BATMAN’S PENIS

Batman well hung!

DC Comics publishes Batman comic books. Under its DC Black Label, it recently published a new Batman comic book. A first edition.

I did not see the comic book. I read about it. Batman’s penis covered by his costume. However, easy to discern. Reported as admirable.

The comic book was immediately taken off the market when a furor arose. I suspect the penis exhibit was accidental. The result of an overzealous artist.

The comic book is destined to become a become a collector’s item. Inevitable.

DC Comics reported that it will publish a series of comic books involving comic book heroes aimed at a mature audience. Batman will return in his natural glory. Wonder Woman in hers.

A dinner party again last night at Andrea and Joe’s. I am beginning to like this! Two Julia Childs. Andrea and Donna got up early yesterday morning and grocery shopped. Then spent the day together cooking.

Everything good! Many tastes! I even had a huge pina colada. Joe enjoys them. The last time I had a pina colada was 6 years ago in Aruba. I would start at 10 in the morning. Get a new one every 2 hours while laying under a beach umbrella. Each with a double shot of rum.

David and Marilyn Taylor Key West friends no more. Irma bothered Marilyn. They sold their home and returned to Kentucky. David and I would watch basketball games together. David wrote also. He would share his writings with me.

David and Marilyn are on a trip. Presently, Prague. Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic. Many Key Westers visit. It has become the new playland for gays. David and Marilyn are not of such persuasion.

They are staying at the Prague Hilton. Eight hundred rooms. Every U.S. President since George 1 has stayed there. David’s sole complaint, no Chart Room.

The hotel is built on a river.  The river has a tendency to flood. The builders/architects of the hotel came up with a unique idea for handling flood waters.

When a flood is anticipated, public rooms on the first 2 floors are flooded with fresh water. When the river rises, the water, sewage and debris cannot enter the hotel. The water inside equalizes that of the rising river. The damage resulting less, the clean up easier.

The concept was tested in 2002 when the river rose to its highest level ever. Everything worked as expected.

Washington governmental leaders have ceased to amaze. Nothing surprises me. Stupidity and delay common place.

Two recent examples.

Secretary of State Pompeo has his hands full with Iran, North Korea, Russia, the tariff wars, etc. Trump has never hired enough persons to work at State. Many jobs open. Understaffed.

Pompeo recently issued 2 memos. He is unhappy with how his people write. They use too many commas. He prefers the Oxford comma which uses less. Teaching manuals have been circulated. The command…..Write using the Oxford comma.

I never heard of the Oxford comma. Researched it. Per Pompeo, it does use fewer commas. However fewer lead to confusion.

Google the Oxford method and you will understand.

I cannot recall ever being taught correct comma usage. It is something I suspect we all picked up along the way. I am staying with my old and true.

U.S. Senators, especially Republican ones, are complaining. Russia and some other countries are hacking their personal e-mails.

Deservedly so!

We have known for 2 years Russia hacked us in the 2016 election. Trump keeps denying. No one in Washington has done anything to guard against a repeat. The Senators could easily have lead the battle. They sat on their hands and did nothing. Now the problem has hit home. Hope nothing embarrassing on their e-mails.

On this day in 1776, a 21 year old Captain in the Continental Army was executed for spying. Nathan Hale. We first learned of him in grammar school. His famous words, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Some historians say not so. No record made of the statement as Hale was being hung. Most disagree. They attribute the words to Hale.

Syracuse/Connecticut at 4 this afternoon. Syracuse a 27.5 point favorite. I will enjoy watching the game.

Next week the test! Syracuse plays Clemson.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

BATTLE OF THE COOKS

Donna and Andrea are excellent cooks. Preparation and service outstanding. Tonight, a cook off. At Andrea’s. The two working together to put out a small dinner party meal.

I can’t wait to sit down and enjoy.

Their culinary efforts impressive. I designated them the Julia Childs of Key West.

Yesterday, busy.

First, a haircut with Lori. A runner. She has decided to do the 26 mile marathon in December in Palm beach. Her second run that long.

Then lunch a few doors down at Sandy’s Cafe. I began experiencing pain each time I bit into my Cuban cheese toast with tomato. Hurt! Something wrong.

Left and hurried to my dentist Dr. George Lindner. Not there. He had taken the afternoon off. His associate and 2 dental hygienists began working on me.

I have implants. Supposedly never have pain again. Any problems, mechanical. This one not mechanical. I had thoughts of a tumor. At my age even a common cold concerns me. I keep thinking…..Finally the big one!

Turns out to be a bullshit problem. I hope! Will not bore you with the details. Will take a couple of weeks to clear up.

Last night began with the Chart Room. John in Jamaica. Mary who normally works the Beach Bar filling in.

The place quiet. Key West quiet. It is September.

One drink and some friendly chatter with Mary.

I was walking in the Pier House parking lot when I saw at the other end Mary. Another Mary. The one I normally run into at Blue Macaw, the one who works at The Little White House. Dressed magnificently. A bright white/reddish long dress.

And a man! Seemed like they were heading to A&B or the Boathouse for dinner.

Blue Macaw half filled. That September thing again.

Met Tom. Last night was the third evening in a row I ran into him at Blue Macaw. A good looking young guy. Just arrived in Key West. Originally from Philadelphia. Bartending at Hogsbreath and Conch Republic.

Looked down the bar and there was Terri. Brought her to my end of the bar to sit. Introduced her to Tom. She knew others sitting around. Terri was waiting for Donna who was at a business meeting.

Got to admire Terri! Her apartment 500 feet away. A busy intersection to cross. She walked over alone.

Political writer Zach Taylor published an interesting Brett Kavanaugh piece 9/19. Titled: Brett Kavanaugh…..Poster Child For American Aristocracy.

He hits Kavanaugh’s special upbringing hard.

Georgetown Prep a high school for children of the elite. He references Kavanaugh as a test case for the bounds of elite domination. Going a step further, he describes conservatism as ” a system of elite domination, imposed at any cost.”

Kavanaugh’s nomination is described as “a referendum on elite aristocracy whose primary goal is the very existence and protection of conservative government.” He claims the group “live above democratic accountability, not constricted by words and deeds in the way mere citizens can be.”

As to Dr. Ford’s sexual assault allegation, if Kavanaugh were to survive and be sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, it would “demonstrate one more dimension in which the American aristocracy is…..beyond the reach of the rabble.”

Other tidbits gleamed from the article included that Georgetown Prep and other nearby schools were part of an alcohol soaked party culture. Misogyny common place.

Trump’s previous appointment to the Supreme Court bench was Neil Gorsuch. Attended Georgetown Prep at the same time as Kavanaugh. Except Gorsuch was not the party boy Kavanaugh was.

So much happening in the world. Too much for the media. A story runs a very few days and then is gone for a while. Sometimes never to return.

I am zeroing in on Florence. Now gone. Damage done. Devastation exhibited. Little now reported re Florence.

Little reported at a time most important. How are Florence’s survivors/refugees being cared for. Shelter, food, water, power, ice, etc. Don’t tell me how many you have serviced. Tell me how many need to be serviced and what progress is being made.

I worry. Florence may be too big for the federal government to handle. Even Washington has limitations. Trump says don’t worry. You are going to be taken care of. We have the money.

I don’t buy it. The desire may exist. Capability another matter.

Time will tell.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SLOWNESS OF SEPTEMBER

It is the same of every year. Key West dies for the month of September. Multi number of reasons. Excessive humidity/heat, people blew their vacation monies over the summer, parents tapped out buying clothes, etc. for children returning to school.

When I first began visiting Key West 30 years ago, it was said you could throw a bowling ball down Duval in September and hit no one. A bit better. Now, a few tourists. Not enough however to economically support local businesses.

It is the quiet time.

Actually, I enjoy it. Sidewalks empty to walk on. No bumping into people. Little traffic. Parking spots all over. No restaurant reservations required. Cheap prices. Just about everything half price.

Terri was singing last night. So I stopped into Blue Macaw. Bar and restaurant only half full. An example of this time of the year.

Earlier in the day, I enjoyed a manicure and pedicure with Tammy. Her place deserted. Only 3-4 customers while I was there.

Fortunately, Tammy and her husband Ricky have a booming business the other months of the year. I walked into their salon yesterday and was greeted with tons of new equipment. New pedicure set-ups, seats for workers, etc. Money spent. Place looked terrific.

I am regularly impressed with veteran recognition/appreciation in Key West. Tomorrow night an example. A POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony scheduled for 6 at the Veterans Memorial Garden in Bayview Park.

Many vets and their families will be in attendance. Most of the vets wearing their veteran caps. All serious. Proud to be there.

The crowd will be huge.

Key West has some of the finest chicken anywhere. Dion’s. The best!

A new chicken operation is coming to town. Popeye’s. I enjoy Popeye’s whenever I can get it. Strange. In Key West, I get my chicken at Dion’s. Outside Key West, Popeye’s. Now both available at one time. Wow!

The new Popeye’s will replace the Burger King on the Boulevard that was beat up by Irma. Renovations underway. Expected to open in 6-12 months.

The price of everything astronomical today. I can recall gasoline $.16 a gallon. A loaf of bread $.05. A good sized ice cream cone $.05. Double dip $.10. On and on. Salaries the same size. I recall working in a supermarket in high school for $.16 1/2 an hour.

There was a motel war in Key West in September 1955. Motels near South Street. One motel charging $2 per room double occupancy.

One of the motel owners called a meeting of his fellow motel owners. Lets stop this before we are all out of business.

Today, you can’t even park your car in Key West for $2 an hour!

The Kavanaugh/Ford situation a mess. I think the Senators are acting like asses. Be that as it may, both will probably be listened to monday. Listened the operative word. Ford will not be heard. The outcome a fait accompli.

The only thing that could change the outcome were if 1 or 2 other women came forth claiming sexual abuse by Kavanaugh.

I have written and spoken re Syria the past week. Russia and the U.S. are brushing up against each other. The world is divided in Syria. Russia and Iran on Assad’s side. Saudi Arabia and Israel on the U.S.’s.

Forces on each side building up. The U.S. and the Syrian rebels (al-Qaeda) the U.S. supporting engaged last week in live fire and ground assault drills. The message to Syria, Russia and Iran…..Don’t screw with us!

Came across an interesting piece of American history. There have been 2 occasions where the U.S. had 3 different Presidents served in the same year. Completed terms, deaths, elections contributing.

In 1841, it was Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, and John Tyler. In 1881, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, and Chester Arthur.

Syracuse/Connecticut saturday. Syracuse a 27 1/2 point favorite. Expected. Syracuse will be 4-0 following the victory.

It is the following week that is of concern. Syracuse plays mighty Clemson. Going to be interesting.

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori later in the morning.

Enjoy your day!

NO POKER RUN ANGERS MERCHANTS

This past weekend was Poker Run. Along the Keys. Racing down U.S. 1. Ending some 25 miles north of Key West at Boondocks Restaurant.

Key West no longer a part of Poker Run.

Poker Run a charity fundraising event. Bikers from all over come to Key West. Most ship their bikes to Miami and then ride them down the Keys. Good people most. Actually doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs on a fun weekend. Many with their ladies perched behind them. Everyone attired Marlon Brando style.

Last year a problem arose. Two for real biker gangs came to town for the event. Bad guys. Each gang here to make claim to Key West as their turf. They came looking for trouble. A bloody fight ensued between them at a Greene Street bar.

Key West City fathers became concerned as a result. Set conditions for the Poker Run sponsor to meet. Conditions that would have obligated him personally for injuries and damages. He of course declined.

Marked the end of Poker Run in Key West.

Key West prepared for the onslaught of bikers in the event its refusal to have them was not recognized. Barricades and signs were placed the length of Duval where the bikers normally parked.

Now comes the anger. The Duval merchants. Clamoring over the loss of business. September slow. Some still hurting from Irma. Employees could use the extra money.

I do not condone the for real biker gangs. The bikers other than them were normal tourists, except for attire and mode of transportation.

Key West is changing, however. I am not sure I agree with the changes. Key West has its own flavors. Now, no nudity at Fantasy Fest, no Poker Run. We might very well be contributing to killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Sloan spent a couple of hours with me yesterday. Resolved the computer problem about 80 percent. Problems reoccurred last night, though to a lesser degree.

Orchid Bar my first stop last night. Victor bartending. Knew Kevin would be there.

Two couples from North Carolina seated next to us. They got out of Dodge. Escaped Florence. Glad they did. Their community flooded. No way to return. They will wait out the time in Key West enjoying themselves till it is safe to return.

A smart move. Reminded me of Irma and Birmingham.

Then to the Rum Bar. Friend Lauri bartending. Art and George at the bar. No Donna and Terri. Both home recovering from bronchitis and colds.

A problem. Everyone lip kisses Terri. Cannot be permitted. Donna and Terri agree. They are returning to Terri banging elbows with people.

Bocce season has returned. Teams competing three weeks already. Don’s Place tied for 5th place with a 6-3 record. Not bad.

I miss playing.

Ever hear of Herkimer, N.Y.? A little town 12 miles from my home town Utica. The scene of Revolutionary War battles.

Back then, Herkimer was known as German Flats.

It was this day 1778. The fight for freedom raging. Local Iroquois and Mohawk Indians were fighting on the side of the British. Mohawk Indian Chief and British loyalist leader Joseph Bryant led  a surprise attack on German Flats. He led a force of 150 Iroquois Indians and 300 British loyalists in the attack.

Fortunately, the settlers became aware just before the attack that it was coming. They escaped to safety at nearby forts.

The Indians and British loyalists set fire to German Flats. Destroyed 63 homes, 57 barns, 3 grist mills, and 1 saw mill.

The Herkimer of today is much like Key West. Except for the Duval/tourist section. People pleasant. Conservative. Smaller in population. The County seat. I tried many cases in Herkimer County Supreme Court.

I worry about U.S. involvement in Syria. I mentioned certain of my concerns yesterday. I continue today.

Iran is a testing ground re U.S./ Russia relations. Both nations are bumping heads. Putin on the side of Assad, together with Iran. Trump on the side of the rebels, being encouraged by Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The area of conflict known as Ibid. The last al-Qaeda stronghold in Syria. The rebels al-Qaeda.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard a Democrat from Hawaii. An Iraqi war veteran and a current Army reserve officer.

9/11 was last week. Two days following 9/11, the Congresswoman spoke on the floor of Congress. She called on Congress to condemn the Trump administration’s protection of the al-Qaeda in Ibid. She believes Trump’s policies are “a betrayal of the American people. Especially victims of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack.”

The Congresswoman wants military withdrawal and non-intervention in Syria. She claims Trump is seeking regime change.

Her position succinctly stated: Get out of Syria! Not our headache!

Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination hitting a few bumps in the road. The most recent the allegation of a Professor Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh tried to attack her sexually when they were high school students. Kavanaugh adamantly denies the charge.

I assume Ford will get her day before the Committee this week.

If true, an isolated incident? Are there more sex abuse situations during Kavanaugh’s life? My experience indicates if there are more, now is the time they will come out of the wood work.

Even if no others appear, consider if Ford is believed. Such makes Kavanaugh a liar. Combine that lie with others it appears he made during his hearings. A liar on the Supreme Court?

An interesting week ahead.

Dueling Bartenders tonight. Kevin will probably meet me. Holly is out of state visiting her mother.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

COMCAST DOWN AGAIN

The bigger Comcast gets, the poorer its service. Service in the Keys. Failed again yesterday. Internet, e-mail and television. From 6:30 am to 3:00 pm.

Failure of service has become a consistent pattern.

Comcast has become too big for its britches. In recent years, it purchased NBC. The company probably spends more time and is more concerned about big time NBC rather than Comcast. The Comcast I assume helped finance NBC’s purchase.

As a result of the service failure, I was not able to get the blog out. My apologies, even though not my fault.

I learned a lesson yesterday. Louis cannot live without internet and TV. I read a bit. Never the less, it was a long boring day.

Last night however made up for the day’s earlier frustrations. Partied at Andrea and Joe’s.

Donna, Terri and I were to stop by for drinks and then out to dinner. Never left Donna and Joe’s. My second Key West Julia Child had laid out a table of pickies that the best restaurant could not have topped. Everything from small pieces of meat to shrimp to dips to breads.

At one point, Andrea, Joe and I stepped outside for a cigarette. I know. Bad. While we were standing there, a car drove up. The woman in the passenger seat leaned out and started talking. It was mayoral candidate Teri Johnston.

She was campaigning. Brilliant, I thought! Teri lost the primary by one point. She failed to reach the 50 percent required to avoid a run off. Her opponent received 24 percent of the vote.

Instead of resting home secure that she would probably win in November with these numbers, Teri was out campaigning.

Andrea mentioned that Donna and Terri were inside. Teri is good friends with them. She came in.

The girls hugged and kissed. A happy mood prevailed. One of Teri’s workers walked in with a video camera. Teri, Donna and Terri were videoed while Terri was belting out a song.

Teri then left for her next stop. Another person or persons standing outside their home. By car. Smart campaigning.

Wednesday night was the Blue Macaw. Terri singing with Larry Baeder. For the first time as a paid performer at Blue Macaw. She now has a regular wednesday night gig.

Place packed. Everyone there.

Ran into Stephanie and Angie who I had met the night before.

Stephanie a daytime bartender for 17 years at Hogsbreath…..Ain’t no breath like hogs breath! Knows my friend George who also has bartended there for years.

Angie owns Crystals and Coconuts across the street. A smart shop. Exquisitely designed jewelry available.

Matthew McConaughey stopped into Crystals and Coconuts when he was filming in Key West a few months ago. A picture of the star and Angie appears on the internet of McConaughey purchasing a necklace for his daughter.

Irma had an impact on Key West in more than one way. I have lost my fourth couple friends because of Irma. Kentucky’s David and Marilyn. I received an e-mail from David advising they had sold their home around the corner from Santiago’s Bodega and returned to Kentucky.

I assume the fear of another impending storm. Scares the hell out of you. No question. I know.

David was a writer and basketball fan. I shall miss him.

Florence doing its thing. Rains and flooding big time. Two or three more days to go. Irma causes me to worry about these people.

Trump says he is ready for Florence. I hope so. I fear another Puerto Rico, however. Florence is big. The aftermath bigger. Excuses will not fly if there is failure. I expect there will be.

Does Trump know what he is doing?

The number of detained immigrant children has skyrocketed. From 2,400 in May 2017 to 12,800 this month. Causes alleged involve a reduction in release time, the number straining the children and system, and the fact that most of the children crossed the border without parents.

The last item portraying how desperate parents are to be sure their children will be safe and find a better way of life.

In the meantime, it was announced this week that Trump wants to pay Mexico $20 million to assist in resolving U.S. border problems. The Trump administration sent a Notice to Congress that it requires the $20 million in order to pay Mexico the cost of plane and bus tickets to return unauthorized immigrants in Mexico who are on their way to the U.S. The tickets are to return them home, not to the U.S.

Seventeen thousand unauthorized immigrants involved.

I have to hand it to Trump. He knows how to piss money away. Twenty five million for the wall, $20 million for plane and bus tickets.

I will be surprised if Congress gives him the money.

Syracuse/Florida State tomorrow. A Syracuse win will indicate the direction the season is taking. Florida State a 3 point favorite.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

I FELL ASLEEP

Tuesday night at 9 is my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spend all day tuesday preparing for the show. Never leave the house.

Everything was ready to go at 8. Everything hooked up, notes on the desk, etc. Needed only 30 seconds to make everything operational.

I laid on my bed to watch TV till show time. Fell asleep!!! A no no!!!

Woke and Rachel Maddow was on. Her show starts at 9. It was 9:02. Rushed to my office, did the necessary, and was on the air 3 minutes late.

I was still half asleep. The first few minutes were a disaster. Even got a coughing jag.

I have not looked at the finished product. Some will write me today and tell me how it came out, ask what was wrong, etc.

Florence is bothering me mentally. I attribute the problem to Irma. Amazing!

Spent 60 percent of the show discussing hurricanes. Florence, Maria and the Labor Day 1935 Hurricane.

Trump had the audacity to speak of Puerto Rico yesterday. Trump said Puerto Rico was the “best” job the U.S. did. Described the help provided as fantastic. Closed with the assistance provided as “an incredible unsung success.”

What does he smoke?

Trump deludes himself. Puerto Rico a failure if there ever was one. Almost 3,000 dead as a result.

I buy the President is not mentally stable.

Re Florence, he says we’re ready. FEMA ready. A good job will be done. I hope so. However, I am willing to bet he will blow it here also. No one at Trump or FEMA’s level seems to understand what is coming. The devastation Florence will wrought.

Florence is a monster racing to the coast. The Carolinas in danger. Perhaps even Georgia. Hurricanes are fickle. All wind is fickle. Some experts believe Florence could turn left, move south, and not make landfall till it hits Georgia.

Whatever, rain will be torrential. Twenty inches or more. Surges 18-20 feet. Flood waters estimated at 4 feet.

The Carolinas have not been subjected to such a storm since some time in the 1950’s. I read somewhere that Eisenhower was President and Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were newlyweds at the time.

My car is sick. Does not start immediately. At the garage. Not the battery or starter. Mechanic thinks it is the ignition.

The car a Volkswagen Beetle. Ten years old. Only 40,000 miles. Should be good for another 10. However, the past two years it has been costing me money. One thing after another.

Terri sings tonight at Blue Macaw. Larry and Terri. A big event. First time she will be paid by Blue Macaw. Beginning this evening, every wednesday a paid performance.

My working lady!

The Southwest Point. A very popular tourist stop. Purportedly the most southernmost point in the U.S. Not really, but accepted as such.

Tourists line up a hundred at a time by day to stand in front of the red, yellow and blue monument. They wait in line so their pictures can be taken standing in front of the monument.

When I finish my night at Blue Macaw, my way home takes me past the monument. Ten at night, there are still people waiting in line to take a picture. Not many. Ten to twenty. Interesting. Definitely a popular tourist attraction.

Pythons a non-resolvable problem for Florida. The State waited too long to deal with them. Now estimated to be more than 1 million. Present goal is to contain the pythons, not eradicate them.

The State periodically runs eradication programs. Hunt down pythons and kill them! Not very successful.

The Irula tribe are born and raised in India. Their specialty is killing poisonous snakes. Male children are taught how to do so beginning at age 3.

They are in Florida now at the invitation of the State. To hunt and kill pythons. I am unaware as to what they are being paid.

The federal government was severely criticized in 1935 following the Labor Day hurricane in the mid Keys. A category 5. Close to 700 World War I veterans were sent to work on U.S. 1. Lived in tents, etc. The hurricane killed 485, most of whom were veteran workers.

The criticism levied against the government was for sending workers into the Keys during hurricane season. Turned out Washington was not cognizant of hurricanes or their season.

A somewhat similar situation occurred recently.

This is hurricane season. Florence on the way. Unquestionably a biggie! This summer Homeland Security took $10 million from its hurricane budget and transferred the money to ICE. ICE was in need of additional funding for immigrant detention and deportation.

Another Trump administration screw up! After Florence departs, Trump will be crying how much money the government needs to help Florence victims and how it does not have enough.

Washington values are misplaced.

Enjoy your day!

 

TUNA PARTY NEVER WAS

The big tuna party yesterday at Kevin and Holly’s never was. I rushed to get ready, pick up Terri and get to their home on time. Terri and I were the first ones there. No one else yet. Holly by the pool. Kevin sleeping.

Strange.

The party had been cancelled. The cancellation was texted and e-mailed to me. I had not look at my messages all afternoon.

Kevin got out of bed and entertained us. We stayed 15 minutes and left for Dueling Bartenders. No sense in wasting an evening.

Took a while to get to Aqua. My car would not start. It goes into the garage as soon as I finish this blog.

Before leaving to pick up Terri for the party that never was, I received a call from Jean Thornton in Birmingham. My savior! I had spent 12 days at her home in Birmingham during Irma last year.

Nostalgia had set in. Yesterday being the one year anniversary of Irma. We reminisced about the occasion. Memorable for those of us who had escaped Irma.

A good crowd at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual outstanding selves. Terri was sitting next to me. I had a great seat. Terri sang every song along with Tom and Rick.

Donna arrived from work. I stayed a bit longer and left. It was off to Blue Macaw for me. Joe and Andrea at the bar. Mary showed up.

I met two interesting ladies who were seated next to me. Stephanie and Angie. One lovelier than the other.

Stephanie has lived in Key West 20 years. She has worked 17 1/2 of those years at Hogsbreath…..Ain’t no breath like Hog’s breath!

We had never met.

She knows George. A fellow bartender. Lisa’s friend who became my friend.

Stephanie lives upstairs in the building backing Blue Macaw. On Whitehead. Convenient. Must be pleasurable, also. I often look up at the large porch surrounding the building and think how nice. I am a devoted porch sitter.

Angie owns Crystals and Coconuts. A store on Whitehead across the street from Blue Macaw. Her store specializes in primitive handmade gemstone and crystal jewelry, hand painted coconuts, and tropical treasures.

I must stop in.

Florence continues its march to land. The Carolinas and Virginia in danger. More than one million persons have been told to evacuate. Florence is expected to hit as a category 4. Maybe even a 5.

Dangerous!

Irma has made me and other Key Westers sensitive to and uncomfortable when it comes to hurricanes.

Today a significant one in American history. 9/11! The day planes took down the Twin Towers in New York City, hit the Pentagon, and crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Close to 3,000 killed. Many first responders suffering cancer and other related problems from working at the New York site.

Attacks on American soil have been few. The Revolution and War of 1812. 9/11. All by foreigners who came to the U.S. to perpetrate their evil.

The next attack will not be by foreigners coming upon American soil. Modern warfare makes it unnecessary. North Korea has missiles with nuclear warheads capable of reaching our shores. China can hit the U.S. from any of the islands recently constructed in Asian waters and from its newly constructed missile naval vessels. Even Russia has updated. Its new submarine fleet can hit anywhere in the U.S. with missiles fired from them.

There are two new type wars. Each making missiles, nuclear weapons, etc. unnecessary.

One is cyber war. Screw up our computer systems. The other economic warfare. Break the back of a nation’s economy.

A lot on the U.S.’s plate for our leaders to handle. Hope they are paying proper attention.

In the past few days, the Key West Citizen has either completely left out or shortened the Citizens’ Voice. Why? It is the most important part of Key West’s local newspaper. A place where people can vent. Many times corrections to problems have resulted because of a complaint read in the column.

Tonight, tonight…..My podcast show! Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A fast moving interesting half hour. Tune in and listen to me rant and rave about the good and bad going on in our world. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

IRMA REVISITED

One year ago today, Irma hit the Florida Keys. Everyone is aware of the details. The damage wrought. I want to share feelings experienced. As I experienced them.

As Irma was traveling over the water, its pending arrival resulted in a knot in my chest. Irma was predicted as a category 5. It was heading straight for Key West.

My mind kept repeating…..Get out of Dodge!

Five days before Irma’s arrival, I did.

My escape to Birmingham took 4 days. Traffic unbelievable. Reminded me of newsreels taken at the beginning of World War II. Poland, Czechoslovakia and France. People in long lines walking away from danger. In Irma’s instance, driving.

The miles of slow moving cars added to the realization that we were all escaping a bad thing. Escape not easy. Mental uncertainty jumped in as to whether I would make it.

The gasoline problem added negative thoughts. Sometimes, no gas available. Other times, a 1 to 1 1/2 hour wait to get gas. What would happen if there were no gas and we all were left sitting in our cars on the road side?

People panic. I saw at a Pompano gas station, people on foot pushing and shoving to get at gas pumps with cans to fill. Their cars apparently already topped.

Food entered my mind. Suppose where ever I was or ended up, food ran out. How would people behave?

Whatever, I made it to the Thornton’s in Birmingham.

Now my concern and those of my other evacuees went to how Irma was affecting Key West and the lower Keys. Concern, big time. Glued to the TV screen. Anxious for every bit of news.

Irma came and went. Concern for friends who remained on going. Communication difficult. Cell phones non operable.

Thornton guests anxious to return home. Not only to look after their property, but also to help those who remained. The desire to be of assistance ran deep.

The trip home less crowded.  I waited a week after Irma before I left. No sense in returning without air conditioning, power, water, food, etc.

The view fine till I hit Marathon. Then the damage. Increasing the further south I drove. Depressing. Boats on the side of highways, cars in the water, homes flattened like pancakes, appliances all over, debris everywhere.

Islamorada, Big Pine and Cudjoe Key the worse. Unbelievable. Emotional. Tears running down my face.

Finally made it to Key West. Duval desolate. Dark. Power downtown a problem. People in the shadows. Everyone glad to see each other.

One year later, Irma’s foot print remains. Not everyone back in a home. Some still in tents. Food a problem. Jobs a big problem. The canals still plugged with sunken houses and boats. Canal cleanup only recently begun. U.S. 1 looks good. Go off the highway one block in many areas and it looks like Irma hit yesterday.

Recovery a big step. Even a year later, much to be done.

The thing that impacted me the most was the resiliency of the people. Irma gone. Damage left. Everyone pitching in to help. Neighbors and strangers shoulder to shoulder. Any mental depression long gone. Still a job to do and people getting at it.

Enjoy your day!

 

POLICE HAVE NO RIGHT TO STRIKE

It was September 9, 1919. The Boston Police were unhappy. They had been denied the right to unionize. They went on strike. Eighty percent of the force failed to show up for work.

Calvin Coolidge rode the strike into the U.S. Presidency.

Massachusetts Governor at the time. He said, “There is no right to strike against public safety by anybody, anywhere, anytime.” He sent in the Massachusetts Militia.

Coolidge enjoyed a politically fortuitous life. He got into the police strike fray as it was dying down. Made a brilliant statement. He was given credit for putting the strike down.

Coolidge was selected to run as Vice-President with Warren Harding as President. Harding died in office. Coolidge became President.

Yesterday afternoon, I was able to watch the first half of the Syracuse/Wagner game. Syracuse looked good. Wagner a small school beginning to grow its football program.

Syracuse has not looked good for many years. They beat Wagner 62-10. Impressive. However, the quality of the opposition has to be taken into account. Next week will tell. Syracuse plays Florida State.

My dear Donna has competition for the title of the Julia Child of Key West. Andrea.

Donna, Terri and I were guests of Andrea and Joe last night for dinner. What a meal! Lasagna! Fantastic! Buttery banana bread for desert.

My diet went out the window!

We all headed over to Blue Macaw after dinner. Terri sat in for a while with Larry Baeder.

It is Terri again this morning. She is singing with Larry at Hard Rock Cafe’s Sunday brunch. Ten to twelve.

Got to admire Terri. She keeps working, putting one foot in front of the other. She has a steady gig at Blue Macaw beginning Wednesday. Her night.

Remember Shrimp Boats Are A Coming. Think Rosemary Clooney sang it. Delete Shrimp boats and replace the term with Florence. Florence is a coming! No question, unless it makes a hard right back into the Atlantic at the last moment.

Florence is headed for the mid Atlantic states. North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia have already declared a state of emergency. Florence’s path will remain uncertain for 5 days. Then!

The hurricane experts say Florence will begin a rapid intensification beginning today. It will return to hurricane status. Expected to be a major hurricane when it hits.

Some people get away with murder!

The U.S. is facing a major opioid crisis. One hundred plus a day dying. The prescription drug Oxycontin a major contributor. A pain killer. Quick to addict.

Purdue Pharma has been producing the drug for years. The government and the public are aware. The government is doing little. The public trying to do a lot. There are presently lawsuits against Purdue Pharma in over 1,000 jurisdictions.

Purdue Pharma is a family business. The Sackler family. One of the sons is Richard Sackler. At one time, President of Purdue Pharma.

Richard and five others recently obtained a patent for a new drug. To be used where a person has an opioid disorder. To be used for opioid addiction treatment.

I love it! Sackler and family a major contributor to the opioid crisis. Made millions if not billions in the process. Now one of them will add to his wealth for having come up with a cure.

Would you believe!

Only in America!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

JIMMY BUFFETT…..JAMAICA MISTAICA

I continue to live and learn.

Chart Room good fun last night.

John mentioned he would be gone for 2 weeks. Vacation. Jamaica.

I am still reading Peter Schweizer’s Secret Empires. Came across a line yesterday that stated Jamaica was corrupt. Time frame maybe 10 years ago. Suggested John beware.

Kevin and Holly were chatting with us. Kevin and John both stated Jamaica was corrupt. As are many of the smaller islands. They then told me the Jimmy Buffett story and his plane having been shot at in Jamaica because the gendarmes thought it belonged to drug smugglers.

First time I was hearing the story.

It was January 16, 1996. Twenty two years ago. Buffett had his own plane. A Grumman HU-16 Albatross flying boat. Buffett named it Hemisphere Dancer.

Buffett has a commercial pilot license. He was flying the plane that day. On board were U2’s Bono, his wife Ali, their 2 children, and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.

Buffett was either landing near Negril or taking off. No formal record of the flight nor landing registered. They had stopped or were stopping to enjoy the “best” jerky chicken in Jamaica.

Jamaican authorities suspecting drug smuggling began shooting. The plane took several hits. Fortunately, no one injured.

Jamaica apologized several weeks later.

Buffett wrote a song about the incident titled Jamaica Mistaica. A stanza: “Come back, come back to Jamaica / Don’t chu know we made a big mistake / We’d be so sad if you told us good-bye / And we promise not to shot you out of the sky.”

More dialogue at the Chart Room.

Kevin and I were at it re the Democrats and Republicans. He a die hard Trump fan. Fortunately, we are friends. Even when our voices raise on high. However, we both think the other does not know what he is talking about.

John said he had a ton of fresh tuna. A customer had given it to him. Cleaned. John had frozen it.

Let’s have a party!

Monday at 4.

Kevin and John asked me to bring along Donna and Terri. Ran into them later at Blue Macaw and they were excited. Except, Donna cannot make it. She will be working. Terri becomes my date.

Enjoyed a drink with Donna and Terri at Blue Macaw. Terri was in a bad way. Extremely sorrowful. Down in the dumps. Donna, likewise.

Terri had starred in Nunsense 1 and 2 with Rue McClanahan. Most of you will remember Rue as Blanche Devereaux on the The Golden Girls. The TV show that ran 1985-1982.

Rue died in 2010. However, a British Company is doing a series about her. Terri was interviewed by a British representative of the company long distance yesterday for 2 hours. About her relationship personally and professionally with Rue.

The interview weighed heavily on both my ladies last night.

Syracuse football back! Play Wagner this afternoon. A small college. Syracuse a 25 point favorite. Hope I can get the game on TV. I subscribe to the college game channels. Unfortunately, they do not carry all of them.

Tonight another dinner party. At Joe and Andrea’s. Donna and Terri invited also. Afterwards to Blue Macaw where Terri will be singing with Larry Baeder.

Hurricane Florence. She’s coming! So say the weather people. Still far off. If it hits landfall in the U.S., it will be sometime mid week.

Florence has diminished in strength from a category 4 to a tropical storm. Professionals say it was expected. However at some point, Florence will increase in intensity and return to hurricane status.

Landfall somewhere along the North American shore. Governor Cooper of North Carolina has already declared a state of emergency. He’s not screwing around.

Florence may decide not to make land. The alternative is a hard right turn into the Atlantic. Too soon to tell.

I watched Obama’s speech yesterday afternoon. Simply stated…..Vote! God helps those who help themselves.

A step back in history. On this day in 1974, President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. Ford claimed his motivation was to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal. The Nation had to be reunited.

Ford pardoned Nixon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office.

I agreed with Ford then. I continue to agree with him.

Unfortunately, not everyone felt as I did. Many harbored ill will towards Ford because of the pardon. It cost him the election when he ran.

Enjoy your day!