CHILDREN SUFFERING POST IRMA

Who is feeding the children of the Keys post Irma?

Irma came and went 5 months ago on September 10. Things appear better in Key West. Duval booming. Though I suspect the tourist numbers are down. Down based on a fear that Irma’s effects still with us.

Physical damage more obvious as you move up the Keys. Especially from Cudjoe to Marathon. House damage, especially. Small tent cities evident. Cars visible housing whole families.

A food problem exists. Full employment has not returned. Too many businesses still closed because of Irma. Waiting for federal or insurance monies to repair or rebuild.

The food problem most evident with children. The schools have brought it to light.

I became aware via an excellent article in KONK E-Blast and the Key West Citizen editorial, both this morning.

The federal government ceased paying for school meals as of February 1. The kids still line up for food. Say, please charge it. The schools charge. Otherwise, many children would not eat.

The numbers shocking. Four thousand living units in the Keys damaged beyond repair. Prior to Irma, homeless children numbered 150. Now, more than 500.

Since February 1, it has been costing the School District $400 a day to feed the additional homeless and others whose parents have not yet returned to work.

The feds who cut off FEMA funding prohibit school food programs from acquiring debt or using surplus funding. The School Board has to figure out how the monies can be found administratively. In the meantime, donations are coming in to keep the children fed.

Another big evening last night.

Began with the Sons and Daughters of Italy’s scholarship fundraiser. Involved was a silent auction and drawing for a cooked and served Italian dinner for 8.

Free food at the event. Home made by the members. Outstanding! I could not have eaten better anywhere else last night. Dates stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in bacon. Meatballs in sauce. More. All mouth watering.

Blew my diet a bit. Only as to the stuffed dates. Enjoyed two.

Catherine was with me. We went over to Louie’s Backyard afterwards. Sat on the deck outside enjoying a couple of drinks.

I ran into Kate Miano. One of the finest persons in Key West. She told me she decided to run for Mayor. She will win. If she is able to run the City as she does her Gardens Hotel, Key West will benefit big time.

I was pleased and impressed with the announcement by Mueller yesterday that 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies had been indicted for screwing around with our Presidential election. Knocks the legs out of Trump’s claim that the Russians did not. Recall, he said Putin told him he and the Russians had nothing to do with it. He believed Putin.

I switched to FOX News immediately upon learning. Curious as to how FOX would be handling the news. Hannity was on. He seemed out of kilter. Unusual for him. Always damning things not Trump. He was obviously confused. He was suggesting the indictments were serious business and proof the Russians had committed wrong.

A couple of hours later when I returned to FOX, it was obvious Hannity had received other orders. Nothing good re the indictments was coming out of his mouth.

This morning FOX was the same. Three newscasters chatting back and forth. All negative re the indictments, of course. They lack backbone. They also don’t want to lose their pay checks.

I came across a Woodrow Wilson quote. Fits Trump perfectly: “All the extraordinary men I have ever known were chiefly extraordinary in their own estimation.”

Trump visited Parkland last night. Stopped at the hospital. Spoke to two of the injured children. A boy and girl. Focused his statements on first responders and the wonderful job they did. Failed to discuss the shooting itself, guns, and change to our gun laws.

Governor Scott and Senator Rubio were with him. It is reported Rubio spoke to the President emotionally re the impact on local families: ” This is a community and a state that’s in deep pain and they want action to make sure this never happens again.”

Trump replied: ” You can count on it.”

Good luck!

Trump recently submitted his proposed budget. The budget calls for a 30 percent cut to an Education Department grant program that supports safe schools. The budget also slashes public funds for mental health treatment.

The President speaks out of both sides of his mouth.

Seems to be a Trump morning for me.

Another Trump story involving the ladies. If this paragraph were titled, it would read something like Same Place, Same Week, Same Bungalow, Lake Tahoe.

It was reported that at the same 2006 golf tournament at Lake Tahoe where the President purportedly had a sexual liaison with porn star Stormy Daniels, he had another. She revealed herself yesterday. Her name Karen McDougal. 1998 Playboy Playmate of the Year. She received $150,000. Daniels settled for $130,000.

And no one seems to care. Morality out the window as far as this President is concerned.

Syracuse/Miami at noon. Vegas line has Miami a 6 point favorite. Syracuse needs the win. I will be watching.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDY BLUME

One of Key West’s most admired and respected persons is world famous author Judy Blume.

Today is Judy’s birthday. Happy birthday!

My daughters knew Judy Blume before me. Well before me. In their formative teen years. Judy wrote young adult novels. For the growing young lady. Issues like menstruation, self esteem, etc. She also wrote children’s books and adult novels.

Her books have sold over 80 million copies world wide and have been translated into 30 languages.

Judy and her husband George Cooper were instrumental with others in bringing Books & Books @ The Studios to Key West.

Judy can be found daily at Books & Books assisting visitors in making book selections.  Stop in today and wish her a Happy Birthday! Stop in any time to say hello.

Sunday means The Gardens. Kate Miano’s fabulous place.

I stopped by last night. Shocked! The most people I have ever seen attending the event. Ninety nine percent snowbirds. They have returned! Love Kate’s sunday party!

On the way home, stopped at Publix. I consistently run out of food frequently. Perhaps I never purchase enough at one time.

The past few days, I have had a desire for capicola. An Italian meat treat! Tasty. Bought a pound last night.

Capicola’s story interesting. More interesting, I made capicola while employed at a meat packing plant while in college.

Let me share my knowledge of capicola with you.

Capicola brought over from Italy. Referred to as capocollo in Italy.

Purchased at the store in its finished form as a fatty pork/ham cold cut surrounded by red pepper. Thinly sliced. The fat gives the meat a unique flavor.

Capicola is made from the pig’s muscle running from the neck to the fourth or fifth rib of the shoulder or neck.

The next few steps in the process not the same. Location alters the processing somewhat.

After cutting, the meat I dealt with was placed in huge jars of brine. Not sure the precise nature of the brine. Some said red or white wine, garlic and herbs. My recollection is that the room where the barrels were stored smelled good!

The brinning room was a large refrigerator. Not freezing. Merely cold. The room very large.

Row after row of the barrels. The barrels huge. Five or six feet tall. At least four feet wide. Made of wood.

The meat was marinated in the brine quite a while. Exact time, I do not recall. When the meat was ready for casing, the barrels were transported into another huge room.

That is where I came into the picture. My job was to stand on a ladder and remove the meat chunks one piece at a time. Did it with a meat hook. Had to be careful to put the hook into the right place on the meat. Otherwise, the meat would appear damaged and I could get fired.

I wore rubber gloves. No thin plastic gloves as we have today. My hands hot inside the gloves. The reason being the cooking ovens were in the same room and immediately next to where I was working.

I took the hooked meat off the hook and rolled it by hand in a large pan containing red pepper. Then I threw the piece on a large table below me. There a dozen or so workers were placing the meat in casings. Hands and small machines required for the operation.

The pepper would get in the gloves. Between the pepper heat and heat from the ovens, the skin began flaking off my hands. I was transferred to another job.

Once cased, the product was placed on huge trees and then sent into the huge ovens to cook. The ovens each the size of a room. After cooking, removed and allowed to hang several days to cool before delivery to stores for sale.

The owners of the meat packing house were good people. Employees were permitted to eat any of the meats produced for lunch. We normally went for the capicola or hot fresh ham warm as it came out of the ovens. A feast!

Syracuse survived yesterday against Wake Forest. Won 78-70. Syracuse has to win almost all of its remaining games to make the NCAA Tournament.

Trump coming out with his infrastructure plan today. $1.5 trillion. He has the ideas, but not the money. I understand he will suggest the federal government put  in 20 percent. The rest to be paid by the States, local governments, and private investment. The last meaning selling or leasing roads and bridges to private corporations.

The Feds do not have the money. However, I believe it has to come primarily from the federal government. It always has. The States and local governments are broke. Where would they get the money?

Private sector participation a no no from my perspective. It would be like using mercenaries to fight our wars, contracting out various federal jobs, and privatized jails.

It does not work. As we are slowly finding out, costly and full of improprieties and wrongdoing.

Trump is looking to private corporations to fund most of the repair/reconstruction work. I have seen how this works in Italy. The roads and bridges are beautiful. No pot holes anywhere. Most roads tolled. Expensive to travel. The toll charges not cheap. As a result, most Italians look for narrow country roads to travel.

Another Trump folly, mistake, not thought out plan, in the making.

Enjoy your day!

STONE CRAB SEASON A DISAPPOINMENT

Stone crabs!

My favorite food. The favorite of many.

Next to impossible to find. If available, expensive. Like $8 for a small one.

Why no stone crabs?

Two reasons.

The first Irma. Screwed up what is below the water as well as that above.

The other, cold fronts. Crabs are driven to the Keys by cold fronts. We have not had one yet this year. The cold this past week kid stuff compared to a real one.

Fortunately, the stone crab season lasts till May 15. We should have a cold front or two by then. Hopefully crabs galore. Unless Irma’s impact on them more significant than thought.

Yesterday’s blog lacked a most important saturday afternoon event. The Syracuse/Georgetown game. Syracuse won in overtime 86-79.

A typical hard fought game. As in the old days when the two teams met in Big East games.

Georgetown was up by 13 in the second half. Syracuse fought back and tied at the buzzer. Syracuse then out scored Georgetown by 7 points in overtime.

The best Syracuse game I have seen in a couple of years.

Go ‘Cuse!

I stayed in saturday night. The success Irma and me is having caused me to remain home working on my next book. Growing Up Italian. Irma has motivated me to do more.

I should have been out and about.

Doug Jones and Jimmy Buffett in town! Unannounced.

Jean Thornton has many friends. Someone called her and said be at Margaritaville at 8. Tell no one. Jean was not told why she should be there. She suspected maybe Buffett.

She was there. So too were Buffett and Doug Jones.

Jones and wife Louisa are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary at a friend’s home in Key West. Jean is from Alabama. A Republican, of course. She rushed up to Jones excitedly and told him it was the first time in 28 years she had voted Democratic.

Then Buffett appeared. He played his guitar and sang for one hour.

The place was packed! Jean not the only one who had a friend. People out on the sidewalk for a look see and to hear Buffett.

Buffet sang Stars Fell Over Alabama in honor of Jones’ victory.

Nice that Buffett decided to “…..headin’ back to Key West town.”

Today’s Key West Citizen had only a few photos of the Lighted Boat Parade. Looked good! Also, a few photos of the first I Love Stock Island Lighted Boat Parade. Looked good, also.

The first I Love Stock Island Boat Parade and other events appear to be the beginning of a tradition. Go Stock Island!

I was out and about last night. Began with Kate Miano’s Gardens.

Terri White performing. My love! For the first time since her cancer surgeries. She appears on the mend.

The crowd was large out of respect for Terri. She failed them not. Her singing, Terri! Nothing changed. Outstanding.

I chatted with Terri, Donna, Tash, Kate, Jean, and Libby York amongst others. Also, Jan Gebhart and Bob Pracher. Had not seen them in a while.

Last night was the first time I met Libby York. Her singing well known beyond Key West. Places like New York, Chicago, and Paris.

Libby will be performing at The Gardens in a couple of weeks. She also opens thursday and every thursday thereafter at the Little Jazz Room Club.

Libby not new to Key West. She has had a home here since 1980.

The New York Times described her as “a juicy singer of cool composure and artful subtlety.”

Jean and I had dinner later at Antonia’s. She is supposed to leave today for Birmingham on Delta. Not sure she will get out.

I am still on the diet. Seem to have plateaued. Lost only one pound this past week. I have not cheated once. Ergo, the only one pound loss bothers me. I need to see success on the scale!

Enjoy your day!

TIP STEALING AND SEX NIGHT AT THE CHART ROOM

A doubleheader today. Two columns in one.

Keys Energy screwed things up yesterday. Made it impossible to get the blog out and had me sitting on South Roosevelt Boulevard forever waiting to make the turn north onto US 1.

Keys Energy was doing maintenance work from 8 to 2 yesterday in our neighborhood. No power, no wi-fi, no nothing. Keys Energy also was doing some big time electrical work at Cow Key Bridge. A huge crane rising out of the water.

I begin with tip stealing. An example how Trump is taking from those who earn less and giving to those who earn more.

The Trump Administration announced a proposed rule which in effect amounts to tip stealing. Affects waiters, waitresses and bartenders, as well as kitchen help.

Permits restaurant employers to illegally pocket tips earned by employees. If the employer pays minimum wage, the employer can legally pocket “pooled” tips. Tips that could be shared with other restaurant staff such as chefs and dishwashers.

Dollar amount involved estimated at $6.1 billion per year.

It is claimed many restaurant owners are already pocketing a portion of the tips illegally. The Trump proposal legalizes the illegal.

I mention tip stealing because it affects many Key West restaurant workers.

Spent the afternoon working on Growing Up Italian. My next book. Getting there. See light at the end of the tunnel.

Attended Mary Lou Hoover’s fundraiser at Kate Miano’s home. Many people. A success. Kate’s new home divine.

Mary Lou running for a Key West City Commission seat.

Jean attended the fundraiser with me. Then we enjoyed dinner together at La Trattoria.

Key West native Sebrina Maria Alfonso returns to Key West friday evening with the Southern Florida Symphony. The Symphony was born in Key West 20 years ago.

The theme of the performance involves Ernest Hemingway. The event at the Glynn Archer Performing Arts Center.

The contract was let for the construction of the Custom House this month in 1888. All that building for $107,955.96! Money bought a lot more in those days.

Speaker Ryan announced taxpayer funds will no longer be used to pay suits against Congressmen with regard to sexual harassment matters.

Talk is cheap. It took a law to permit the use of taxpayer dollars in such situations. It will take a law to abolish the law.

Lets get it done pronto!

This is wild! Reading, home and street lights from leaves. Kale, watercress, arugula, and spinach. Eventually would replace electrical energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy has been funding MIT research to make it work. Already producing lighting power dimly.

Sounds like it will come.

Our friends the iguanas. Not really friends. Nasty creatures. I wrote recently they are overpopulated in Florida. They eat our flowers and shit in our pools. The State has initiated a program to eradicate or control them. Will end up like the pythons. Control. Eradication impossible. Too many already here.

This morning’s Comment Column on page 2 of the Key West Citizen advised that iguanas are available online from Puerto Rico. Fifteen dollars to $49.99 a pound. Referred to as Chicken of the Trees.

Iguanas are minimally eaten in south Florida. Purportedly taste like chicken Eaten big time in Central and South America.

Today’s blog begins here.

Sex in the Chart Room. Not real sex. Merely conversation.

Three couples. All tourists.

One mentioned that they had been at Teaser’s strip club till 2 am. Hung over. Especially the husband. Husband and wife both enjoyed.

One of the other couples immediately decided they were going to Teaser’s when they left the Chart Room.

The third asked if there we any nude restaurants or bars in Key West. Oh, the reputation we have!

They were advised not. They were told about the Garden of Eden. The rooftop clothing optional bar on top of the Bull & Whistle. Completely open to the elements.

Cold last night. Mid 60s. Not the time to take your clothes off on the Bull & Whistle’s rooftop.

Could not disillusion the third couple. They decided to go anyway. If they ultimately did, even with clothes on they would have frozen their asses off.

Met Art and Sherry at the bar. Not interested in strip clubs or the Garden of Eden.

They have lived in Key West two years on a boat. Sits outside Turtle Krawl. Art mid forties. Formerly a CPA. Decided to give it up and live the good life in Key West. He drives a trolley by day. Thrilled with his new life.

Art not the first to have done it.

My yesterday included a haircut with Lori and Publix to stock up on more diet foods. Such is my life in Key West.

Duval has Christmas wreaths hanging from light poles from one end to the other. You feel the season as you walk Duval.

Omarosa Mangault Newman in the news. A White House Assistant to the President. African-American. The only White House black staff member. She had easy access to the President.

She was fired yesterday. By John Kelly. Her credentials taken. Reported she was accompanied off White House grounds.

Wonder what she will have to say about Trump.

The book, the book, the book! Irma and Me. Sales continue. I am excited. You might consider acquiring a copy yourself. Easy fun reading. Makes an excellent reasonably priced Christmas gift, also.

Today, friday. I have no plans for tonight. Regardless, I know it will turn out to be a fun time. Can’t miss in Key West!

Enjoy your day!

 

U.S. IS CHANGING DIRECTION

Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama Senate race yesterday tied with the Democratic sweep in Virginia several months ago indicates the United States has changed direction. The momentum is there. Except for that solid 30-35 percent of Trump voters, politically, mentally, socially, etc., America has seen the error of its ways.

Perhaps it had to be. The election of a Donald Trump. It has shaken things up. Not for the better in most instances.

Roy Moore is a sick man. How can a person who hates gays, blacks and Jews, yet loves 13-14 year olds, be elected to the Senate? I admit I was concerned. A crazy election. I thought “Albamians would stick to the script and elect a Republican, regardless of his propensities for the unsatisfactory and sick.

Glad I was wrong.

Then there is Trump in recent days. He cannot stop vilifying women. The most recent New York’s Senator Karen Gillibrand. Said she “would do anything for campaign contributions.” Inferring she was a whore.

Bad guy!

The election a stunning upset. Especially since Trump went all out for Moore. I cannot refer to Trump and Moore as birds of a feather. One likes only adult women whereas the other young girls.

The victory is being attributed to the exceptionally huge black turn out, suburban Republican wives, and college students.

I hope the Democrats are learning. One of the reasons Trump became President was because of Democratic failings.

I was impressed with the ground game on Jones’ behalf. Trust the Democrats will be able to keep it up in other States as 2018 approaches.

Saw the eye doctor and optician again yesterday morning. Turns out my prescription was way off. Waiting now for new lenses.

I was supposed to be at Guy de Boer’s home last night for a party. Around noon, I got tired. Exhausted. Called Guy around six and begged off.

This exhaustion is a pain! I was so tired, I did not go down stairs for something to eat at dinner time. I did not want to climb the stairs on the return trip.

I had planned on completing and fine tuning my podcast show scheduled for last night during the afternoon. No way! I was beat!

Winged it! Thought the show went smoothly. Listened to it this morning. Like every other show. Not obvious I was winging it.

Banks are thieves. So too, pharmaceutical houses.

The drug houses raise prices at will. Price gouging, in effect. Screw the public! Proper governmental controls and oversight lacking.

Avondale Pharmaceuticals the most recent example.

The gouging system simple. The company buys the rights to a drug that has little or no competition. Then massively inflate the price.

Two examples are Niacor and SSKI.

Niacor is a niacin/vitamin B pill. One hundred per bottle. Sold for $32.46 per bottle. Price raised to $295. An 800 percent increase.

SSKI’s increase 2,500 percent. Cost of a 30ml bottle went from $11.48 to $295.

I have been writing and reporting for two years re the Department of Defense’s inability to account for billions of dollars. Last week the Department announced it was preparing to audit the military. An inventory. Planes, guns, etc. First time.

Two days ago, the Department announced it had lost 44,000 military. Did not know where they were. The tracking system failed.

The were going to try to find them via the audit.

Yesterday, a third announcement by the Department and also the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money part I had been complaining about.

It was announced that between 1998 and 2015, the two Departments had lost a combined $21 trillion. Taxpayer funds. Not accountable. No receipts, vouchers, etc.

To make matters even worse, it was reported that the Departments were “plugging” the figures. Making up numbers to make any accounting balance.

Twenty one trillion dollars is more than the national debt. It equates to $65,000 per man, woman and child in the United States.

Party time again tonight. A fundraiser.

Mary Lou Hoover is one of the most able and active women in Key West. She has decided to enter politics. She is running for the Key West City Commission.

The fundraiser is scheduled for this evening from 5:30 to 8:00 at Kate Miano’s new home on Free School Lane.

Jean Thornton and I will be attending together and then walking down the street to Marquesa for dinner.

Iguanas have been a problem for close to 20 years. Never in Key West, all of a sudden they appeared. In droves. All sizes. The community grew.

Iguanas are prolific. They multiply rapidly. The problem in the Keys overall is out of control. As with pythons.

The State has finally decided to do something about it. A program involving self-help will be instituted throughout the Keys. Purpose, to eradicate or control.

As with the pythons, never to be controlled in my opinion. Too late. Hopefully, contained.

Why are iguanas a problem? They eat flowers and foliage. You spend money for a lovely garden. They devour it. Their defecation a problem, also. They shit in our pools! Don’t laugh. The pool has to be drained and refilled.

Irma and Me selling well. I am impressed! The only story of Hurricane Irma on the book shelves. Buy a copy to enjoy yourself or give as a Christmas gift. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

GREAT REUNION

 

Reunited with Bob and Helen after 20 years. Good friends long ago. Still friends. I was best man at their wedding 30 years ago.

We hugged and talked. Talked endlessly during lunch at Louie’s Backyard. It was as if we had last seen each other the day before.

An emotional meeting for me.

They are on a Viking cruise. One day in Key West. Several in Cuba. Both anxious to see Cuba.

The three of us are anxious to see each other again. Before we move on to that place in the sky.

Hurried home following lunch to watch the Syracuse/Kansas game. Syracuse lost 76-60.

The game was fine the first 10 minutes for Syracuse. Then it was Kansas. Syracuse’s problem is the team is not seasoned. They have not played together enough. Syracuse generally moved the ball well. Could not shoot, however. The ball was not finding the basket.

I have not given up on the season. Never give up on a Syracuse basketball team and Jim Boeheim.

Missed the Christmas Parade. Thought I would. I was comfortable lying around the house.

Don’s Place made the playoffs. The playoffs yesterday. Only 3 Don’s Place players showed up. Need 4 to play. Several out of town. Arrangements made for a team that had not made the playoffs to move up and play.

Game plan for today is the Gardens and Handel’s Messiah. Two separate events, two different locations.

Parking a problem for Handel’s Messiah. I probably will miss the Gardens.

Handel’s Messiah has been performed for more than 30 years at the United Methodist Church on Eaton and Simonton. The Church’s Chancel Choir performs together with musicians who come in from the middle and lower Keys. They practice for three hours beginning at 2. The show begins at 7.

Admission free.

I have never attended this holiday musical event. It is time.

Irma was the first instance I had the opportunity to view FEMA in operation up close. Their performance left/leaves me absolutely impressed!

An example. It has been announced that FEMA is hiring local residents to assist with the Irma recovery. Jobs! Much needed. Many Irma victims still without work. Their places of employment not yet operating.

Pedophiles are society’s worst. Adults who prey on children.

Some get caught and are prosecuted. Then there are those like Alabama’s Moore who are never arrested.

A New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force exists. In a sting referred to as Operation Safety Net, the Task Force caught 79 of the predators last week. Deviates pursuing children as young as 4.

Included in those arrested were a police officer, postal worker, and teacher. The Task Force arrested at least one person in every county in New Jersey, as well as persons from outside New Jersey.

Justice performing at its best!

Slavery caused Lincoln to say in 1858 that “…..a house divided against itself cannot stand.” We are a house divided today. Never in all my years have I seen two sides so opposed.

Do not forget Irma and Me. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks. The only Irma book written.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

KATE MIANO…..FLORENCE SPOTTSWOOD HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR

They don’t come better than Kate Miano. A heart of gold, concerned for everyone, a community leader, a respected voice. And my friend.

It has been announced Kate will receive the Florence Spottswood Humanitarian of the Year Award. A big deal. Key West’s most prestigious recognition.

Kate will receive the award at a gala on January 27.

Congratulations Dear Lady. I know of no one more worthy.

There is something about small towns and parades. The best!

Key West’s Christmas Parade is December 2. A ton of Santa Claus’ riding on floats, candy thrown to children at the curb viewing in awe, bands, noise, etc.

Everyone turns out to watch. I will be with Robert and Ally at our usual spot on Truman.

Thanksgiving was thursday. I get to celebrate it again this evening with Donna and Terri. Lucky me!

A double hit. Oh, the pounds!

I am concerned not. The heart catherization doctor said lose 40-50 pounds. I start monday. Stay tuned to see if I make it all the way.

Christina Oxenberg is one of Key West’s finest writers. Her words soul touching. Sensitive best describes them.

Christine had a column in KONK Life this morning. About Kenyatta Arrington. Arrington one of those people who contribute to Key West’s culture.

Christina points out he rode a bike for years. With his back in ramrod fashion. Always wore a tight worn velvet suit with buttons all over and a top hat.

He would sing outside the supermarket. His voice described as angelic.

Last year, rid himself of the suit, bought a new wig and moved his venue to Duval.

Christina learned he was saving money to move to Norway. He was in love and his lady was waiting for him.

He will not make it. His impaled body was found floating near the pier.

Woodrow Wilson commented on a person’s ego. The quote reminds me of Trump: “All the extraordinary men I have ever known were chiefly extraordinary in their own estimation.”

Trump tells us the economy is fine. On the rise in every respect.

Thanksgiving was celebrated this week. Not all Americans gave thanks. Many are still without. A recent study indicated the number of homeless in major cities is comparable to those that existed during the Great Depression.

The number of homeless is increasing rather than going down. Homelessness is reaching the crisis level. A state of emergency brewing.

An example is an area described as most of Los Angeles County. Shelters are bedding down 55,000 per night. Up 25 percent from last year. Includes men, women and children. The number does not include those that sleep in cars, the woods and under bridges.

Homeless children nationwide are up 60 percent since the end of the recession.

Things are good, Mr. President! You and yours should swap places with the homeless for a week.

The terrorist attack on an Egyptian mosque killed in excess of 300, injured in excess of 100.

The Arab world is engaged in war one way or another. One of my concerns is that the U.S. is fighting on different sides in some of these wars. Resulting from Trump’s decisions.

He knows not what he is doing.

Robots keep coming. Walmart the most recent major business testing their use.

Walmart is quietly testing two new robots. One self-driving floor scrubbers. The other self-scanning robots to replenish inventory on shelves.

Each will replace humans. The poor middle class will be further diminished.

Syracuse plays Boston College at 12:20 today. The last football game of the season for Syracuse. Good! The season has not been a spectacular one.

I must say however Coach Baber has done an excellent job in improving the team. Next year should be a much better season.

I close with Irma and Me. My book re Hurricane Irma and how she chased me through several states and disrupted my life and that of several others.

The book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

ZOMBIE BIKE RIDE / CRZBS

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

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

Joking.

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

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

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

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

Sunday at the Gardens always a fun time.

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

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

Syracuse’s defense excellent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both sides came to an agreement and war was avoided.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your Sunday!

GEORGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I knew Dillon, Nic and Cori Convertino.

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

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

Nic, her husband.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many wiped out.

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

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

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

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

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

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders and I know not what else.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SUNDAY A BIG KEY WEST DAY

Big day sunday!

Stone crab season opens! My favorite food. The favorite of many. Better than Maine lobster. I have often said if I were to have one last meal, it would be stone crabs.

Kate Miano’s Gardens open. Last sunday the first time. An excellent place to spend an early sunday evening.

Hot Dog Church continues. Laurie ruling the pulpit. Three thirty in the afternoon.

I plan enjoying my first stone crab dinner of the season monday night at the Conch Republic with Jean Thornton.

My excitement yesterday was another test at the hospital. Some days my life is boring.

Followed the hospital up with a visit to CVS. Flu shot time.

Felt strange going to a drug store for a flu shot. Some things have always been done in a doctor’s office. Doctors do not want to give the shot. The flu shot supply they have to purchase too expensive.

I spent the evening at home. A couch potato. Watched two old movies.

My laziness caused me to miss bocce. Spoke with Don this morning. Don’s Place played Hell’s Rangers. They can be hell to play! Generally, # 1 every season.

Don’s Place lost. Hell’s Rangers won 2 games and Don’s Place 1.

I mentioned yesterday no Key West Citizen. I was correct and incorrect. No Citizen when I looked at 10. Must have been published later in the day. Published this morning normally.

Buffalo’s Tom Dixson and I communicated via cell phone and e-mail yesterday. Tom a die hard Syracuse fan, also.

He had the Nebraska game right on. Actually, two games.

In 1983, Nebraska embarrassed Syracuse 63-8.

1984 was different. Nebraska #1. Syracuse unranked. Syracuse won 17-9.

I missed the game. A family wedding. The Church ceremony was ongoing at the time time of the game. I held a small radio to my ear. I was not embarrassed. The bride kept turning around to find out what was going on. A big time Syracuse fan, also.

Syracuse plays Clemson tonight. Clemson undefeated and ranked #2. Recalling the 1984 Nebraska game, anything can happen.

Clemson a 22 point favorite.

I plan on watching the game from my couch and bed. Going through a lazy period.

I cannot understand the ineptness of some people at their jobs. It was recently discovered that 70 plus children were missing from the Kansas foster care system.

A State department officer in charge testified she did not know.

Most young girls.

The Republicans need a major legislation win. This year. Trump and Republicans have zeroed in on a tax bill.

Speaker Paul Ryan spoke before the ultra conservative Heritage Foundation yesterday.

The tax bill would benefit persons like Trump greatly. It would do relatively nothing for middle and lower classes. It would cut trillions from Medicaid and Medicare.

Ryan assured everyone he would do everything to get the bill passed this year. Even to keeping Congressmen in Washington over the Christmas holiday.

If the scenario works out that way, Ryan will be the Scrooge of his party.

Some thing I never knew. Thought the White House was big. Not that big, however. One hundred thirty two rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 3 kitchens.

No waiting in line to go.

Enjoy your day!