LOUIE’S BACKYARD

My yesterday included a visit to the dentist. When younger, I went with fear and trepidation.

Now, no sweat. I have implants. A once a year visit to check them out.

I left the dentist’s office at 3:30. Diana Millikan was to meet me at 4:30 at Louie’s Backyard. I decided to spend an hour alone and so went directly to Louie’s.

The restaurant not one of my favorite places. The outside bar in the back is. Sits on open water. The Atlantic to the right, center and left. Sun shining bright. A sailing boat or two in the distance.

God’s world!

Dog’s Beach runs along the side of Louie’s. A small beach. No more than 30 feet wide. Really for dogs. They were on the beach and swimming as I entered.

College students also. They had discovered Dog Beach. They have much to learn. Never would I lie or run around on Dog Beach. Animal excrement everywhere.

Chatted with a fellow seated next to me. Involved with Las Vegas casinos. Comes to Key West twice a year to dive.

He was experiencing a problem. He had gone through four masks yesterday. The first three kept filling with water. Thought it was his mustache. Cut it back three times yesterday till he got a tight fit.

Diana showed up. Diana is an excellent researcher. I would describe her as an investigative researcher. Brought a Key West book with her for my scrutiny. Maureen Ogle’s History of An Island of Dreams.

The little I browsed through interesting. Very.

I frequently mention William Hackley. The Key West Citizen runs daily excerpts from his diary. The year 1856.

Ogle wrote about Hackley some 25 years earlier in the late 1820’s and 1830 when he first arrived in Key West.

Some of Ogle’s observations warrant I begin with her overall view of Key West. Then, Hackley.

Key West was described as the crossroads of the Caribbean. World wanderers found their way to Key West. In the 1820’s and 1830’s, it was a man’s world. More men than women. The men mostly tough.

By day, they crowded the taverns, boarding houses, docks, and shops. Waiting for the next new wreck to be announced. Key West was a ship wrecking town.

Lawyers and agents were a different breed. They lounged on shady verandas in white linen suits and straw hats. Smoking Cuban cigars.

Night time, all type men were drinking and boozing. Everyone woke the next morning with a first class hangover.

Now comes William Hackley. A young lawyer. Late 1820s.

Hackley was a bit naive, socially retarded. Not worldized yet.

In 1830, he attended a 20 person dinner party. Four of the 20 were women. It was the first time Hackley had “eaten in the company of ladies.” He reported several of the ladies “got a bit merry.” Whatever that means.

It was not till the early 1850’s that Hackley married.

Callie Morehouse sat next to me. First time I meeting her. She is the Owner/Private Chef of Provisions of Key West. Does large parties and dinner parties.

An interesting lady.

With her was a younger friend from Paris. A beauty!

My eyes still work.

I dropped Diana off at her hotel and was home by 6. I am dieting once again. Wanted to prepare my own meal.

Today quiet. A manicure. Tonight, bocce.

I was shocked to learn Mike Hopkins is the new basketball coach at Washington. He has hung out 22 years at Syracuse waiting to succeed Boeheim. Next year was supposedly the year. I am not sure what happened.

My Trump comment today simple. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. So too will Trump.

I read something re healthcare by Kathryn Norris this morning. She described the health care bill as Reverse-Robin-Hood. Take from the poor and give to the rich. She viewed the bill as trading affordable healthcare for millionaire tax breaks.

Patrick Henry. On this day in 1775, he uttered the famous words “…..give me liberty or give me death.”

Heard from Anna this morning. She is in London. She was in London yesterday during the terrorist attack.

She has had similar experiences including the earth quake near her Novara home and an avalanche near Courmayeur where Anna has a chalet half way up Mont Blanc.

Claims she is “lucky.”

Enjoy your day!

 

NATHAN HALE

Nathan Hale. An American Revolutionary War hero.

Hale was 21. A Yale graduate. Then school teacher. Joined the Connecticut regiment to fight in the War. Appointed a captain.

New York City was occupied by the British. The colonists needed a spy to enter New York City ascertain British troop size and location. Hale volunteered.

He spent several days in New York carrying out his responsibility. The British were not stupid. They knew there was a spy in their midst. They were closing in on Hale. Finally, captured him.

British General Howe himself said to Hale that he would be hung in the morning. No trial. Not that one would have helped much.

As Hale was being led to the gallows, it is claimed he uttered the famous words…..”I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Historians question whether Hale uttered the words. Written documentation lacking.

Another reason is that there is an early 1700’s poem containing similar wording.

Whatever, it is good for us to believe Hale so spoke.

Harpoon Harry’s for lunch yesterday. My usual. Ham and eggs and fries. Then a walk along the waterfront.

A mid afternoon visit to the dentist. Dr. George Linder. Nothing wrong. A routine yearly visit to check my implants. A thorough examination of the entire mouth. Well worth the visit.

Last night for cocktails at Aqua’s Back Door. Mark Watson bartending. He bartends every wednesday night. That is why I go.

I was there quite a while. A number of people I knew came in. Good company all! Donna and Terri. Zoey. Zoey’s real name is Zorica. She is a native of Macedonia. Manages Aqua’s liquor and cigarette store attached to Aqua.

Jimmy Olson and Jimmy back from New Hampshire.

A lady named Lisa.

Big day for Donna! A bit tired also. First day at work. She can be found three days a week at the Butterfly Conservatory.

The cosmetic stores on Duval continue to be involved in fraud and chicanery. I do not understand why the City/Codes does not close them down.

The most recent incident involves a 70 year old tourist. She purchased a few items. Not much. When she received her credit card statement in the mail, the charge was in excess of $5,000. The matter has been reported and the police are investigating.

Citizen activity is growing in Key West. A vigilante approach in some instances.

Re the cosmetic shops, The Key West Rip Off Response Team. They have picketed some of these establishments in the past. They too are looking into the $5,000 over billing.

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice tells the story of a Georgia free range chicken farm where bald eagles are eating up the profits.

Some 15 years ago, I was sitting outside the old Paradise Cafe enjoying Cuban toast and coffee. A mother hen with 5 little chicks were walking by. The chicks in an orderly line.

All of a sudden, I heard a loud swoosh. I looked up. There were two hawks carrying off two of the chicks. The mother hen and three remaining chicks moved on as if nothing happened.

I do not know the difference between a bald eagle or hawk or any similar bird. The two I saw might very well have been bald eagles.

Homeschooling is big in Florida. The Key West Art & Historical Society has announced a new program to support homeschoolers. Two hours a month. To add/supplement to what  is being taught at home.

If anyone is interested, the Custom House’s Director of Education Adele Williams should be contacted.

Syracuse/Connecticut saturday. Connecticut a 5 point favorite. Time to win another one!

Enjoy your day!

EVERYTHING GREEN TODAY

St. Patrick’s Day again! Everyone Irish!

This is Spring Break time in Key West. Will add to today’s revelry.

The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade occurred in New York City. Irish soldiers serving in the British Army in 1762 decided to celebrate their homeland.

I marched twice in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parades. I was in Manhattan College’s Air Force ROTC. Still recall the sharp eyes right each time we passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Another recollection is the partying. Big! The best day of the year!

Visited the dentist yesterday. Check-up time. Even implants get checked.

The dental assistant doing the checking irritated me. She kept treating me like an old man. Late twenties lady. When she mentioned how sad it was that I was unable to get out evenings and party, I said…..Lady, I party more than you and have more fun than you!

Started the evening at Don’s Place. Don, Stan and Clare. Great conversation. The conversations should be recorded and placed on You Tube.

Don and I were to eat together. Don decided he was not eating. I had to eat. Skipped lunch. I was famished.

I went to Outback. Thought I might not be able to get a seat. Outback is crowded during season same as Duval restaurants.

The place was empty. Only about 1/3 full. Four persons at the bar, including me.

One of the best evenings I have enjoyed chatting with those round me.

To my right, a couple. We started with the NCAA tournament. Then the Hungarian revolution, Hungary today, Flora, Albania, and cursive writing.

Never got their names. He was 80, she 43. He the best 80 I have ever seen. Still working. At Publix. A butcher. She originally from Hungary. Has been in Key West three years.

They were celebrating their two year anniversary. I congratulated them. Two years married or partnered? No. Two years living together? No, we live separate. We met two years ago.

Typical Key West. Any reason to celebrate.

We got into handwriting. I mentioned my column re the issue. She knew kids are not being taught to write today. He did not.

A waitress overheard the conversation. She came over and joined in. Knew everything about cursive writing. Was unhappy her children were not being taught handwriting.

The fellow several seats to my left joined in. Then came over. He was really into the failure to teach cursive writing in most schools today.

My KONK Life column was Goodbye Handwriting.. Of all the issues I have written about over the years, this garnered the most comment. In writing and on the street. I was amazed! I feared people might be bored with the subject.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board met with County Commissioners last night. The Board is pushing for a new building. $4.2 million. It would require raising taxes 10, 15 and 14 percent respectively over the next three years. The group insisted taxes had to be raised immediately.

The Mosquito Control group is an entity unto themselves. They do an excellent job. Ergo, no one bothers them. They generally ask and receive. High ranking staff are paid excessive salaries. Extremely so.

I say lets hold up a moment. The group has brass testicles asking for an immediate tax increase to pay for a building not yet even approved by the County Commission. Some Commission members heard the $4.2 million figure for the first time.

My immediate concern with the Mosquito Control Board is its intention to test GMO mosquitoes. The Mosquito Control Board wants to test them for the British Company Oxitec. The test would take place on the island where I live. Key Haven. Key Haven  is small. You could put it in your back pocket.

I am opposed to the testing. I do not believe my neighbors, our island and I should be used as guinea pigs.

After six years, the FDA came out last week with its determination re the use of GMO mosquitoes.. The FDA said the process was effective and safe. I questioned it then and now.

There is a lot of preaching going around that the use of GMO mosquitoes should not be held up in view of the safe and effective declaration by the FDA.

Sometimes people do not know. Many not properly informed.

The FDA regulates the genetic material introduced into the mosquito. The genetic material is safe and effective for mosquitoes. No federal determination has ever been made with regard to its safety as regards humans.

My message simple. Do not be mislead when told the FDA ruled safe and effective.

Fantasy Fest is back in the news. Some City Commissioners want the City to stop making its contribution to Fantasy Fest. The group who run the event are unfunded this year. The several year contract with the City ran out. Fantasy Fest is six months away.

There is no rush in arriving at a determination apparently. The vote to extend the contract one year while matters are further looked into has been adjourned one month.

Typical of governmental mentality in the Keys. Determinations are made too fast or too slow.

Enjoy your day!

BUBBA SYSTEM AT WORK

Key West politicians take care of their own. Meaning Key Westers. In Key West called the Bubba System. What these politicos forget is that those they are protecting against generally are locals also.

The Uber handling thus far a disgrace. Shades of Duck tours.

It is easy to understand what occurred. When local cab companies and cab drivers became aware Uber was coming, they complained to City Commission members. The City Commission took care of their own. They passed an ordinance making it illegal for Uber to operate.

There are only 72 permits available for cabs in  Key West. Four cab companies the owners. Permits hard to get. There has not been a permit available for 26 years.

The new ordinance made it a crime in effect for drivers to operate under Uber auspices (though Uber was not mentioned specifically in the ordinance), subjected drivers to arrest and jail upon conviction, and worst of all provided that no jury trial would be available. The lack of right to a jury trial specific evidence of the intent of the City Commission to stand solidly behind locals to the detriment of others.

A we’ll get them attitude. The same attitude that cost Key West taxpayers $8 million in the Duck Tours case.

I am motivated to write about Uber once more because this morning’s Key West Citizen tells the story of a local who drove under Uber. He recently had lost a $900 a month management job. Uber was his God send. A way to make up the money. And not at $10-12 an hour. He was arrested yesterday by two undercover police officers. Sounds like a major drug bust!

The City Commission forgets Key West has many outside companies that provide jobs for locals and provide a specific service to residents. Think about it. Gap, Banana Republic, McDonald’s, Sears, Outback. Even hotels. The Pier House, La Concha, and the Southernmost Complex.

My yesterday was the anti-gravity treadmill, my dentist Dr. George Lindner, and researching for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Topics include how the U.S. has lost its way, Iran, the French Revolution, a Greece update, El Salvador refusing to use Monsanto herbicides, China not sitting on its ass, and more.

Join me at 9 o’clock for a fast moving interesting show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Th U.S./Iran deal announced this morning. I am fearful. I do not trust middle east nations. Iran and Saudi Arabia two examples. What they promise and what they ultimately do two different things. The U.S. is fortunate Israel is not buying in. Israel will bomb the hell out of Iran if their suspicions turn into realities.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..” Opening words of Charles Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities. A story of the French Revolution. Today is the anniversary of the event. On this day in 1789, the French people went to the streets, stormed the Bastille, etc.

Enjoy your day!

KEY WEST SECEDES

Even in this day and age, secession is a part of our political diatribe. My recollection is Texas was the last state to threaten secession. Governor Perry so announced on one of his soap box days a couple of years ago.

Secession was on the mind of Key West this day in 1982. The U.S. Border Patrol had done its damage and was to be tolerated no more. A group of Key Westers visited the roadblock at Florida City and announced Key West would tolerate the situation no more.

Key West seceded. The Conch Republic was born.

I had an early morning visit with my dentist yesterday. My implants were implanted no more. The problem was as I thought. Two screw caps had worn down. They were replaced and voila!, it was as if nothing had occurred. Took all of five minutes.

I can remember dentist visits back in time. As far back as the late 1930s. Dentistry was brutal in those days. Dentists hurt! Each visit was with fear and trepidation.

As with Virginia Slims…..Dentistry, you have come a long way baby!

I rested most of yesterday. Monday and tuesday had left me tired.

It was back to Louie’s Backyard for drinks last night. The weather was perfect.

I was heading for a small table near the end of the bar. Someone had a huge black dog. He jumped at me. Suddenly. Scared the hell out of me. Fortunately, he was on a leash. Fully extended, the leashed dog and I were inches apart.

I did an immediate about face and headed for a table at the other end of the deck.

Then to Ibis for dinner. I was in the mood for stone crabs again. Ibis’ stone crabs were much better last night than they had been a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed the meal.

Big day ahead! A haircut this morning, physiotherapy this afternoon, and bocce tonight. Amazing how in retirement the mundane becomes important.

Enjoy your day!

 

BIONIC DENTISTRY / REAGAN AND THE MILITARY

 

Sunrise this morning was a fiery orange ball breaking through a bank of dark gray clouds. Pretty.

Busy day yesterday. Began with the dentist. One of my implants was screwed up. Actually, not screwed any longer. Something fell out. A tiny gasket. Took all of ten minutes to correct. These implants are amazing. I feel like the bionic man. Bionic as far as my teeth are concerned.

After the dentist, I went over to Publix. Robert was sick and had a fever. Lisa wanted popsicles for him.

I spent the rest of the day working on You Tube. The technical aspects. Like where to do the show from. It will be my home. But where specifically?  I decided to move around. Inside and out, depending on the day.

I was hopeful You Tube would be locked in by the end of this week. It will not. I now suspect it will take till the end of next week.

Lisa telephoned in the middle of the afternoon. She needed me to babysit a while. She had to pick up Ally from school. It was easy. Robert was sound asleep on the couch. He looked sick.

I spoke with Corey this morning. Robert is still aching. Still sick. But on the mend. He ate last night which was good. He was still asleep. Unusual for Robert. He is generally awake by six. It is now 8:30.

My plan was to start with the Chart Room last night. I never made it. I opted instead to stay in. I read. I am still reading Rachel Maddow’s book Drift. I dislike her writing style. Her paragraphs are loaded with details and her opinions. Too much of both. Makes for difficult reading.

The story itself is interesting, if you can hang in there. Has to do with the use of military power by Presidents. Assuming her research of the Reagan years is correct, Reagan mislead everyone as to Grenada and the strength of Communist Russia. I find it amazing that she has come up with facts to support her premise. I consider Reagan to have been one of our great Presidents. Even if what she says about Reagan is true, his results overshadow the means used to achieve them. I recall President Johnson saying once that Presidents have to be devious. He gave us Vietnam.

Enjoy your day!