RANDOM IRMA HAPPENINGS

I feel like a refugee. I am a refugee. Fleeing Irma.

Some random experiences/happenings the past 24 hours. All Irma related one way or another.

The media has pointedly described Irma: A looming apocalypse…..The surge a minor tsunami…..A lawnmower from the sky.

Spent yesterday afternoon watching Alabama/Fresno State. Alabama killed little Fresno State. My hosts Jean and Joe are Alabama graduates and die hard Alabama fans. I was glad for them.

Followed the game up with a nap. Still tired from the drive.

Rose for cocktail hour. Drinks/drinking excellent! Never had a Beefeaters last night, though a giant bottle was waiting for me when I arrived. Margaritas and wine. The wine exceptional.

Dinner a holiday table. Great food. A neighbor prepared lasagna. Another prepared a Texas streetcake. Chocolate. Absolutely delicious! The wine flowed continuously. Joe started things off with a prayer. Called for under the circumstances.

There are only 9 of us here. Feels like much more. Fortunately, the house is large enough so we neither run into each other and can get a degree of privacy if so desired.

Several slept on sleeping bags and couches last night. Jean had two neighbors who offered private rooms and  beds. We all opted to stay together in one house. Team spirit.

The Sheriff moved the 460 Monroe County Jail inmates from Stock Island to a facility in Palm Beach County. One hundred twenty five correction officers went with them and will remain with them.

I do not understand why the inmates were moved. The jail imposing stone and brick.

The Sheriff also maintains an animal farm. Many animals. Well taken care of. A place to visit. The animals were moved from the farm to the jail.

If the jail is safe enough for treasured animals, it should have been safe enough for the inmates.

As of 9 this morning, US 1 not flooded. Except for one lane in Islamorada.

The TV channels are not reporting Irma properly. A lot of talk and next to no video re Key West. Everything video wise primarily Miami.

It is obvious there are no TV people in Key West.

TV is trying to fool people. They got caught by those of us in this house. They ran a video of a flooded Key Largo street. Water rolling as far as the eye could see. 2-3 feet. Two streets.

The streets were Duval and Front in  Key West.

Gotcha!

Saw a picture on my cell phone of a woman lighting a candle at St. Mary’s of the Sea in Key West. Large votive candles. A statue of the Blessed Mother.

The belief is if candles are lite and prayers said asking for relief from a storm, such conduct will help. I am not being disrespectful, but I have never seen a Key West hurricane avoided by such conduct.

Saw another video of the White Street Pier on Facebook. The Pier totally covered in water. Right up to the rails. Huge waves pouring over the rails. Two Key Westers running around taking the video. Finally, one of them shouted to the other: Lets get out of here…..this place is too dangerous!

The Marriott Beachside opened its doors yesterday or a day before to guests. Minimum rate. The place is packed with those who stayed. Like Mark Watson. The Marriott was built to sustain a category 5.

Mark Watson reported on Facebook yesterday that they had moved him from a first floor room to a third floor one. Sounded ominous.

La Concha is also taking guests. Built somewhere back in the 1920’s. Survived over the years. Thought safe.

I have considered Florida’s Governor Scott a flaming asshole up to this point. His political/social decisions rarely helpful to the populace in general. Favor the affluent.

He has turned me around. His Irma conduct beyond belief. His actions thought out and necessary. Like ok for a line of traffic to travel on highway shoulders. Move the cars faster!

In prior storms, all traffic lanes move in one direction. The game plan to get people out of danger’s way faster. For Irma, one lane kept open going the other way. Fuel trucks. To get needed gasoline to the southern part of the State.

Every conceivable way has been utilized to get people out of harm’s way. Buses provided. Sick and elderly removed from their homes to a safe place. Etc.

Reported that police and fire have left. Felt everything conceivable had been done to get people out. I would agree. I do not believe that some police and fire did not remain. My friends e-mail me that some have remained at the Marriott Beachside.

The Audubon House. On the corner of Whitehead and Greene Streets. Built way back when by a Captain Geiger.

In 1832, the famous bird painter John James Audubon spent 20 days residing at the house. He discovered 18 new breed of birds and painted them.

Our little group has some persons purportedly knowledgeable about Audubon in Key West.

The story told is that Audubon would discover the new breed in the morning. Kill it. Stretch it on something so he could paint it. Painted in the afternoon. Cooked and ate the bird for dinner at night.

It was the eating of the bird in the evening that I found extraordinary.

Those of us here are bonding. I am waiting for someone to suggest we have an Irma reunion once a year.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHITE MEN BEHEAD TOO

Saudi Arabia and most Middle East countries behead. Historically, many other countries have beheaded.

It was 1637. The place Groton, Connecticut. The Pequot Indians and settlers were not getting along. Seemed the whites were on a mission to exterminate the Pequots. Several battles occurred before the Groton one. The settlers the winners each time.

Seven hundred Pequots had gathered in Groton for a green corn dance. Dutch and English mercenaries led the settler attack. All 700 Pequots were killed. By shooting, stabbing, butchering and burning.

In the victory celebration following the battle, the Dutch and English severed heads from dead Pequot bodies. Then partied by kicking the heads through Groton streets like soccer balls.

Bocci last night. My poor team still not with it. I may have to return.

The team lost the first game 16-15. Won the second 16-15. I left. Do not know the results of the third game.

The sadness of the whole thing is that the other team is in next to last place. Don’s should have killed them!

Chickens and humans have lived in peace with each other for years in Key West. Each group ignores the other.

Recently, the Key West Fire Department was called. A tragedy in the making. Two baby chicks had fallen through a storm grate. Death inevitable if not saved.

The event not a fire. Regardless of the situation not being their responsibility, the firemen went to work and rescued the two chicks. Reflects the heart and love found in Key West.

Big evening tonight at the Custom House. The Flagler Railway Exhibit opens. KWAHS and Dr. Cori Convertino’s baby. I plan on attending.

Tom told me at bocce last night that his wife Nicky’s drawing of Henry Flagler was part of the exhibit. Congratulations, Nicky!

I live and learn. Memorial Day around the corner. American flags will be flying all over Key West. Tradition dictates the American flag is to be flown at half mast till noon.

I doubt any will be. Who knew/knows?

Trump at the G7 meeting. The NATO meeting. His speech an insult to the U.S.’s European friends. The man is tasteless!

On top of which he exhibited he cares only for himself. A narcissistic bully.

Leaders of other nations were walking down a corridor. Trump apparently was at the rear. He shoved his way forward. Pushed the President of some small country out of the way so he could be up front and in the middle. Then he buttoned his jacket and looked ahead. solemn appearing. His jaw jutting out.

Reminded me of Mussolini.

Florida’s Governor Scott recently signed a bill into law removing feminine hygiene products from the sales tax. Tampons and menstrual pads. He referred to what he did as “common sense legislation.” The items being “necessary products.”

I ask why it took so long to recognize the fact.

Wear your seat belt from now till June 4th for sure. It’s click it time! Police will be looking to ticket drivers not wearing their seat belts. Includes others in the car required by law to wear a seat belt.

The ticket somewhere in the area of $160.

I got caught several years ago. I was wrong. Never the less, the size of the fine irritated me no end. Outrageous!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

WE LOST OUR WAY…..

I finally decided what to write for this week’s KONK Life column.

The subject concerns the loss of American values. The disintegration of our way of life.

I suspect the column will be controversial. Not all will agree with me.

The column was written yesterday. It will publish in KONK Life wednesday.

I snuck over to Publix in between writing the column. I never have enough food in the house. Glad I went. I ran into Mary Ann Westerlund in the parking lot. Her husband Roger died last week. I wrote about Roger two days ago.

Mary Ann was with one of their daughters. What can one say or do, except I am sorry and a warm hug.

Dinner last night at Roostica. The sunday night special is spaghetti in a pork sauce with meatballs and sausage. The meal close to my grandmother and mother’s cooking.

One exception. I do  not recall ever seeing spaghetti in the house. The closest we came was perchetelli. A thicker type spaghetti. My family’s favorite was ziti. Mine today are rigatonis. Known as stove pipes back then.

I subscribe to World War II History. A monthly magazine. Read two interesting articles last night.

One concerned Chuck Yaeger. He was a World War II ace. Following the war, he was a test pilot. He is best known for being the first to crack the sound barrier.

The other involved thousands of Russians who fought for Germany during World War II. In the German Army. Some as generals.

I was not aware.

The Russians were anti-Stalin. After the war, the Russians wanted to stay in Germany or some other European country. They did not wish to return to Russia. They feared Stalin would have them killed.

The Allies did not buy the fear story or did not care. Most were repatriated. Most were killed by Stalin over the next two years.

My column in last week’s KONK Life concerned Uber. A timely subject, I thought. It must have been. Unknowingly, two other KONK Life writers wrote about the same subject. Pru Sowers and Rick Boettger. Our articles did not overlap. We approached the story from different perspectives.

Yesterday or the day before, the Key West Citizen editorial concerned the subject. The message was give Uber a shot. Then yesterday morning, a one hour Miami talk show. Heavy hitters on the show. Plus, the owner of a taxi fleet. Except for the cab company proprietor, all were in accord Uber was a good thing and should be encouraged rather than fought.

The Key West Citizen and Miami TV show agreed with me. Rick disagreed. Pru took no position. Merely related the facts.

I live and learn. There is a crack down in Monroe Country re short term rentals. Less than 28 days. This I knew. What I did not know was that there is a Florida law on the books since 2011 prohibiting cities from passing local laws barring short term rentals.

How then can Monroe County be doing it? The law includes a grandfather clause. If a city banned short term rentals before the new law, the city was grandfathered in and could continue the banning.

A stupid use of the grandfather clause. Florida should be uniform on the issue.

Greece. My Greece. The word this morning is that there is a deal. It will be signed tonight. Whatever the deal, it has to be approved by the Greek Parliament.

The present Greek President was elected in January claiming he would no longer subvert Greece to the Eurounion’s demands. The deal proposed does exactly that. It is a continuance of what came before. It basically is the same document the new Greek government has been opposing. As well as a majority of Greek citizens.

I believe the proposal is not the end of the problem. The can has been kicked down the road. I say that for several reasons.

It subjects the Greek people to additional austerity. The thing that has been killing them. It does not provide for debt restructuring. Greece will never be able to pay the debt as presently structured. A portion has to either be forgiven or extended 20-30 years. Overall, the proposal will weaken rather than strengthen the Greek economy.

Greece will be kicked around a bit more. The eventuality is that ultimately Greece will leave the Eurounion. The can can be kicked only so far.

Enjoy your day!