BOB WISDOM RE HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

Bob Smith was an oracle of wisdom. He wrote BOB in the mid 1990’s, sharing his thoughts with the world.

Today, BOB and hurricanes.

My sense is naming hurricanes and following their path on TV was a relatively new thing in the 1990’s. BOB thought they gave a feeling of preparedness. A false feeling. Hype had nothing to do with being ready for 100 mile plus winds and rain.

He felt Hurricane Andrew in 1992 proved his point.

Evacuation always important. Many failed to leave. Almost always. Traffic extremely slow, not enough gas, etc.

BOB had the solution. Airlift Key West residents out. Like the Berlin airlift. The federal government could label the program the Florida Keys Evacuation Plan.

FEMA was not doing a good job. Useless. My observation is that FEMA improves with every hurricane. However 26 years after Andrew, still do not have it down.

BOB believed FEMA would never improve.

BOB disparaged politicians big time. Tiny brains. Did not know how to get the job done: “I have long since abandoned the idea that reason rules with these clowns.”

I took it easy yesterday. The previous 3 days had been hectic.

Began with a walk up and down White Street. Should be referred to as the new White Street. Many buildings remodeled. All type new businesses opened and opening. Exciting.

Then lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Situated right in the middle of White Street. It has become one of my favorite lunch haunts. I sit quietly, read the newspapers, and enjoy Cuban cheese toast with tomato and Cuban coffee.

Last night, a late one for me. I am usually in bed by 9. Last night, 12:30!

My evening began late. Bria Ansara’s birthday party was 8-10 at Bourbon St. Got there 8:30. Crowd building. By the time I left an hour later, the place was jam packed. People dancing, singing, waving their arms.

Bria entertaining. A lovely woman. Magnificent. A talented vocalist.

Saw her in a different light last night. Normally, I get to see and hear Bria at Berlin’s on the weekend. She sings on those evenings a lot of tunes from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. Music for oldies like me. Music from my time. The music of most Berlin customers.

Bourbon St. last night, A much younger crowd. No one even close to my 82 years. They were whooping it up. Bria leading them.

A lot of people I knew. Many from Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders. Many women who perform in Key West, also. Fantasy Fest Queen Destiny, one of the bartenders from Berlin’s, Guy de Boer, Chris the photographer, Erin, and others I recognized but whose names I could not recall.

Since I wasn’t dancing, singing or whooping it up to today’s music, I left after an hour. Decided to stop at the Chart Room.  Glad I did.

Ollie was holding court at the end of the bar. A Key West icon.

Met Mandy and Gene. Ollie introduced us. Spent 2 hours chatting with them.

Gene originally from Syracuse. Grew up in Camillus, a small community adjoining Syracuse. Mandy and Gene today live in Smeltfield, Virginia. The home of Smeltfield Ham and Bacon.

They have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren.

Gene still working. An industrial designer. He designs aircraft carriers. I was impressed.

Mandy retired. However her work background equally impressive. She spent her career working with the Navy and Coast Guard at their highest echelons.

We talked about everything. They hope to return for Fantasy Fest. Have never seen it.

I liked their attitudes. They are both 60. Kids educated and gone. They are ready to live.

Go for it!

My drive to Bria’s party found me on North Roosevelt Boulevard at the right time. There before me was the setting sun. A huge yellow ball. Caught the sun just as it was cutting the horizon.

A benefit of living in Key West.

I intend for today to be another Louis day. Only thing scheduled is a haircut with Lori at noon. Going to try to schedule a manicure and pedicure for later in the afternoon.

It’s a good life!

Enjoy your day!

 

BLOOD ON THE SAND

Tyranny abounds. It begins in the White House.

Tyranny has many definitions. Basically, government or a ruler gone amiss. I selected three which fit Trump: Cruel, unreasonable or arbitrary use of power or control…..Cruel and oppressive government or rule…..Unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.

Government under Trump moves fast. Every day something new. Everything an immediate problem. It is the immediacy which concerns me at the moment.

Government used to be a studied drawn out affair. Issues were discussed and analyzed. The President spoke with Congress. Congress spoke with the President. Congress debated. Etc.

No more. An issue hits today. Requires resolution yesterday. No debate, no thought entering into the process.

The United States is a nation with roughly 12 million illegal immigrants at the present time. In the last 48 hours, we have been hit with another and different immigration problem. One involving 1,200 people.

Trump has announced he is calling in the military. The National Guard. He is already working with the Governors of the States involved.

The “caravan” from Honduras and Guatemala the meager 1,200. Consists of men, women and children. Families. Videos on TV show women carrying small children. Walking from Central America to the U.S. border.

Some will seek asylum. The legal approach. Others will try to sneak over the border.

Trump is rabble rousing the public. He is gearing up like a major invasion is in the making which has to be defended against. He is preparing for a war on a small number of poor people.

I fear blood on the sands at the border. Blood that will also be on Trump’s hands.

We are told the National Guard will have no physical contact with the immigrants nor will they process them at the border. The purpose of the National Guard will be to provide  surveillance via air and through camera monitoring of the border.

I don’t buy it.

Too much man power. I feel the worst will result.

A few observations.

It has been reported that Trump decided to call in the military without advising his advisers. They were caught by surprise.

Where is the money coming from to finance what is about to happen? The budget for $1.3 trillion was approved only two weeks ago. Not in the budget.

You have to give credit where credit is due. Trump has acted with expediency. Swifter than he did with Puerto Rico following the hurricanes. He recognizes value. The border in this instance more important than the lives of hundreds of thousands still suffering in Puerto Rico.

I received a sad telephone call at 5 yesterday afternoon. My cousin Theresa had died. I cried quite awhile. Tears in my eyes as I type this.

Theresa roughly my age.

We grew up in the same houses. First, the three story six family house in East Utica. Theresa lived in the first floor rear apartment. I in the third floor front.

My parents bought a two family home in 1941. Soon thereafter, Theresa, her parents and sisters moved into the upstairs flat.

We grew up together. Like brother and sister.

I have not seen Theresa in 15 years. Families grow and move on. Marriages and children occur. The children have children. Some family members move from their place of birth to other parts of the country.

We see each other no more. The last time I saw Theresa was 15 years ago in the parking lot of a supermarket in Utica.

Never the less, I love Theresa as much today as when we lived in the two homes and when last we met in the supermarket parking lot 15 years ago. Life moving on separated us physically, but not in the heart.

Lunched with Guy de Boer tuesday at Harpoon Harry’s. His beard large. He could easily be taken even in every day clothes as Santa Claus.

Guy is publisher of KONK Life and KONK Life E-Blast. Guy got me started in writing and radio many years ago. For years I wrote the Key West Lou COMMENTARY for KONK Life.

I am returning to write the weekly column in two weeks. Why? I have missed it. It was a place where I could pontificate to my heart’s content on one issue. The only difference this time is that the one issue will be limited to 500 words.

Irma and Me and me will shortly undergo a new experience. A book signing. I never did one. The book signing is next tuesday April 10th. At the Andrews Inn at Zero Whalton Lane in Key West. Whalton Lane is a side street off Truman between Duval and Whitehead. Time, noon to 3.

Three other authors will be signing books. A speaker is scheduled to do a reading.

Come join us.

Last night dinner at Donna and Terri’s. A good time as usual. Got to see Bear again. It had been two weeks. I was amazed at how he has grown.

Donna and I spent three hours after dinner working on a trailer/ad piece and poster for the book signing. The lady is talented!

Enjoy your day!

GROUNDHOG DAY…..IT’S ALL ABOUT SEX

Key West is buried with chickens. All over the place.

Several years ago, I wrote an article in KONK Life about the chicken problem. One of the items covered was the rooster’s cock-a-doodle do.

Up to that time, I always thought the rooster cock-a-doodle-do’d to wake people from their long night’s sleep. No.

The rooster screech announces to the hens he wants to get laid. His sex call. He’s looking.

Place what I have just shared into practice. The next time you hear a rooster cock-a-doodle-doing, watch closely. The hens all run in the opposite direction.

Today is Groundhog Day. February 2 has been Groundhog Day since 1887. The first and most popular place to watch if the groundhog will remain or scurry back to his burrow is Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

What a name for a town.

The groundhog hibernates from the Fall to sometime in March. He does not come out on February 2 voluntarily. He is prodded out so Groundhog Day can occur.

The fable is if the groundhog comes out of his hole and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. The groundhog’s shadow scares him and he runs back to his burrow.

If no shadow, there will be an early spring.

A crock. Not true. Whenever the groundhog comes out, whether February 2 or March, he is looking for a female. He has slept the winter away and wants female companionship. Sex!

Man creates stories that last hundreds of years. After a while, fiction becomes truth. The fairy tale replaces truth.

Punxsutawney is not the only community celebrating Groundhog Day. There are others. Some form of rodent involved. Groundhogs are not native to every area.

Other places celebrating the day have named their groundhogs/rodents uniquely. Birmingham Bill, Staten Island Chuck, Canada’s Shubenacadie Sam, and New Jersey’s Milltown Mel.

Punxsutawney’s is named Phil. Phil since 1887.

The groundhog leaving his burrow has already taken place this morning in Punxsutawney and New Jersey. Phil saw his shadow and returned to his burrow signifying six more weeks of winter. Milltown Mel did not, thereby signifying an early spring.

Geiger Key for lunch yesterday. A while since I had been there. The place was packed!

Sat at the bar and looked at all the happy faces around me. Actually looked at the food they were eating. And enjoying!

Something snapped in my mind. Screw the diet! I did and ate! So good! The best, mashed potatoes covered with gravy. Ate last night, also.

A wonderful day! On top of which, I lost a pound!

The Chart Room first last night.

Enjoyed a few gins and popcorn. Delicious popcorn at the Chart Room.

John bartending.

Met Richard and Mary from Chicago. They have been coming to Key West one week a year for 30 years. Richard is retired from UPS. Mary an attorney and still practicing. Specializes in real estate and estate planning.

Mary’s lawyer background interesting. She is the last of her family’s law firm. Started more than 100 years ago in 1913. No family member to take her place when she retires.

John told me seated at the round table were vacationing women from Syracuse. Before I had an opportunity to talk with them, they were up and leaving. I shouted a Syracuse and Utica. They turned. We exchanged pleasantries including a little Syracuse basketball and they were off.

The bartenders were waiting for me when I arrived later in the evening at the Chart Room. They had a copy of yesterday’s KONK Life. There I was! The whole of the front page. Standing with a row of shrimp boats behind me. The announcement of Irma and Me at the bottom of the page.

Inside on page 8 was another photo and a brief article titled: Petrone Writes Again!

Such drama!

Age takes its toll. The older I get, the worse pictures come out. Wrinkles, jowls, eyelids that only open half way, and no hair.

One of the comments this morning was from Anonymous. Wrote Congrats on KONK Life and Shayna Punim.

Shayna Punim? Googled it. Means a beautiful face. Thank you, anonymous for being so generous.

My thanks also to KONK Life owner Guy de Boer for running the photos and article.

A closing observation. Trump tells us the economy is good. He should make a trip to Los Angeles and tell it to the homeless. LA’s homeless has surged 75 percent in the past six years. From 32,000 to 55,000.

Homeless all over the city. The lawn in front of City Hall and across the street from the Los Angeles Police Department a homeless day camp. Tent cities abound. Even in the best of neighborhoods. Two hundred twenty two at last count. Three out of 4 live in cars, campers, tents and leantos.

Enjoy your day!

 

SHRIMP BOATS IS A-COMIN’

Blog writing is interesting. Takes me to all kinds of places. Yesterday, world events. Today, primarily Key West. Some days, a mixture.

Whatever moves me at the moment.

Lunched at Hogfish yesterday with Guy de Boer. Guy publishes KONK Life. He has graciously agreed to run a photo of me and my Irma book in KONK Life. The whole front page!

Guy picked Hogfish for lunch. He wanted to get a photo of me and the shrimp boats together. Why shrimp boats, I do not know. My connection with shrimp boats next to nil.

The nil has a bit of substance.

First, the song. Shrimp Boats. A 1951 hit sung by the popular vocalist Jo Stafford. It was co-written by her husband Paul Weston.

The words come back every time I see a shrimp boat: Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / Their sails are in sight / Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / There’s dancin’ tonight…..

I was 15 years old the first time I heard Shrimp Boats. We were visiting family in the Bronx. I was outside standing in front of a then typical New York City candy store with a bunch of other teenagers. The location, 141st Street.

The song came out of a radio in the candy store. The others began humming and quietly singing the tune. I had never heard it before. The tune was catchy. Later in high school, I danced to ShrimpBoats.

Rarely thought of the tune after that till the mid 1990’s when I started visiting Key West. There were shrimp boats in Key West!

I learned that when you saw tons of them on the horizon off South Roosevelt Boulevard, they were hurrying in to avoid a coming storm. That was the moment. That was the picture. Such gave meaning to Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / Their sails are in sight.

Me, Irma and the shrimp boats will appear in KONK Life in the next week or two.

Last night the Chart Room. A good time. John bartending. David came in. Good conversation.

A while later, Jean Thornton’s two visiting sisters arrived with their men.

The Chart Room was off and running!

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. Another prime rib. I lost 5 pounds in the past 10 days. Why, I do not know. I have been on this diet since November 27. Lost 10 pounds the first two weeks. Not another pound till 10 days ago. Were it not that I was losing inches, I would have given up long ago.

Not the blind leading the blind. But, sort of. My lesbian wives Donna and Terri left yesterday by car for Tampa. Terri to undergo two days of serious testing at the cancer facility that replaced all her bone marrow and blood.

The tests important.

Donna broke her left shoulder a few days ago. Her left arm is wrapped tight to her chest. She is driving. Terri cannot drive more than a 100 miles at a time. They have broken the trip down so it will take 3 days to reach Tampa.

I mentioned in my tuesday night podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou that the election of a person such as Trump served as encouragement for other crazies to run for public office.

It is happening in Missouri.

Senator Claire McCaskill is running for reelection. The word is she has a tough race ahead.

Several seek the Republican nomination to run against her. One is Courtland Sykes.

What I am about to relate was printed in a St. Louis newspaper in September. An interview. Sykes ran the interview on Facebook a few days ago where I found it.

If he is the Republican candidate, it will be a battle of the sexes.

Sykes is not married. He is engaged.

Following is what he expects from his fiance when she is his wife and his thoughts regarding women.

  1. When he arrives home in the evening, he expects his dinner on the table at 6. Prepared by his wife.
  2. Their daughters must learn to cook. He wants them raised to be traditional homemakers and family wives.
  3. His home is to be a Norman Rockwell world.
  4. Feminism is radical. Its definition crazy.
  5. Women have “snake filled heads.”
  6. He does not want his daughters growing up to be “career obsessed banshees” who forego home life and children to become “manophobic hell-beat feminist she devils.”
  7. Hillary Clinton’s loss a clear indication that radical feminists have been defeated.
  8. He claims he is fully supportive of women and he did not believe his statements demeaning to them.
  9. He conceded some women have amazing careers. He complimented them. The examples he gave of two such women were Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Said they should be celebrated.
  10. Big media. Big media has become “too many dumb blondes and too many leg dangles.”
  11. Feminism represents the “radical drug and communal happy-visioned 1960’s.”
  12. He supported and defended Roy Moore.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TONIGHT…..ANDREAS FRANKE

A special exhibit tonight. At Seven Artists Gallery on Simonton. Vienna artist Andreas Franke. A passionate diver. His preference underwater art.

Seven Artists’ jewelry designer Jennifer Badry responsible for Franke’s exhibition.

Show time 5:30-8:30.

I am familiar with Franke’s work. Outstanding! Worth seeing.

Busy day yesterday.

Started with lunch at Harpoon Harry’s with Guy de Boer. KONK Life and KONK E-Blast publisher.

Guy an old friend. Responsible for my writings, etc. Got me started 12 years ago with a KONK Life column and Internet talk show.

Guy is helping promote Irma and Me. In the very near future, Louis  will be featured in a front full page picture advising the publication of Irma and Me, together with a short article inside. Guy did a similar scenario in 2014 when I wrote my first book The World Upside Down.

A good friend.

After lunch, Guy took me to a back yard to see the boat he is repairing. Actually, rebuilding. A 36 foot power boat. The vessel a victim of Irma. Another boat was thrown into one side. The other side slammed into a dock. The boat a mess.

Guy fears not. He works daily on putting the boat together. Per his explanation of what he was doing, it was obvious he was familiar with the repairs.

He got the boat for nothing following Irma. It was heading for the junk yard. Guy took it off the owner’s hands.

A major job! The boat is a mess.

Spent the afternoon reworking Growing Up Italian. Been working on it 4 years. Four rewrites. My next publication. Hopefully by Easter.

The Chart Room last night.

Key West is normally quiet following New Years till the first of February. Not this year. Key West continues to be packed this week. The season is here!

The Chart Room was body tight. I was lucky to get a seat when I came in. Someone in front of me was leaving.

Old home week. Sheila, David, Steve and Cindy. And Jean and Joe Thornton. My Irma saviors. I spent 12 days at their home in Birmingham escaping Irma.

I was not aware Jean and Joe had returned. Turns out they have been here a week already.

While I was working on Growing Up Italian in the afternoon, a call came in from Jean. I did not answer. I did not want to interrupt my thought wave. They come and go so I have to be careful. Retention difficult in my old age.

I forgot to call Jean back till I was in the Chart Room at 7. Made my apologies. Jean said she and Joe would be with us shortly.

The reason Jean had called was to invite me to dinner. She had cooked one of her specialties. Chili and corn bread. To compensate, she brought a container of chili with her to the Chart Room. My lunch today.

Met a very interesting fellow at the bar. Paul. From London. We spoke for at least an hour. London, the U.S., travel, business, etc. To bad he leaves today. We agreed we hoped to meet again when he returns next year. This was his fourth visit to Key West.

Today, he leaves for Majorca. He and his wife have a vacation home there.

Then a quick stop to Publix. Out of diet food.

I have been at the diet since November 27. Cheated only Christmas eve and Christmas day. I am not losing. Stuck on 10 pounds since mid December. Depressing. I am losing inches. Clothes loser. Wearing clothes I could not get into.

Today going to be another busy one. A pedicure and manicure with Tammy at 1. Dinner tonight with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri. Donna cooking. Pot roast!

A couple of Trump comments.

Fire and Fury seems to be doing a number on him. If only 20 percent true, still devastating.

The book has opened a Pandora’s box. Brought Trump’s mental stability to the fore front. Dangerous for him. I have considered the President a nut since the primaries. He is not equipped to be a President.

It was announced yesterday that Trump had opened east and west coast waters to oil drilling. A disaster in the making. One big spill and environmental ruination for years to a vast portion of ocean.

The oil drilling thing an example of Trump sucking up to and pursuing the interests of big business.

Another Trumpy. Trump told us the huge corporate tax cut would add thousands of jobs. Comcast announced yesterday it let go 500 employees.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE

The man who would not die. His name, Rasputin.

History tells us he was a con man supreme, a self-proclaimed holy person, one who caused a royal dynasty to fall. Romanov Russia.

Rasputin helped bring revolution to Russia. He made possible the birth of Communist Russia.

Born Grigory Efinovich Rasputin. To a peasant family. At some point, he underwent a religious conversion. Proclaimed himself a healer.

Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra’s son Alexi was a hemophiliac. Rasputin seemed to have the ability to stop Alexi’s bleeding. The year 1908. From that time forward, Rasputin was an accepted friend, confidant, and adviser to Nicholas and Alexandra. Especially, Alexandra. History believes she had an ongoing affair with Rasputin.

He became a dark influence on the royal family.

All of Russia disliked Rasputin. Nobles, church orthodoxy, and peasants alike. He was constantly drunk, a womanizer, an evil in the Romanov homes. He was concerned not with the best interests of Russia. His concern at all times was his image. Some what like Trump today.

A group of Russian nobles were eager to end Rasputin’s influence over the royal family. They murdered him the night and early morning of December 29-30, 1916.

Even at the time of his death, Rasputin exhibited messianic powers. He was a man who would not die.

The nobles laced his food and drink with cyanide. No effect. They then shot him at close range. He revived and tried to escape. The nobles shot him again. He continued to live.

The nobles finally tied Rasputin up and tossed him into a freezing river.

That did it!

The nobles killed Rasputin. Rasputin killed Romanov Russia. The peasants in due course revolted. In 1922, Soviet Russia was born.

Rasputin put into motion a series of events which even to today affect the world. U.S./Russian relations an example.

Last night, a lovely evening. A charming companion. Catherine.

We dined at Berlin’s. Guy de Boer sitting next to me at the bar. Berlin’s the busiest I have ever seen. Makes sense. Christmas week the busiest tourist time of the year for Key West.

I enjoyed a prime rib again. Terrific! Just the meat and au jus sauce. Part of the Atkins diet.

I am into my fifth week of the diet. Only cheated Christmas eve and Christmas day. I should have lost 15-20 pounds by now. I lost 10 pounds the first week. Not an ounce more since.

Discouraging.

I am thinner. Into shirts and shorts one size smaller. I need the pounds off, however. The scale speaks the truth!

Worry not, I will continue with the diet.

Big event tomorrow at noon. The Annual Dachshund Walk. Hundreds will congregate at the Courthouse on Whitehead to watch the parade.

Only in Key West!

Trump upsets me this morning. I saw the news that a small group had protested in Iran. Trump announced to the world how terrible the Iranian government was, good luck to the protesters, etc.

Trump does not know when to keep his mouth shut and when to speak.

The world is dividing into two camps. Just as Germany and the Allies did prior to World War II. Iran and Russia are friends. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia friends on the other side. Trump should not encourage further division. He has yet to learn it is better to make friends than enemies.

I wonder how Trump would have felt if after Charlottesville, Iranian and Russian leaders spoke out telling the world the U.S. was bad, good luck to the protesters, etc. Trump would have shouted back that each country should mind its own business.

Trump continues to be a growing menace to the health and security of the U.S.

The weather started turning last night. Today’s high projected at 73. The low tonight 64. Cold for us. Warm to my friends up north suffering in low teen freezing cold and tons of snow.

It will continue cold for a few days. Long pants, sweat shirts, sweaters, etc. for us. For me, the heat on tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

U.S. IS CHANGING DIRECTION

Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama Senate race yesterday tied with the Democratic sweep in Virginia several months ago indicates the United States has changed direction. The momentum is there. Except for that solid 30-35 percent of Trump voters, politically, mentally, socially, etc., America has seen the error of its ways.

Perhaps it had to be. The election of a Donald Trump. It has shaken things up. Not for the better in most instances.

Roy Moore is a sick man. How can a person who hates gays, blacks and Jews, yet loves 13-14 year olds, be elected to the Senate? I admit I was concerned. A crazy election. I thought “Albamians would stick to the script and elect a Republican, regardless of his propensities for the unsatisfactory and sick.

Glad I was wrong.

Then there is Trump in recent days. He cannot stop vilifying women. The most recent New York’s Senator Karen Gillibrand. Said she “would do anything for campaign contributions.” Inferring she was a whore.

Bad guy!

The election a stunning upset. Especially since Trump went all out for Moore. I cannot refer to Trump and Moore as birds of a feather. One likes only adult women whereas the other young girls.

The victory is being attributed to the exceptionally huge black turn out, suburban Republican wives, and college students.

I hope the Democrats are learning. One of the reasons Trump became President was because of Democratic failings.

I was impressed with the ground game on Jones’ behalf. Trust the Democrats will be able to keep it up in other States as 2018 approaches.

Saw the eye doctor and optician again yesterday morning. Turns out my prescription was way off. Waiting now for new lenses.

I was supposed to be at Guy de Boer’s home last night for a party. Around noon, I got tired. Exhausted. Called Guy around six and begged off.

This exhaustion is a pain! I was so tired, I did not go down stairs for something to eat at dinner time. I did not want to climb the stairs on the return trip.

I had planned on completing and fine tuning my podcast show scheduled for last night during the afternoon. No way! I was beat!

Winged it! Thought the show went smoothly. Listened to it this morning. Like every other show. Not obvious I was winging it.

Banks are thieves. So too, pharmaceutical houses.

The drug houses raise prices at will. Price gouging, in effect. Screw the public! Proper governmental controls and oversight lacking.

Avondale Pharmaceuticals the most recent example.

The gouging system simple. The company buys the rights to a drug that has little or no competition. Then massively inflate the price.

Two examples are Niacor and SSKI.

Niacor is a niacin/vitamin B pill. One hundred per bottle. Sold for $32.46 per bottle. Price raised to $295. An 800 percent increase.

SSKI’s increase 2,500 percent. Cost of a 30ml bottle went from $11.48 to $295.

I have been writing and reporting for two years re the Department of Defense’s inability to account for billions of dollars. Last week the Department announced it was preparing to audit the military. An inventory. Planes, guns, etc. First time.

Two days ago, the Department announced it had lost 44,000 military. Did not know where they were. The tracking system failed.

The were going to try to find them via the audit.

Yesterday, a third announcement by the Department and also the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money part I had been complaining about.

It was announced that between 1998 and 2015, the two Departments had lost a combined $21 trillion. Taxpayer funds. Not accountable. No receipts, vouchers, etc.

To make matters even worse, it was reported that the Departments were “plugging” the figures. Making up numbers to make any accounting balance.

Twenty one trillion dollars is more than the national debt. It equates to $65,000 per man, woman and child in the United States.

Party time again tonight. A fundraiser.

Mary Lou Hoover is one of the most able and active women in Key West. She has decided to enter politics. She is running for the Key West City Commission.

The fundraiser is scheduled for this evening from 5:30 to 8:00 at Kate Miano’s new home on Free School Lane.

Jean Thornton and I will be attending together and then walking down the street to Marquesa for dinner.

Iguanas have been a problem for close to 20 years. Never in Key West, all of a sudden they appeared. In droves. All sizes. The community grew.

Iguanas are prolific. They multiply rapidly. The problem in the Keys overall is out of control. As with pythons.

The State has finally decided to do something about it. A program involving self-help will be instituted throughout the Keys. Purpose, to eradicate or control.

As with the pythons, never to be controlled in my opinion. Too late. Hopefully, contained.

Why are iguanas a problem? They eat flowers and foliage. You spend money for a lovely garden. They devour it. Their defecation a problem, also. They shit in our pools! Don’t laugh. The pool has to be drained and refilled.

Irma and Me selling well. I am impressed! The only story of Hurricane Irma on the book shelves. Buy a copy to enjoy yourself or give as a Christmas gift. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

INSANITY AND INCOMPETENCE

It cannot be left unsaid. The situation worsens by day. Trump is insane and incompetent.

The brown shirts marched saturday in Charlottesville. Accompanied by those who believe white people are better than others. Accompanied by those who once covered their bodies and faces in white sheets.

All haters.

Bannon came out of the woodwork. Spoke at length about his beliefs. A revolutionary at heart. Seeking the overthrow of existing government.

Bannon Trump’s Rasputin.

Is a Reichstag next? The White House or Capitol? If so, all that will remain will be the concentration camps.

America stand up!

Impeachment will come. The grounds set forth in Article II section 4 of the Constitution: “…..impeachment for…..Treason, Bribery, and other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Stopped at Don’s Place first last night. Jimmy and John at the bar. Deep sorrow. Joanie not doing well. Hospice has been called in.

Then to the Chart Room.

John bartending. English Peter at the bar. Jean Thornton and Erika Biddle stopped in.

The last time I saw Erika Biddle was at Publix. I wrote about her at the time. Went back and discovered it was April 27, 2015.

At the time, a lovely blond woman came over and said, “You’re Louis Petrone.” She was familiar with my KONK Life writings and radio show. She wanted to tell me.

When she told me she was Erika Biddle, I was ashamed. I should have been searching her out. One of my Key West idols.

Last night was the second time we met.

Erika German born. A community activist where ever she has lived. An environmentalist at heart.

She arrived in Key West in 1994. Her first thought was: “This is the only city I’ve ever visited where I am not the most eccentric person around.” She remains to this day. An intrinsic part of the community. All heart.

Erika takes up causes that others might not. Unpopular ones included. This tiny woman carries the pain of others on her shoulders.

I hope I do not have to wait two more years before visiting with her again.

I was hungry. Stopped at Outback for prime rib. Ran into Doc and his wife.

I have known Doc some 20 years. Used to play golf with him. Only know him as Doc. A retired surgeon from Philadelphia.

We chatted a bit. I rarely run into people older than me. Mentioned I was 82. They shocked me! He 83 and she 85. Both appear in their mind 60’s.

A fun conversation ensued.

Dinner tonight at Berlin’s with Jenna. For sure. She just confirmed.

Enjoy your day!

A WONDERFUL DAY

It is almost impossible not to have a good day in Key West. Short of being hung up in a hospital bed with two broken arms and two broken legs, every day is wonderful.

My yesterday was wonderful. In some instances, special.

The day started with lunch at Lizabeth’s home. In her shaded garden. A French salad. The name escapes me. Outstanding! Salmon, anchovies, eggs, black olives, potatoes, etc.

Accompanied by wine.

Good company, good food, good wine. What more can one ask for?

I enjoy Liz and our conversations.

One problem. I am not a wine drinker. Even a good wine. I went home a bit tipsy. Straight to bed. Slept three hours.

Must mention the wine. Bellini. Lizabeth and her husband used to drink it in Venice at Harry’s Bar. Owner, the famous Giuseppe Cypriani. Inventor of the the now world famous Bellini wine.

Another Key West resident frequented Harry’s Bar. Ernest Hemingway. His primary watering hole when in Venice.

I was refreshed after the nap. Decided to go to the Back Door and Mark Watson. Intended to meet Donna and Terri. Did. And many more.

There were a ton of women. Unusual for Back Door. Turned out it was a meeting of a group from Girls’ I Know.

If it’s Girls’ I Know, it’s Mary Lou Hoover time. The founder of the organization years ago. An organization that has grown to thousands and extends beyond Key West’s borders today.

Mary Lou has her hands in many things. One several years ago. Mary Lou was Fantasy Fest Queen 2007.

Mary Lou has had a concern for suicide victims and those thinking of committing suicide. Last year, she started Out of the Darkness. A group committed to suicide awareness and prevention.

A walk is planned. An Out of the Darkness Walk. Takes place Sunday November 6. Registration begins at noon. Speakers and entertainment scheduled.

This is no small time event. It has the backing of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Walk already has several national big dollar sponsors.

Mary Lou and Charlie Waite are husband and wife. I envy them. One of Key West’s happiest couples. In love with each other!

I had enough to drink. Should have gone home after Back door. Did not. Instead joined Donna and Terri at Salty Angler. First time there for me. The ladies were going to play Trivia. Me play trivia?

I did.

Mary joined us. That completed our team. I knew next to nothing. Mary and Donna knew quite a bit.

I left before the exercise was over. I do not know where we stood in the rankings or if we won. We did come up with two special oral answers. For which we were rewarded with free shots each time.

Then home to bed. Slept well. A given after the wonderful day I had.

Enjoy your day!

THE DEBATE

Key Westers are politically conscious. They have opinions re Trump and Hillary. Key Westers do not just lie on a  beach drinking margaritas and hitting the bars at night. The election is a much discussed event every day in the Chart Room, Don’s Place, La Te Da, and everywhere else.

Last night’s debate will not change many minds. People are fixed rigidly in this election. The two sides are like Congress. Adamant. The election will be decided by the five percent undecided and/or who have decided to vote for Johnson. In the end, a number of Johnson intended votes will go over to Hillary.

Hillary bested Trump last night. I give her a B and Trump a D-. The D- a gift. Except for trade, Trump made no impact. He evidenced no understanding of government or world problems. His incompetence for the position of President was obvious. He was a mega flop.

Hillary was prepared and sounded Presidential.

Yesterday was a run around day. The bank. Then Walgreens. Followed by the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch.

Then a 100 foot walk to what is to be Cuzza Bubbaz. A Key West flavored sandwich shop. Opening scheduled for October 10. Jay O’Neill owner and chef.

Cuzza Bubbaz is on Southard next to Bank of America. At the entrance to the Key Lime corridor.

Jay has been a bocce friend for years. He was chef at Sq. 1 and Solo American Bistro. A chef who takes pride in his product. His sandwiches will be a step above and better than others.

Met with Guy de Boer last night for a couple of drinks at Tavern ‘n Town. Even on a monday night, the bar is packed. Ran into my neighbors Ed and Nancy Swift. Also, original Square One friends. This goes back 20 plus years. Then owner Michael and his sometimes hostess Jean. Two great people.

Stay with me on this one. America is not named after Amerigo Vespucci. He never even landed in North America. His stops were in Brazil and islands offshore.

Vespucci is claimed to have made four trips. Historians doubt the first ever happened.

America is named after Richard Ameryk. Ameryk was the patron/financier for John Cabot’s trips. Cabot’s chief investor. Cabot reached Labrador in May 1497, two years before Vespucci landed in South America for the first time.

Correct historical fact tells us two things.

First, Vespucci never reached North America, nor any America before Cabot. Second, back in the 1400’s newly discovered countries and continents were named after the financier/patron of the exploration. The last name was used. Never the first. Ergo, most historians believe America was named after Richard Ameryk.

This is the second time in a month I have come across a mistaken historical fact. I was taught America was named after Amerigo Vespucci in grammar school. How do these things happen?

Tonight my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. If you have never heard the show, join me. A fast moving half hour packed with my opinions re the events discussed. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics that will be discussed include the debate of course, John Boehner cashing out, why environmental damage caused by war is never discussed, the bumble bee in trouble, and guns sell out after Charlotte shooting.

Also, Pentagon admits black U.S. soldiers were used for scientific/medical test purposes during World War II, the fear self-driving trucks will result in the layoff of many from good paying jobs, FBI Director James Coomey’s percieved involvement with the Clinton Foundation, and more.

Enjoy your day!