PROFESSIONALISM AT ITS BEST

Pain an interesting thing. Activity limiting. Kept me home and down again yesterday.

I am still suffering. Getting better, however. I can now sit. Bed the problem. Can only lay in one position painless. Not my normal position. A small turn in bed and the shot of pain wakes me.

I watched the New England Patriots game yesterday. Tom Brady phenomenal. Professionalism at its best.

Tom Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft. Not in the first round as one would expect. Rather the sixth round. A cheap dollar pickup for the Patriots. He was the 199th person drafted that year.

Today, the hottest commodity in professional football. At age 40, he is still playing as if in his 20’s. His throws perfection.

When the day comes that he is no longer a player, Brady would like to be a U.S. Senator. A welcome addition to the present inepts in Washington.

Trust. A virtue not to be found in Washington.

A vote at noon today to lift the shut down. The vote based on an alleged deal made between McConnell and the Democrats: Support a continuing resolution till February 8. Keep the government going. I/we promise that come 2/8 if the issues of concern to the Democrats have not been resolved, we promise to work on them further and bring each to a vote.

I would not buy it. Hope the Democrats do not buy it. Each side dishonorable. The Democrats should not blink. Keep the government shut down till the problems of concern are successfully worked out.

Reagan said with regard to nuclear deals with the Russians…..Trust, but verify. No way to verify other than pushing for all concerned to work extra long hours and get the job done. Then vote.

The country can stay closed 3-4 weeks. The last time a similar situation occurred, it was closed 16 days. I would also insist on a proviso that Congress not be paid till the task gets done.

The noon vote, if it occurs, will be interesting.

Trust has become a U.S. problem internationally under Trump. His word cannot be relied upon.

Russia and China are taking full advantage. Russia is extending its power/influence over Ukraine and Syria unabated.

China grows stronger in the South China Seas and economically. Economically as regards the Chines yuan. The yuan is replacing the American dollar as currency in certain oil trades.

Trump precipitated the dollar/yuan problem by threatening to invade Venezuela and cutting off Pakistan from financial aid. The leaders of each country said up yours to Trump and announced they were moving over to the yuan.

To lighter matters.

Key West has free ranging chickens living on its streets. Tourists think they are cute. Most locals consider them foul.

In 2004 and after much discussion, the City Commissioners decided to rid Key West of the chickens. A chicken catcher was hired on January 22. Armando Parra, Sr. A barber and self proclaimed self taught bird catcher.

He quit on August 4.

His contract was to run to September 1.

He was to be paid $20 per chicken caught, with a 900 chicken limit. He caught 542 before quitting. The number considered one quarter of the chicken population.

Parra claimed he quit because the City Commission was mini-managing him. What streets to work, where to leave the chickens alone, etc. His general impression was the City was not committed to eliminating the chickens.

No one has dealt with the problem since. The chicken population grows. Chickens are prolific. Their gestation period 29 days.

Five years ago, I wrote a lengthy article for KONK Life regarding cursive writing. A dying art. Taught in very few schools. The computer key board was considered more important to students than the ability to hand write.

I thought the move stupid. A generation has now grown that cannot hand write their names.

Change is in the air. Fourteen States and New York City’s elementary schools now mandate that cursive writing be taught. More are expected to join.

One reason put forth to teaching cursive writing again is the belief it helps the student to learn if he/she must hand write it.

Of course, computer keyboards will remain. Combined, double edged teaching tools.

Enjoy your day!

 

PRESIDENT CARTER’S KEYS VISITS

Happy New Year! As with practice safe sex, practice a safe evening. Drinking and driving don’t go together tonight or any night.

Most are aware Harry Truman visited Key West many times. His favorite relaxation venue. Few are aware that Jimmy Carter has been visiting the Keys annually for years. To welcome the New Year. Also, to enjoy a vacation.

I first became aware of Carter and his wife Rosalyn’s visits some 15 years ago. I was visiting Howard Livingston at his Summerland home. He made mention that Carter was staying down the road with friends. Mentioned it to me again the next year.

Carter is here for what has become a traditional post Christmas vacation. This time with an entourage. Carter, wife Rosalyn, one grandchild, ten great grandchildren, and other family members. Some 40 people.

I doubt they are staying with friends with such a large group. However, they are somewhere in the Keys this week.

As evidenced by the story and photos of Carter and some of the great grandkids in this morning’s Key West Citizen. Carter and family were at the Marathon Turtle Hospital. He and the great grandkids helped return rehabilitated loggerhead turtle Salty to the ocean yesterday.

Orange Bowl party last night. At Sharon and Giorgi’s home.

Stan a Michigan grad. An enthusiastic one. We watched the game together in his honor.

Unfortunately, Michigan lost by one point to Florida State. 33-32. Michigan played poorly in the first half. Came roaring back in the second half. The last few minutes compared to the final minutes of a pro game.

In addition to those already mentioned, the group consisted of Donna and Bob, Karon, Matt Babich and fiancée, and Paul.

Typical separation of the sexes. The ladies watched in the living room, the men in the den.

Food outstanding! Sharon, the gracious hostess, had prepared well!

I met Paul for the first time. A retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer. We spent quite a while together. Even missed part of the second half of the game. My inquiring mind enjoyed his professional experiences. He performed his professional tasks on the ground, not from a Washington office.

I learned a lot from Paul. An interesting man. I suspect we will get together again for a longer chat.

I have avoided going out New Year’s Eve for several years. Primary problem parking. I prefer remaining home in bed watching the ball fall in New York City and Sushi in the shoe at Bourbon Street on CNN.

Four drops tonight. Sloppy Joe’s, Bourbon Street, La Te Da and the Ocean Key’s Sunset Pier. A huge crowd at each venue. Bodies pressed together. By 12:15, the crowd gone. Into the bars or home.

A fun experience. I will do it again sometime when I have transportation to and back.

Dachshund Walk at noon today. Pets dressed for the occasion. Parade begins at Monroe County Courthouse on Whitehead.

The Casa Marina Hotel opened this day in 1920. A Henry Flagler enterprise. Still standing and continues to be one of Key’s West’s most beautiful places to stay. The pool and beach atmosphere outstanding.

My daughter Lori was married on the beach some 15 years ago precisely at sunset. It was figured to the minute. The sun broke the horizon as they said their I do’s.

Followed by a black tie reception.

A memorable event.

Everything seems to suggest a kumbaya situation developing between Trump and Putin. Do not rely on it.

On December 29, 1961, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sent a holiday message to President John Kennedy. He told Kennedy he looked forward to a threshold year. He further suggested steps be taken to liquidate centers of military danger.

Kennedy sent a cordial response. Wished the Premier a Happy New Year.

Both messages claimed cooperation one to the other in the coming year.

It was not to be.

The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in October 1962. We were on the brink of war. I recall the time distinctly. I was a young practicing lawyer with a wife and four children. I feared war was forthcoming. The resolution boiled down to who would blink first, if at all. Fortunately, Khrushchev did.

What happens if Putin tests Trump? Who will blink first, if at all?

Again, a safe and happy New Year!

 

8 FOOT CROCODILE IN POOL

We have everything in Key West.

Used to have many cats. Now, few. Some think the iguanas ate the cats. Chickens still around, though in fewer numbers. Pythons into the Keys. Only one so far in Key West. Two years ago. An 8 footer along the runway at the airport. Some think it may have been droped there.

Now, crocodiles?

Over the years, there have been a few sightings in the lower keys of a crocodile in a canal. Recently, one in an Islamorada pool.

A home fronting on the ocean. A pool between the home and ocean. Yesterday morning, an 8 foot croc seen in the pool. Authorities called. Nothing to do. Crocodile climbed out of the pool on its own and returned to the ocean.

No one wants a crocodile in their back yard. Whether Islamorada or Key west. Hope this was a one time occurrence. Islamorada is 77 miles from Key West.

What bugs me is that crocodiles are considered a threatened species. So says the federal government. Can’t kill them. Does not make sense. Crocodiles can kill humans, but humans cannot kill crocodiles.

Back on the treadmill yesterday. Felt good. Went slow. Spent the rest of the day writing. Dinner last night at La Trattoria Oceanside.

An excellent crowd. I walked around to determine local/tourist mix. I must have been the only local. Knew no one.

I spent five days nursing my cold. All five days spent at home. Killed the cold. Also rested my body. I felt rested yesterday. Ready to go! Must have needed the down time. I have been complaining to myself lately how tired I felt.

This week’s KONK Life column Late Night Diner published wednesday in KONK Life. Today, it is running in E-Blast.  It was also linked to my Key West Lou website this morning.

It is the story of artist Edward Hopper and his painting Nighthawks. People in a diner late at night.

Yesterday was National Hugging Day. Also known as National Hug Day. Not new. Began in 1986. Has grown dramatically world wide. Consideration is being given to renaming the day International Hugging Day.

The day was started to get people out of the lull/depression which hits between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

There is a most hugable person each year. The Most Hugable Person 2016 is Tim Harris of Albuquerque. Tim is a 30 year old Down Syndrome individual.

Tim has hugged people on National Hugging Day for purposes of charity fundraising. In 2014, he hugged 1,000 people and raised $6,000. Last year, he hugged 2,000 people and raised $13,000.

This day in 1912 was a big one in Key West. Overseas Railroad’s first train arrived in Key West. Multitudes welcomed the train.  It was Henry Flagler’s dream come true. A train from Florida’s mainland to Key West.

The 1935 Labor Day hurricane wiped out a good portion of the railroad and killed hundreds. The railroad took its biggest hit in the middle keys. The hurricane was a 5. Was labeled Storm of the Century.

The railroad bed and bridges were not rebuilt. The railroad had not been making money. Remnants of the bridges can be seen in a drive on US 1 through the middle keys.

There was no blog published wednesday. Many of you contacted me yesterday asking where it was. I don’t know. I did what I always do and thought it published. I went back yesterday and tried to find it. No way. I must have hit a wrong key and the blog is out there somewhere in never never land.

Sorry.

Enjoy your day!