THE COUGH THAT ISN’T GOING AWAY

I got a cold and cough big time 5 weeks ago. It seemed like everyone I know got it too.

Here it is 5 weeks later and I still have a cough. A very slight one.

I generally get the flu shot around October 1. Did not because of the cold, etc. You are not supposed to get the flu shot if you are sick in any way.

I went to see Dr. Norris yesterday. My real concern was whether I could get the flu shot yet. He said no. Must first get rid of the cough. Now he was concerned why the cough was still around 5 weeks later. He gave me a prescription for some drug and sent me off for a chest x-ray. Also gave me a sermon about smoking.

Last night, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Jean met up with me. We enjoyed Tom and Rick. Chatted briefly with Liz and Linda.

We wanted stone crabs. Yesterday, opening day of the season. Came up empty. No one had them yet. We will do it another time.

Went to La Trattoria for dinner. Guy de Boer joined us as we were finishing. A good meal and good company. Following which I headed home and Jean to Vino’s.

Friday Goombay! Jean and I are going to walk the street together. Then Fantasy Fest for a week. The wild time!

I am excited. Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixon arrived late last night. I will ba having dinner with them some night this week. Tom e-mailed Fran had brought a supply of sauce. Love the woman!

A hurricane comes and goes. Its effects remain a long time. Irma a perfect example. Irma hit the lower Keys more than a year ago. People without homes even today. A Rebuild Florida Bus will be parked at City Hall in Key West today and tomorrow. To assist those still without adequate housing.

Michael’s death toll at the moment 17. The number will grow significantly. Sixty thousand people missing. Search crews are out. Going through the rubble of each house.

Trump and Melanie were in the Panhandle and Georgia yesterday. The President never learns. Was it in Puerto Rico following Maria that he threw rolls of paper towels? Yesterday, it was bottles of water. Tossed and handed.

I’m beginning to think Trump is a frustrated ball player.

I saw on TV yesterday men running around wearing blue tee shirts with FEMA printed in bold white letters on the back. It seemed like they were intent in getting in the video being taken.

The video was being shot in Lynn Haven, a town in the Panhandle hit badly. There were food and water tents. The food and water were not delivered by nor being given out by FEMA. Their food and water still on its way. It was from volunteers who drove it in and were handing the food and water out themselves.

Good people, one and all. Key West an example of such good people. A large truck left City Hall yesterday loaded with things people will need in the Panhandle. Four or five volunteers went along. One said it was pay back time. A time to say thank you for the assistance the lower Keys received from the people of the Panhandle during Irma.

FEMA and other federal help appears to be directed to the search efforts for the 60,000 unaccounted for. FEMA and Governor Scott said a couple of days ago that is the way it had to be. Find those first who are trapped or dead. Then the flow of food, water, etc.

Does not make sense to me. FEMA a huge organization. Should be ready to assist in every respect when a disaster such as Michael occurs. They have had enough experience. They also knew before Michael made landfall the magnitude of the storm. The military can be called in to help if need be.

Several months from now, the Washington cry will be not enough money, can’t complete the recovery job, perhaps even can’t help anymore. The federal government still owes billions of dollars to Florida and Monroe County for monies the feds were going to pay re Irma problems. The State and County have had to play with their budgets, cut some services, raise taxes, etc. this year because the monies not yet paid.

Tonight my podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Join me. I have much to discuss. Many things bothering me that should be bothering you also.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

ETHIOPIA BURN THE WHITE HOUSE?

Trump’s weak knowledge of American history has generated a lot of comment. One of the best appeared in the Justice Building Blog: “Neither Canada nor Ethiopia invaded and burned the White House.”

If not Canada, why not Ethiopia?

Visited Dr. Norris yesterday. He thinks I may be too old for the surgery contemplated. My primary care physician. My hear doctor said no problem. The endoscopy doctor was concerned that my age might be a problem.

I feel the best I have in 20 years and I am being told that at 82 I am too old for a relatively simple surgery.

My next stop Cleveland Clinic strictly for a consultation. To determine if my age is a concern to them.

Last night the Chart Room. Better than a doctor visit.

John bartending. Not that many people. Those who did stop in interesting.

Sheila arrived with her house guest Sandra. Sandra a nurse from Roanoke, Virginia. Loved Sandra the moment we met. She reads my blog every day!

A terrific couple from Marathon sitting to my right. Robert and Angela. In Key West to celebrate their anniversary. Thirty three years today.

Congratulations!

They live up the road a bit. Marathon. Visit Key West a few days here and there. Marathon a great place to live. However, its night life leaves something to be desired.

They have a 54 foot power boat. Showed me a photo. Magnificent! Generally come down with the boat for a one month stay in March.

Originally from San Antonio, Robert was a CPA. Today works part time/as little as possible as a private equity investor.

Angela a retired elementary teacher. Once owned a lower Keys taxi company.

Excellent conversationalists. Hope to run into them again.

David came in. Good to see him. We do not run into each other often these days.

Steve and Cindy arrived. Enjoy their company.

Cindy brought me Bob Smith’s book. Titled: BOB. He wrote it in 1990, 1997, or during the years in between. Cannot be sure.

The cover of the book is Bob in drag. He was straight with a warped sense of humor.

Married to Annie. A better woman does not exist.

Bob died several years ago. He is one of those whose ashes lie in the Chart Room Bar. A distinction!

He was a friend.

Bob’s book is a collection of Key West antidotes told from Bob’s perspective. I have decided to share some with you in the coming days. Probably months. There are that many.

How is this: “There are only two kinds of people in this world: assholes and the rest of us. Race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, you name it, doesn’t matter. You’re either an asshole or you’re not…..problem is you can’t easily tell who is and who isn’t…..Here’s what we need to do. When we come across a true asshole we need to brand them square in the forehead: A.H. Our proclivity for prejudice will finally be well placed and justified. The whole world will be better off.”

The G7 meeting today and tomorrow. Tensions will be great. Heated words may be exchanged, the calm shattered.

I wish I could watch the exchanges.

We as a Nation should be ashamed. I refer to the detention of immigrant children.

A few years ago, several Walmarts closed down. They are now being used to house the children. Reportedly in cages on concrete floors. The cages described as big. Fencing. Wire and nets stretched along the top to prevent escape.

The situation as reported described by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Or). Although he is a U.S. Senator, he was denied entry at one of the Walmarts. Police called. He was almost arrested. He did gain entry to another apparently without permission.

The White House has accused Merkley of spreading lies.

Bet he isn’t!

CNN’s gifted story teller Anthony Bourdain dead at 61. A suicide.

Suicides dramatically up in recent years. Locally, nationally, and internationally.

Tomorrow at 5 on Duval, the 15th annual Key West Pride Parade. Key West’s Sea-To-Sea Rainbow Flag extending the length of Duval carried on the hands of many with pride.

Enjoy your day!

WOLKOWSKY DID IT AGAIN…..NIXON AND TRUMAN AT PIER HOUSE 1969

The father of modern Key West is David Wolkowsky. Ninety eight and still going strong.

David built the Pier House. Its beginnings 1968. Nothing but mud where it presently stands. He started with a 50 unit motel. Called it the Pier House Motel.

David knew everyone. Persons of prominence came to stay at his motel. Two United States Presidents at one time in 1969.

I was at the Chart Room last night. John showed me a photo on his cell phone of the two Presidents and their wives. He had received the photo earlier in the day from Tim. Tim and his wife live with David and assist him with his everyday living.

Seated at a piano playing was Richard Nixon. Standing behind him, Nixon’s wife Pat, Harry Truman and Bess. It appears the picture was taken by David. A note written on the photo said: “To David Wolkowsky. The view at the Pier House-the greatest.” Signed: “Richard Nixon.”

A piece of memorabilia.

My Wampsville friend and former Court Clerk Ted was to join me for dinner last night. He called after I was sitting waiting for him for an hour to report he could not make it. He either was sick or met a lady. I hope the latter.

Met John from northern New Jersey at the bar. Nice guy. We chatted about the glories of the Jersey beaches.

I was hungry. No Ted. Called Catherine. Asked if she wanted to feed me. No problem. I hurried over and partook of all kinds of delicious cheeses. Even got to watch a great movie. The one which received this year’s Academy Award as Best Picture. The Shape Of Water. Miss it not! Absolutely fantastic!

The writer had to be extremely talented. I have never seen a movie with so many surprising scenes. The unexpected every few minutes. Great writing!

Tonight at 9:40, Syracuse/TCU. TCU a 4 point favorite.

My day yesterday began with a noon doctor visit with my primary care physician, Dr. Norris. To review my blood and urine test results.

God bless! Everything good.

More importantly, my weight. When I was in last week for my annual physical, I had lost 24 pounds. One week later, 2 more. Total loss to date 26 pounds. Love it!

I suspect my home scale is broke. It has not moved in 7 weeks. Always shows a 20 pound loss. My heart doctor’s machine showed a 22 pound loss 2 weeks ago.

Time to get a new scale.

Blood pressure 110/80. Wowie!

Health increasingly important as one gets older.

The Cuban Coffee Queen is like 50 feet from Dr. Norris’ office. Stopped for lunch. Enjoyed Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large hot Cuban coffee. I know, I cheated. Cuban bread made with pork lard. Milk in the Cuban coffee. I felt I was entitled.

Spring breakers all over Key West. Well behaved.

It seems every year, the spring breakers look younger to me. Makes sense. As I am one year older each year, they would of necessity look younger. Kids!

Key West a place where adults can be children again.

The foot race for all ages has been scheduled. The Cow Key Bridge Race. April 15.

The bridge is 300 feet long, the length of the race. It has been dubbed a zero K race. Designed for “athletes” who don’t want to wake up early or break a sweat. Over 1,000 will participate. Most costumed.

How we value things sometimes does not make sense. Seventeen were killed at Douglas High School. The students reacted and are reacting. Washington not.

This past week a dog was made to ride in a United luggage bin. The one above the passenger seat. The dog died. Within 48 hours, legislation was filed in the U.S. Senate to make sure a dog would never again be placed in a bin where he/she could die.

It would appear we value dogs more than children.

Trump and his minions are slowly turning our country to one like Germany was in the 1930’s.

Night time in  Delano, California. ICE looking for a particular Mexican to arrest and deport. Saw a Mexican couple getting into a SUV. The man looked like the one they sought.

As ICE approached, the couple panicked and took off. ICE gave chase. The SUV turned over. The couple died. The couple parents of 6 children.

Turned out the couple were illegals. Further turned out the man was not who ICE was seeking.

I appreciate ICE is doing its job as directed by superiors. Such does not make what they are doing correct.

The ICE of today are the Gestapo of yesterday. Our government is moving in the wrong direction. Many support Trump and believe in him. As did the Germans with Hitler.

The madness has to stop. America wake up! If not, in the end everyone will suffer including Trump’s followers.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THOMAS PAINE, THOMAS JEFFERSON, ST. AUGUSTINE

 

Civil disobedience rumbles through our society today. One example is what is going on in California. Attorney General Sessions has brought the might of the federal government down on California via a federal lawsuit. Legal and public opposition to the suit guaranteed.

People do not like being imposed upon by their government. The California issue has to do with sanctuary cities. California is a sanctuary state. It will not assist the federal government in rounding up, etc. certain illegal immigrants for deportation.

Many cities throughout the nation have labeled themselves sanctuary cities. All considering the federal government off base in seeking a city’s assistance to arrest and deport persons they do not believe should be deported.

The people speaking.

The lawsuit is weak substantively. The President forgot there is another branch of government called Congress. Trump’s signature on a piece of paper not enough to bring the power of the federal government down on a sanctuary state or cities without Congressional passage of a bill first approving what the federal government considers should be done with illegal immigrants.

Trump’s legal beagles in a hurry to do their master’s bidding, failed once again to do things properly. The legal analysis I leave for another day. Today, I want to approach the issue of civil disobedience from the philosophical perspective.

Thomas Paine said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

Thomas Jefferson, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

St. Augustine, ” That which is not just seems to be no law at all.”

An unjust law is a perversion of the law. Law is supposed to stop bad things from happening. Not make them happen.

People have refused to obey/support laws wrong in their essence many times in the past. Significant ones include the Boston Tea Party, Gandhi, and the Birmingham protest marchers.

It all turns on morality. Sessions suit is immoral. Its basis immoral. The people of California are right in saying no to it.

My yesterday began at 8:45 in the morning with a visit to Dr. Norris. My intern. My first annual physical with him.

Lose weight and you make your doctor’s day! His records indicated I have lost 24 pounds since my last visit. Love doctor scales. I am still stuck at 20 on mine.

Everything ok. Blood and urine results next thursday.

The Cuban Coffee House is next door to his offices. I had planned on Cuban toast and coffee following the examination. No way! The line too long. No question season is here.

Decided on Harpoon Harry’s for a real breakfast. Lucky to get a seat at the counter. Packed. People waiting to be seated.

I enjoyed ham, eggs and hash browns. Yes, I cheated. Felt I was entitled. Skipped the toast, however.

Last night, the Chart Room. With Catherine.

Wonderful people.

Met Charlene and Chris from the Chicago area. Charlene reads this blog! I am excited and appreciative each time I run into some one who does.

Charlene is a State Attorney. She prosecutes. Chris an attorney, also. Works with local government in Joliet.

Both past visitors to Key West.

Charlene told me she had ordered Irma and Me. I loved her even more.

Hope to see them both again before they leave.

Gayla and Jeff were sitting at the bar. We started talking. From San Antonia. Home of the Spurs! They sounded like die hard fans. As I am with Syracuse.

Frequent Key West visitors. Two grown children.

Gayla stopped by before she left to tell me she had ordered Irma and Me on her cell phone.

Love these women!

Irma and Me has achieved a degree of popularity. It has been out 3 months now. Selling. I appreciate it. Not from a money perspective. Rather the recognition it provides. I am humbled people read what I wrote.

Finally, Holly. Holly of Kevin and Holly. Holly alone. Kevin at home in Key West.

Kevin’s scooter flipped a few months ago. Kevin spent 24 days in intensive care. Beat up badly. He is on the mend. Not totally yet. I hope to run into them both tonight at the Chart Room.

Today, a Louis one. A haircut with Lori at noon. Cuban cheese toast and coffee at Sandy’s Cafe afterward. A manicure with Tammy at 5. Then, the Chart Room.

Oh Syracuse, my Syracuse! Like Mighty Casey, struck out last night. Syracuse lost to North Carolina 78-59. The evening before, Syracuse beat Wake Forest 73-64.

The ACC Tournament is over for Syracuse. The NCAA next week. Will Syracuse make the big dance? I doubt it. A win against North Carolina might have permitted it. The team came up one game short at the end I fear.

We will find out for certain Sunday night.

Last but not least, tomorrow at 6 Kate Miano’s campaign kickoff party. Everyone go! At the beautiful Gardens. Free food and drink. See old friends and make new ones!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

STAY OUT OF PEOPLE’S BEDROOMS

The federal government is at it again! Sticking its nose into my bedroom, your bedroom, my sex life, your sex life.

I refer to the new rule announced. One that takes effect immediately. That quick. The government is concerned.

The issue contraception. A danger. Prevents pregnancy.

Attorney General Sessions advised the new rule yesterday. Employers do not have to cover contraception costs in employee health programs if the employer has a religious or moral objection..

The rule is based on two thoughts.

The first is that birth control could involve fertilized eggs being expelled from the uterus. In effect, an abortion.

There is no scientific backing for the preceding.

The second is that it is immoral for a woman to have sex without accepting the possibility of pregnancy.

Both reasons have the Church and government getting into my bed and yours. Together, no less. It is wrong to impose a personal theology on Americans who do not share it.

Fifty five million women will be affected.

Abortion was in the news this past week, also.

Congressman Tim Murphy is a Pennsylvania Republican. Openly opposed to abortion. A long time leader amongst anti-abortionists.

The House of Representatives this past week passed a bill banning late term abortions. Murphy a co-sponsor of the bill.

Married, Murphy also has a girl friend. She advised him she was pregnant. He e-mailed her that she should have an abortion. She reacted by responding how could he even suggest an abortion after his long time stand on abortion.

The world knew within a short period of time Murphy’s position re the pregnancy. Murphy in an even shorter period of time announced he is resigning from Congress.

I want to tie the two together. Contraception and abortion. Think about what I am about to write: Contraception prevents unwanted pregnancies, abortion never becomes an issue.

Which now brings me to Newt Gingrich. An immoral man from my perspective.

Gingrich has been married three times. He asked his second wife for a divorce so he could marry his present wife while she was in the hospital battling cancer. He also wanted her to agree to an open marriage.

Gingrich was Speaker when Clinton was charged with impeachment. Yelled and screamed for Clinton’s impeachment. Gingrich viewed Clinton’s sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval office immorality of the highest degree.

Lewinsky was a federal intern at the time.

There is a prohibition against using federal property for sex purposes. Especially when both participants are federally employed in some capacity.

While Gingrich was after Clinton for engaging with Lewinsky in the Oval office, he was having sexual relations with his then girl friend Callista Bisek. Bisek was a Congressional aide at the time. The sex took place in Gingrich’s offices.

Bisek is the woman Gingrich wanted to marry when he asked his second wife Marianne for a divorce while she was in a hospital bed fighting cancer.

Bisek is now Callista Gingrich.

All thus far background for what is to follow.

Callista Gingrich has been nominated by Trump to be Ambassador to the Vatican. She has already received approval on the first necessary vote. It is expected she will easily be finally approved.

Newt Gingrich will be an influence to some degree in the Vatican. Even though he is merely husband to the Ambassador.

Judge not lest ye be judged. I am judging. I can’t help it. Gingrich is the last person I want wandering the halls of the Vatican as husband to the U.S. Ambassador. He will gain influence and express positions I am confident I would not be comfortable with.

Yesterday, a busy one.

Another doctor visit, haircut with Lori, manicure with Tammy, and several other matters.

Dinner at 7 with new friend Brenda at Antonia’s. We sat at the bar. Good company.

Bria Ansara came in and sat at the bar, also. Always good to see Bria. She told us Berlin’s was open last night for the first time. A lot of damage. Restaurant windows blown out.

She was not singing last night. Berlin’s thought there would be few customers.

I stopped at Don’s Place on the way home. Chatted with Herschel, Stan and John.

Herschel and Stan are brothers. Herschel lived in Key West for several years. Now resides somewhere out west.

Herschel a good guy. Helps people in need. He spent a week in Houston helping a friend who had damage as a result of Harvey. He has been helping out a former Navy friend in Big Pine since Irma. Stan is also.

The gentleman they are helping was their superior when in the Navy. They have remained friends.

I apologize for not recalling his name. He was at one time Commander of the VFW in Key West.

Stan went to Big Pine following his usual Key West job yesterday afternoon. He found their Navy friend dead.

The cleanup probably too much for him.

I mentioned a few days ago the 1,300 sunk boats that have to be removed from off shore Keys’ waters. Turns out buoys a problem, also. Most blown away. Those that can be recovered will be. The Civil Air Patrol has become involved in identifying them.

Then there are those which will never be located or seen again.

The buoys have to be replaced. A necessity in navigation. Miss a buoy and you are lost. Panic lost in the big wide sea with no land in sight.

Enjoy your day!

BALLS IN NORTH DAKOTA

A strange title. Refers to male testicles. As this story develops, you will agree it appropriate.

If I could video the Chart Room, the shows would be terrific. The conversations some evenings would be difficult for a professional writer to compose.

Last night an example.

It was David, Kevin, John, Mike from Liverpool, Ollie, and me. Ollie the star. He was wound up. Irma still getting to him.

Ollie is a first class citizen. Always volunteering, helping the community. Does for others. The nature of the man. From the heart.

Ollie lives at Santa Clara. He is President of the Homeowner/Tenant Association. As such, he tried to keep things under control as Irma struck.

He had keys to each apartment. Important.

Water never hit the building. It was 3 feet high in the parking lot, however.

Owners/tenants had friends stay with them during Irma. The building considered a safe place.

Some young adults arrived with their scooters/mopeds.

Ollie discovered the scooters parked in one of the hallways. He yelled and screamed and said get them out of here. Against fire laws.

When he returned, the scooters were no longer in the hall way. He discovered them in the apartment. The next time he looked, they were no longer in the apartment. They were on the fire escape.

Frustrated, Ollie called the Fire Department. By the time they arrived, the scooters were gone.

Later, there was smoke. Fire smoke. Not from the scooters. A main breaker caught on fire. He called the Fire Department.

Ollie heard a lot of noise coming from one apartment. A strange yet familiar noise. He entered to find someone trying to blow out the candles in the room with a leaf blower.

Pool water was used to flush toilets. During the several no power days, tenants swam in the pool. Ollie had cookouts for the tenants. Somehow, he got some food. Cooked on the outside grill. A party each evening. Sounded like Birmingham.

FEMA has been supplying the people of Key West with food packages. Labeled MRE. Stands for Meals Ready to Eat.

Ollie a bit of a joker when not taking his President duties seriously.

He handed me a gray squared small packet. Labeled MRE-P. It was a prophylactic. A condom. I looked at him and said, you’re kidding. No, he said. FEMA also had MRE-Ts. Tampons.

It was a joke.

Ollie got into a dissertation  as to where he wanted to be buried. He had visited the two local cemeteries. Shocked at how expensive! Decided the only thing of value he  had to leave were his testicles.

He has signed the necessary paperwork and also placed in his will what he wants done with them.

His family has a burial plot in North Dakota. He wants his testicles removed and transported to North Dakota for burial. He does not care what happens to the rest of his body.

The man was serious!

Ollie walked behind the bar. There sitting amongst all the pics was what Ollie described as a Ball Coffin. A cylinder about 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Military green. His testicles were to be transported in the cylinder.

Ollie ended the story by raising a fisted hand and shouting…..Balls in North Dakota!

He was sober.

Stopped at Denny’s on the way home for a sandwich. Sat at the bar. Robi bartending. Another customer nearby, Bob. Bob is a marine mechanic.

The three of us had a lengthy conversation. Discussed many things. Including Puerto Rico and grown children. Each of us have adult children. Our stories of them similar. A different generation from ours.

Spent a couple of hours at Dr. Norris’ office yesterday. My new primary care physician. A first visit. I believe I will be in good hands.

I have a dinner date this evening. With Brenda who I met last week at the Chart Room.

Enjoy your day!