Unusually Good Chart Room Last Night

Chart Room unusually good last night. Chatted with two lovely couples and an old friend. All interesting people.

Met Catherine and Stephen from St. Augustine. Both with interesting backgrounds.

Catherine is in program management with Winn-Dixie. I got an education from her re the super market business. Husband Stephen is a retired electrical engineer. While in the U.S. Navy, served on the submarine USS Jacksonville.

Married 25 years. Have visited Key West 3-4 times.

Then came Dawn and Mike. From Jackson, Tennessee. Dawn a customer rep for a truck line. Husband Mike, a truck driver.

Mike is Dawn’s second husband. Her first husband Greg died in his 40’s. Greg the son of Cal Perkins. Cal Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes. Later made famous by Elvis Presley.

Mike a look a like for movie star Sam Elliot.

Dawn’s first husband Greg was fond of Key West. His ashes were spread along Smathers Beach.

Dawn flew from Jackson with Greg’s ashes. Security avoided looking in the container carrying his ashes when she told them what the container contained. They sort of stepped back from the dead.

I did my first book signing a few months ago at the Andrews Inn. Author Robert Codrun put the event together and asked me to participate.

Robert lives in California. He is back in Key West. Arrived yesterday. A couple of hours before we ran into each other at the Chart Room.

A big week is coming up for mystery writers. A very large group will be in Key West to participate. Robert returned to be part of the event.

While all this was going on, Ollie was standing at the end of the bar as overseer. His eyes on everyone.

My stomach told me I was hungry. Stopped at Five Guys. The perfect meal for my diet. Two cheeseburgers wrapped in lettuce. No bread. And a diet soda.

I have some Trump observations. A walk back in history first. Nothing to do with Trump.

Henry Hudson. We all learned in grammar school he discovered the Hudson River. As Columbus before him, he was looking for a passage to the East.

On Hudson’s fourth trip to the New World, he continued north on the Hudson River to Hudson Bay. Winter was setting in. He waited too long to get his ship out into open water. It froze stuck in the waters of Hudson Bay.

A cold winter. Insufficient food. Hudson’s crew not happy campers.

In June when the ship was able to move, the crew mutinied. They were unhappy that they had been forced to suffer the winter and blamed Hudson for his poor judgment.

Hudson, his teenage son and seven crewmen were placed in a small boat and set adrift.

Hudson not a Captain Bligh. The tyrannical captain of the Bounty who had a similar experience but guided his small boat thousands of miles to safety. Hudson, his son and the seven sailors were never heard from again.

Trump time.

Melania visited a Lutheran shelter for immigrant children yesterday. Children 12-18. The kids had already been there for some months. The place looked terrific. The staff appeared professional and caring.

On the surface, a big deal Melania visited the place. Not enough from my perspective. It would have been better had she visited the caged and otherwise detained babies, toddlers and those under 10. She should have been, and we should have been able to see, the down and dirty of the past few days.

A good move by the first Lady. Short of what it should have been.

Trump has several shortcomings hitting him all at one time. Deservedly so. America must see who the man truly is.

His biggest fiasco the breaking up of families. The immigrant children. Thousands who may never be able to reconnect with their families.

Trump’s immigrant move unquestionably a failure.

The immigration bill. Two failed yesterday. A third one is being worked on over the weekend. It may be voted on next week. Perhaps not. It is not what Trump wants. He mentioned on TV they should hold the vote next year at a time when a new Congress might pass it.

Lies galore. By Trump and Sessions. To cover up the poor judgment behind the immigrant problem. The public will not be deceived. Both are being shown on TV before the breakdown of their plans telling us how right it was, the legal thing to do, etc.

Military base facilities are being prepared for 20,000 immigrant children. Instead of wasting money on fixing and staffing new facilities to house and care of them, the money should be spent to quickly determine which children belong to which parents and get the families together.

I have written several times recently that big corporate dollars are involved in caring for the immigrant children. I referred to it as a million dollar business. Not so. The New York Times yesterday reported it was a billion dollar business.

Most are private prison corporations. One has been paid $955 million since 2015. Several others have been paid millions of dollars.

Fraud guaranteed! Someone should follow the money.

This tariff thing is going to break the back of the U.S. Perhaps the world. China’s media claim the U.S. has “delusions” as the impact of the trade war spreads.

Trump does. Millions of U.S. jobs will ultimately be lost. The economic impact will be world wide. A recession similar to 1929 could occur. Recall, Hoover  became President. The late 1920’s were booming. The market at an all time high.

Hoover believed tariffs were appropriate. As Trump does. He was wrong. The Great Depression occurred.

It could happen again.

Trump tells us Saudi Arabia is our friend. Have always been our friend. Bullshit! Never forget Saudi Arabia gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

The U.S. in recent times had enjoyed a dominance in the energy field. We now export more oil than ever before. The world our customers. Saudi Arabia has had to take a back seat.

Saudi Arabia and OPEC not happy with the situation. They have joined with Russia to regain OPEC’s dominance and diminish that of the United States.

My KONK Life column this week is Sit AT Attention Or Die. Recall last week Trump mentioned he liked it the way people sat at attention when Kim spoke. He wished his people would.

Kim’s people sit at attention because it is death not to. He killed two high ranking officials for the way they sat when he spoke. One for slouching, the other for falling asleep.

The column appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast also.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

HUGGING ROBOTS

Robots are taking over the world. With a shocking quickness. Silently, however. Sneaking up on us.

Robots are working assembly lines, in warehouses, cleaning homes, even making love.

Now comes the hugging robot. Five years in development. The goal to design robots to give hugs humans will love.

Makes sense. People love to give and receive hugs.

Success almost here. Hugging robots being fine tuned at this stage.

Yesterday busy. Especially during the day. Many errands to run.

Squeezed in lunch at Sandy’s Cafe.

Last night, the Chart Room.

Packed. Surprising. Key West is into off season.

Jean Thornton’s birthday was being celebrated. Many celebrating with her.

Barb, whoever you are, where were you? You wrote and asked to meet me and if I would sign your copy of Irma and Me. I replied ok. Chart Room wednesday at 6. I was there. Apparently you were not. I asked several women if they were Barb. No Barbs. Bartender John was asked to look out for you also.

What happened?

On the way home, remembered I had not eaten. Stopped at Five Guys. Two cheeseburgers lettuce wrapped. No fries. A diet meal.

Another doctor visit this afternoon. Part of getting ready for my Cleveland Clinic visit. Following the doctor visit, I will be stopping by Liz’s for a drink and some interesting conversation.

My KONK Life column a couple of weeks ago concerned Black Caesar the Keys Pirate. Today Port Royal, a Caribbean pirate haven.

Port Royal was a small island off Jamaica. Six thousand five hundred residents. All one way or another involved with piracy.

The island headquarters not only for piracy, but also smuggling and debauchery. It has been described as the “most wicked and sinful city in the world…..one of the lewdest in the Christian world.” In other words, a fun place.

On this day in 1692, 3 powerful quakes hit Port Royal. A large tsunami, also. At one point, half the island was under 40 feet of water.

Port Royal’s population 6,500. Three thousand died that day. Thousands more in the days following the quakes.

Port Royal could not be rebuilt. People thought it was built on coral like Key West. Turned out not to be. Strictly dirt. The mud remaining prohibited rebuilding.

Undaunted, the pirates moved operations to Jamaica itself. Built a new city. Called it Kingston. Today, Jamaica’s largest city.

Trump is a historian of note. Written with tongue in cheek, of course.

Yesterday, he did it again. While he and Trudeau were having a heated telephone conference re the tariff issue, Trudeau asked how Canada could be a security threat to the United States. Trump’s reply was to the effect that Canada had burned down the White House.

Canada did not put the White House to the torch. It was the British. During the War of 1812. At a time when Canada was not even a nation. It did not become one till 1867. During the War of 1812, it was a British colony.

A year earlier, the U.S. had invaded Canada and burned down York. York today Toronto. The British were burning down the White House in retaliation for the Americans having burned the British colony of York.

The interesting and generally unmentioned story of the White House and its burning involves Dolley Madison. Dolley was the wife of then President James Madison. The White House had been evacuated. Dolley remained with a handful of workers.

Her concern was the portrait of George Washington. She did not want it to fall into the hands of the British.

The painting was screwed into the wall. The screws would not come out. Dolley ordered the frame broken and the canvas removed.

It was only then that she swiftly departed to avoid capture.

When word got out of her courage and the saving of Washington’s painting, Dolley became a national heroine.

A hundred years later, some historians claimed Dolley was not the person who saved the painting. She had long fled. It was some house slaves led by a Frenchman overseer type.

The Dolley Madison heroine story is considered more reputable.

Before I receive a ton of e-mails, Dolley is spelled correctly. The “e” is part of her name.

I sometimes wonder what Trump studied in college. It is obvious he did not read history books.

Enjoy your day!

 

NORWAY……HEALTHCARE AND COLLEGE EDUCATION FREE

Heard from Jean Thornton yesterday. Key West’s Golden Girl was in Bergen, Norway. She and Joe had just finished lunch. Jean, soup and a beer. Joe, fish and chips and a beer. Cost, $75.

My first impression, WOW! Lord, save me from Norway!

The WOW understandable. On the other hand, in spite of the cost of the lunch, Norway may not be a bad place to live.

Healthcare is free. A public education through college is free. The country has a comprehensive social security system.

Norway is considered the star of 21st century socialism.

It has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Forty six weeks paid parental leave. An average hourly wage among the highest in the world. An average hourly productivity level also among the highest in the world.

Norway is the largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East. It has the fourth highest per capita income in the world. The second wealthiest country in the world in monetary value, with the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation.

On top of it all, a low crime rate. No need to steal where the government in one fashion or another takes care of its own.

There is also a negative side. Not sure if negative is the correct word. Norway’s cost of living (excluding housing) is 52 percent higher than in the United States. Probably the reason Jean and Joe had to pay $75 for lunch.

Watched Trump speak to the NRA convention in Dallas yesterday afternoon. His cry…..Elect Republicans to save gun rights!

The man respectfully is a whore. I recall how several months ago he sat in the White House and told students, teachers and parents following the 17 Florida high school shooting deaths that no one should be afraid of the NRA. He was not, suggesting he was finally prepared to stand up to the NRA.

He made clear yesterday before the NRA that his words in the White House were for show. Yesterday he said, ” We will never give up our freedom. We will live free and we will die free.”

He was Teddy Roosevelt and the audience was ready to follow him up the hill.

The Chart Room again last night. Spent considerable time chatting with John and David.

Stopped at Five Guys on the way home. They have cheeseburgers wrapped in lettuce. Perfect for my diet. Enjoyed two.

Big day today! The Kentucky Derby!

I have been privileged to attend many major sporting events. Never a Kentucky Derby, however. Doubt I will in the future. Can’t do everything.

Rain predicted for this afternoon. The track may be a bit muddy. A horse called Justify the favorite. I do not follow the horses so I know nothing about him.

I have three places to watch the race. Don’s Place, the Chart Room, and Bob and Donna’s. Don’s Place always fun. Never watched the race at the Chart Room. Bob and Donna’s sure to be a great house party.

Recently, I have been referring to Netanyahu and Trump as birds of a feather. They are. Especially in the area of lying. Truth means nothing to them.

Netanyahu has been on a kick re Iran for a year. Especially the past week. He did a drama made for TV. Charts, diagrams, etc. Some even in color.

All to provide Iran nuclear information. Poorly stated. Actually, Iran nuclear disinformation. Turns out much of the material he relied upon was old and known. That not old, he fabricated. Significantly.

Netanyahu and Trump want war with Iran. Trump could get it now that he has Bolan and Pompeo as aides.

If a war should erupt with any country, it will be nuclear. Trump, his staff and family will be safely beneath some mountain in the West. While you and I will be scurrying to find a table to hide under.

Another problem seems to be overwhelming us. Lying is becoming acceptable. We don’t get upset when a political leader lies today. We have come to expect and accept lying. The kind Trump engages in.

A study suggest Trump lies 6.5 times a day and has lied more that 3,000 times since taking office.

Enjoy your day!

WORLD WAR II RATIONING…..PUBLIC’S PART IN WAR EFFORT

The U.S. has had boots on the ground in 17 different countries since 9/11. Military involvement. Too much by any measure.

One of the reasons our country easily goes into these different countries to war is that most American people are not involved on a personal basis.

We have a volunteer military. No draft. Only those that want to go, go. We are not meeting the the military’s goals number wise. The quality of those volunteering is less than desirable mentally, drug wise and in other respects.

If there was a draft, Congress would be reluctant to vote monies for more and more wars. The people back home would be on their asses if they were committing their husbands, children and grandchildren to go in harm’s way.

During World War II because of the draft, everyone was involved on the home front as well as the war front.

Another method existed for citizen participation. Rationing. Painful in its own way.

Coffee one of the items rationed. Coffee came from Latin America. Military needed coffee more than the folks back home. Also, demands placed on shipping a contributing factor to the rationing of coffee.

Then there was gasoline. Imagine, each car owner got only 3 gallons a week. Butter, also. The boys at the front required it more.

Rationing gave those on the home front a hand in the war. A way to sacrifice, to participate personally.

The way things work today without a draft  or rationing, the home front is not a front. Those at home rarely feel the consequences of the wars. Unless a volunteer returns home dead or maimed.

Lunch yesterday at Five Guys. Second day in a row. A cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce leafs. Followed by minimal grocery shopping for the diet at Publix.

Ran into Giorgio at Publix. His Key West home for sale. He and Sharon are moving to central Florida. Irma evacuation got to him. Also, he needs to be close to good hospitals. The helicopter ride to Miami might get him there too late.

Giorgio is President of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. We have become good friends since I joined. I will miss  him.

Giorgio and I are having a farewell dinner together friday night. Drinks at the Chart Room and diner at Hot Tin Roof.

Last night my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. One of the better ones. Got into Muslims yesterday and today, the Catholic Church’s involvement in the First Crusade, the new Islamic Coalition comparable to NATO, etc.

Tragedy and pleasure struck yesterday. No hot water. Showered in the cold.

Tenancy has it advantages. Telephoned the rental manager. He came over and checked things. Unable to fix. He will have a repair man here today.

When I owned, it would have been my headache to arrange and pay for repair. Like it better this way.

Trump has enough on his hands. What with North Korea and the tax bill. Never the less, he seems to find time to return to the foolish. Yesterday, it was revealed he is back into the birther issue. He has returned to his original position: Obama was not born in the U.S.

When the sexual harassment issue hit the news several weeks ago, I said on my Facebook live video show Key West Lou Live that to a smaller degree women bore some responsibility. The was they dressed. Sexually. An invitation to wrongdoing by man.

No one else took a similar position till yesterday. Angela Lansbury. Now 92, a British Dame, former star of Broadway and Hollywood.

Lansbury said women’s efforts at beautifying themselves had “backfired.” Left them at risk of sexual harassment, encouraged sexual harassment. Women in some instances take the blame.

Lansbury added however that here was no excuse for men who prey on women.

Enjoy your day!

 

IRMA AFTERMATH COSTLY

Key West is located in Monroe County. Monroe County runs from Key West to Miami proper.

Irma has and will continue to be costly for Monroe County.

One of the more expensive items is debris removal. Debris consisting of anything and everything. Up to $40 million already.

How to pay for it?

FEMA will ultimately pay it all. The problem is FEMA moves slowly in this regard. I am not being critical of FEMA. They had there boots on the ground immediately with the necessaries. Things like food, water, a place to sleep, etc.

The bigger and less personal bills apparently go through the bureaucratic process which can take forever.

Vendors have to be paid. The County is concerned. At a County Commission meeting last night it was decided to approach local banks for a loan. Interest would be between 1 and 2 percent. Monthly repayments easy to handle. Repayment certain when FEMA comes through.

Forty million dollars is not the end cost for debris removal. It is anticipated it will take at least four months more at an estimated cost of $5 million per month.

The Key West City Commission met last night, also. Horses’ asses!

They voted to permit building heights to go from 25 feet to 40 feet. Limited to the three City owned lots on College Road. To be used for affordable housing.. A public vote is required approving the change. It is scheduled for March.

Rent is expensive in Key West because the City does not adequately enforce its laws re rentals. Unless a transient license is involved, rentals must be a minimum  of 28 days.

Greed has come into play. Rental owners are renting by the week and getting top dollar. Surprising how much a one week stay can cost. In the thousands.

Rental homeowners disregard the law. If they get caught, the fine levied is minimal to the profit being made.

Lunch at Five Guys yesterday. I began my diet at yesterday, also.

Atkins. Low carb, high protein. I was on it twice before. With significant success. Years ago. Seventy and 50 pounds. Kept the weight off for 2 years thereafter each time. I figured Atkins was better than going on what I describe as a cardboard diet again.

Five Guys sells a cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce. No bread. Nothing but beef and cheese.

Tasty and low in carbs.

Saw my heart physician Dr. Mc Ivor afterwards. He reviewed the catherization results with me. Everything showed no change from my last one. He does not want to see me for 3 months.

My two heart doctors say nothing is wrong. My primary care physician the same thing. All tests normal.

Why then have I been so tired the past few years?

The cath doctor said lose 40-50 pounds. I see it as a last resort. Time will tell. I do not think weight is the problem, though it might contribute. I began being tired when I was 30 pounds lighter.

An enjoyable evening last night. I watched Syracuse play Maryland in basketball. Syracuse won 72-70. A close game all the way.

Syracuse has 2 negatives. No 3 point shooter. The other is that the fabled zone defense was not working effectively. Though Syracuse caused many Maryland turnovers, Maryland was getting the ball in the middle with ease.

Robots have interested me the past two years. They are here and more are coming. Will do just about anything.

A year ago, I mention that a sex robot was on the way. Two months ago, again. This time to advise the sex robot was lovely, had soft skin, murmured sweet nothings, responded to comments, etc.

The Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy has come out with an article on the subject.

The sex robots are called sexbots and digisexuals. Do all the things mentioned two paragraphs earlier. No gender discrimination. Available to men and women. They are specifically designed to fulfill a person’s desires. The article suggests people will bond with their robots.

What happens then?

My podcast show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. An interesting fast moving half hour. Nine my time.

A wide spectrum of topics to be discussed. Like Truman, pythons, Sesame Street, Trump access Hollywood denial, sex robots, an update on Walmart’s use of robots, Irma debris problems.

Also, the Islamic Coalition the Arab world’s NATO, the tax bill, China and Bali, Trump disparages CNN, MIT study re electric cars and pollution, the Consumer Bureau war, and more.

Irma and Me has been available for purchase for three weeks. People are buying it. How many I do not know. However, I am getting e-mails and personal comments advising…..I bought your book!

It excites me!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

JOHN WAYNE HE AIN’T

 

John Kelly is no John Wayne. I refer to the former Marine general who presently serves as Trump’s Chief of Staff.

Kelly looks good. Especially in uniform. Tough, honest appearing. Pure virtue.

He is not. He personifies the adage…..You can’t tell a book by its cover.

Kelly has difficulty telling the truth. He does not understand American history. Sound familiar? Two Trump failures.

Most recently, Kelly said the Civil War could have been averted by compromise and Lee was a great general.

Yes, the Civil War could have been averted. All Lincoln and the Union had to do was enshrine slavery forever in the United States. As to Lee being a great general, Kelly is creating history. He is forwarding a view of Lee with which most historians do not agree.

Time for a cholesterol lunch yesterday. A cheeseburger at Five Guys.

Then to Publix. Out of food again.

Grocery shopping continues to be tiring. Pushing the cart around the store, loading the car, bringing the groceries in, keeping the groceries. Knocks me on my ass! Not kidding!

Did my podcast show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Part of the program involved three separate stories involving children. Anger you and touch your heart at the same time.

It seems it is getting easier to prepare and do the show. I have been thinking about it. Why easier? The answer simple. Trump.

Seven topics last night. Trump directly or peripherally involved in five.

I continue to live and learn. Homeless children a major problem at the moment. I mentioned yesterday there are an additional 320 homeless children in Monroe County because of Irma.

Discovered today there is a Florida Keys Children’s Shelter in Tavernier. Free housing and delicious meals for kids 10-17.

Only 19 beds. Each filled since Irma. Parents whose homes are gone drop the children off at night and pick them up in the morning. Foster children cared for, also.

Obviously not enough beds. However, better than nothing. Every little bit helps.

The Irma homeless problem manifests itself in another fashion.Hotels provides free rooms to families. FEMA pays the tab. $201 per night in Key West. $93 a night outside Key West.

Some hotels did not close their doors to the Irma homeless because of Fantasy Fest. Those that did are trying to reopen them.

FEMA has extended its program to pay for hotel living through December 2. Many hotels though willing to take people in cite the Power Boat races and other events where hotel accommodations are in demand. Business is business.

The hotels are trying to be cooperative, work things out.

The numbers interesting. Immediately following Irma there were 2,700 households in need of rooms. The number has fallen. It is now 600. Still a healthy number.

On this date in 1512, the Sistine Chapel was opened to the public. Michelangelo had completed God and Adam’s arms stretching towards each other. The Creation of Adam.

A masterpiece for the ages.

Thirty five years ago, I did a one month Italy vacation with the wife, children and my parents. My Dad never was easily impressed. As we were standing with  heads tilted up to view Michelangelo’s work, my father asked…..What’s the big deal?

The Manhattan terrorist attack yesterday proves we are never going to be really safe. Could take another 50-100 years to resolve the terrorist problem.

Eight died and 11 were injured.

New York City vigilant. The last New York terrorist attack was 9/11/2001.  Sixteen years ago.

Some numbers recently released re police shootings of civilians. Thus far this year, 782 in the United States. Contrast that with similar shootings in England and Wales combined. In the 27 years from 1990-2016, 62.

My publisher has assured me Irma and Me will be available for purchase by the end of the week. I hope!

Enjoy your day!