ESPRESSO MARTINI

Espresso Martinis were popular in the Key West of the late 1990’s. Locals and tourists alike imbibing. Even me.

Not consumed as much these days. I hear the drink rarely ordered. Till last night.

I was at Berlin’s waiting for Jean Thornton to join me for dinner. Two couples came in. They were a party of 20, early, having a drink at the bar while waiting for the rest of their group.

The ladies exceptionally lovely. Hair and make up perfection. Dresses obviously from the world’s finest stores. Jewelry like you would not believe. The real stuff. I have not seen that much expensive jewelry on a woman in years.

The ladies were polite, but demanding. They knew exactly what they wanted. Both espresso martinis. Directed Shaun how to prepare them. Each drinking a slightly different variation. An espresso martini is generally prepared with vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso coffee.

The group must have been off one of the 165 foot yachts being seen more frequently in our harbor.

As usual, a pleasant evening at Berlin’s. Jean the best of company. Bria singing. Shaun and Gage to chat with. Janyne arrived. Waiting for friends for dinner in the restaurant itself. Joined us for a drink. A charming woman. She has been operating the Pier House Beach Bar for 17 years.

After the two couples left the bar area, I asked Shaun and Gage who had discovered/invented the espresso martini and where. My impression was Key West in the late 1990’s. Gage checked with someone in the kitchen. He said New York City in 1977.

I checked it out on the internet this morning. Wikipedia says Dick Bradsell in the late 1980’s at the Brasserie in the Soho section of London.

Jean and I stopped at the Chart Room after dinner for a nightcap. Business slow. John bartending. Jean left. I was getting ready to pay the bill when a lady came in and sat next to me. The bar seats were all empty.

She said, “Hello, Louis” I smiled and said hello in return. She said, “You don’t remember me, do you?” I politely said no. She said, “The Chart House last year.”

“Oh, I said.” Truth be known, I still did not recall her.

We made small talk and I left after paying for her drink.

BOB time.

Military evacuation when a hurricane is approaching. Primarily Navy. In the 1990’s, the Navy had a huge contingency in Key West and the Boca Chica Naval Base 10 miles up Route 1.

Military personnel and their families were taken to secure shelters or flown to points north on Navy planes. Free of charge, of course. A plan already in place. Each military person had a number and directions for he and his family.

BOB did not approve. The military were getting a free ride at taxpayer expense. A convenient ride. Whereas poor civilians had to gas up and slowly drive north under adverse conditions.

Amy Bondurant and husband David Dunn for real Key Westers. They moved to Key West more than a year ago and call it home. In their other lives, Amy was an Ambassador under Bush 2, David a prominent Washington attorney.

They still maintain a Paris home dating back to Amy’s ambassador days. Amy e-mailed me from Paris. They intend soon to bicycle through Denmark.

Amy sent as part of the e-mail an article which she thought sobering and wanted to bring to my attention. The article was written by Benn Steil and appeared in the 6/12/18 edition of Foreign Policy. Titled: The World Will Die So Trump Can.

The thrust of the article was the United States as we know it was in decline and responsible was Donald Trump.

He attributed such to the recent failure of the G-7 summit, Trump’s negative remarks re Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Trump’s glowing misunderstanding/non-understanding of tariffs, Trump’s sucking up to authoritarian leaders while making enemies of our friends of 50 years.

Steil’s concern was that Trump has/will become the “new normal.” The U.S.we knew gone. Perhaps never to be again.

This blog goes out over a dozen sites. Some have comment sections. Yesterday’s blog title was Sessions’ Improper Use Of Bible. A reader and frequent commentator is I’mNotLou.

I don’t make the names up!

I’mNotLou’s comment: “Sessions is more a religious forger than a person of faith. He is like too many ‘religious’ folk these days – a student of pick and choose for what suits your taste or your bigotry.”

Trump is dragging the U.S. into a tariff war with China, amongst others. China is the biggest importer of soybeans grown in the U.S. Soybeans a huge part of the economy of several states. Most of which supported Trump in the election.

China will not take this tariff increase sitting down. Trump is picking on the wrong nation to abuse. Beside intending to meet the tariffs dollar for dollar, China has already advised it is looking to the soybean fields of South America for future purchases. Argentina, for example.

Mexico also imports U.S. soybeans. Mexico says it will be looking to South America.

U.S. farmers growing soybeans not happy campers.

Enjoy your day!

 

SESSIONS’ IMPROPER USE OF BIBLE

Thousands of immigrant children taken from their parents. Placed in fenced-in areas inside abandoned Walmart buildings. A tent city being planned.

They are the concentration children of America. I am not proud. I am ashamed. Ashamed that something like this could happen in the United States. Many are likewise ashamed. A large number not, however.

Attorney General Sessions can claim major credit. He tells us he is enforcing a law that has not been enforced recently. Incorrect. What he is doing is using a new philosophy to justify his handling of the children. There is no law permitting what is being done.

Sessions considers himself a God-like man. He even quoted the Bible in a speech yesterday in Fort Wayne to support his wrongdoing. The New Testament Book of Romans Chapter 13 wherein St. Paul commanded that the laws of the government be obeyed because God had ordained the government for his purposes.

One problem, however. Sessions misused the Biblical quote. He failed to read the entire passage. The balance would have made him aware of Chapter 13’s true meaning.

The same quote Sessions used was relied upon by others in the past.

Southerners used the quote to justify southern slavery in the 1840’s and 1850’s. South Africa invoked it during apartheid. Hitler to justify his authoritarian rule in the 1930’s.

Even Nero got in the act. He was anti-Christian. Enemies of the state, he said. Killed them. Necessary to quell dissent. He relied on the quote when ordering Christians dipped in oil and set on fire. To light his gardens at night.

Sessions should read Matthew 25:35…..I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

There is nothing in the Bible saying children should be separated from parents.

America, wake up! We are turning into a bad people! Silent acceptance of improper deeds builds up. To a point where Trump could become the Pied Piper. The masses blindly following him.

Sessions did do something good recently. His Department of Justice announced the successful conclusion by a task force of a 3 month operation called Broken Heart. The goal of the task force the identification and arrest of suspected child predators. The crime, child sex trafficking.

The task force consisted of federal, state, local and tribal officers/agents working in unison. The group totaled 4,500.

A successful effort. Two thousand three hundred arrested.

The media has failed to report or comment.

BOB reflected on the cry to evacuate when a hurricane threatens. Only one way out. Drive. The government says gas up and drive to the mainland 150 miles away.

BOB considers the government direction to be ill conceived. There is not enough gas in Key West to fill everyone’s tank.

I must compliment Gov. Scott. He had it right for Irma. He knew gasoline would be a problem. He used one lane or a shoulder of a highway to get the gas filled tankers to the Keys.

I direct your attention to this morning’s Key West Citizen. The weather report section on page 2. Whoever writes it has a sense of humor. Today’s forecast is “Clouds, sun, a t-storm.” The writer’s comment in small print below: “Nature confused.”

Dinner tonight with Jean Thornton at Berlin’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BOB WISDOM RE HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

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

Today, BOB and hurricanes.

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

He felt Hurricane Andrew in 1992 proved his point.

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

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

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

BOB believed FEMA would never improve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren.

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

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

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

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

Go for it!

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

A benefit of living in Key West.

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

It’s a good life!

Enjoy your day!

 

ETHIOPIA BURN THE WHITE HOUSE?

Trump’s weak knowledge of American history has generated a lot of comment. One of the best appeared in the Justice Building Blog: “Neither Canada nor Ethiopia invaded and burned the White House.”

If not Canada, why not Ethiopia?

Visited Dr. Norris yesterday. He thinks I may be too old for the surgery contemplated. My primary care physician. My hear doctor said no problem. The endoscopy doctor was concerned that my age might be a problem.

I feel the best I have in 20 years and I am being told that at 82 I am too old for a relatively simple surgery.

My next stop Cleveland Clinic strictly for a consultation. To determine if my age is a concern to them.

Last night the Chart Room. Better than a doctor visit.

John bartending. Not that many people. Those who did stop in interesting.

Sheila arrived with her house guest Sandra. Sandra a nurse from Roanoke, Virginia. Loved Sandra the moment we met. She reads my blog every day!

A terrific couple from Marathon sitting to my right. Robert and Angela. In Key West to celebrate their anniversary. Thirty three years today.

Congratulations!

They live up the road a bit. Marathon. Visit Key West a few days here and there. Marathon a great place to live. However, its night life leaves something to be desired.

They have a 54 foot power boat. Showed me a photo. Magnificent! Generally come down with the boat for a one month stay in March.

Originally from San Antonio, Robert was a CPA. Today works part time/as little as possible as a private equity investor.

Angela a retired elementary teacher. Once owned a lower Keys taxi company.

Excellent conversationalists. Hope to run into them again.

David came in. Good to see him. We do not run into each other often these days.

Steve and Cindy arrived. Enjoy their company.

Cindy brought me Bob Smith’s book. Titled: BOB. He wrote it in 1990, 1997, or during the years in between. Cannot be sure.

The cover of the book is Bob in drag. He was straight with a warped sense of humor.

Married to Annie. A better woman does not exist.

Bob died several years ago. He is one of those whose ashes lie in the Chart Room Bar. A distinction!

He was a friend.

Bob’s book is a collection of Key West antidotes told from Bob’s perspective. I have decided to share some with you in the coming days. Probably months. There are that many.

How is this: “There are only two kinds of people in this world: assholes and the rest of us. Race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, you name it, doesn’t matter. You’re either an asshole or you’re not…..problem is you can’t easily tell who is and who isn’t…..Here’s what we need to do. When we come across a true asshole we need to brand them square in the forehead: A.H. Our proclivity for prejudice will finally be well placed and justified. The whole world will be better off.”

The G7 meeting today and tomorrow. Tensions will be great. Heated words may be exchanged, the calm shattered.

I wish I could watch the exchanges.

We as a Nation should be ashamed. I refer to the detention of immigrant children.

A few years ago, several Walmarts closed down. They are now being used to house the children. Reportedly in cages on concrete floors. The cages described as big. Fencing. Wire and nets stretched along the top to prevent escape.

The situation as reported described by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Or). Although he is a U.S. Senator, he was denied entry at one of the Walmarts. Police called. He was almost arrested. He did gain entry to another apparently without permission.

The White House has accused Merkley of spreading lies.

Bet he isn’t!

CNN’s gifted story teller Anthony Bourdain dead at 61. A suicide.

Suicides dramatically up in recent years. Locally, nationally, and internationally.

Tomorrow at 5 on Duval, the 15th annual Key West Pride Parade. Key West’s Sea-To-Sea Rainbow Flag extending the length of Duval carried on the hands of many with pride.

Enjoy your day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLY

An important thing in life. Children’s birthdays! Today, my granddaughter Ally’s is being celebrated.

Thirteen years old. Definitely a young lady. The flower is blossoming.

Ally’s birthday was Friday. Conflicted with Robert’s graduation. Ally wanted her own day. It began Saturday. She had her hair striped.

Terrible! Too young! I am merely a voice in the wilderness, however. Not the parent, not my decision.

What I really was expressing is it pains me to think she is maturing. Not a little girl any longer.

Last night, a sleep over. Which means Ally will be beat this evening for the family birthday dinner, cake, etc. Perhaps a bit grouchy.

Can’t win them all!

In any event, I love you Ally. A big Happy Birthday to you!

My yesterday began with a manicure. Tammy and her husband Rick are entrepreneurs. Mid-thirties at best. Tammy in the U.S. about 14 years. From Vietnam. Became a citizen last year. Rick of Vietnamese extraction. Born in the U.S.

They have a great business. Employ many. Work hard. Achieving the American dream. I doubt they are the type people Trump would praise and acknowledge. They do not rape, kill, pillage, rob, do drugs. Why not?

Chart Room last night. Quiet. Enjoyed a couple of drinks and moved on to the Beach Bar. John was working the Beach Bar last night.

Glad I stopped by. Ran into Dan and Stephanie from Ohio. Never met them before this week. Have enjoyed their company three evenings, however.

Their time in Paradise coming to an end. Leave Tuesday for home. Expect to return some time this summer.

Dan and Stephanie were heading to the Pride Follies. Good choice, I advised. Mentioned that Rick Dery of Dueling Bartenders was the director. Recommended Dueling Bartenders on Monday nights to them.

A quiet Saturday evening. I was home in bed before 9.

The Key West Citizen’s weekend edition ran a major article re Mallory Square and the homeless. The homeless becoming a problem.

Mallory Square is where the sunset is watched every evening. Hundreds of people. All ages. A cat through a wheel of fire, a man swallowing a sword, etc.

A growing group of homeless are getting drunk, argumentative, threaten each other, harass customers and vendors for money, sleep illegally, etc.

Key West is a great venue for the homeless. Many are snowbirds. Visit our island for the season. Then drift off till next Fall because the humidity becomes heavy and uncomfortable. A size able group remains, however.

Key West takes care of its homeless. Two very huge air conditioned tents, showers, cots with clean sheets each night, food at several locations, etc. No reason for them to camp at Mallory Square. A business place for vendors and tourists.

One thing sure in our country, the rich are getting richer while the poor poorer. Corporate America is not and has not for a number of years shared its successes.

An example is Toys R Us. Filed for bankruptcy. One week before the filing voted top echelon people $8 million in bonuses. The 30,000 workers who will be without jobs, nothing. No severance pay. Not a penny.

To compound the wrong, in the year before the filing the CEO was paid $11.2 million.

Much federal legislation has been blocked by a handful of far rights who were elected to Congress. Some, not all, appear a bit wacky when on television.

There appears to be a larger number of crazies running for Congress this year. This group’s ideologies different from the far righters. Some will be elected. It is the way of elections in recent years.

Three examples.

Nathan Larson. A Virginia Libertarian. Running as an independent. Supports abolishing age restrictions for marriage (a nice way of saying pedophilia is ok), supports abolishing laws opposed to marital rape, believes women should be under the control of men, is a white supremacist, believes Hitler was a good thing for Germany, believes incest should be legalized.

Patrick Little. A Republican candidate for the Senate representing California. Denies the Holocaust and calls for a country “free from Jews.”

Little is popular. He is running second in polls to Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein. California’s strange election laws could result in him being elected.

Arthur Jones. Chicago area. A candidate for Congress. Denies the Holocaust, a former leader of the American Nazi Party, believes people of color are mentally inferior to whites.

Jones is the official Republican candidate. He is running in a very strong Democratic district where no other Republican wanted to waste time running.

Some things are hard to understand. The Kim/Trump Summit is scheduled to begin in Singapore June 12. Kim will be staying at the 5 star Fullerton Hotel. The Presidential suite costs $6,000 a night. Kim’s staff has to be housed also.

Kim/North Korea refuse to pay the bill. The U.S. looking for a means to legally pay the bill.

Sung-Yoon Lee is a Tufts University Korean expert. He says re the payment quandary, “North Korea can build nukes and ICBMs, but claim they are too poor to pay for foreign travel costs.”

Trump apparently considers himself the summit king now that the meeting with North Korea is locked in. Trump indicated yesterday he wants a summit with Putin arranged.

Putin will eat him up.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

ROBERT GRADUATES MONTESSORI

Catch up time. Two days of blogs in one. My comments limited to local happenings. I leave Trump and world events to another day.

The most important happening was Robert’s graduation yesterday from Montessori. In August, he will start high school.

Robert turned 14 two weeks ago. He is tall and thin, good looking. A radiating smile. Excellent student, excellent tennis player.

A good boy.

It was 14 years ago less two weeks that Robert was in Miami Children’s hospital. Within hours of being born. He had been born with cancer of the liver.

Two major surgeries the first two weeks of his life. He stands tall and healthy today anxious to move on to the next phase of his life.

God bless.

A conflict in the Malcom household yesterday. Ally’s 13th birthday. On the same day as Robert’s graduation. Ally did not like sharing HER day. She celebrates with her girl friends tomorrow night with a sleep over. The family Happy Birthday sunday following dinner.

Poppa loves you Ally. Happy Birthday!

Lets begin with thursday.

Haircut with Lori. Always a pleasant experience. Roughly seventeen years she has been my “barber.”

Followed by lunch at Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down White Street from Lori’s Blown Away.

Began thursday evening with a Meet and Greet party at Dan and Stephanie’s condo on Simonton. The candidate Greg Daniels. He is running for Utility Board Seat D.

If you live between Big Pine and Key West you can vote for Greg. He has deep utility/power experience. Close to 20 years worth.

I had only met Greg one time before. At the Chart Room several years ago. His wife Donna an accountant in Key West.

Donna is from my former home town Utica. Reason enough to vote for her husband Greg. One more reason. The most important. Both Donna and I married into the same family. Her former husband and my former wife were cousins. We survived the marriages and divorces to now live better lives in Paradise.

From the Meet and Greet, I went to the Chart Room. Glad I did! David was there! Not Chart Room David. Don’s Place’s David.

I have not seen David in several months. One of the good guys of the world. Built like and looks like Santa Claus. Has Santa’s heart. Always there to lend a helping hand.

David was at the Chart Room with his friend Robbie. They are soon off to Cozumel for a vacation. Robbie’s sister Karen was visiting and with them.

Also at the Chart Room were Phil and Nichole from Auburn, Alabama. Originally from the Chicago area.

Interesting people. Especially Phil. Phil was a banker for 25 years. Decided to change jobs. Finally did what he wanted to do from the beginning. Teach school. Took a few courses to qualify and now serves as a high school teacher.

Nichole a human relations manager.

A 52 year old homeless man ended his life thursday afternoon. He tied a rope to the railing of the Cow Key Bridge and jumped.

I think it takes more courage to kill one’s self than remain living.

Friday morning was Robert’s graduation. Two items require comment.

The event was held in the Commission Chambers of the new City Hall. Outstanding room! Worth the money! Key Westers can take pride!

The other comment concerns Trump. He complains of immigrants. He is a racist. He should have been at the graduation. Most of the graduates’ names were difficult to pronounce. Literally came from all parts of the world. As to color, tan predominated.

This is the world of today. The graduates represent America’s leaders of tomorrow. Whatever Trump may want, he cannot mold America into what he and his small band of followers might desire.

Back to Sandy’s Cafe. Convenient. Two blocks from City Hall.

At one, Emil La Voche’s funeral service at the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea. A long name. Key West’s Catholic Church.

I only came to know Emil this past year. We met when I joined the Sons and Daughters of Italy. A quiet man. Appeared well liked by all. He led us in prayer and Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each meeting.

I learned of his distinguished background only after reading his obituary. Emil spent 31 years in the U.S. Army. Retired a Lt. Colonel. Fought in Korea and Vietnam. Twice parachuted into battle.

After retiring from the military, he joined the Sheriff’s Department. Retired from that position after 25 years. Did not stop him from continuing. He followed the 25 years with another 9 helping out at the Sheriff’s Department as a reserve deputy.

The Church was packed. The parking lot and surrounding streets crowded with cars.

The number paying homage to Emil can best be described in one word: Respect. He was deserving of it.

A dinner party last night at Donna and Terri’s. Donna cooking, of course. What a cook! A culinary expert! The Julia Child of Key West!

George and Art were dinner guests also. George and Art have a new dog. A small black bull dog. Two weeks younger than Bear who is growing at a rapid rate. Now, huge.

The two played terrifically with each other all night. Like little kids. Best of friends.

Speaking of Julia Child, I recall seeing her kitchen when I visited the Smithsonian Museum of American History. The Museum recreated her kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts exactly as it was.

One housekeeping item. A screw up re my KONK Life column.

This week’s should have been The FBI of Today The Jews of Yesterday. Will not be. Last week’s column was the Right To Declare War. When it was being printed, the last 25 percent was omitted. The best part from my perspective. I described Trump and Kim’s words at the time as being who had the bigger dick.

To correct the omission, KONK Life reprinted the War Declaration article in its entirely this week. The FBI/Jews article will not appear till next week.

KONK Life also publishes for the internet its daily E-Blast. The FBI/Jews article did appear in yesterday’s E-Blast if you wish to read it early.

WordPress has begun publishing my KONK Life column on my Facebook page. You can find the article there now.

Enjoy your day!

 

JEAN THORNTON RETURNS

Jean Thornton is back! Following a one month European trip with husband Joe.

Jean in Key West for three weeks. Joe back home in Birmingham working.

Ran into Jean last night at the Chart Room. She got in the day before. Took her four days to fly from Birmingham to Key West. Alberto to blame. She made it to Atlanta the first time only to return to Birmingham.

The European trip was grand. They saw everything. Interestingly, never tired.

Jean is the best! She was my hostess for 12 days when I was escaping Irma. She took in 7 evacuees and 3 dogs from Key West.

Jean is Key West famous. She is referred to as the Key West Golden Girl. Some years ago while diving with Mel Fisher, she came upon gold and emeralds. Changed her life!

Love you, Jean! Everyone in Key West does!

The Chart Room busy last night. John bartending. Sheila and Kevin at opposite ends of the bar. Dan and Stephanie came in. From Ohio. they have rented a condo in Key West for a month. We met last week. At the Chart Room, of course.

Tonight, Dan and Stephanie are having a Meet and Greet for candidate Greg Daniels in the courtyard of their residence at 619 Simonton Street. From 5:30-7:30. Drop in and say hello to Greg.

Jean introduced me to Adam. From England. A frequent Key West visitor over the years.

A quick trip to Publix following the Chart Room. Cupboard really  bare. Down to bottled water.

The Key West edition of the Florida Weekly selected Tom Luna as Bartender of the Week. The article refers to Tom as “Key West Royalty.” He is.

Tom has been a Key Wester for 30 years. Well loved by everyone. He is half of the Dueling Bartenders who perform monday nights at Aqua. The rest of the week he is tending bar at the Marker Resort.

I am always learning. Luna’s article revealed to me that Tom initially had been a ballet dancer. Trained and so educated. Performed professionally for years.

I am smiling as I type the following: It would be amusing to see Tom in tights today. He has put on a few pounds.

Alberto did do some damage to southwest Florida beaches. Alberto landed further north. However, the water was in turmoil all the way down to the Keys.

Affected on the beaches were turtle nests. Each containing many eggs. The nesting season began May 1. Some nests were washed away, others drowned in water.

Three brave guys. I refer to the three who kayaked from Cuba to Stock Island. In not the best of weather.

The three left Cuba 7:15 in the morning. An overnighter. They arrived on Stock Island 10:30 the next morning. The trip took 27 hours, 12 minutes, 30 seconds. A new record for solo rowing without stopping and resting.

The weather is getting better. Slowly. Still raining. Not as much. The sun sneaked  in a few times yesterday, but not for long. The day gray.

Weather reports tell us the sun will return for sunday and monday.

I love it when merchants check $100 and $20 bills. Too many counterfeits around. There was a time bills were not involved. Nickels were the big thing in the counterfeiting trade.

Today’s Key West Citizen’s Keys History section reported that on this day in 1890 counterfeit nickels were being passed in Key West.

The Trump/Kim Summit still on for June 12. Kim seems to be bending over backwards to make sure the Summit proceeds.

Stomach diplomacy involved.

Kim is aware of Trump’s love of the American fast burger. He wished he could have had the time to arrange for an American burger chain  to open in Pyongyang. As a “show of good will.”

Two things are certain. Without fail. Death and change.

Change upon us again. Sears announced early this morning it was closing 72 more stores. The list of stores will be posted later in the day.

The mighty fall. I can recall how unbelievable to me it was when years ago Eastern Airlines closed down. A major U.S. airline. How could it be, I thought.

The next major closing that blew me out was Montgomery Ward.

Change is the way of the world.

This week’s KONK Life is on the stands. Pick up a copy. My article this week one of the best I have written. Much research and thought into it. The column: The FBI of Today The Jews of Yesterday.

Have to hustle. A late morning haircut with Lori.

Enjoy your day!

 

SOUND FAMILIAR?

History repeats itself. No question about it. Some learn from history. Good and bad.

The NFL, National Anthem, kneel, don’t kneel, Trump’s influence, continue. Not soon to be resolved. The NFL’s recent proclamation re stand or remain in the locker room added fuel to the fire.

A similar situation existed in Nazi Germany. Involved German football players, standing before a game, shouting with outstretched arms Heil Hitler.

Christmas Day 1933. Metz, France. The German team the Karlsruhe Football Club. Playing a French team in France.

Anti-German tensions had been running high. The French sensed a riot in the making. They asked the German team not to Heil Hitler! If they did, the French team would not play and the German team would receive no compensation.

The German Club capitulated to the French demands.

Hitler was furious.

A German newspaper described the situation as “Footballers In Disgrace.”

Hitler banned all German football teams from playing outside Germany till further notice.

Hitler’s influence was obvious. As was the fear of him by the German Football Association. The German Football Association issued a written “encouragement.” Actually, a mandate. The teams were to expel Jewish players, the players were required to give the Hitler salute before and after games, swastikas were to be displayed in stadiums.

Forced patriotism.

Was Trump aware of the German football problem when he came out with the National Anthem position? Does the NFL stand in the shoes of the German football Association? Are Heil Hitler and standing for the National Anthem forced patriotism? Comparable in any fashion?

Ivana Trump in a 1990 Vanity Fair interview claimed husband Donald kept Hitler’s book My New Order by his bedside. The book a compilation of Hitler’s speeches from his earliest days to the 1939 Phony War.

Did My New Order contain references to the Heil Hitler/football problem?

I sense the NFL/kneel or no kneel/National Anthem problem is history repeating itself.

Some readers will disagree. I see the comments coming already. They will distinguish Heil Hitler from the National Anthem, the German players not having an alternative to remain in the locker room, Trump not being Hitler, etc.

My response in advance: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and acts like a duck, it is a duck.

A busy  Memorial Day.

Spent the daytime working on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. It changes right up to show time based on what happens during the day.

Join me. The show is fast moving, interesting, and in many instances revealing. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Terri was singing last night with Dueling Bartenders. Picked her up early and delivered her to Aqua. Terri’s driving days are over.

Enjoyed Tom, Rick and Terri performing. John from the Chart Room showed up. Donna came in from work.

John joined Donna, Terri and me for dinner at the Conch Republic. We shared three large trays of oysters. Excellent!

Last but not least, Alberto. Typical of tropical storms, Alberto fizzled out.

No problem in the Keys, except for excessive rain leading up to Alberto’s arrival.

Alberto hit the Panhandle a tropical storm. However as it passed over and onto land, was down graded to a depression. Which means continued heavy rain for a few days in north Florida and States beyond.

As I drove along Smathers Beach on my way to pick up Terri, I noticed white caps. Not high. Many in number. Side by side, one behind another, rolling up to the beach.

So many white caps rare for Key West. Too late for Alberto. Not sure why they were there.

Enjoy your day!

WHAT A GLORIOUS FEELIN’…..I’M SINGING IN THE RAIN

The deluge has begun this morning. Amazing! So much rain on such a consistent basis.

Interestingly, no one appears to be upset with the rain. Including the tourists. They have been able to sneak in a few hours of sun bathing here and there.

The rain reminds me of Gene Kelly’s singing/dancing scene in the 1952 movie Singin’ In The Rain. A smile on his face.

Though the movie was produced in 1952, the title song was composed in 1929. Took a while to gain popularity.

The movie was not much of a hit when released. It took a few years. Today is considered the fifth best movie of all time.

The song rings in my head. The first 8 lines the most significant: “I’m singin’ in the rain / Just singing in the rain / What a glorious feelin’ / I’m happy again / I’m happy at clouds / So dark up above / The sun’s in my heart / And I’m ready for love.”

A lot of rain is best signified by what has fallen on Key West this month: 9.68 inches to date. The whole year to date: 13.25 inches. The numbers speak for themselves.

Now the good news (written with tongue in cheek). A tropical storm or hurricane is forming. Big rain. Will hit northern Florida sunday night. Alberto. Not expected to be bad. A category 1 if a hurricane.

After Irma, I find it difficult to believe anything re hurricanes. Hurricanes are fickle. They do  not move as anticipated. Nor are their winds always as projected. The storm has a will of its own.

Alberto can impact the lower Keys rather than northern Florida.

Alberto will be the topic of conversation in homes, around bars, etc. for the next 48-72 hours.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on next week’s KONK Life column. May actually write it this afternoon.

Driving to the Chart Room last night, I was surprised how little traffic there was. US 1 was not crowded at all, nor was the Boulevard.

It will all change beginning today. Heavy traffic anticipated for the Memorial Day Weekend.

Quiet at the Chart Room. Just John and I for a while. Then Omar came in. Met Omar for the first time.

Omar’s mother of Italian descent. Made for interesting conversation. Which got even better when Omar revealed he had gone to Syracuse University College of Law for a couple of months. He did not enjoy it. Left and got a Masters instead in Economics. Then worked on Wall street for years.

We live in scary times. Uncalled for, except for Trump’s antics.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis gave the commencement address to the Air Force Academy last night. Nine hundred eighty four new lieutenants. Four hundred heading for pilot training.

Mattis told the graduates to prepare for war…..They must be ready to fight and win.

A news item came to my attention this morning. The Air Force is considering calling 1,000 pilots out of retirement. For stints up to 48 months. A shortage of qualified pilots exists.

A U.S. war declaration has to be on most minds these days. The question arises as to who has the right to declare war. Most people believe it is Congress. Technically, yes. However the Presidency has usurped that power since the Korean War.

My KONK Life article on the stands at the moment is titled Right To Declare War. Read it, if you can. It explores the problem.

KONK life also publishes a daily internet news letter. E-Blast. This morning’s news letter carries the KONK Life column Right To Declare War, also.

Good basketball tonight. Cleveland/Boston. Boston up 3-2 in the playoffs. People are saying LeBron James older and tired whereas Boston’s players young and have more energy.

Cleveland has to win tonight or the season is over for them.

Wish you could be sitting with me and hear the rain in the background. The heavy rain driven by the wind. Sort of ominous.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

POT SMOKE vs. TOBACCO SMOKE

I smoked my first cigarette back in high school. And my second and third, etc. The high school was Catholic and run by Sisters of Charity. Smoking strictly prohibited, of course.

When the good nuns caught us sneaking a smoke, we were forced to learn a little diddy which we were compelled to recite each time caught: The cigarette is a dirty weed and from it the Devil doth proceed.

I was reading this week’s Jasper Jottings. A Manhattan alumni news journal published weekly by John Reinke. An e-mail from a 1973 grad got into smoking. Close to what I had to memorize in 1950. With pot added. I paraphrase: Pot smoke created by God and good for us, tobacco smoke created by Satan and will kill us.

We did not know what pot was in 1950. Marijuana? Never heard the word till I was in college. Had not yet gained popularity. Pot hit big time in the 1960’s and 70’s. Now being legalized.

A…..You’ve come a long way Charlie Brown!

I wrote about the royal wedding yesterday. All good thoughts. Yet last night when out and about, I was confronted by racist statements from several persons I ran into. As with tobacco smoke, racism adversely affects our country.

Will we ever be free of it?

Chart Room first last night. John bartending. The new John. Has been working three weeks now. Different from the other John. Both bartenders named John. The new John has returned to Key West after several years in Palm Springs.

Ran into Don and Linda from Fishkill again. Enjoying celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary.

Met Mark and Amy from Charlotte. Mark a physician’s assistant, Amy a school principal. Fun people.

Walked over to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner.

Sat next to Clare at the bar. The bartender introduced us. She and her husband have had a home on Ash Street for years. I till recently in Key Haven for 21 years. We never met before. We discussed how often it happens. Meeting other long time Key Westers. Difficult to understand why many locals do not meet earlier. The island is small.

Hot Tin Roof has added a trio and singer Saturday nights. Great music. The only problem is the ensemble takes up a third of the room.

Must be successful. The bar was packed with people standing listening to the group.

Trump was on his soap box yesterday beating the hell out of Amazon and how it is purportedly bleeding the Post Office economically. Nothing is farther from the truth. Amazon package delivering is the Post Office’s life line. It keeps the Post Office afloat. A moneymaker.

I wrote a lengthy column on the subject a few weeks ago in KONK Life.

Trump is on a personal tirade. Not knowing what he is talking about. He has an ax to grind with Amazon’s owner who also owns the Washington Post. Trump does not like the way the Washington Post reports his antics.

Whether a Trump fan is immaterial. It is wrong to use the power of the Presidency to try to harm or destroy one who disagrees with you. Especially when the facts relied on are wrong to begin with.

There is a new glamour product on the market. Popularly referred to as a penis facial. A serum used in making the product is derived from the foreskin of new born Korean babies.

Its use on the rise. Two well known movie stars using it and shouting how it makes their skin glow like that of a new born baby. They have no financial involvement with the product. Thrilled however with what it is doing for their fifty year old faces.

One problem is getting enough foreskins to make the serum. Such concerns me. Circumcision is not medically required nor that common worldwide. The last thing desired is the demand for foreskins does not turn into an organ type selling thing.

We know historically that the Jewish faith circumcise new born males. I suspect it is part of their tradition because of disease centuries ago that could have plagued the new born males.

In reading about the cosmetic, I learned two things I did not know. First, circumcision was introduced in English speaking countries in the late 1800’s. To control or prevent masturbation.

How terrible. The circumcision, not the masturbation.

The need for male circumcision was compared to female circumcision which had been ongoing in some societies for centuries. The female’s clitoris and labia were removed. To prevent female masturbation.

With male baby circumcision these days, anesthesia is not used. I thought it was because a 3-4 day old baby boy could not feel pain down there when the procedure was done. Not the case. The baby feels pain! Anesthesia is not used because of possible dangers of interactions in the infant.

It is pouring like hell at the moment. Actually for the last 20 minutes. Hurricane/monsoon type rain. Almost every day. Something strange. This is not the rainy season.

Enjoy your Sunday!