ZOMBIE BIKE RIDE / CRZBS

Last night was the final evening of Gombay. I did not go out. It poured heavy several times during the evening. I hope it did not disrupt Goombay too much.

Today, the beginning of Fantasy Fest itself. Shed your clothes and join in!

Joking.

Tonight at 6, the Zombie Bike Ride. Thousands will participate. Riders costumed and made up. Some scary weird. Bikes decorated, also.

Bicycles big in Key West. Sole means of transportation for many.

Though not an official part of Fantasy Fest, Kate Miano’s Gardens from 5:30-8:00. Kate’s sunday evening event has become a Key West tradition.

Entertaining this evening are the CRZBs. Supposed to be  excellent. A jazz ensemble. The only player I know is Skipper Kripitz. An excellent drummer and an extremely fine person.

Sunday at the Gardens always a fun time.

My day yesterday was watching the Syracuse/Miami game. Syracuse lost 27-19. A different play result here or there, the score could have been reversed.

Syracuse played poorly in the first half. Dungey had nothing working for him. His second half a beauty, however!

Syracuse’s defense excellent.

If I had to pick one item that contributed big time to Miami’s victory, it was their speed. Fast off the line. It took almost all of the first half for Syracuse to accommodate.

Syracuse has gained momentum as the season has worn on. They will make a bowl this year. Next year, watch out! Dungey back!

King and Queen of Fantasy Fest have been identified. King is “Saint Paul” Murphy. Queen, Destiny Montgomery.

I know Destiny. Sings often with the Dueling Bartenders. A lovely young lady with a magnificent voice!

Several years ago, a local group worked hard to bring a film festival to Key West. They succeeded. This year’s Key West Film Festival is scheduled for November 15-18. Thirty films will be shown.

This day in 1962, President John Kennedy announced he had ordered a blockade of Cuba in response to Soviet missiles being installed in Cuba. Kennedy warned the U.S. was ready to retaliate if any missiles were launched.

The Cuban missile crisis was upon us. The crisis continued for six days. A nuclear war was imminent. no question about it. Either the Soviet Union backed off and removed them or a nuclear war would occur.

Naval war vessels from both sides were face to face in the waters between Key West and Cuba.

Both sides came to an agreement and war was avoided.

It was an emotional moment to watch on TV the Russian vessels turning around to return to Russia.

Feelings were high. The situation tense. What is happening presently with North Korea kid stuff in comparison. Though no less serious.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev a nut. Similar to Trump, far worse.

Key West was in the middle of the fracas. Artillery guns were erected on Smathers and other beaches pointing towards Cuba. Military personnel were transported quickly and in large numbers to Key West.

Khrushchev blinked. Fortunate for everyone. Kennedy had met the enemy and beat him.

Some things are nor readily revealed to us via the media. An example is the Executive Order Trump signed this past week recalling 1,000 retired pilots to active duty.

We are fighting in so many places that we have an insufficient military personnel. Another example is that the military has lowered its standards for successful enlistment. The U.S. will now accept applicants who have a marijuana history.

For several years, I have suggested a return to the draft or mandatory military time following high school graduation.

I believe we would be in fewer wars if more families were directly involved. A President and Congress would be reluctant to engage in new wars if the people back home had a direct personal interest in those fighting.

Still waiting on Irma and Me. I had a desire for strawberry ice cream at 3 this morning!

Enjoy your Sunday!

GOOMBAY LAST NIGHT

The beginning of Fantasy Fest. Goombay, last night.

Been doing Goombay for at least 15 years. Never changes. Except it gets bigger. Longer, more stands, new restaurants. Band at end of Petronia more sophisticated. A Larry Smith presentation last night. Christine Cordone singing. Several accompanists.

Joni with me. An interesting woman. Former Sunoco executive. Sharp.

Met Joni for last night’s fun experience behind Bourbon Street. A drink. Listened to some music.

Prior to meeting Joni, stopped at 801. The customary Don’s Place crowd. A tradition has developed. A group goes together. Leaves by taxi from Don’s Place. Dropped off at 801. A couple of drinks.

I was early for my Joni meet. Stopped into 801 looking for my friends. As expected, they were there!

Joni and I walked Petronia to the big band stand at the end. I kept telling her to stop where ever and we would buy some stand food. She never took me up on the offer. I suspected she was not fond of the food either. Never has turned me on.

Therefore, we stopped into Blue Heaven. Sat in the restaurant part and enjoyed some food.

Joni lives on Petronia. Two hundred feet off Duval. Thought I was dropping her off. No, she was not ready yet. So it was off to Bourbon Street’s front bar.

I have never been to Bourbon Street late at night. A different experience.

The place was mad!

Lots of ladies. Dancing up a storm.

Employees walking around in black jock straps and black bow ties.

My back was to the bar. I turned around. One of the jock strap guys was dancing on the bar.

Strip joints have women dancing on the bar, stage, etc. wearing nothing. Mostly men in the audience, though a handful of women. Last night at Bourbon street similar, except lots of men and a handful of women.

Syracuse/Miami 3:30 this afternoon. ESPN. Syracuse 4-3, Miami 6-0. Miami a 17 point favorite.

Can Syracuse duplicate its victory over Clemson last week with a win over Miami this week?

The opioid crisis not being handled well. During the campaign, Trump labeled it a crisis. After the  election, no crisis but he would deal with it. This past week, Trump returned to describing it is a crisis.

While he vacillates, Rome is burning! 142 a day dying in the U.S. from opioid overdosing.

The Comments section to this blog is active. Some strong political differences.  I have mentioned armed masked mercenaries walking the streets of Puerto Rico two times this past week. No comment from anyone. Isn’t the issue worth discussing. I see it as San Juan today, New York, Los Angeles or Miami tomorrow.

Our country stranger by the day. What happened to the America of old? Dickinson, Texas an example.

Harvey did a number on Dickinson. Residents need money to rebuild and/or replace belongings. The application for funding is titled Harvey Repair Grant. Contains a strange clause. In order to qualify for the funds, one must sign a verification not to boycott Israel.

What the hell does Israel have to do with U.S. citizens obtaining money form its own government to get through the Harvey crisis?

The Verification reads as follows: VERIFICATION NOT TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL: By executing this agreement below, the applicant verifies that the applicant: (1) Does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.

The Verification is based on a recently passed Texas State law requiring contractors to so certify. Which by local hands has been extended to applicants themselves.

This pledge conditions Harvey relief. Requires the signed pledge not to boycott in order to get funding to rebuild.

Clearly violates the First Amendment.

No question Texas is a conservative state. Occasionally, far to the right. The Verification an example.

A further example also of the crazy people running our government. From the White House down to the Texas State Legislature to the Texas Governor who signed it into law.

Another day, no Irma and Me. I hate the waiting!

Enjoy your day!

 

STONE CRABS

Last night, the meal of meals. Stone crabs!

The season opened sunday. It was my first stone crab meal of the season.

Enjoyed with another stone crab enthusiast, Jean Thornton. My great host from Birmingham who sheltered me and several others during Irma.

Jean crazy for stone crabs, also.

We dined at the Conch Republic. My idea. Stone crabs were great there last season.

The stone crabs tasty. Large.

Two complaints. The shells not broken enough and the mustard sauce a blob. We could not eat it. Stuck with melted butter.

Did not spoil the joy of the meal, however.

Priced $44 a pound. Cheap! I expected $60, perhaps even $70. Irma destroyed better than half the traps. I suspect the low price is because there still are not enough customers. Conch Republic half filled last night.

During dinner, Jean tells me she heard stone crabs were $26 a pound at the Pier House’s Pier One. No way! Never that cheap anywhere over the years!

I stopped at Pier One on my way to the Chart Room after dinner. A cute young Philippine hostess told me yes, $26 a pound. Six. Medium.

In the next couple of nights, I will be at Pier One enjoying.

The Chart Room was packed. Tourists galore. A good sign. I am concerned how successful Fantasy Fest will be. My thought is the powers to be should have adjourned it several weeks.

John bartending. Smiling big time. He was going to have a big night tip wise. It has been a long time.

David there. We chatted a while.

Jean, Molly, Ollie and I sat at the round table.

Molly is Kevin’s wife. Kevin on business in Boston till wednesday.

Ollie entertained us with his testicle burial story. A true one. The ladies thought it interesting. The first time they had heard it.

I told the group about Jenny who had a mastectomy and no nipple on the replacement. She intends to have the sunset of Key West tattooed where the nipple would have been.

No one believed me. I felt like an ass.

It was haircut time earlier in the day with Lori. Told her about the nipple/tattoo story. She was very familiar with it. Said many women have it done that way these days.

In a year if I run into Jenny again, I may have to ask her to show the unbelievers her Key West sunset.

After my haircut earlier in the day, shot over to Lee Nails. A manicure with Tammy. Told Tammy about Irma and Me. She was all excited.

We got into reading. Tammy is a successful business woman at 34. She and husband Rick have a booming nail business.

Tammy cannot read.

I was surprised. She was schooled in Vietnam. Not in English, however. Her 11 year old son reads to her if there is something at home she must read.

Terri’s first major milestone reached! God bless!

They have been shooting her big time every day with something to increase her stem cell supply. In order for the bone marrow transplant to begin, she had to have 4 million new stem cells. Tested yesterday. 4.5 million!

Tuesday, the transplant procedure begins. Monday going to be difficult. She will be given a massive dose of chemo. The most ever at one time. Terri has already been warned she will be sick sick! Vomiting, diarrhea, the works, big time.

She’s ready. Ready for everything.

A post Irma update.

The canals are filled with debris. Not just trees. Demolished houses and trailers. Broken boats.

The County passed the necessary legislation yesterday permitting FEMA and other agencies to begin a clean up of the canals.

William Hackley 1856 finds him up earlier every morning recently. Around 4. Out hunting. Appears that was how meat and fowl for the dinner table were obtained back then.

Syracuse enjoyed a major win last week. Beat #2 Clemson. Tomorrow, Syracuse plays Miami. Ranked #8 nationally. Can it happen again? I doubt it. But hope so!

Miami a 16 point favorite.

John Kelly’s press conference yesterday disappointed me. The man a distinguished former Marine general. Well respected. Now Trump’s Chief of Staff. His words re the telephone call and the behavior of the Florida Congresswoman did not ring true with me. Trump has a way of taking good people and somehow making them do what he wants. The good people eventually tarnished by Trump.

I think Kelly was used yesterday.

Let’s see what happens down the road.

Fantasy Fest begins today. Goombay!

Doing it with Joni who I met last week at Antonia’s.

I am beginning to feel like an overdue pregnant woman. Waiting for Irma and Me to be published. Any day now.

Enjoy your day!

 

JENNY BEAMING POST MASTECTOMY

 

The Chart Room last night.

John back from his Mexican vacation. Good to see him. He was missed.

Met Scott and Jenny. Fortyish. From northern Florida. Honeymooned in Key West. Visit 3-4 times a year.

Contract soft ware engineers.

Staying at the Pier House.

Jenny a cheery personality. She had a story to tell. Told me. Gave me permission to share it.

Jenny was diagnosed with breast cancer during the summer. A fast moving 2. Opted for the mastectomy. The breast was rebuilt during the surgical procedure.

The woman is alive! A personality. She had to be the same prior to the cancer. Her attitude clear. Meet the enemy and knock it down. She did.

Gumption the only way to describe her.

She requested no nipple. Strange, I thought. She plans on having the nipple area tattooed. With the Key West setting sun.

She still has to undergo chemotherapy. Six chemos. Each three weeks apart. The first scheduled for next week.

Heidi Schrammer back. Met her a few nights ago at the Chart Room. She is the Marathon bartender who was in Key West for a few days.

Finally figured out why she was here several nights in a row rather than back in Marathon. Her home was wiped out. FEMA agreed to provide a roof over her head. The only available rooms left were in Key West.

Heidi has a problem. The FEMA program ends monday. Four hundred hotel rooms FEMA occupied. Where the occupants will go, I know not.

A moving force is requiring what amounts to a FEMA eviction. Fantasy Fest begins this weekend. The hotel rooms are needed.

David came in. Spent a while enjoying his company.

Left for home. Stopped at Denny’s on the way home for a bite to eat.

Parrot Heads are a nationwide, perhaps worldwide, Jimmy Buffett fan club. They meet once a year in Key West. They are here this week. Easy to recognize. They wear large crazy hats. Always laughing. Enjoying themselves.

Fantasy Fest begins tomorrow. Goombay. A Bahamian/Cuban street festival. Petronia Street.

A crocodile here. An alligator there. Such has been the story the past few years.

This morning’s Citizens Voice reports a snorkeler off the White Street Pier ran into a six foot crocodile. In three feet of water.

Crocs and alligators have been popping up in greater frequency. Still small in number, however. Ten years from now may not be the case. Crocs and alligators may be here in larger numbers. I do not recall croc or alligator sightings ten years ago.

Still waiting for my new book Irma and Me to hit the stands. Any day now.

I keep several book writings going at one time. Several months already invested in Key West prostitutes. The history of prostitution in Key West.

The prostitution business was healthy and thriving in the 1880’s. As was the liquor business. Seventeen liquor saloons.

Key West’s population was just under 20,000. A thriving city. Key West was the largest and wealthiest city in Florida. Miami and Miami Beach not yet in the picture.

One third of the residents were Cuban born. The cigar factories induced them to come to Key West. Excellent employment. The cigar factories were turning out 62 million cigars a year.

Education had a bi-ness to it. The students were taught in Spanish in the morning and English in the afternoon.

Big Brother is watching us! 1984 just around the corner!

I have been mentioning the armed masked mercenaries in Puerto Rico. An unknown force all of a sudden appearing on the streets of San Juan.

Could happen in a U.S. city tomorrow. With the same suddenness.

Los Angeles is playing with Big Brother/1984.

Los Angeles has 110,000 street lights. A company manufacturing SmartNodes and SmartPoles is on the verge of doing business with Los Angeles. Street pole lights that provide a surveillance network.

Each street light equipped with cameras, microphones, speakers, etc. Microphones sensitive enough to pick up a conversation between two people.

Los Angeles and many other American cities will jump at the chance to install these street lights that spy. There is an inducement. The manufacturer will pay $1,200 to a city per year for every SmartNode installed. Note, per year. For Los Angeles, the pay back amounts to $13.2 million a year.

Politics has not changed in the United States in more than 200 years. Defame your opponent! Exhibit the evilness in him!

In 1796, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were opposing each other for President. Alexander Hamilton supported Adams and personally hated Jefferson.

Under the phony name of Phocion, Hamilton wrote an editorial published in the newspaper Gazette of the United States stating Jefferson was having an adulterous affair with one of his slaves. Later established to be Sally Hemings.

Big night tonight! Dinner with my benefactor and dear friend Jean Thornton. Stone crabs at the Conch Republic!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

GEORGE

I was paying my bill at the bar at Antonia’s last night. Sensed someone behind me. Turned. A lovely blond. Magnificent. Hair style a bit different. Short punk? Punk pixie? Short spiky? To me, they all look alike. The cut marvelous.

It was obvious she knew me. I could not recall her. It was George. George is a lady.

I have seen George probably six times in fifteen years. The first time at Lisa’s wedding. The event at the Southernmost Beachside. We took over the restaurant and entire beach. Food and drink stations everywhere.

I was at one of the martini bars. A young lady spoke to me. George. She introduced herself as a friend of Lisa’s. My recollection is we enjoyed two apple martini’s each as we talked.

I recall not the specifics of the conversation. Recognized George was a deep thinking sensitive woman. I enjoyed our time together.

As mentioned earlier, last night was the sixth time I have seen her in 15 years.

George is a bartender at Hogsbreath. When we first met. Even  today. Dillon her husband.

We exchanged a few pleasantries. Then invited me to join her friends at the other end of the bar. She wanted me to meet Joni, a relative newcomer to Key West.

I knew Dillon, Nic and Cori Convertino.

I refer to Cori normally by her title. Doctor. She has a Doctorate. Impressive. She is the Curator at the Key West Art and Historical Society (KWAHS).

Cori’s work brilliant. Her shows and offerings at the Custom House beyond the best. I have come to admire her greatly.

Nic, her husband.

I was introduced to Joni. Told she read my blog everyday. Such made her an instantaneous hit with me.

We walked to the other end of the bar and chatted.

Originally from outside Philadelphia, she has lived in Key West six months. Already bought a place. A condominium on Petronia between Duval and Whitehead.

Joni has an MBA. Spent a lifetime working in finance for Sunoco. Already employed in Key West. With KWAHS.

Attractive. A nice person. I sense we shall meet again.

Sitting next to me during dinner were Jan Gebhart and Bob Pracher. A Key West love story. Both widowers. Now have a home in Key West.

In her other life, Jan was in the scrap metal business in northern Indiana. We had much to talk about. I was an environmental attorney. Sheet metal and environmental lawyering go hand in hand.

Bob impressed me. He owned a BMW distributorship in Westbury, Long Island. Third largest in the country. Sold 4,000 BMW’s a year.

Nicole bartending. Seven straight weeks. TK stayed north with his mother extra long. TK back tuesday. Nicole will return to waitressing.

I enjoyed Nicole’s company as bartender. A charming engaging woman.

Prior to Antonia’s, I was at Kate Miano’s Gardens. The Gardens was hit hard by Irma.

The property extensive. Surrounded by a large wooded area. Huge trees. Some probably back to Indian days.

Many wiped out.

There was one empty area relatively large. I thought perhaps a guest house had been situated the spot. No. Merely tall trees. All gone.

Irma has effected her business. She had to return deposits in the six figures. No insurance to cover the tree losses.

Kate is one of the smartest and aggressive women I know. She and her Gardens will recover.

Saw many friends. Jean Thornton one of them. My joy to see Jean. We will have a special bond the rest of our lives.

Earlier in the day, Sloan and I spent four hours finalizing work on Irma and Me. Tedious. E-mailed everything to the Publisher. He advised the book may be out by week’s end.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders and I know not what else.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SLOW DANCE

Facebook friend Aung Lin sent me a poem. A touching poem by a teenage young lady who will be dead from cancer in six months. The poem, Slow Dance.

Her message is to live life to its fullest. Recognize this young lady will never make it to a prom, graduate from high school, or be married and have a family of her own.

Read and be touched. Impossible not to be.

SLOW DANCE

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round? / Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground? / Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? / Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? / You better slow down. / Don’t dance so fast. / Time is short. / The music won’t last. / Do you run each day on the fly? / When you ask “How are you? / Do you hear the reply? / When the day is done, do you lie in bed / With the next hundred chores running through your head? / You’d better slow down / Don’t dance so fast. / Time is short / The music won’t last. / Ever told your child, / We’ll do it tomorrow? / And in your haste, Not see his sorrow? / Ever lost touch, let a good friend die / Cause you never had time / To call and say ‘Hi?’ / You’d better slow down. / Don’t live so fast. / Time is short. / The music won’t last. / When you run so fast to get somewhere, / You miss half the fun of getting there. / When you worry and hurry through your day, / It is like an unopened gift….. / Thrown away / Life is not a race. / Do take it slower / Hear the music / Before the song is over.

God bless!

Last night was Berlin’s. First time since Irma. Berlin’s and A& B took a beating. Windows blown out, roof leaks, etc. Still on the mend.

Business slow. Very slow. Only two of us for dinner, several for drinks. No Bria. Not enough customers. Closing time was 9.

I was not that hungry. Oysters Rockefeller, a Caesar Salad, and a couple of drinks.

Two of those stopping in for a drink were Gene and Frank. With Hurricane Disaster Relief. Met one of them lat year at the Chart Room.

Met also Heidi Schramm. An interesting lady. Born in Germany. Now a bartender in Marathon. Marathon took a beating.

She stopped into Southernmost Tattoo on Duval the night before. The place that had a fire a couple of weeks ago. She has a new tattoo on one ankle. A palm tree bending over in the wind. A rest of her life reminder of Irma.

Quick stop at Publix on the way home.

A busy day ahead. Finishing all work related to Irma and Me. Sloan will be helping. Publication soon.

Fantasy Feat around the corner. Goombay, Friday.

I wonder how big a crowd. Business still slow. Many restaurants and bars will not be open till after November 1. Repairs lengthy.

Trump. Oh, our President! In his other life a builder. As President, a destroyer. Examples the Iran agreement, Obamacare, and Puerto Rico.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

SYRACUSE BEATS #2 CLEMSON

Syracuse beat #2 Clemson last night 27-24. Not a fluke. A solid win.

I had a feeling. Definitely a hope. I mentioned Syracuse’s upset of Nebraska in 1984 twice recently. Nebraska was #1 at the time.

It took 33 years to happen again.

The victory not a fluke. Syracuse played like it belonged.

There are many die-hard Syracuse fans. Two require mentioning. We have bled orange with every defeat. Robert Marks and Tom Dixon.

Go ‘Cuse!

Watched the game from home. Spent the afternoon into early evening working on the extras that go into getting a book ready for publication. Reviewed some pics. Tried to arrange an order for their presentation. Rough drafted a Preface. Need a lead in to the daily renditions, how they came to be, etc.

Sloan coming by tomorrow. My goal is to have everything completed and off to the publisher by the time she leaves.

Trump was a builder in his other life. As President, he is a destroyer. Successful in tearing down. He has yet to construct anything significant.

Recent Trump destructions include the Iran agreement, Obamacare via Executive Orders, and Puerto Rico.

Erwin Rommel was a World War II German General. Famous. Respected. Known as the Desert Fox for his North African tank exploits.

Rommel knew of the plot to remove Hitler from power. He agreed that if Hitler was overthrown, he would serve as Germany’s leader.

The plot failed.

Most of the conspirators were immediately put to death. Without the benefit of trial.

Rommel was at home at the time recovering from injuries. Hitler considered him a co-conspirator. Two generals appeared at his home. Rommel was given the choice of a public trial or suicide. Rommel accepted suicide. Two cyanide capsules.

Because of Rommel’s popularity, Hitler preferred the people be told he died as a result of his injuries. Rommel was given a state funeral and buried with all the glory befitting a man of his stature.

Stone crab season begins tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TRUMP A BULLY

When Trump had a successful TV show for years, I thought his facial images and You’re Fired! outbursts were acting.

Then came the Republican primaries. Trump was not the gentleman. Disrespectful of his opponents. He mocked and embarrassed them.

I realized during the debates Trump was a bully. A typical school yard bully. Mocking, threats, attempts to scare another. As written in Macbeth…..Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Trump is not the only bully out there. North Korea’s Jung Un another. One challenging the United States with his limited supply of nuclear weapons. The other wanting to increase the United States nuclear weapon supply ten fold.

They are not engaging in diplomatic talk. No, they are standing face to face throwing serious barbs at each other. Nuclear war a possibility.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The purpose is to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. Perhaps Trump and Jung Un should look into the Month and what it stands for.  They might temper down. Become gentlemen considerate of others.

The Chart Room first last night. Met up with Jean Thornton. Good to see her again. My savior during Irma when I evacuated to her Birmingham home for 12 days.

We went over to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Ann and Joanne joined us. Two more Irma evacuees who ended up at Jean’s home.

A reunion of sorts.

Ann is a manager at Coach. Joanne a manager at the Audubon House.

It was good to see the ladies again.

The Hot Tin Roof is located in the Ocean Key House. Parts of Ocean Key took a beating. The long dock into the ocean where people ate and drank. Tables last night were crowded around the tiki bar and also around the pool. A no no previously.

It was 9:45 and I was driving by Publix. The refrigerator empty again. Zip. Nothing. Publix closes at 10.

I made a quick trip up and down the aisles. Threw only necessities in the cart. Made it time wise. Spent only $31. Enough to get me into the weekend.

Another test at the hospital today. No big deal.

Post Irma help comes from varied places. Not help one might expect.

The Florida Keys Community College took a bit of an Irma beating. three sides of the College sit on open water. The school was closed for three weeks. Reopened October 2.

Broward College students and employees were concerned for their brethren at FKCC. They sent 50 lap top computers, 35 bicycles, academic supplies, and personal items.

God is good! Broward College is good!

Moving my ass on Irma and Me. Assembling photographs for the book. Everyone has many. Selection the issue. If you have any, send them to me. All of them. I will pick and choose.

Send now. To louispetrone@gmail.com. Provide me with your full name, also.

I thought the Key West Citizen had renewed daily publication from Monday through friday. Published monday, tuesday and wednesday this week. Nothing today. Hope whatever the problem, it can be corrected. As I repeatedly have stated, a community needs a daily newspaper.

Syracuse plays Clemson tomorrow night (friday) at 7. A David/Goliath battle. Except, I doubt Syracuse (David) will win. Clemson is #2 in the country at 6-0. Syracuse unranked at 3-3.

Clemson a 21 point favorite.

Hope springs eternal, however. One never knows.

Sometime in the 1980s or 1990s, Syracuse was playing Nebraska. Nebraska #1 in the country. Syracuse unranked. Syracuse won!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

GOOMBAY NINE DAYS AWAY

 

Ho ho ho! Fantasy Fest around the corner. Nine days away. Goombay the start. Begins friday October 20. The Fantasy Fest Parade October 28.

Hope Irma does not keep tourists away. Except for debris on some side streets, the town will be ready. Bars and restaurants waiting.

Spent 1.5 hours at the hospital yesterday. The first of many tests I am scheduled for. Tomorrow another one.

One of the topics discussed last night on my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou was Puerto Rico and solar power.

Telsa’s Elon Musk met a few days ago with Governor Ricardo Rossello. They discussed solarizing the whole island rather than rebuilding the electrical system. Musk claims solar power cheaper and quicker to install.

Musk has already solarized the entire of American Samoa and a part of Hawaii.

The United States is lagging behind in the development of solar power. Blame the electrical companies, their well paid lobbyists, and federal and state legislators who dance to their tune.

China is the U.S.’s major competitor in anything economic. Beating the hell out of us. Solar power an example.

China’s solarization is twice the capacity of the United States. China also manufactures solar panels, etc. for export. China exports 99 percent of the panels it manufactures. Jobs a plenty.

Brilliant! Certain of our leaders have told us over the years that solar panels would be a new industry employing many. The U.S. should be the world leader. The words never turned into deeds. Politics, again.

Stone carbs! My favorite food!

The stone crab season begins October 15. This sunday. I can’t wait.

Irma behind us, Key West boards and commissions are back in business. One is the Tree Commission. For years, their business appears to have been ordering the removal of trees. Too many. To the abhorrence of Key West citizens.

Irma took down many trees. Removal should not be part of the Tree Commission’s agenda any further. Key West needs trees! Many kinds! All kinds!

The order of the day for the Tree Commission is to preserve the trees remaining and add to them.

Jenna Stauffer. My Jenna. Loveliest of the lovely. This 82 year old man loves taking 30 year old Jenna to dinner. We have been friends for 9 years.

Jenna just received her real estate license. Her shingle hangs with the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services team.

Everyone affected by Irma. Even baby turtles. Might never become  baby turtles. Most nesting beaches washed away by Irma.

An unnamed  group has joined together. Concerned. They are working at the preservation and restoration of the nesting beaches.

What follows not a Key West problem. Yet.

Reptiles are being found in toilets world wide.

A lizard was found in a Florida toilet. Probably an iguana.

Malaysian toilets are the squat type. Squat over an opening in the floor. A big lizard resting in the toilet.

The best in Pretoria, South Africa. A five foot snake. The commode the style we are accustomed to. A sit on toilet. The police could not get the snake out with poles and hoops. Finally, one officer grabbed the snake by its head and pulled it out.

Can you imagine sitting on a toilet, looking between your legs, and seeing an iguana or snake cuddled in the bowl? You might never go again!

Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this date in 2002. Carter achieved more in his post Presidency years than while President. The award much deserved.

I am pleased to announce the publisher has agreed to go forward with Irma and Me. The body of the book, the meat, is complete. It is that which surrounds it that I have to complete in the next few days.

Enjoy your day!

 

IRMA AND ME…..5 HOURS

Spent five straight hours working on Irma and Me yesterday afternoon. Noon to 5. Completed rough draft and sent it off to the publisher.

Still have to work on the Index, Introduction, Acknowledgements, a FINI segment, add pictures, and put together a cover.

Poor Liz. My dear friend. I visited her in the hospital early evening last night. She has been in 8 days. Her diabetes out of control. She has been a diabetic since birth.

Liz is my older friend. She is 83, one year older than me.

I admire her. She has an excellent mind. Liz was Dean of two law schools.

One of the things discussed was how the NBA would handle its basketball players from a legal perspective should they opt to kneel when the National Anthem is played. The NBA season begins soon.

We discussed death also. Quite a jump from basketball to death. Death is something persons my age and Liz’s think about on occasion. Not a morbid talk. I would characterize it as inquisitive.

An excellent Chart Room last night. Many tourists. Interesting because the streets were empty.

Met Lisa and Greg. Visiting from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Two children. A son 23 and daughter 16. Lisa especially charming. She is a school proctor. Greg manager of a distributing company.

They visit Key West 3-4 times a year. Plan on some day buying here.

Then came the Cat! Her name. Actually a nick name. Short for Catherine.

Cat was at the other end of the bar. Told Shaun to buy me a drink. We had not talked yet. Not even a hello or nod of the head. I first refused, then said why not!

Cat is from Iowa. One of my favorite places. Told her of my dear friends Cindy and Tom. I do not recall what city Cat was from.

Cat a sharp woman. Had to be to buy me a drink! I joke. Smart because she is a CPA. My greatest asset for more than 40 years was my CPA Bill Hatfield. I made no economic moves without his advice. Which I always followed.

Cat’s husband is Kenny. A cattle baron of sorts. Sells cattle.

Cat returns for Fantasy Fest. Bringing a group of friends with her. We discussed beads, Sloppy Joe’s toga party, etc.

Cat a fun person. Hope I run into her at Fantasy Fest.

Now came Jill. It was my night!

Jill has been in Key west 30 years. We never met till last night. She is a bartender at Rum Barrel. Studied English at Western State and Colorado. Most Key West bartenders are college educated. Bartenders because they make more money at bartending than they would in another pursuit.

Jill benefited when Irma hit. She was vacationing in Portugal and could not return. Lucky her!

It was after 9 and I still had not eaten. Drove to Tavern ‘n Town for the 9-11 Happy Hour. Sat at the bar, read the newspapers while enjoying an order of fried calamari.

This Las Vegas incident horrific! Fifty plus dead, 200 plus wounded. Described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Crazy people are always with us.

A truism. One which involves Trump. Never fails. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction.

Trump does not listen. He shoots from the hip. Does things his way. Fails to take into account repercussions. Fails to follow the advice of advisers.

He knows everything.

A wonder!

Trump decided to pick on Venezuela. Felt sorry for the people. He sanctioned Venezuela, banks were restricted from doing business with Venezuelan entities, etc.

He also threatened Maduro. Made comments that sounded like a military effort might follow.

I understand Venezuela. I have followed Maduro since he became President more than 4 years ago. A bad President. A corrupt one, also.

Venezuela ran out of toilet paper soon after he first took office. Venezuela still does not have enough toilet paper. Then Venezuela ran out of food, jobs, etc. Terrible conditions have existed for more than 4 years. Increasingly worse with each passing day.

I have maintained that Venezuela’s problems are their own. Within. A civil war is required to change things. The problem is the people of Venezuela do not have the balls to stand and revolt. They threaten, come close, but never make it.

Venezuela is not our problem. Venezuela presents no threat to the United States.

I suspect Trump might be interested in Venezuela because of its oil reserves. It has the largest oil deposits in the world. Invade under one pretense and take control of Venezuela’s oil might be the Trump motivation.

Sorry for the long introduction re the point I want to make.

Years ago, the U.S. got a rule into effect which most countries to this day follow. Any purchases of oil must be accomplished by the use of U.S. dollars. OPEC supported. Referred to as petrodollars. Keeps our dollar sound.

Maduro has said screw you to Trump. He announced last thursday that all businesses signing contracts with  Venezuela would do so in a foreign currency other than the U.S. dollar.

He intends for Venezuela to primarily use the Chinese yuan. China is thrilled. As is Russia who is in the middle of everything.

China wants its yuan to replace the dollar. Other countries are already in China’s fold.

China is and has been in an economic war with us. They are subtly beating the U.S. At every turn.

Trump does not see it. He would rather threaten military action rather than understand the ongoing economic war and its consequences.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Enjoy your day!