THE COUGH THAT ISN’T GOING AWAY

I got a cold and cough big time 5 weeks ago. It seemed like everyone I know got it too.

Here it is 5 weeks later and I still have a cough. A very slight one.

I generally get the flu shot around October 1. Did not because of the cold, etc. You are not supposed to get the flu shot if you are sick in any way.

I went to see Dr. Norris yesterday. My real concern was whether I could get the flu shot yet. He said no. Must first get rid of the cough. Now he was concerned why the cough was still around 5 weeks later. He gave me a prescription for some drug and sent me off for a chest x-ray. Also gave me a sermon about smoking.

Last night, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Jean met up with me. We enjoyed Tom and Rick. Chatted briefly with Liz and Linda.

We wanted stone crabs. Yesterday, opening day of the season. Came up empty. No one had them yet. We will do it another time.

Went to La Trattoria for dinner. Guy de Boer joined us as we were finishing. A good meal and good company. Following which I headed home and Jean to Vino’s.

Friday Goombay! Jean and I are going to walk the street together. Then Fantasy Fest for a week. The wild time!

I am excited. Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixon arrived late last night. I will ba having dinner with them some night this week. Tom e-mailed Fran had brought a supply of sauce. Love the woman!

A hurricane comes and goes. Its effects remain a long time. Irma a perfect example. Irma hit the lower Keys more than a year ago. People without homes even today. A Rebuild Florida Bus will be parked at City Hall in Key West today and tomorrow. To assist those still without adequate housing.

Michael’s death toll at the moment 17. The number will grow significantly. Sixty thousand people missing. Search crews are out. Going through the rubble of each house.

Trump and Melanie were in the Panhandle and Georgia yesterday. The President never learns. Was it in Puerto Rico following Maria that he threw rolls of paper towels? Yesterday, it was bottles of water. Tossed and handed.

I’m beginning to think Trump is a frustrated ball player.

I saw on TV yesterday men running around wearing blue tee shirts with FEMA printed in bold white letters on the back. It seemed like they were intent in getting in the video being taken.

The video was being shot in Lynn Haven, a town in the Panhandle hit badly. There were food and water tents. The food and water were not delivered by nor being given out by FEMA. Their food and water still on its way. It was from volunteers who drove it in and were handing the food and water out themselves.

Good people, one and all. Key West an example of such good people. A large truck left City Hall yesterday loaded with things people will need in the Panhandle. Four or five volunteers went along. One said it was pay back time. A time to say thank you for the assistance the lower Keys received from the people of the Panhandle during Irma.

FEMA and other federal help appears to be directed to the search efforts for the 60,000 unaccounted for. FEMA and Governor Scott said a couple of days ago that is the way it had to be. Find those first who are trapped or dead. Then the flow of food, water, etc.

Does not make sense to me. FEMA a huge organization. Should be ready to assist in every respect when a disaster such as Michael occurs. They have had enough experience. They also knew before Michael made landfall the magnitude of the storm. The military can be called in to help if need be.

Several months from now, the Washington cry will be not enough money, can’t complete the recovery job, perhaps even can’t help anymore. The federal government still owes billions of dollars to Florida and Monroe County for monies the feds were going to pay re Irma problems. The State and County have had to play with their budgets, cut some services, raise taxes, etc. this year because the monies not yet paid.

Tonight my podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Join me. I have much to discuss. Many things bothering me that should be bothering you also.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

DOLLEY MADISON ALMOST CAPTURED BY BRITISH SAVING WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE A COPY OF WASHINGTON’S PORTRAIT

Dolley Madison became one of America’s most famous First Wives this day in 1814. The War of 1812 already 2 years old. The British close to taking Washington. President Madison had left to fight the approaching British Army.

He told Dolley to get out soon. She was getting some things together. The last object she decided to take was the portrait of George Washington. No way was she going to leave it to be defaced by the British.

Dolley lost time taking the portrait down. The frame was screwed to the wall. Finally, she cut the canvas out and rolled it up to be taken.

The British at the time a breath away. Dolley was able to escape, however.

The next night, the British dined in the White House using the White House’s silver and china. Then, they burned the White House down.

Dolley forever remembered for her bravery in saving Washington’s portrait.

It was only later that discovered that the portrait was not the original by Gilbert Stuart. It was merely a copy.

Made no difference. Dolley had made her mark in history.

A unique experience last night. Dinner at La Trattoria with Mary. A new friend.

Mary had invited me to dinner. Told me at the time she would be paying. I said, no. She said, yes. A generational thing. Mary is younger than me generation wise. My generation, the man always pays. Hers, it makes no difference.

She wanted to make the point. I let her. Enjoyed her company and a good meal.

Cheated. Not with Mary. With the meal. I celebrated my hitting 200 pounds. Ordered lasagna. Gained a pound. Worth it.

Mary and I then headed to Blue Macaw for a drink. I was tired. It was past 9. Mary still alive and raring to go. I begged off and left her. No problem. She understood. A generational thing.

The bartender at La Trattoria an old acquaintance. She was the one who came around the bar and gave me the Heimlich the night I was choking. Bonded forever.

Today, a haircut at noon with Lori. Then a walk of about 50 feet to Sandy’s Cafe for lunch.

Tonight, the Chart Room. Several nights since I have been there.

The weatherman at it again. Predicts thunder storms tonight. Describes it as “light up the night.” Correct. Dogs and humans will be startled. Lightening at the ocean comes right through the blinds. Lights up the room!

My man in Europe. Paul Harding. On a three week vacation with his partner Ron. Harding has been advising me on European public urinals.

He was in Amsterdam yesterday. Outdoor public urinals commonplace. Normally constructed because men pee in the streets. I still cannot understand such activity.

In any event, Amsterdam built the public urinals to save lives, not to kill bad odor. Turns out in the 3 years prior to the public urinals being constructed, 51 men died in Amsterdam canals. They fell in the water while peeing and drowned.

One of the jurors in the Manafort trial has spoken out. Paula Duncan. She said re the 10 charges that resulted in a hung jury, there was only one hold out. Eleven were for guilty.

Manafort should swiftly move his ass to Mueller and cooperate. He has yet another trial. He will never get out of jail otherwise.

Juror Duncan an interesting person. A Trump supporter. Did not affect her judgment. Plans on voting for him again in 2020. Wears a red MAGA hat. It was in the back seat of her car while she was playing juror.

Duncan advised the deliberations were heated and emotional on occasion. Tears shed by some.

Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for a woman activist. Her name Israa al-Ghomgham. Everything secretive. She may already be on trial before a terrorist court.

One of the charges involves violent behavior. She demonstrated for the right of women to drive, the cessation by the Sunnis of preventing the free practice of religion, and more opportunity for work and education for women.

Israa a Shiite Muslim activist. Religion plays into this also.

Trump a good friend of the Saudis. He should intervene on Israa’s behalf. He won’t. He was quick to say the U.S. would invade Venezuela. In the past 24 hours, he has denounced the black government of South Africa. A female life not as important as oil and racism.

Pete Rose. One of baseball’s greats. He was banned from baseball this day in 1989 for life for betting on baseball. Never bet on his team to lose, only to win.

It has now been 29 years. We are a forgiving people. Time for the ban to be lifted. Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame! Lets do it before he dies.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND…..ALL THE TIME

What I begin with this morning has nothing to do with the title. The news for me is so exciting. Worthy of sharing.

The scale this morning reads 200 pounds!

I was 257 last summer when I decided to cut back. Nothing stringent. Smaller portions, less drinking and no bread. By November, I was down to 245.

For several years, I was tired all the time. Even at 245. Went to Miami for a heart catheterization. My fourth. Doctor said your heart no different today than 3 years ago when last done.

Why am I tired all the time? I was pushing for an answer. He gave it to me. Right between the eyes: Lose 40 or 50 pounds!

The next day was November 27. I got into serious dieting. Atkins. A low carb diet.

The numbers say it all. I have lost since last summer 57 pounds total. The Atkins diet responsible for 45 pounds of it.

I am into the diet. Not stopping yet. May stay on it forever. Not difficult. We shall see.

Oh, I have not been constantly tired since 225 pounds.

What goes around, comes around. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

True.

Harvey Weinstein got buried by the MeToo movement. Deservedly so.

Asia Argento is an Italian actress of some success. She has won two Italian Oscars. She became deeply involved in #MeToo. Helped bring down Weinstein.

Turns out Asia had skeleton in her closet. What follows occurred when Asia was 37 and a Jimmy Bennet 17.

Bennet now 22. He played in a couple of Asia’s films as a child actor. A mother-son relationship developed. Went beyond such a relationship, however.

It was announced yesterday that Asia sexually assaulted Bennet when he was 17 in a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, California. Oral sex and intercourse. They also took pictures. One of the two of them naked on a bed together.

Bennet never complained formally till recently. He claimed the one time bed situation affected him mentally. In the five years prior to the incident, he earned $2.7 million. In the five years since, he has only earned an average of $60,000 a year.

Asia paid Bennet $380,000. She also got the bare ass picture of the two as part of the settlement.

Non-disclosure clauses in matters of this nature are not legal in California. Ergo, the scenario is now in the news. The New York Times released it yesterday.

Asia a pedophile. An imperfect woman who relished in bringing down Weinstein and others as part of the #MeToo Movement.

Some things have a way of coming back to haunt a person.

Terri is home! No heart attack. Nothing found wrong. God bless!

Tom Luna and Rick Dery were spectacular last night at Dueling Bartenders. Liz, Josefina and Mary there. Chatted with Sheila and Linda. Met Karen and talked with her a while.

Then to Blue Macaw for something light to eat.

Mary at the bar. I chastised her for not returning my call sunday. I wanted her to join me for a drink.

I was wrong. She had responded. She texted me. I do not do text.

Whatever.

We are having dinner together wednesday at La Trattoria.

Remember the Virginia Beach ladies I met last week. They were supposed to join me at Dueling Bartenders last night. Even got an e-mail sunday from Gillian saying they would be meeting me monday night.

The ladies never showed. Such is life. They leave Key West today to return home. I am confident they had a hell of a time!

Return to Key West ladies!

Iguanas are a pain! No one likes them. They eat your flowers, defecate in your pool, etc. They are here to stay, however. Too many now. Steps should have been taken years ago to get rid of them.

First there were geckos. Then iguanas. Geckos are ok. They eat bugs.

A new member of the group is now running around Key West. Lizards. This morning’s Key West Citizen in the Citizens’ Voice column reported a reader’s comment re the lizards: “The curly lizards have entered the graveyard; geckos couldn’t stop their advance and the iguanas are beside themselves.”

The Key West weatherman continues to have a sense of humor. He has a comment following every report.

Today, showers and sunny. He added, “A mix and match day.”

Tonight, thunderstorms. He added, “Late night music.”

I came across a list of quotes by women 50 and older. Number 1 was by Meryl Streep: “You can’t get spoiled if you do your own ironing.”

An oracle of wisdom.

BOB not writing today. Out late last night and had one drink too many. Hopefully, tomorrow.

Today is tuesday. Means my podcast show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. I enjoy ranting and raving. Fun stuff, serious matters. www.blogtalkrado.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

KICK ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE DOWN…..THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

The U.S. and Turkey are supposedly friends. Both led by authoritarian figures. Trump and Turkey’s President Erdogan. Birds of a feather.

Turkey has always been considered a key American ally. The U.S. has a large military base there. There is also a NATO base.

Friends no more. A pissing match instead. Trump is irritated Erdogan will not release an American minister it has held prisoner since 2016. Trump suggested an exchange. Some Turkish citizen the U.S. has been holding.

Erdogan said no. No one says no to Trump. Especially another authoritarian figure. As far as Trump is concerned, it is his way or the highway as far as Turkey is concerned.

Turkey has been hurting economically. Its currency fell to a record low this morning. Inflation 17.75 percent. The country is on the verge of an economic meltdown.

Turkey’s crisis has made the American dollar strong when pitted against Turkish currency.

Friday Trump delivered a major blow to Turkey. All because Turkey continued to refuse his demand that the minister prisoner be released. Trump doubled the tariffs already imposed on Turkey as part of the tariff wars. Aluminum rose to 20 percent and steel 50 percent.

Trump tweeted friday with the news: “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

European and Asian stock markets have reacted to the tariff increases. The feud perhaps the start of a world wide recession similar to 2008. Though not considered imminent at this time. Turkey’s economy ranks only 17th world wide.

My concern is it only takes a spark to start a forest fire. One of the major California fires still burning a perfect example.

Trump is kicking a “friend” while the friend is down. Not what friends are for!

Now to my yesterday.

Brunch 10 to 12 at Hard Rock Cafe. Terri White was singing with Larry Baeder. A WOW! Great show! Performances outstanding! Be certain to go next week. Terri and Larry will regularly appear at brunch time every sunday.

For a blind woman, my girl does terrific!

Terri has another gig tonight. She is singing with Dueling Bartenders Tom Luna and Rick Dery at Aqua.

Go girl, go!

Spent the afternoon watching the PGA. Excellent golf. Brook Koepka won. By 2 strokes over Tiger Woods.

Brook has won 3 of the last 6 majors. Only 28. He has only one other win. A tour win. Unusual for someone who has won three big ones.

Tiger gets better every week. He is due back as a winner soon. And then a consistent one.

Tiger shot a 64 yesterday. His putting not yet what it was. Had a few dropped, he would have won.

On one of the last holes, he hit a 40 foot plus putt. It hung on the lip of the cup. Everyone holding their breaths waiting for it to drop. It did not.

Jean Thornton and I partied together last night. Began at the Orchid Bar. Victor bartending.

I meet a lot of interesting people. A couple I met at the Orchid Bar last night, one of the most interesting.

Dan and Pam. Now hail from Largo, Florida.

Dan is retired from the New York City Carpenter’s Union. Pam still working. Bookkeeper for general contractors.

Dan described two jobs he was especially proud of. One was the scaffolding when the Statue of Liberty was being shaped up. The other involved something to do with a major job at the UN where he had 80 men working under him.

Then to the Rum Bar. Jean and I not traveling together. Jean rides her bicycle all over town.

The Rum Bar will be a regular sunday stop for me. My friend Lauri the bartender there sunday evenings. Left Aqua after 17 years to work the Rum Bar.

With Lauri running the show, the Rum Bar is quickly becoming a new locals place. Donna and Terri, Sally, Ingrid, Art and George there when Jean and I arrived.

Jean and I decided on Antonia’s for dinner. Closed. Must be shut down for the slow days of August and September.

No problem. We went across the street to La Trattoria.

We had a terrific time! Jean a wonderful companion.

Tiffany bartending. She mentioned we have known each other for 25 years. True!

Dinner done. I was tired. Jean still raring to go. I went home. Jean peddled her bike to Vino’s.

The white nationals/supremacists were holding a major rally in Washington yesterday. Publicized Unite The Right 2. Turned out to be a flop. Only a small contingency of the group appeared.

Why?

These are bad people. Fascists, Neo-Nazis, and KKK members. They believe there is only one race. The white race.

They became empowered by Trump’s statement following Charlottesville last year. The President supported them. Seemed to legitimize them.

I think they realized though the President supported them, most of the people did not. The vermin disappeared back into the woodwork instead of participating in the rally.

This does not mean they will not return to raise havoc another day. They will. They are mostly young whites. Some are your neighbors, though you are not aware of their political leanings.

Be on your guard.

For the past several years, I have written and spoken re Afghanistan and its opium fields. Ninety percent of the heroin on American streets comes from the poppy seeds grown in Afghanistan.

How so if the U.S. has been engaged in a war in Afghanistan for 16 years? The poppy fields neither attacked or destroyed. Poppy farming goes on. Heroin a thriving business.

I have consistently suggested someone has to be on the take.  More than one. Too much drug money involved for it not to be so.

A recent government report indicates that as the Afghanistan war progressed, opium production increased. Even though the U.S., separate from war dollars, has spent $8.62 billion between 2002 and 2017 in an effort to eradicate the opium problem.

The attempt to eradicate an absolute failure. As the report stated: “Afghanistan remains the world’s largest opium producer, and opium poppy is the country’s largest cash crop.”

Enjoy your day!

TWO NOTEWORTHY EVENTS TONIGHT

Tuesday night always busy in Key West. Two events occur with regularity tuesday evenings. Aqua Idol and Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Aqua Idol a fundraiser. This year’s beneficiary the Waterfront Playhouse.

Aqua Idol is Lynda Frechette’s baby. Conceived, organized and directed by her. A tough job to keep going. Requires a slew of good singers willing to perform weekly. Lynda obviously knows what she is doing. Aqua is standing room only every week.

I suggest you get to Aqua by 5:30 if you wish to sit. The seats fill quickly.

The other tuesday event is my podcast. My blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. In its third year, the show’s numbers increase weekly. To the point the show has advertisers. Like GEICO Insurance and Old Navy.

Tuesday Talk is a quick moving half hour of me pontificating on world events. Listeners may not always agree. They return weekly, however.

Join me tonight at 9 my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Last night was Aqua and the Green Parrot. Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. The Green Parrot for dinner. I assume the restaurant next door/attached is now part of the Green Parrot. Whatever, I had dinner there.

Catherine joined me for the evening.

Dueling Bartenders was especially sweet. My beloved Terri White the guest performer. Together with Tom Luna and Rick Dery, the singing was over the top.

I sat with Bear. Except for barking a few times when Terri was singing, he was exceptionally good. Sitting at our able were Catherine, George, Art, and Stacey. At the bar, Liz, David, and Sheila.

Tried Antonia’s and La Trattoria for dinner. No room at the inn. Season packing the restaurants. That is why I ended at the place next door to the Green Parrot. Enjoyed ribs and wings.

Cold again! Another northeaster burying Boston and the Cape. We feel the cold this far south. Never fails to work that way.

Last night 61 again. I still without heat. You could hang meat in my bedroom. The cold will continue today. The high 68. Tonight, 63.

A major announcement just came over TV. Secretary of State Tillerson gone. Trump let him go and replaced him with CIA Director Pompeo.

Tillerson was ineffective. Not a diplomat. An oil man. Not qualified for the position as many Trump Cabinet persons. Tillerson’s main qualification when appointed was that he was a close friend of Putin. He now joins the some dozen other key Trump appointees who have gone along the wayside.

One of Tillerson’s problems is he spoke too candidly for Trump. They were not always on the same page.

Pompeo has all kinds of credentials. Whether the man for job remains to be seen. Pompeo a West Point graduate, Harvard Law graduate and most recently Director of the CIA.

An observation. Perhaps improper. I am not sure. Trump avoids confrontation in certain instances. Like when firing a main support person. Both Comey and Tillerson were out of town when they got the ax. TV is reporting Tillerson first heard of his firing via Twitter.

What happened to our political leaders being Americans first and politicians second? It has been obvious from day one that the House Intelligence Committee in its review of the Trump/Russia/collusion issue has been pro Trump and anti truth. The Committee’s Republican majority concluded yesterday there was no evidence of collusion between Trump’s Presidential campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Recognizing however that Russia had interfered with the election.

Fortunately, the Mueller investigation remains ongoing. The truth will out.

Trump has appointed a Commission on School Safety. A typical move. He has a pattern of passing the buck rather than making the hard decisions. Commissions and Committees have always been a Washington way of avoiding decision making re sensitive issues.

Trump has appointed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as Chairman. Her intellectual level is on a par with Sarah Palin’s. DeVos was interviewed a few days ago on national television. Her responses to questions shocking. Evidenced a definite lack of mental acumen.

Woe the safety issue and woe the education of American children.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BLAMES THE JEWS

Anti-Semitism is on the rise. Has been for roughly a decade. Slowly creeping up each year. Evident in the United States and Europe, especially.

The NRA has finally met its match. In the children. The NRA aware their rising cry will be difficult to stifle. From the mouths of babes come truth. So another troublemaker must be identified. One that can be blamed for destroying American freedoms. As perceived by the NRA.

The Jews! Who else? The all time international scapegoat.

It is claimed gun rights are being destroyed by Jewish elite. The mega rich. Further, social engineering in general  by Jews will destroy other American freedoms.

The anti-Semitic trend part of La Pierre’s raving speech at CPAC this week.

Beware! Don’t buy it!

Staying with guns for a moment, there are 265 million privately owned firearms in the United States. One hundred thirty three million are owned by 3 percent of Americans. The 3 percent are referred to as super owners.

Bottom line, 3 percent of Americans own more than half the country’s guns. Averages out to 17 guns per super owner.

Another pleasant evening last night. Spent with Donna and Terri. Bear too for a part of the evening.

We were going out to dinner. Cocktails first at Donna and Terri’s.

I bought Bear another small toy to chew and chase. A soft lamb chop. He loved it!

I have not seen Bear in a week. He has grown. Appears to have doubled in size. Could it be? Only 11 weeks old.

Dinner was at La Trattoria. Bear left home alone. First time alone. Don’t know yet how he handled it.

Food and companionship outstanding. Always a good time with my lesbian wives.

I continue to observe the tourist crowd. Many, though less than previous years. I expect it will continue till season is over.

Bicyclists a never ending problem. So many on the streets. Even in the dark of night. Most without lights, of course. I cannot understand the infrequency of accidents. Don’t tell me because bicycle operators are safe drivers. Come drive our streets and find out how wrong you would be.

Trump continues to tell us things are good economically. Actually, great! I disagree. No question better. However not all Americans experiencing the benefits of a terrific economy.

Employees of American Eagle an example.

American Eagle is a subsidiary of American Airlines. American Airlines last year had a profit of $1.9 billion. Eagle and its parent American have been negotiating a new contract for almost two years to no avail.

Following are trials and tribulations some American Eagle employees claim they are suffering: Need for food stamps, other public assistance to make ends meet, purchase out of date food, borrow from retirement accounts, sell blood. Some being paid $9.48 per hour.

The white man was as bad as the Indians. Perhaps worse.

Lets begin with scalping. I am not sure who started it. However as far back as 1621, things were not as kumbaya as one might believe. Even the first Thanksgiving had the Pilgrims and Indians looking over the table at each other with animosity.

Days before, Miles Standish led a band of Pilgrims on a special quest. They wanted the head of a local Indian chief. They could not find him. However they did locate an Indian by the name of Wituwamat. They beheaded him and placed his head on a wooden spike at their encampment. Wituwamat’s head so remained for many years.

On Thanksgiving Day 1626, the colonists were after Indian Chief Metacomet. They captured him, decapitated him, quartered his body and left it to the wolves. His head was placed on a pole in Plymouth.

A few years later, 700 Pequot Indians were killed, burned alive, and beheaded. Some of the colonists used the heads as bowling balls. They bowled down the various streets of a nearby town.

Moving ahead to 1725, whites scalping Indians became a big thing. Indian scalps were worth money.

In February, a posse of New Hampshire volunteers attacked an Indian encampment. They took 10 scalps. The first significant appropriation of Indian scalps by European colonists.

The posse sold the scalps to Boston authorities who paid them 100 pounds per scalp.

Scalping and decapitation by the white man in early pre-United States days. Would you believe?

I had computer problems while writing today’s blog. My key board froze. Took a couple of hours to find the problem and fix it. In the meantime, some of you were able to receive a shortened entry together with grammatical errors and misspellings. Sorry. Hope you returned to this final version.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

My Yesterday…..Research, Berlin’s, and Bria Ansara

 

Enjoyed my yesterday.

Researched all day. Love digging for information.

Berlin’s last night for dinner. A full house. Got the last seat at the bar. The meal excellent as was Bria Ansara. Her singing touching everyone.

A big night ahead.

Syracuse/Duke at 6:15 on ESPN. Duke ranked #5 nationally. Going to be a tough game. Syracuse needs the win. We shall see.

Dinner with Donna and Terri tonight at La Trattoria. Cocktails first at their home. I have to see Bear. It has been a week.

Key West the home of writers. One, Tennessee Williams. Lived here more than 40 years. Williams died this day in 1983.

Williams’ The Glass Menagerie played yesterday afternoon on Turner Classics. I captured a small portion of its end. I have seen The Glass Menagerie at least twenty times. Amazed each time by the power of Williams’ words.

Spent a bit of time watching CPAC. Second day in a row. The first day, wild screaming Wayne La Pierre. Barbarians at the gate.

Yesterday, the master of exuberance Donald Trump. He was before his people. That 37 percent.

CPAC an ultra conservative group. Not the conservatives of yesteryear, however. Neither Barry Goldwaters nor Ronald Reagans.

What I saw were extremists. Too many Lock Her Up chants. Encouraged of course by Trump. He beat Hillary. I do not understand why he cannot let the dead rest.

The audience reminded me of street thugs. A tough appearing and tough acting crowd. The absolute fringe of the Republican Party.

Their apparent rowdiness meshed well with the Trump we have come to know.

CPAC had difficulty attracting speakers. Prominent politicians avoided the show. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, for example. The only Senator was Texas’ Cruz.

I cannot understand Cruz. During the primary, Trump accused Cruz’s father of being involved somehow in the Kennedy assassination. Cruz now sucking up to the man.

Prominent non office holders also absent. None!

The speakers consisted of Trump and members of his White House staff. Plus FOX News.

Even the mighty fall. Inner corrosion eats away.

The Douglas High School shooting the beginning of the end of the NRA as a power in American politics. The wrong group attacked. High school children. They have no fear. They are like a snowball that starts rolling down a hill. Small at the beginning. Gets larger with every turn. The students with every day.

Corporate America is turning its back on the NRA. Several have severed ties with the NRA. Ties involving co-branding partnerships, discounts to NRA members credit cards, etc. An economic blow to the NRA. Swiftly like a saber decapitating a person.

Corporations involved include Hertz, Avis, Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, Symantec, Enterprise, Chubb Limited, MetLife, Delta, and American Airlines.

Justice comes in many forms. One the soon to be filed bankruptcy application by Remington. In trouble financially. The filing will be for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company may survive. Whether it will be the giant it has been for two centuries remains to be seen.

Remington began in 1816 in Ilion, NY. Fifteen miles from my hometown of Utica. Remington remains the major employer to this day in Ilion. It also has other plants throughout the United States.

Remington is America’s oldest gun maker. A definite part of  American gun culture. The name Remington appears on frontier flintlocks as well as US Army .45’s.

I learned something in the last 24 hours while researching this topic.

Guns sales rose dramatically in the 10 years prior to Trump’s election. Since his election, sales have fallen dramatically. The reason is gun sales rise when politicos are elected who want to pursue more stringent gun control laws. People run to stack up on guns.

Trump supports the NRA, its members, etc. Gun laws supposedly not going anywhere under him. So gun lovers fear not and buy fewer guns.

Such has been Trump’s first year. Till now. I am assuming gun sales have shot upward based on post Douglas talk.

The down trend in gun sales is one reason Remington got into financial trouble. The other is that it was a Remington manufactured AR-15 that killed the first and second graders at Sandy Hook. Remington has borne the burden of defending against lawsuits arising out of the Sandy Hook incidence, though Remington itself was not found liable. Lawyers cost money. Especially in big money cases.

A side note of interest. Remington built a new plant in Huntsville, Alabama in 2014 to manufacture AR-15s. Prior to 2014, they were manufactured at the Ilion plant.

A soap box morning. Required sometimes. Things have to be said. People made aware.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SHITHOLE COUNTRIES

“Shithole countries…..”

Racist. Bigoted.

Nordic. Aryan.

Authoritarian today. Totalitarian tomorrow.

Democracy being tested as never before.

Finally! Got new eyeglasses yesterday. Took 2 months and 3 prescriptions. I can see! Everything distinct and visible. Street signs, buildings, etc. Colors vibrant. Like when I had cataracts removed 35 years ago.

Dinner last night at La Trattoria with Jean Thornton. My  Birmingham hostess following my escape from Irma. Husband Joe was supposed to join us. He has pneumonia. Very tired.

They return to Birmingham today. Will return 3 months from now. Two months at home in Birmingham followed by a one month trip to some part of Europe.

Following dinner, Jean went to Vino’s and I to the Chart Room.

I was to meet Kentucky David at the Chart Room. He was waiting when I arrived.

Met David here a few years ago. He and his wife are snowbirds. They own a second home in Bahama Village. Kentucky home. David a die hard Kentucky fan.

The blog brought us together. Occasionally, we watch a game together at Jack Flatts. On an evening when both Syracuse and Kentucky are playing. Though not each other. We sit at the bar next to each other. Two TV sets in front of us. One with the Syracuse game, the other Kentucky.

David has taken to writing. A mystery. He told me about it.

Takes place in Key West. His fact pattern amazing. David has a vivid imagination. Characters and events I could never come up with.

My publisher advised me once to write a mystery or love story. They sell the best, he said.

I could not get into the mystery. I lacked the necessary imagination. Tried a love story. Publisher said lots of sex. Thought the writing would be a snap. No, again. I found it difficult to put on paper that which I might have experienced.

Met Laura and Jamey. From Iowa City, Iowa. Told them how much I admired Iowans. Shared with them the loving story of my Iowa friends Cindy and Tom.

Jamey sells financial products. Laura a stay at home Mom. Three children.

Laura and Jamey were married at the Pier House 9 years ago. They have returned to Key West once a year since.

Walmart announced yesterday that the new tax law made it possible to do something for its employees. The starting hourly wage was raised to $11 an hour, employee benefits expanded, and bonuses up to $1,000 depending on length of employment.

Sounded good.

Walmart failed to announce plans to close  60 or 63 Sam’s Clubs. Affects 11,000 employees. They received notices of the closings via FedEx during the day. Some went to work before receiving the notice to find locked doors and signs indicating the closing.

Give with one hand and take back with the other. Hero and heel at the same time.

I am old enough to remember Amos ‘n’ Andy. A popular radio show when I was a kid. A comedy.

Two fast talking black men from the Deep South who moved to Chicago to seek their fortunes. However, the black men were not black. They were white men imitating black men. Freeman Gosden and Charles Carrell.

Amos ‘n’ Andy became the most popular radio program in American history. Ran 22 years.

I mention Amos ‘n’ Andy because I recall frequently listening to it. And because on this day in 1926, the show first aired.

Broadway Joe Namath. Alabama football star. New York Jets star quarterback.

Super Bowl III time. Pro football divided into two leagues. The NFL and AFL. The AFL relatively new. The NFL tried and true. Considered superior.

Two teams met this date in 1969 in Super Bowl III. New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts. The money on the Colts.

Three days before the game, Namath announced to the world the Jets would win. In fact, he guaranteed it.

The Jets did win. 17-6. One of the greatest upsets in American sports history.

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!

 

EMPOWERED

Last night was Donna and Terri evening. My guests at dinner to celebrate their anniversary and Terri’s birthday.

We were going to meet at Lucy’s. A new restaurant at the far Gulf end of Grinnell. Arrived first. Spent $12 to park my car in the garage next door. Ridiculous!

Lucy’s packed. A dozen people waiting for tables. Air conditioning appeared to be out.

Telephoned Donna and said Lucy’s a no go. We decided to meet at the bar of Half Shell Raw Bar. We would decide where to eat from there.

Key West is into season. Every restaurant would be packed. I saw what had been anticipated as a great evening turning into a pain in the ass getting a table somewhere.

As I was walking past the old PT’s on Caroline, I noticed it was now called the Bite. Basically a sandwich place. Sports bar of sorts. Had heard good things about the place.

Stepped inside. Not packed. Air conditioning working. Called my lesbian wives and told them to meet me there.

We had a great time! The food good. Many locals we knew filtered in during the course of the evening.

Terri bald. The chemotherapy. Thin. Lost a lot of weight. She was bundled. Cold. Her hands freezing.

She continues with chemo into April. Then the two of them are off to Tampa. A procedure available in Tampa. They will have to remain in Tampa.

The plan is to take Terri’s stem cells and grow bone marrow from them outside her body. Following which the new bone marrow would be introduced into Terri’s body.

Amazing! Terri a trooper!

The Women’s March entered into the conversation.

Donna’s daughter Stacie is the manager of Blue Heaven. One of her daughters is Hannah. Hannah a 17 year old high school senior.

Stacie, Hannah and some of the other Blue Heaven ladies made the trip to Washington and participated in the Women’s March.

Donna said she got a call from her granddaughter Hannah during the March…..Grandma, I feel empowered!

Donna’s son Scott and his wife Kathy marched in Boston. Scott described the Boston march to his mother…..There are no words!

I have another birthday to celebrate tonight. Dee’s. She wants to go to La Trattoria Oceanside.

Tomorrow night the bocce fundraiser at the bocce courts.

I will have had three busy nights by the time I am done.

Rick Dery one of the Dueling Bartenders. His picture appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. He looks terrific!

On this day in 1943, the U.S. Army Air Force bombed Germany itself for the first time. The 8th Air Force did it. Took off from England. Fifty three bombers made Germany. Only three lost.

The bombing described as retribution. Germany deserved it. More would follow.

Former Mexican President Fox described Trump yesterday as Hitler. Many others have during the campaign and even to today.

Enjoy your day!