MICHAEL’S CONTINUING SAGA

The old hymn…..Onward Christian soldiers. Michael appears to have moved to the tune. Though not with God on his side. In and out quickly. Did not hang around. In less than two days, did a number on northern Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Now over the Atlantic, 185 miles east-northeast of Norfolk.

The Panhandle pure devastation. Comments include unprecedented damage, a war zone, communities obliterated, an Air Force Base wiped out, catastrophic, looks like an atomic bomb dropped, cars and boats piled up like rubbish.

Keeps going. Entire blocks empty, houses on them smashed by storm surge and wind, washed out to sea.

First responders going in. Difficult work. The war zone description repeated frequently.

Michael maintained hurricane intensity 200 miles inland. Unusual.

Though Michael far out to sea, Virginia still experiencing dangerous wind gusts.

Michael gone. Recovery help required big time. I do not hear of FEMA’s involvement. Sure they must be there. Tell us. I am concerned Trump will fail the Panhandle as he did Puerto Rico. It all comes down to money. Soon I suspect we will hear there is not enough money. Then what?

Sad stories. Every one of them. One of the worst, 11 year old Sarah Radrey. Staying with her grandparents in Georgia. A car port crashed through the roof and killed her.

God help Sarah, her parents, and her grandparents. Tragedy of the worst kind!

Stopped into the Chart Room first last night. John working. Had not seen him in a week.

The room was packed! Tight standing room only. Forget getting a seat. Highly unusual this time of year. Off season.

Met two nice people. Lisa and Bob. Celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary.

Lisa and Bob from River Edge, New Jersey. Bob affiliated with the New York City Carpenters Union. Lisa works for a podiatrist.

Two grown sons. Twenty four and twenty two.

Their third visit to Key West. Second time at the Pier House. First time stayed at the Ocean Key across the street.

We talked of many things. A bit of politics. Lisa and I on opposite sides of the fence. She watches FOX News!

Liked them. Hope to see them again the next time they return.

David showed up somewhere along the evening. Always good to see David. I enjoy his company.

Then to the Blue Macaw. Enjoyed a drink, brie and good company. Andrea, Joe, John, Doug, Mary, Donna, and Terri.

I was anxious to talk with Doug. He is a tour guide at the Hemingway House.

I have been into ghosts the past few days. First, South Carolina’s Gray Man. Yesterday, Key West’s Angel of Mercy Maria Gutsens.                      .

Researching for more ghost tales yesterday, I came across an article claiming Ernest Hemingway and his second wife Pauline were making nocturnal visits to the Hemingway House.

Hard to believe! Doug would know.

Doug said no to Ernest, maybe to Pauline, but suggested Asa Tift as the real ghost. Asa was a wrecker/salvager in Key West’s early days. A self made tycoon. Built the Hemingway House for he and his family.

I could find nothing to substantiate the Asa story. Did come across more re the Hemingways.

Ghost appearances are technically referred to as manifestations. Many manifestations at the Hemingway House.

Hemingway writing in his loft work room, seen walking around the house, and standing on the veranda occasionally waving at passersby.

Pauline standing at the top of the central staircase looking to the loft watching her husband working and out the window her children playing outside. Occasionally standing at night by the gate smoking a cigarette.

One manifestation is hearing the typewriter clicking in the early morning. Supposedly, Hemingway writing. Could not be true. Hemingway did not type his works. He hand wrote them with a pencil. Then either Pauline or his sister would type them up.

My home bound trip from the Blue Macaw evenings takes me right by the Hemingway House. I shall be looking manifestations.

Key West’s humorous weather man at it again. He predicts this evening at 78 degrees and partly cloudy. Follows it up with…..Stars play peek-a-boo.

Traffic is reaching the breaking point on US 1. The only way in and out of Key West. The only highway through 140 miles of the Keys. Traffic especially heavy the past two years. A recent study attributes the increase to tourists. Claim tourists jam the highway.

Merely sharing. I have no comment.

Another study suggests two major medical problems. The first obviously the flu. The other too many C-sections. The number world wide has doubled from 2000 to 2015. The increase in the U.S. up as much as 30 percent in certain years. China up as much as 62 percent.

The message most of the C-sections not required. Medical problems for mother and child increasing as a result.

DOW doing well. Two days ago, down more than 800 points. Yesterday, more than 500. Today?

Trump’s lack of character evident with the Jamal Khashoggi situation. Trump says U.S. economy more important. We have a $110 billion agreement with Saudi Arabia for planes, etc. Trump says Khashoggi not even a citizen. Correct. He is a legal U.S. resident however and writes for the Washington Post.

News this morning says the $110 billion agreement mostly a holdover from the Obama administration. Actually, letters of intent. Not binding. Saudi Arabia has never purchased anything pursuant to the agreement.

Tonight, I dine! Andrea cooking. Joe making pina coladas. Andrea’s food preparation dining without question. Joe’s pina coladas fun.

Enjoy your day!

 

60 POUNDS

Important maters to discuss today. One stands out above all else. An item of personal achievement. I have lost 60 pounds!

Unbelievable! Took about a year. Now weigh 197. Still going. I am into the diet. Never would have believed I could do it.

I was constantly tired. Complaining it had to be my heart. I was in Fort Lauderdale for my 4th heart catheterization. The doctor found nothing different from my previous one. Looked me in the eye and said…..Lose 40-50 pounds.

He was the pro. I, not. I listened. Started dieting the next day. Stopped being tired after losing 20 pounds.

I need clothes. Everything way too big. Love it!

I am hurrying this morning. Do not want to miss a minute of the Judiciary Committee hearing beginning at 10. The political junkie in me compels it.

The Committee hearing(s) a mess. A disgrace. Proof our government at every level is failing. F–d up!

A thorough investigation is required. By the FBI. Not merely a vetting. I believe it is not being requested because of a simple point. It is against the law to lie to an FBI agent. I assume Kavanaugh when asked about his sexual escapades, would continue to deny them. So much for the Supreme Court seat, his present Judicial seat, his attorney’s license, his good name, etc.

The ladies are coming out of the woodwork. There will be more. Only because a person guilty of a particular addictive conduct will repeat it endlessly. Never fearing its harm to himself or others.

Last night the first in a week I was out. The Chart Room, of course. John’s first night back after 10 days in Jamaica. Kevin and I were together to hear John’s war stories.

The Jamaica I knew 20 years ago has not changed. I did not like Jamaica. I left the resort to visit the town. Scared the hell out of me! Returned to the resort and remained the whole trip. The armed guards walking the resort made me feel somewhat secure. However, I kept thinking what the hell even made me come to Jamaica.

Jamaica a third world country then, a third world country today.

One drink was enough. My first in a week. Left and stopped at Publix. Cupboard bare again.

My first evening out in a week. Exciting!

Tropical storm Kirk is out there in the Atlantic heading this way. Does not appear it will affect the U.S. Presently moving for the Barbados. Then south of Jamaica and Cuba.

I mention Kirk only because I have learned hurricanes are fickle. The mother could change course a bit and head north towards the Keys.

Key West motels in the 1950’s were at the Atlantic end of town. Many still standing. Others replaced by new beautiful hotels.

Competition keen back in those days. Not enough business. Motels cutting their prices. I recall mentioning a few days ago that one motel advertised rooms for $2.

Things got more competitive. On this day in 1955, 8 motels posted signs offering free rooms to tourists.

Enough. The Judiciary Committee hearing awaits.

Enjoy your day!

FEMA…..ARE YOU THERE?……ARE YOU DOING THE JOB?

I worry. Are we going to fall on our face once again when it comes to helping our own? Katrina a Bush failure. Puerto Rico Trump’s.

Florence here. Trump assured us he was ready. FEMA was ready. Both had enough time to get ready. We knew Florence was coming for days. We knew it was going to be a big one.

I am concerned that Trump fails to understand the magnitude of the Florence assistance required. We will know in a week.

FEMA puts out reports constantly. Bureaucratic bullshit. The official FEMA report published at 7 am September 14 spelled out in detail what was being done and would be done. The report was titled the Hurricane Florence Lifeline.

I hope everyone involved read it and are prepared to take on one of the largest natural disaster recoveries in U.S. history.

Last night the Chart Room. Quiet. John bartending. I wanted to say bon voyage and wish him well. He leaves sunday morning for a 10 day Jamaican vacation.

Mary was seated at the bar. I normally see her at Blue Macaw. Spent some time chatting with her. An intelligent woman.

Mary is a tour guide at The Little White House. I consider myself extremely knowledgeable re Harry Truman. Mary has me beat. I learned several new Truman things from her.

I left Mary at the Chart Room and headed over to Blue Macaw. Packed! No room at the bar! So I left.

It was Sandy’s Cafe for dinner. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee. The bill $5.03. Can’t beat it.

Home in bed before 9. A good boy was I.

The Tropic Cinema is Key West. Conceived, constructed and operated by locals. A life like statue of Marilyn Monroe sits in front of the theater. Her skirt blowing upwards from a subway vent beneath her feet.

Monroe laughing.

On this day in 1954, the “skirt” scene was filmed. The Tropic Cinema did well in capturing that moment for Key West.

The VIP Gentlemen’s Club is at the quiet far end of Duval. 1221 Duval. There has been some sort of “club’ there for years. Young ladies siting on the front porch enticing men as they walk by. Young ladies inside.

It appears to be a house of ill repute. I do not think so. More of a rip off place. Men pay a fee to get inside. Once heard $300. Any service by the girls extra. Paid for. Not provided. The ladies do not engage in that sort of thing.

Credit car bills occasionally have a 0 or 2 added on.

The police rarely get involved. They view the problems as contractual/civil rather than criminal.

The place should have been closed years ago. It is a taint on Duval and Key West. No better than the hustlers at the other end of Duval ripping off customers in perfume shops.

Yesterday, the police did get involved. Not for the normal problems, however. Ashley Barrett, age 26, is a “stripper” at the club. She apparently got drunk during the day. Threatened her coworkers first with a knife. Later in the day with an iron.

She was arrested.

Paul Manafort buried Trump yesterday with his plea. He flipped. All the way. Caused Humpty Dumpty to fall off the wall. Ended up with Manafort’s heel on Trump’s throat.

Donald Jr and Jared next. Then, the big one! Deservedly so. He has brought America to the brink of disaster in many ways. Possible shooting wars, the tariff wars, etc.

A pleasurable afternoon awaits. Syracuse/Florida State at noon. Florida State a 2 1/2 point favorite. Syracuse’s first real competition this season. I am excited. Hope Syracuse wins!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

IRMA REVISITED

One year ago today, Irma hit the Florida Keys. Everyone is aware of the details. The damage wrought. I want to share feelings experienced. As I experienced them.

As Irma was traveling over the water, its pending arrival resulted in a knot in my chest. Irma was predicted as a category 5. It was heading straight for Key West.

My mind kept repeating…..Get out of Dodge!

Five days before Irma’s arrival, I did.

My escape to Birmingham took 4 days. Traffic unbelievable. Reminded me of newsreels taken at the beginning of World War II. Poland, Czechoslovakia and France. People in long lines walking away from danger. In Irma’s instance, driving.

The miles of slow moving cars added to the realization that we were all escaping a bad thing. Escape not easy. Mental uncertainty jumped in as to whether I would make it.

The gasoline problem added negative thoughts. Sometimes, no gas available. Other times, a 1 to 1 1/2 hour wait to get gas. What would happen if there were no gas and we all were left sitting in our cars on the road side?

People panic. I saw at a Pompano gas station, people on foot pushing and shoving to get at gas pumps with cans to fill. Their cars apparently already topped.

Food entered my mind. Suppose where ever I was or ended up, food ran out. How would people behave?

Whatever, I made it to the Thornton’s in Birmingham.

Now my concern and those of my other evacuees went to how Irma was affecting Key West and the lower Keys. Concern, big time. Glued to the TV screen. Anxious for every bit of news.

Irma came and went. Concern for friends who remained on going. Communication difficult. Cell phones non operable.

Thornton guests anxious to return home. Not only to look after their property, but also to help those who remained. The desire to be of assistance ran deep.

The trip home less crowded.  I waited a week after Irma before I left. No sense in returning without air conditioning, power, water, food, etc.

The view fine till I hit Marathon. Then the damage. Increasing the further south I drove. Depressing. Boats on the side of highways, cars in the water, homes flattened like pancakes, appliances all over, debris everywhere.

Islamorada, Big Pine and Cudjoe Key the worse. Unbelievable. Emotional. Tears running down my face.

Finally made it to Key West. Duval desolate. Dark. Power downtown a problem. People in the shadows. Everyone glad to see each other.

One year later, Irma’s foot print remains. Not everyone back in a home. Some still in tents. Food a problem. Jobs a big problem. The canals still plugged with sunken houses and boats. Canal cleanup only recently begun. U.S. 1 looks good. Go off the highway one block in many areas and it looks like Irma hit yesterday.

Recovery a big step. Even a year later, much to be done.

The thing that impacted me the most was the resiliency of the people. Irma gone. Damage left. Everyone pitching in to help. Neighbors and strangers shoulder to shoulder. Any mental depression long gone. Still a job to do and people getting at it.

Enjoy your day!

 

JIMMY BUFFETT…..JAMAICA MISTAICA

I continue to live and learn.

Chart Room good fun last night.

John mentioned he would be gone for 2 weeks. Vacation. Jamaica.

I am still reading Peter Schweizer’s Secret Empires. Came across a line yesterday that stated Jamaica was corrupt. Time frame maybe 10 years ago. Suggested John beware.

Kevin and Holly were chatting with us. Kevin and John both stated Jamaica was corrupt. As are many of the smaller islands. They then told me the Jimmy Buffett story and his plane having been shot at in Jamaica because the gendarmes thought it belonged to drug smugglers.

First time I was hearing the story.

It was January 16, 1996. Twenty two years ago. Buffett had his own plane. A Grumman HU-16 Albatross flying boat. Buffett named it Hemisphere Dancer.

Buffett has a commercial pilot license. He was flying the plane that day. On board were U2’s Bono, his wife Ali, their 2 children, and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.

Buffett was either landing near Negril or taking off. No formal record of the flight nor landing registered. They had stopped or were stopping to enjoy the “best” jerky chicken in Jamaica.

Jamaican authorities suspecting drug smuggling began shooting. The plane took several hits. Fortunately, no one injured.

Jamaica apologized several weeks later.

Buffett wrote a song about the incident titled Jamaica Mistaica. A stanza: “Come back, come back to Jamaica / Don’t chu know we made a big mistake / We’d be so sad if you told us good-bye / And we promise not to shot you out of the sky.”

More dialogue at the Chart Room.

Kevin and I were at it re the Democrats and Republicans. He a die hard Trump fan. Fortunately, we are friends. Even when our voices raise on high. However, we both think the other does not know what he is talking about.

John said he had a ton of fresh tuna. A customer had given it to him. Cleaned. John had frozen it.

Let’s have a party!

Monday at 4.

Kevin and John asked me to bring along Donna and Terri. Ran into them later at Blue Macaw and they were excited. Except, Donna cannot make it. She will be working. Terri becomes my date.

Enjoyed a drink with Donna and Terri at Blue Macaw. Terri was in a bad way. Extremely sorrowful. Down in the dumps. Donna, likewise.

Terri had starred in Nunsense 1 and 2 with Rue McClanahan. Most of you will remember Rue as Blanche Devereaux on the The Golden Girls. The TV show that ran 1985-1982.

Rue died in 2010. However, a British Company is doing a series about her. Terri was interviewed by a British representative of the company long distance yesterday for 2 hours. About her relationship personally and professionally with Rue.

The interview weighed heavily on both my ladies last night.

Syracuse football back! Play Wagner this afternoon. A small college. Syracuse a 25 point favorite. Hope I can get the game on TV. I subscribe to the college game channels. Unfortunately, they do not carry all of them.

Tonight another dinner party. At Joe and Andrea’s. Donna and Terri invited also. Afterwards to Blue Macaw where Terri will be singing with Larry Baeder.

Hurricane Florence. She’s coming! So say the weather people. Still far off. If it hits landfall in the U.S., it will be sometime mid week.

Florence has diminished in strength from a category 4 to a tropical storm. Professionals say it was expected. However at some point, Florence will increase in intensity and return to hurricane status.

Landfall somewhere along the North American shore. Governor Cooper of North Carolina has already declared a state of emergency. He’s not screwing around.

Florence may decide not to make land. The alternative is a hard right turn into the Atlantic. Too soon to tell.

I watched Obama’s speech yesterday afternoon. Simply stated…..Vote! God helps those who help themselves.

A step back in history. On this day in 1974, President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. Ford claimed his motivation was to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal. The Nation had to be reunited.

Ford pardoned Nixon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office.

I agreed with Ford then. I continue to agree with him.

Unfortunately, not everyone felt as I did. Many harbored ill will towards Ford because of the pardon. It cost him the election when he ran.

Enjoy your day!

 

ORIGIN OF UNCLE SAM

The United States has a nickname. We all know it. Uncle Sam.

Where did it come from? How did it originate? Who is responsible for the nickname?

We have to go back to the War of 1812 for the answer.

Samuel Wilson was a Troy, N.Y. meat packer who supplied beef to the U.S. Army. Beef was transported in barrels.

On this day in 1813, Wilson began stamping the barrels with “U.S.” Purpose to inform everyone who was in contact with the barrels that the contents came from the United States.

Soldiers began referring to the beef they were eating as “Uncle Sam’s.”

A local newspaper picked up on the story. In due course, Uncle Sam gained widespread acceptance as the nick name for the U.S. federal government.

Recognition of Wilson’s contribution took a long time to acknowledge. However in September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Wilson as “the progenitor (father of) America’s symbol of Uncle Sam.”

My yesterday began with a haircut. Enjoy the time I spend with Lori. She has now been cutting my hair for 18 years. Looks as young today as she did back then.

Then to Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. I like the place. They know me and I know them. Always a friendly welcome. No need to order. They know I eat the same thing each time. Automatically bring it to me.

A car problem developing. Could be the battery. Not sure. Turns over slowly. Strange, however. If the car has been sitting for a half hour or more, it starts slowly. If sitting 5 minutes or so, starts normally.

Hopefully, I will find out today. Every time I returned to the car yesterday, I was not certain it would start. Not a welcome feeling.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. Steve and Cindy at the bar. Enjoyed their company.

Met Colin and Carli from Sarasota. Have been vacationing for a week. Staying at the Pier House. They married on Smathers Beach several years ago. Return to Key West often.

Colin originally from Northern England. They return there also to visit.

Both are employed by the same company, different departments. Computer soft ware programming.

Drove to Blue Macaw for a bite. Enjoyed ribs and a drink.

Ran into Donna, Terri, Joe and Andrea. Stayed a while. Stopped by Mary and Doug to share a few words.

Close to 10 when I left. Stopped at Publix on the way home. Desperately in need of food. Swiftly up and down the aisles to beat closing time. Good exercise.

Prior to the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, I considered Judge Kavanaugh not to be the best of choices. Too far to the right. Rigid. Not fair.

I listened to him being questioned 2 days ago. I was very impressed. The man has one of the best legal minds I have been exposed to. Brilliant.

Such does not necessarily mean he would make a good Supreme Court Justice. The law is not black and white. It is gray. His legal genius would be able to twist things to his far right way of thinking and bring us back to the middle ages.

Ergo, an excellent legal thinker whose ideas are not in the best interests of most U.S. citizens.

I spelled this position out in my Key West Love Live video on Facebook yesterday.

Then, I watched parts of yesterday’s proceedings. Cause me to suspect the good Judge is a liar. A skillful one. Prone to avoid, I don’t recall, lie.

I now find him to be not only an improper candidate for the Supreme Court bench, but also the Circuit Court he sits on.

The Republicans have been playing games with records. It became obvious yesterday why. Kavanaugh has a track record. What he has written or done in the past does not always coincide with his testimony this week.

Two Democratic Senators need to be applauded. Both fought the Chair. Broke some Senate rules in so doing. The only way to out the truth, however.

New Jersey’s Senator Corey Booker and Hawaii’s Senator Mazie Hirono each being described as Spartacus. They were! At one point, Booker told the Chair if you want to bring me up on charges, go for it! The gauntlet was thrown.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

A SPECIAL EVENING

Last night, a special evening. I spent it with Christina Oxenberg. Though she has lived in Key West since 2011, we never met before. I wish we had.

The evening began at Guy de Boer’s home. Drinks. Christina indulges in water only. I still trust her, however. Followed by dinner at Antonia’s. Finished the evening with a night cap at the Chart Room.

A writer. She has written a column for KONK Life for a number of years. Published 7 books. Articles printed in Allure and Huffington Post. Owns a knit wear company that sells worldwide.

I have read her KONK life writings.  Superior. Unusual. Mystic. Subtle. You do not know where she is going., the point she wishes to make. Till the end. When it hits between the eyes.

Christina is of royal lineage. For real. Her mother was Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. Her ancestry includes Serbia’s Karageorge, Greece’s King George I, Russia’s Tsar Alexander II, Russia’s Empress Catherine II, and Great Britain’s King George II.

As we arrived at the Pier House, Christina’s phone rang. It was David Wolkowsky. Christina and David are close friends. Chat on the phone once or twice a day. Visits him frequnetly at his home.

Christina was at David’s 99th birthday party I attended two weeks ago. I did not know her before. Did not meet her that evening. No recollection of have seen her.

I would have missed the boat were it not for last night.

David was thrilled to learn we were going to the Chart Room. He built the Pier House and created the Chart Room many many years ago.

Weather continues to be important. Hurricane season.

I made a mistake yesterday in advising Gordon had hit land off the Gulf as a category 1.  It never reached hurricane status. At the moment, it remains a tropical storm moving 70 mph towards Arkansas.

Typical this time of the year, another is on the way. Florence. No screwing around here. Florence is 1,300 miles east off Bermuda and already a category 4.

Tracking not possible yet. It may turn right and stay in the Atlantic. Or, land somewhere on the east coast. May take 5 days to determine a reliable track. Then a few more days before Florence gets where ever she is going.

Social media taking a beating. Justified and non justified. Facebook millennials concerned. A recent Pew Research Center study indicated 44 percent of Americans 18-27 deleted their Facebook apps so far this year.

The concern leading to the deletions involved Facebook’s repeated failures to protect consumer data. The data that was shared and abused by a myriad of Facebook partners.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer. His columns well researched and on point. He recently wrote re the world’s economy.

The world’s economy is on a downward thrust. Washington either is not aware or does not care. We hear nothing about it, other than the economy is good.

The problem at the moment involves 20 countries. Except for China, all emerging nations. During boom years, they all borrowed heavily. A high percentage of the loans denominated in U.S. dollars.

All in trouble economically. China included.  A death spiral has begun. Most will crash. Those having U.S. denominated debt will not be able to make loan payments. U.S. and European banks will not be paid. Losses could be astronomical.

A bubble exists. If matters continue as they are, our economy will take a hell  of a hit. A recession resulting.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

KEY WEST CITIZEN SOLD

Rumor has it the Key West Citizen has been sold. Formal announcement of the sale is expected tuesday.

The purported purchaser is the Adams Publishing Group. A family business headed by 80 year old Steve Adams and his four sons.

They got into the small town newspaper business only three years ago. Already own some 100 small town dailies.

The Adams family is one of substance. Their wealth estimated in the billions. Generous to certain causes. The father Steve and his wife donated $100 million to the Yale School of Music in 2015.

The Adams Group generally retain staff and operations of newspapers purchased.

It is almost noon and I am no where close to finishing today’s blog. I have been watching John McCain’s service. It is hard to think and compose with tears in one’s eyes.

The man deserves all the tribute being accorded him this morning. Makes one proud to watch the service. Proud to be an American.

McCain’s mother Roberta is still alive. One hundred six yeas old. God bless her!

The Chart Room first last night. Few people. I was surprised. I thought the holiday weekend would fill the place.

Chatted with John and David, as well as a few tourists.

One of the tourists had just arrived from Saratoga Springs. She was attending the races. We shared some thoughts. I visited Saratoga during the racing season often. Not for the races. The parties at night! I also maintained an office in Saratoga for years.

We got into iguanas, lizards,and pythons. Especially lizards and pythons.

I read recently that the iguana food business is on the rise. In Central and South America, iguana is commonly eaten. Tastes like chicken. Never achieved any degree of popularity in the U.S. Till now.

A California based meat company used to import iguanas from Puerto Rico. Now from Florida. Ten thousand pounds a month. Makes the meat into sausage, hot dogs and burgers.

Purchase price wholesale expensive. The company sells to people and restaurants across the U.S. One pound boneless $59.99. One pound whole with skin on $49.99.

The California facility is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Then to the Blue Macaw. Many friends. A good time. Met Rebecca. Just arrived in Key West. Here for the holiday weekend. She has a PhD. in History. Now wants to go to medical school.

Elections in the air! Primaries and then the mid-terms in November. Early voting commonplace. Early voting on college campuses receiving attention. In July, a federal court ruled that a ban placed on early voting sites on Florida campuses was unconstitutional and placed an unfair burden on college students.

Smaller counties and colleges are moving swiftly to provide early campus voting. The bigger counties and universities not.

Miami-Dade, Duval and Escambia examples of counties slow to respond to the court directive. Universities slow include Florida A&M, Florida International, and Miami Dade.

Just so happens that the slower universities are those with the greatest number of non-whites.

Locally, I do not know what our community college is or has been doing. I plan on checking it out and letting you know.

Syracuse football back!

Beat West Virginia yesterday 55-42. A strange result. Syracuse was winning 34-7 at half time.

Next week tiny Wagner. A warm up. Syracuse should win.

The following week Syracuse plays Florida State at Syracuse. Florida State a ranked team. The game will tell how good Syracuse is.

World War II began this day in 1939. Germany invaded Poland.

What I am about to relate disturbs me greatly.

A new movie regarding man on the moon is scheduled for release October 12. Called First Man. Includes the story of John Glenn, the first man to step on the moon. Ryan Gosling plays Armstrong.

Armstrong planted the American flag on the moon. Recorded, filmed. A proud moment in itself.

The flag incident is omitted in the film. Gosling said because what Armstrong accomplished in going to the moon was a “human achievement,” not an American one. He forgets the years and thousands of people required to put Armstrong on the moon.

He claims Armstrong did not consider himself an American hero. Armstrong was a humble man, he claims.

All heroes are humble. They are not aware at the time of their unusual deeds that they have achieved hero status. Think Sgt. York and John McCain.

The omission of the American flag and the reasons therefore a distortion of history. A manipulation.

Disgraceful!

I was alive, a family man, a practicing attorney at the time. I assure you everyone including me considered the moon landing an American achievement. We were “American proud.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

BETO O’ROURKE

It’s a new day, it’s a new time. In politics. A new larger generation of voters. The millennials. Voters looking for new faces. The younger the better. Persons they can relate to, persons they can trust.

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke appears to be one of them. Age 45. A 3 time elected Congressman from Texas. Running as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate. Against a formidable opponent. Republican Ted Cruz.

A strange background. Perhaps a today background. A Columbia University graduate. Captain of the crew team. A pony tailed punk band performer. FOSS. Traveled the U.S. in a van with 3 other band members.

Presently, a 3 time elected member of Congress. Today, as a member of Congress short hair, neatly attired, etc.

A progressive. He is viewed as not your ordinary every day politician. Different. Says it like it is. No bullshit.

He already has visited all 254 Texas counties. Is in the process of revisiting them.

A legend already. Many say the feeling following his town halls is as it was in Iowa with Obama in 2007.

Texas is solid Republican. Next to impossible for a Democrat to be elected. The feeling is Beto might do it. He is only one point behind in the polls today.

Politicos believe that even if Beto loses, he should be considered a viable candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2020.

Not so foolish. Lincoln lost his Senate bid in 1858. Two years later, elected President.

Staying with politics for a moment, the elective process has gotten down and dirty. Always less than clean. Now so low politicians have to look up to see bottom.

There were two other times when elections were this bad. The 1850’s prior to the Civil War. Free or slave state? The other the 1968 Presidential election. Vietnam boiling. Conflict in the streets.

In each instance, candidates vindictive. Dirty.

We are already into it this election season. In the Florida governor race, Ron De Santis use of the word “monkey” while talking about his opponent the African-American Andrew Gillum. Last night in a debate in the New York Democratic governor primary, Cynthia Nixon’s attack on Andrew Cuomo.

Locally, Margaret Romero will be the run off candidate against Teri Johnson for Key West Mayor. Romero beat her closest opponent by 28 votes.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. Kevin at the bar. Kevin a strong Trump supporter. We went at it for a half hour. It’s fortunate we are friends.

Met Helen and Dan. They visit Key West frequently. Have a home in Jensen Beach also.

I liked Helen the second we met. She told me she reads my blog every day! Her husband affirmed her representation.

Dan sells fish in Key West. A distributor/wholesaler of fresh fish. His customers primarily restaurant chefs. He has been doing this type work in Key West for 8 years. He is affiliated with Independent Seafoods.

The tariff wars have piqued my interest in the fish industry and our exports to China and other places. I was interested in what Dan had to say.

Fun people. They have 5 children and 1 grandchild. An extended marriage. The ages of the kids run from somewhere in the 30’s down to 13.

Met Roxanne. I heard her mention the Jersey Shore from the other end of the bar. The best beaches in the world!

She and her husband Ed vacationing from Long Valley, New Jersey. Staying at the Pier House. I asked how she liked Key West. She exclaimed with great enthusiasm, “I love it!” I then learned she had only arrived in the afternoon. It did not take her long to recognize how special Key West is.

Roxanne is Director of Sales for Brother Sales. Ed a retired Vice-President for an electronic company.

They have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.

I was hungry. To Blue Macaw for ribs.

Ran into Mary and Doug. Both tour guides. Doug at the Hemingway House and Mary at The Little White House. I listened to them exchange war stories. Interesting.

Today is thursday August 30. I am sure.

Enjoy your day!