BRIA ANSARA…..FRIENDLY AND ACCESSIBLE DIVA

Two years ago, I insulted Bria Ansara in this blog. What possessed me I know not. It took six months before Bria would forgive me. We are now friends. She was the lady at a time when I was not the gentleman.

Bria is recognized today by the Key West Citizen. As one of Key West’s “Familiar Faces.” Front page photo recognition and article. Familiar Faces writes of people who contribute in some fashion to the island.

She is an outstanding performer. Sings, acts, etc. I generally dine friday or saturday at Berlin’s where she entertains weekends. Yes, the food is good. I go because of Bria. She is better. The best.

Friendly fits Bria. The Citizen describes her as friendly and accessible. Correctly so.

Bria has another life besides that of an entertainer. She teaches art. To students at Montessori. She teaches my Robert and Ally.

The Alabama/Georgia game destroyed me last night. I remained  awake to watch it. I had remained up late sunday evening also.

Fell asleep with 5 minutes to go. Missed the most interesting parts. The final minutes and overtime.

From the reruns this morning, I missed the best parts of the game. Whatever. Congrats to both teams. Especially to Alabama freshman Tagovailoa who went into the game in the second half and played a hell of a game.

Earlier in the day, I worked on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Tons of hot issues out there. I have assembled a dozen interesting topics to share, excite and perhaps even open your eyes.

Join me at 9. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Guaranteed you will enjoy. Even if you disagree with me.

I was in Aqua at 5. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Heather-May.

The best deal in town. Great singing. Off the wall good. Costs nothing, except for a drink or two.

Met Rob and James at Dueling Bartenders. They recently bought a home in Key West. Their primary residence Boca Raton.

Pleasant guys. Rob’s other life had him  involved in real estate and with IBM. Most recently, a math teacher at the Lower Keys Community College. James, an operations manager for a large insurance company.

Wanted to get home for the game. Stopped at Publix for a few things. I am on Atkins. It requires constant food replenishing. Expensive. I don’t know if I shared with you the scale showed a 2 pound loss three days ago. The loss has remained. Makes a total of 12 pounds.

Slow.

There is a new webcam in Key West. At Conch Republic. Operates 24 hours. Shows Key West Historic Seaport. Take a look. KeyWestHistoricSeaport.com.

Last week, Trump cut off Pakistan from financial aid the U.S. has been providing for years. Trump claimed it was because Pakistan was not controlling terrorists in its country.

Strange. There are other countries the U.S. provides aid that are not controlling terrorists within their borders.

There is a story behind the one Washington suggests.

Pakistan has become friendly with China. It permitted China to build a naval base last year in Djibouti. The ribbon cutting ceremony was July 1, 2017.

Last week, Pakistan announced that China would build a second naval base at Gwadar.

Both bases primarily intended to provide China with military outposts.

Trump is in the process of cutting off Pakistan because of the Chinese bases, not the terrorism issue.

Pakistan is not a nation to be defecated upon. The day after Trump’s announcement, Pakistan announced it was moving from the American dollar to the Chinese yuan for certain monetary transactions.

Venezuela did the same thing several months ago when Trump suggested the U.S. might have to invade Venezuela because Maduro was not taking care of his people.

Moving to the yuan weakens the American dollar. Should this trend continue, the dollar will be debased tremendously. Significant economic problems the result.

Trump continues to shot from the hip without thinking, without carefully examining the ramifications of his moves.

Trump further said the money saved by cutting Pakistan off would be used to build roads and bridges in the United States.

Sometimes the President reminds me of tonic salesmen of old.

Consider purchasing Irma and Me. Humor and sadness combined. Easy reading. Available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Kobobooks.com.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE WEATHER…..KEY WEST AND ERIE, PA.

The weather outside is frightful…..

For Key West, no. Erie, Pa., yes.

A magnificent Christmas week weather wise. Eighty by day, 70 by night. No humidity. No air conditioning required at night. Open the bedroom window and let the cool ocean breeze flow in.

Erie, Pa. another story! Four feet of snow over a 48 hour period 12/25-12/26.

Erie no stranger to heavy snow falls. However, the four feet was the most ever.

I remember 4 feet snowfalls in Utica. Got one every 10 years or so. Pretty. Disruptive, however. The City closed down. No driving, no work. Could be 2 days before you got out of your house.

I loved the major snow storms. Family time. Parents and children confined at home together. A time to rebond.

My day yesterday began at the opticians. Still having vision problems with the new glasses. Second prescription. Worse than the first.

I return this morning for additional tests.

Worked  at organizing last night’s podcast in the afternoon. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

An early dinner at Roostica.

No question it is Christmas time. The busiest time of the year in Key West. Roostica packed to the walls inside and out.

Tried to do a different show last night. One where Donald Trump is never mentioned. I did well. Slipped into a brief Trump comment only 3 times.

The introductory story was one I reported first on this blog last week. The story of the prematurely born female twins.

One not making it. Death inevitable. Placed in incubator next to her sister who was doing well. The healthy twin threw an arm over her sick sister. The sick sister’s recovery began immediately.

The twins 22 years old today. Lovely young ladies leading full lives.

The help of a sister and the grace of God responsible.

A poor stone crab season.  A very poor one.

Law of economics at work. Few stone crabs available, high prices.

The fishermen cannot find enough stone crabs. It is believed Irma disrupted the ocean floor and who knows where they ended up. Another reason suggested is that there has not been a cold front yet. A cold front is required to move stone crabs closer to shore.

Small stone crabs going for $8 a piece. Jumbo’s, $28 a piece.

Too expensive.

Syracuse/E. Michigan tonight. I will watch from the comfort of my bed. Syracuse a 12 point underdog.

I doubt many would disagree with me if I referred to Trump as an egomaniac. He may get his rocks off again. In Jerusalem.

Israel owes Trump. He is moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The action to the Israelis indicates Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

They refer to Trump’s decision re the Embassy as a “brave decision.”

Jerusalem’s Western Wall is the holiest of Jewish places. A high speed railway is soon to be constructed which will run to the Western Wall. Construction to take 4 years. Cost, $700 million.

Strong support exists to name the train station at the Wall after Trump.

He is better deserving in my opinion for a subway train station in the middle of the Bronx to be renamed after him. One in a black/latino neighborhood.

Enjoy your day!

AMORGOS CALLED

Received a surprise call yesterday from Amorgos. My favorite Greek isle.

It was Anna. She decided to skip Santorini and go directly to Amorgos.

She was calling from Mythos. My favorite restaurant on Amorgos. She was with the owner Vangelis. Anna said as soon as she appeared at Mythos, Vangelis asked …..Where is Louis? Amazing. I have not seen him in three years.

I got to talk with Vangelis. He and his wife run Mythos. Their young 20ish daughter waits tables. They also have another daughter. A late in life surprise/joy. Has to be five now. When last there, she was a two year old toddler wobbling around the restaurant most of the day.

I spent most of my time at Mythos. Researching and writing. I did not miss a stroke while there. I got to Mythos about 10 in the morning. Had a late breakfast or early lunch. Worked til about 4. Returned in the evening for dinner.

Vangelis watched out for me. If I ordered something he thought I would not like, he nodded his head no. Sometimes he would not let me even order. He would say eat this tonight.

There are no sheep on Amorgos. Only goats. Hundreds of them. Yet the few restaurants are always selling lamb.

One morning, Vangelis said…..Tonight, you eat goat!

He had prepared the goat himself. Took me in the kitchen and showed it to me. It was rotating over a fire. Vangelis said when you taste this tonight, it will taste like lamb. It did.

I enjoyed Amorgos. Spent close to three months there overall. I should be vacationing there now. Maybe I would not have experienced chest pains. If I had, I would have been in trouble. No hospital, doctor or nurse. No airport. A boat ride to where ever.

Boring yesterday. Many days I screw off and do nothing. Stay home. Yesterday was different. I was required to stay home. No fun when there is a compulsion.

I read, watched TV and napped.

Television and Trump go hand in hand. He is still getting most of the TV time. The free time. Ninety percent of the TV time. It is a new issue with him every day. You forget anyone else is running for President.

I had an appointment with Tammy for a manicure at 2. Obviously could not keep it. Tammy will be my first stop when I am out saturday.

Edward B. Knight is a Key West icon. Ninety nine years old. Still sharp.

The White Street Pier was renamed yesterday in his honor. Much deserved. Key West is a better place because of him. He and David Wolkowsky could walk down the street arm in arm.

Oil, greed and politics go hand in hand.

The Golan Heights was part of Syria. Technically still is.  Israel occupied the Golan Heights in 1967 following the Arab/Israeli Six Day War. Israel never left. Israel has been building on the property over the years. While the United Nations has been trying to resolve the dispute over title. Palestinians and Israelis have been fighting for years.

Rupert Murdoch is well known world wide. He owns among other things FOX News and the Wall Street Journal. A billionaire. He is a major shareholder in Genie Energy. Genie Energy has an Israeli subsidiary.

Newt Gingrich is an adviser to Genie Energy.

The Israeli subsidiary is prepared to start drilling for oil on the Golan Heights.

While Palestinian/Israeli fighting continues.

Enjoy your day!

MEMORIAL DAY 2016

Memorial Day. A day of remembrance. A time to recall those who paid the ultimate price for their country. They died.

What concerns me is that man will always have a Memorial Day. It is man’s nature to make war. To kill one another.

World War I was to be the last major war ever. World War II was the war to end all wars. Nevertheless, wars have been ongoing.

My yesterday was divided between two major events. Writing this week’s KONK Life column and spending time at Schooner Wharf watching the Minimal Regatta.

Yesterday morning, my mind was a blank as to what to write about. I had several thoughts. None came together for me.

I was doing my morning Facebook routine. There was a posting by Joseph Lyles. A friend. A good man in every respect. He posted a several line column of statistics. All had to do with the economy’s impact on various groups of people..

I used Joseph’s posting as the basis for my column. America Has Lost Its Promise. My observations were that the economy is what has made a Trump and Sanders successful. Further, if things did not change, America was headed for an Arab Spring.

Once the column was done, I was off to Schooner Wharf. Minimal Regatta time. Yesterday, the 25th Annual Minimal Regatta.

Participants construct their boats. Construction  items limited to plywood fasteners, duct tape, and 2′ x 4’s. Nothing else. Most boats do not complete the race. They fall apart.

Presidential politics found its way into the Regatta. Trump and Clinton participated. Look alike copies.

Stepin Fetchil was born in Key West this day in 1902. I have written about him several times over the years. Though not generally recalled in Key West, he attained national fame.

Stepin was born of Indian parents. His birth name Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andew Perry. Nothing appears re his Key West years. He lived in Key West only 8 years. His parents moved the family thereafter to Tampa. Stephin never returned.

Stephin’s claim to fame. He was an Afro-American comedian and actor. Most famous during the 1930s. The first Afro-American movie actor to become a millionaire.

This year many have say there should be a third party. One will be there on election day. The Libertine Party. Not new. Has been around for years. However, this year putting forth quality candidates at a time America is crying out for a third party.

The Presidential candidate is former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. The Vice-Presidential candidate former Massachusetts Governor William Weld.

Johnson is a fiscal conservative and a social liberal.

The team will not win. However, they will make noise. Hopefully enough to qualify the Libertine Party for the Presidential debates.

In  recent months, I have written and spoken on my blog talk radio show of the new close relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel. One example being the King of Saudi Arabia giving Netanyahu $80 million for his campaign last year.

It has been announced Saudi Arabia is going to build a gigantic embassy in Israel. In Tel Aviv.

I find this surprising. The two countries have not had formal diplomatic relations since the late 1940s. They still do not. In addition, Saudi Arabia has been in the forefront to annihilate all Jews in Israel and to destroy in every respect the nation of Israel.

Strange bedfellow

Joan of Arc was burned at the stake this date in 1431. In English controlled Normandy. Her judges, Church authorities. Her crime, heresy. She followed God’s words as spoken to her rather than the rulings of the Church.

An interesting point seldom mentioned. Not one witness spoke in support of any of the charges. The Court wanted to find her guilty and did. Ecclesiastical due process 1431.

Enjoy your day!

 

HEMINGWAY’S SPAIN

It is impossible to think of Key West and not Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway spent ten years in Key West. During that time, he did all the things people do when on the island. Drank, partied and fished. He also completed writing A Farewell To Arms.

Hemingway’s grandson Michael Hemingway was in Valencia, Spain yesterday. He met one of his grandfather’s closest friends, Francisco “Canito” Cana. Cana was a bullfight photographer during his Hemingway days.

Cana shared many stories with Michael. Especially, the “…..feasts and binges.” He told him of Pamplona and the running of the bulls. How he and Hemingway would eat a huge dinner the night before with much wine. The next day, they would watch the running of the bulls. Followed by coffee in the Plaza Castillo.

Cana added that Hemingway loved Spain, their drinking sprees, the wine they guzzled, and the flask of vodka he always carried.

First it was Syracuse, my Syracuse. Today it is Manhattan, my Manhattan. My poor Jaspers!

Not a basketball year for me.

Manhattan lost in the first game of the NCAA tournament. Manhattan had to play its way in. Had they won, the prize was playing Kentucky next.

Manhattan lost to Hampton College 74-64. Surprising since Manhattan was an 8.5 point favorite. Also, Manhattan’s record was 19-13. Whereas, Hampton’s 16-17.

Such is life! There is always next year!

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. A part of Duval Street was closed off. The area jam packed. Most wearing green and drinking glass after glass of green beer. Everyone on a Duval crawl!

An interesting factual correction re  St. Patrick. He did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. Ireland was too cold for snakes. St. Patrick did drive the idol worshiping Druid religion out as part of his Christianizing most of Ireland. Over the years, the Druids being driven out has transformed into the snake story.

Netanyahu won. Surprising. You cannot always trust the polls. Query: How will this affect Iran’s thoughts re a nuclear agreement? Iran may now fear Israel and use that reason for not entering into a deal with the United States. It is assumed Israel has nuclear bombs.

My blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spent half the show discussing Tom Cotton. The new kid on the block as I described him. A far right tea party type. Also, a neocon. Backed by big money and powerful people. Beware was my message. The man is being groomed for a Presidential run at some point.

This week’s KONK Life publishes today. My column is the Making of a Star. The Tom Cotton story. Read it. A guaranteed eye opener.

I am sick and tired hearing about Hillary’s e-mails. A red herring going nowhere. When are these idiots going to start discussing things like jobs and income inequality?

Nancy Robinson is a Key West icon. A lady. Known to everyone in Key West. Mother of Martha Robinson.

Nancy has been sick. She is still sick. In and out of the hospital. Now home. Definitely not well. Say a prayer for her.

Enjoy your day!

 

A KEY WEST SUNRISE

I watched sunrise this morning. A Key West sunrise. It was not planned. I was up. Looked out the window and there it was breaking clean over the horizon.

Interesting I should have caught it this morning. Last night, I enjoyed Fiddler on the Roof for the zenith time. Sunrise, sunset…..

Another beautiful Key West day. This past week has been unusually good for this time of  year. May it last and what ever winter we were to have let it be behind us.

Got a pedicure yesterday. From Tammy. Lee Nails was unusually busy. Every chair taken for whatever service, every staff person working. I told Tammy she was getting rich. As I often state, she and her husband personify the American dream.

All the years I have been in Key West, there should be little I do not know about the island. Something new popped up yesterday. The Quantum Boat Races.

I know the races are here every year. I go to the waterfront to see the sailboats tied up. I have never seen a race, however.

I went to Fort Zach. Figured I would stand at the point where the rocks and beach meet. A perfect spot for watching the races. So I thought.

No way! The boats do not race/sail near shore. They are way out. Mere specs on the horizon.

Strange and not so strange things happening internationally.

We are negotiating with Iran  re nuclear arms. A big time long time process. The whole world knows. Putin continues to be smart and Iran says we do what we want to do.

Tuesday an agreement was signed between Russia and Iran. A military cooperative deal. A joint response to U.S. interference. They pledged cooperation in the “struggle.” The struggle referring once again to the interference of foreign forces in  the region. Primarily, the United States.

Query: Is Iran  dealing in good faith with the U.S. in the nuclear talks? Many think not. I am one of them. They are buying time.

Then yesterday Speaker Boehner made a startling announcement. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu will shortly speak before Congress.

Foreign affairs have generally been left to the President to take the lead. Not Congress. Boehner may think we are screwing up the Iran talks. Perhaps. He may want to make the President look bad. Perhaps. Boehner invited Israel’s Netanyahu to speak before Congress. Netanyahu constantly warns not to trust Iran re nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu may be correct. Whether correct is not the issue. Boehner in this instance went over the head of the President with regard to an international matter. A no no.

With those thoughts, I leave you.

Enjoy your day!

KEY WEST CHICKENS

The morning of what will be another good day in Key West!

Today’s Key West Citizen’s Day in History section made comment re Key West chickens. On this day in 2004, the City Commission appointed an official chicken catcher. An experiment that failed.

The contract with the chicken catcher was for 9 months. He would be paid $20 for each chicken captured. There was a limit of 900. At the time, it was estimated there were 2,000-3,000 free roaming chickens.

The chicken catcher captured 542. Considered to be roughly 25 percent of the chicken population. At that point, the chicken catcher packed it in.

He claimed the City leaders were not committed to the cause. He felt they were micromanaging by providing him with chicken lists which specified particular areas where he should do his catching. The chicken catcher found this difficult. Many chickens might be in  a particular area today, but not tomorrow. They moved at will. The chicken lists were useless. By the time he got to an area to catch them, they were gone.

The chicken catcher claimed Key West residents were not cooperative.  They would stomp on his traps and taunt him. The oral abuse was too much.

Another consideration was involved. Money. Chickens are an endangered species or have some sort of protected status in Florida. They cannot be killed. The chicken catcher was required to ship them to a chicken farm located somewhere in northern Florida. The chickens would spend their remaining days in chicken comfort. The cost of shipping the chickens north came out of the $20.

There are chickens in Key West to this day. They probably will be here for all time.

Where did the chickens come from? Two sources are suggested.

The first involves cock fighting. A big sport in the keys for years. It is said cock fighting matches still go on in the wooded mangrove areas away from highways and police. The chickens of today are the descendants of the chickens originally brought to the lower keys for cock fighting purposes.

The other source is that early on, chickens were part of the food chain. There were no super markets. People kept chickens for food and eggs. A number of today’s chickens are descendants of those chickens.

Personally, I do not like the chickens. They are dirty and I fear germ carrying. I will concede however they are lovely to look at.

On to professional football. When I first heard of the deflated ball problem and the Patriots a few days ago, my initial reaction was that whoever was involved should be barred from professional football for all time. The wrong as bad as that committed by the Chicago White Sox many years ago. However after watching many retired pro football players on TV commenting on the issue, it appears every team does it. If so, then the punishment, if any, should be nominal.

The NFL however must put means and rules in place that will prevent this from happening again. The whole matter leaves me with a sour taste.

We close with my diet. I finally lost another pound. I am thrilled. It is now 28 pounds I have shed. I look forward to 30, though I do not plan quitting at that number.

Enjoy your day!