a drop of water in the ocean or adding a grain of sand to a beach.

Dentist appointment at 11:30. I think the endoscopy procedure might have screwed up an implant.

Enjoy your day!

GOING TO NEED NOAH’S ARK SOON

In my 30 years of living in and visiting Key West, I have never seen rain like we are experiencing. Especially this time of the year. May is normally a dry month. People talk about needing rain.

It poured again yesterday. All day! Heavy!

Streets are flooding that never flooded before. Amazing!

The Comcast saga continues. Repair man due yesterday between 1 and 3. Got a call at 2. Three to four hours behind. Will come tomorrow (today).

I have been without TV since thursday.

Visited Dr. Jones late afternoon. Received my various test results. No cancer. Do have a problem, however. Cleveland Clinic next for consultation. Surgery probable in due course.

I am ok. Mentally in tune with what is occurring.

Aqua after Dr. Jones. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Guest performer the lovely Laura Richardson. Laura the owner of Salt Gallery.

Met Laura’s parents. Both retired corporate attorneys. Key West residents. Enjoyed my conversation with her father. Her mom seated too far away for any meaningful conversation.

Rick Dery a director, also. He has directed Pride Follies for several years. This year’s show is June 2 at 8 in the evening at the Key West Theater.

Always a winner!

Word on the street is Bank of America on Southard closing. I have not been able to verify the information. If so, the building would make an excellent dance facility. I have always thought downtown Key West needed a place where everyone regardless of age could get out there and do their thing.

Zombies in southern Florida! Reported by a power outage alert sunday in Lake Worth. The outage affected 7,880 residents.

The “alert” reported power was lost “due to extreme zombie activity.” Obviously a bogus report. Or was it? Actual cause remains unknown.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Interesting topics. My opinions shared. Though not necessarily the same as those who are tuned in.

The show’s audience gets larger each week. I love it! My advertisers love it!

Join me for a fast moving half hour.

Pope Francis a breath of fresh air in the world of Catholicism. Two weeks ago, he said in speaking to a gay man: “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.”

The second time Francis has spoken in acceptance of homosexuality. A man of courage and conviction. The Bible tells us homosexuality is a sin.

Trump makes me laugh. He does not accept Venezuela’s election results. Phony, a sham. Earlier had threatened invasion. Now has fallen back to severe sanctions.

There are many tyrants elected in phony elections world wide. Putin, for example. Trump should threaten him and all other tyrants with invasion and/or severe sanctions.

Why pick and choose. Go after everyone.

The Trump administration continues on a fast track to dismantle Obama signature policies. Could Obama have been that wrong? Or is there another reason?

I suspect it may be because Obama is a person of color and Trump a racist. Or, it could be because Obama made fun of Trump at a White House Correspondents Dinner. When slighted, Trump has the memory of an elephant.

The Trump/Kim summit almost blew up. Trump may have saved it. John Bolton appears to have been the cause.

Bolton is crazy. A neo-con. A war hawk big time. Scares me.

In preliminary talks with North Korea, Bolton told the other side the U.S. supported a Libya Solution. Gaddafi was convinced to give up his nuclear program. Several years later, Gaddafi was found hiding in a sewer pipe, captured, tried and executed.

The North Koreans are not fools.

Some have suggested that Bolton’s meeting with his North Korean counterparts was an amateur hour.

The recent U.S./China trade talks another example of amateur hour play on the part of those representing the U.S. Nothing resolved. Problems kicked down the road.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mulchin should be sent back to Wall Street. He is neither qualified to be Treasury Secretary nor engaged in trade talks on behalf of the U.S.

Yesterday, Trump described Congressman Devin Nunes as “a very courageous man.” For pushing the DOJ and FBI for the name of an informant.

Recall Nunes’ support of Trump since day one. Running to the White House to report something that had happened in his Committee. More recently, having the House Intelligence Committee, which he Chairs, issue a majority report saying in effect no Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

I consider Nunes a stooge for Trump, an informant of sorts. He has forgotten his Congressional responsibilities in sucking up to the President.

An Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday causes me great concern. Note it was authored by Brigadier General Ronen Manelis of Israel’s Defense Forces.

The Jerusalem opening of the U.S. Embassy last week proved a disaster. At least initially. Now, I am not sure.

It was reported many Palestinians were protesting at the fence. On the Gaza side and unarmed. Israeli forces unloaded on them. Missiles, small fire, etc. Sixty two killed. Eight of them children. Two thousand seven hundred injured.

The world, including me, dumped on Israel.

Now it appears things may not have been as they appeared. Further investigation is required.

The Opinion claims the protest was funded by Hamas as a terrorist propaganda operation. Hamas provided free transportation to innocent citizens to the border, including women and children. These people were hired in effect as extras: $14 per person, $100 per family, and $500 if anyone was injured.

What is truth? The world should know.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

ROYAL WEDDING…..THE MOUNTAIN MOVED

Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding this morning a sight to behold. A royal wedding in all its splendor, yet simple.

I shed a few tears.

It was a wedding the likes of none would ever have thought could occur in stately conservative England. Megan a person of color. The ceremony combined her ancestry with that of England’s. The ceremony equally combining the traditions of the black and white races.

This coming together did not have its beginning today. It started with Prince Harry’s mother Diana. Were it not for her, the mountain would have not moved.

The ceremony signified the coming of a new age. A cultural togetherness. The door to a new era completely opened.

Comcast! Will the company ever learn? How Comcast has become the giant it is, I do not understand. The company cannot take care of the simple problems of its customers.

Yesterday, I could not change channels on my two TV sets with either remote. Spent a half hour on the phone. Comcast’s representative extremely helpful. But, could not solve the problem.

Advised me to go to nearest Comcast and ask for the XR-15. Comcast’s most recent remote. I told her service at the local Comcast completely inept. I had no choice, however.

Brought the old remotes as directed. Asked to trade for 2 XR-15’s. Was told they had no XR-15’s. Only 2 of the model I had brought in.

When can I get XR-15? I don’t know. I pressed, explaining I was told to get the XR-15. Asked her to bring my record up on the computer. No time. I was the only customer with 2 Comcast employees in attendance.

Seeing I was adamant (politely so), she now told me she had made a mistake. The 2 remotes she gave me were XR-15’s.

Who was bullshitting who here? I took the remotes and walked out. Too old to wage war. I assume the 2 new remotes should work bevcuse they are the same model I had returned.

My next problem is doing whatever has to be done to get the remotes synchronized with the sets. This is a task my generation was not prepared for.

The Chart Room and Hogfish last night. Especially enjoyed Hogfish. Sat at the corner of the bar and people watched.

A Conch train and a pedestrian came into contact early last evening near the intersection of Truman and White. The train was empty. The pedestrian thought to be homeless. He was helicoptered to Miami.

No further news available.

Bocce playoffs begin today. Assuming the courts are dry.

I miss playing.

My team Don’s Place did not make the playoffs. Sad. Maybe they need me back.

Larry Smith’s team Not Don’s Place did make the playoffs. I telephoned Larry to congratulate him.

Another school shooting yesterday. This time outside Houston, Texas. The Santa Fe High School. Ten dead, ten wounded.

Trump was on TV almost immediately. His usual utterings. Terrible, been going on for years, no decades. Like it is not his fault in any fashion. Claimed  he is committed to putting an end to the shootings.

Trump speaks with a forked tongue. He rattled in a similar fashion following the Parkland shooting 3 months ago which resulted in 17 deaths. Recall, he even brought students, teachers and parents to the White House. Said he was not afraid of the NRA. He was going to do something about the shootings.

Two weeks ago, Trump spoke before the NRA Convention. He was clear in his support:  You have a friend in the White House.

Relationships are disintegrating. Swifter than in previous times. Even world leaders speak openly in disparaging terms with those they disagree. Respect lacking.

Trump bears significant responsibility. He bad mouths everyone. A tough talker. The bully standing on the corner.

License to orally degrade has spread swiftly. Benjamin Netanyahu’s son an example. His name. Yair. Yesterday, Yair redid the wording on a Turkish flag and ran it on Instagram: Fuck Turkey.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

TRIP AROUND THE WORLD

No blog yesterday. I was not sick. Comcast was. No wi-fi or TV from 8 to 2:30. When Comcast returned, it was too late to do the blog. By the time I finished, it would have been at least 4. Many would have missed reading it.

A senior plague is falling. Do I know! Donna fell last night. Broke her left shoulder.

Donna was dining at Mangoes with Terri and friends. Stood up from the table. Took two steps and dropped. Appears she went straight down. Terri believes Donna passed out. Ended up with the fractured shoulder and a bloody nose.

Wednesday night was quiet. Dinner at Berlin’s and early to bed. Last night, quieter. Early to bed.

Things moving rapidly world wide. I want to share a few that may not have come to your attention.

The Koch Brothers. Richer than rich.  Part of the one percent.

It is reported the Koch Brothers spent $20 million supporting passage of the new tax law. A pittance compared to the $1 billion to $1.5 billion they will save in taxes alone.

A worthwhile investment.

The day after the House passed the tax bill in December, the Koch network made a $500,000 contribution to one of Speaker Ryan’s campaign accounts.

Another good investment.

There is a robot revolution. I have been talking about it for at least two years. Many are. Is Washington listening?

Robots and artificial intelligence are transforming the United States. Are we ready? Jobs are everything. The future is automated. Every job at risk.

I disagree with Trump when he says jobs are coming back. Companies, yes. Jobs not necessarily. Most large companies now situated in Europe that might return are automated. Rely big time on robots.

Our government does not seem to be doing enough, if anything, to prepare for the robotic way of production. There is neither discussion nor action.

Mubarak was a great Egyptian leader. Our friend. A friend of Israel. The U.S. deserted him when the revolution came. The new government jailed him.

The present Egyptian regime is authoritarian. On the verge of totalitarian. A recent experience may foretell what might occur in the United States.

Keep in mind Trump is authoritarian.

Egypt has a Presidential election in March. Don’t think because an election is scheduled that a country is democratic. Putin is facing one in Russia in a few months.

Egypt’s present President had his top opponent and thirty of his staff arrested tuesday. Some family members, also. Most jailed in unknown places.

Justification…..The arrests were part of Egypt’s wide ranging war on terrorism.

Most agree that Russia influenced the U.S.’s most recent Presidential election via the internet. The use of social media.

Our close friend Israel is now doing the same thing. Just as Russia did. Israel’s goal to flood the internet with comments favorable to candidates Israel would like to see elected. Israel’s purpose to promote desired content on social media and search engines, including Google, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Netanyahu is becoming a despot. I have not looked favorably upon him since he came to the U.S. to speak to a joint session of Congress. Invited by the Republicans. Not invited by Obama. The custom having been to be invited for a visit by the U.S. President.

Presently, Netanyahu a friend of Trump. Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that the U.S. embassy would be moving there.

China drifting further and further away from the U.S.

China has become best friends with Russia. China has built and continues to build islands in the South China Seas. Islands where none existed before. To be used as military airfields. In the last six years, the number of Chinese Navy vessels has increased dramatically. New up to date war machines.

Now, China is working on creating a superhuman army. A top secret till recently.

During the last three years, 86 Chinese citizens underwent surgery to dramatically alter their genes. Chinese doctors selectively edited DNA cells in the patient bodies and replaced them with stronger genetics.

The U.S government is aware and concerned.

The Chinese have been involved in cloning. The Chinese recently announced two healthy monkeys “born” of cloning. Considered a step closer to cloning a human. Probable. Monkeys are primates. Primates include monkeys, apes, and humans.

Trump in Davos. Scheduled to speak today.

The African nations are upset with Trump’s recent “shithole countries” comment.

The word is the African nations will walk out when Trump speaks.

Trump met with the head of the African Union yesterday.  Their talk amiable. Trump did not apologize.

Whether a walk out occurs will be interesting.

Enjoy your day!

COMCAST SUCKS

The world has changed! At least for me.

I was up at 6 yesterday morning. Did my research for the blog. Went to begin the blog at 8. No wi-fi. No TV, no land line also.

Called Comcast. Everything will be working at 11:18 said the recorded message. Came noon and still nothing. New recorded message said 11:30 in the evening.

I learned yesterday I cannot live without the internet. I needed to pound the keys to get the blog out. Then research into the afternoon re other matters. I was a druggie in withdrawal.

The Comcast problem is the reason there was no blog yesterday.

Two days of thoughts to share.

Syracuse got their asses whipped by Virginia tuesday night. Syracuse has lost its last 3 or 4 games. This keeps up and Syracuse will not even get into the NIT.

Yesterday’s Citizens’ Voice brought Forrest Gump to mind. His famous line…..Stupid is as stupid does.

The people of Florida have the fourth weakest credit in the United States. Key West rents are off the wall. Unaffordable for many. Three and four workers required to share an apartment.

Yesterday, Trump once again proved he is all heart. The billionaire President has started the process whereby States will be allowed to impose a work requirement on their Medicaid programs. To qualify, a person must prove he/she is working, training for a job, or volunteering. Exempted are the medically frail (whatever that means) and pregnant women.

Which brings me back to Forrest Gump and stupid is as stupid does.

Most of the Key West workers live pay check to pay check. They voted for Trump because he was going to make their lives better. Thus far he has not. Nothing has changed.

They still love Trump, however. Give him time, the Democrats are screwing him up, etc.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Let me go another step forward. Jared Kushner, son in law to the President, is a special adviser to the President. Sits at his right hand in the White House.

Kushner’s other life had him involved in real estate.

A federal position as Kushner has requires that his position not be used for personal gain.

Kushner accompanied Trump on Trump’s first visit to Israel. Kushner’s White House responsibility involves U.S.-Middle East policy. Which includes Israel.

Just before Kushner left on the trip, a major financial Israeli investment firm invested $30 million in Kushner’s real estate company.

The rich get richer, the poor poorer.

And yet, many Key West workers continue to have faith that Trump is Moses. He will lead them to the better life. Not going to happen. Stupid is as stupid does.

Two important events to report.

Ladies, January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Get checked! If you do not have a physician, Womankind will help.

My love of history will be satiated later this month. 1776 opens January 23 at the Waterfront Playhouse.

Enjoy your day!

 

TONIGHT…..ANDREAS FRANKE

A special exhibit tonight. At Seven Artists Gallery on Simonton. Vienna artist Andreas Franke. A passionate diver. His preference underwater art.

Seven Artists’ jewelry designer Jennifer Badry responsible for Franke’s exhibition.

Show time 5:30-8:30.

I am familiar with Franke’s work. Outstanding! Worth seeing.

Busy day yesterday.

Started with lunch at Harpoon Harry’s with Guy de Boer. KONK Life and KONK E-Blast publisher.

Guy an old friend. Responsible for my writings, etc. Got me started 12 years ago with a KONK Life column and Internet talk show.

Guy is helping promote Irma and Me. In the very near future, Louis  will be featured in a front full page picture advising the publication of Irma and Me, together with a short article inside. Guy did a similar scenario in 2014 when I wrote my first book The World Upside Down.

A good friend.

After lunch, Guy took me to a back yard to see the boat he is repairing. Actually, rebuilding. A 36 foot power boat. The vessel a victim of Irma. Another boat was thrown into one side. The other side slammed into a dock. The boat a mess.

Guy fears not. He works daily on putting the boat together. Per his explanation of what he was doing, it was obvious he was familiar with the repairs.

He got the boat for nothing following Irma. It was heading for the junk yard. Guy took it off the owner’s hands.

A major job! The boat is a mess.

Spent the afternoon reworking Growing Up Italian. Been working on it 4 years. Four rewrites. My next publication. Hopefully by Easter.

The Chart Room last night.

Key West is normally quiet following New Years till the first of February. Not this year. Key West continues to be packed this week. The season is here!

The Chart Room was body tight. I was lucky to get a seat when I came in. Someone in front of me was leaving.

Old home week. Sheila, David, Steve and Cindy. And Jean and Joe Thornton. My Irma saviors. I spent 12 days at their home in Birmingham escaping Irma.

I was not aware Jean and Joe had returned. Turns out they have been here a week already.

While I was working on Growing Up Italian in the afternoon, a call came in from Jean. I did not answer. I did not want to interrupt my thought wave. They come and go so I have to be careful. Retention difficult in my old age.

I forgot to call Jean back till I was in the Chart Room at 7. Made my apologies. Jean said she and Joe would be with us shortly.

The reason Jean had called was to invite me to dinner. She had cooked one of her specialties. Chili and corn bread. To compensate, she brought a container of chili with her to the Chart Room. My lunch today.

Met a very interesting fellow at the bar. Paul. From London. We spoke for at least an hour. London, the U.S., travel, business, etc. To bad he leaves today. We agreed we hoped to meet again when he returns next year. This was his fourth visit to Key West.

Today, he leaves for Majorca. He and his wife have a vacation home there.

Then a quick stop to Publix. Out of diet food.

I have been at the diet since November 27. Cheated only Christmas eve and Christmas day. I am not losing. Stuck on 10 pounds since mid December. Depressing. I am losing inches. Clothes loser. Wearing clothes I could not get into.

Today going to be another busy one. A pedicure and manicure with Tammy at 1. Dinner tonight with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri. Donna cooking. Pot roast!

A couple of Trump comments.

Fire and Fury seems to be doing a number on him. If only 20 percent true, still devastating.

The book has opened a Pandora’s box. Brought Trump’s mental stability to the fore front. Dangerous for him. I have considered the President a nut since the primaries. He is not equipped to be a President.

It was announced yesterday that Trump had opened east and west coast waters to oil drilling. A disaster in the making. One big spill and environmental ruination for years to a vast portion of ocean.

The oil drilling thing an example of Trump sucking up to and pursuing the interests of big business.

Another Trumpy. Trump told us the huge corporate tax cut would add thousands of jobs. Comcast announced yesterday it let go 500 employees.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CELIBACY SYNDROME…..A FLIGHT FROM HUMAN INTIMACY

Back to normal. Three hundred sixty five days till Christmas again. A well earned rest.

The Japanese continue to move away from sex. Would you believe! I wrote about the situation several years ago. It remains ongoing and getting worse.

Especially with the young. One study indicates forty five percent have given up on sex. Women 16-24, 25 percent of the men. One third of those under 30 have never dated. Most believe love leads nowhere.

Another study suggests even higher numbers. Forty nine percent of women 18-34 and 61 percent of unmarried men have turned their backs on sex. They are not interested in any kind of romantic relationship.

True celibacy. A flight from intimacy. In addition to not being interested, many despise sex. Hard to believe. Such is the case, however.

No sex creates a problem. A big one. A diminishing population. Births thus far this year are just below 941,000. The lowest number since births began being recorded in 1899.

Several reasons are attributed for the movement away from sex. The economic stagnation of the past 20 years. A continuing nuclear scare. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The radioactive meltdown.

The men claim they cannot afford marriage. Job security no longer exists in Japan. Job uncertainty does. Women do not want them.

Young Japanese women have entered the work place. Most are successful. Much demanded of them. They do not wish to have a job and care for a family. Too much work involved. They prefer dinners at top restaurants with their girl friends and traveling. The ladies can personally satisfy their sexual needs personally.

Women consider marriage a grave.

Talk about cultural change. What is happening in Japan is a big one!

Lisa’s for dinner last night. Tons of left overs from Christmas eve.

Stopped at Don’s Place on the way home. Wanted to wish friends a Merry Christmas. Spent some time with David, Frankie and Sandy. Sissy bartending.

Key West is recovering well from Irma. Twenty miles up the Keys, they are not. From Cudjoe to Marathon, the mess remains. Cleanup and repair moving at snail’s pace.

FEMA did well initially. FEMA has already spent $118 million in Monroe County.

Much that remains is for the State and County to do. Therein I believe lies the problem. Neither the State nor County expected the devastation Irma wrought. The problem exceeded anything they imagined or planned for.

Self-help still available. Homeowners, neighbors and friends continue pitching in and helping. The Federal, State and County must up their efforts. If the recovery is too much for the State and County, it has to be even more/worse for those engaged in self-help.

I worry. About war.

Marine Commandant General Robert Neller speaking to troops in Norway said war could come. In the next year. In Russia and the Pacific Theater.

In December 1888, Van Gogh chopped off the lower part of his left ear with a razor. History tells us he was a bit off mentally.

No wonder. As an artist, he lived off his earnings from the sale of his paintings. In his entire career, he sold only one painting.

Following the ear cutting event, Van Gogh painted a picture of himself with a head bandage covering the ear. It sold years later in the millions. As most of Van Gogh’s paintings have.

Difficult to find anyone who speaks well of Comcast. A difficult vendor to have for TV, wi-fi, and landlines. Service the worst!

Washington State has decided to take Comcast on. The Attorney General has initiated a lawsuit charging Comcast with misselling its Service Protection Plan. The issue who pays for service call bills. Seventy three million dollars involved over a 5 year period.

Go Washington State!

Podcast time tonight! My blog talk radio show. Nine my time.

Between Trump and world events, there is always much to talk about. I never run out of material. This evening no exception. The ills and misdeeds of the world exposed. Here and there, a story that warms rather than chills the heart.

A fast moving half hour. Boring the show is not. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

THE ANGEL ON TOP OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Christmas eve and Christmas day both important. Most Italian-Americans give a bit more attention to Christmas Eve.

Whether the day before Christmas or Christmas day itself, each I would describe as a conspiracy of love. Even relatives who avoid each other all year, bury their animosities. Everyone kumbaya.

The dinner the night of Christmas Eve a big deal. The end of several days of preparation. The day itself further preparation.

Cooking smells permeate the house. A big fish dinner ahead. Seven fishes.

In spite of all the preparation and planning, there are snafus. Last minutes ones. Additional groceries to buy. Last minute gift shopping. Grandma getting her hair done. Wrapping presents (takes forever and many hands), setting the table, finish decorating the tree, some one cannot make it on time, etc.

The conspiracy of love is pure confusion! It reaches its high point and ultimate reward when all sit down to dinner. Anywhere from 10 to 30 guests.

Card tables set up all over the place. Age determines who sits at the dining room table. Some adults are still relegated to the card tables at 25. Since tiny tots. Waiting to move up.

The meal spectacular! Grandmom and Mom did their usual best. Everyone enjoys! Grandmom and Mom taking special pleasure in seeing their family seated all around and enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Which brings me to a comparable story. One involving confusion leading to Christmas warmth. And a special reward!

Joan Lunden for more than 20 years was host of Good Morning America. When she left, she turned to writing. Became an acclaimed journalist.

Eighteen years ago, Emotional Health printed one of her short stories. It was about Santa Claus and a bad day he was experiencing Christmas eve day.

Four of Santa’s elves were sick. The trainer elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones.

Santa began to feel pressure.

Mrs. Santa told him her mother was coming. Such increased Santa’s stress more.

Santa went out to harness the reindeer. Not all were in shape to travel the skies that evening. Three were about to give birth.  Two others had jumped the fence. To where, Santa knew not.

Santa began to load the sleigh. One of the floor boards cracked and a toy bag fell to the ground. Toys scattered all over.

Santa had had it for the moment. He needed a drink. Went inside for a cup of apple cider and shot of rum.. He went to the cupboard. Only to discover that the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.

He accidentally dropped the empty cider jug. Broke into hundreds of pieces all over the kitchen floor.

Santa went to get the broom to clean up. Only to discover the mice had eaten all the straw at the end of the broom.

Just then, the door bell rang. The noise further irritated Santa. Obviously not having a good day.

He rushed to the door and yanked it open. There stood an angel. Holding a large Christmas tree.

The angel said cheerfully, “Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?”

The thrust of the story. After all the exasperations experienced, there finally comes a time when joy abounds. The angel at Santa’s door with the tree, the Italian family sitting down to Christmas eve dinner.

Another reason, also. The story explains the tradition why in many homes, a little angels sits at the top of the Christmas tree.

Love Christmas Eve! I look forward tonight to dinner with Lisa and the family.

Enjoy your day!