CHRISTMAS FEELING…..FINALLY

I’ve been wandering around not into Christmas. The Christmas feeling never arrived for me. Till last night!

Larry Smith’s Christmas show at The Studios of Key West. Outstanding! His best yet!

I have been walking around since with Christmas tunes and carols repeating in my head. Even visions of sugarplums!

I am into Christmas!

Even more so after tonight. Liz and I are attending St. Paul’s Christmas event. Another winner!

Key West is dead. Few people on the streets and in the restaurants. The week before Christmas always quiet.

Then comes Christmas evening! Key West will be jam packed! No room at the inn! Always so.

We have  een blessed with fantastic weather. Low 80s. Dry. Great!

I am into Christmas gifts today. Shopping, etc.

Enjoy your Sunday!

FRIDAY SATURDAY.

Yesterday was friday. For me, saturday.

From the time I rose, I thought it was saturday. While reading the Wall Street Journal, I noticed it had friday’s date. I could understand. The saturday edition is normally labeled Weekend Edition.

Later, while I was at Tammy’s for a manicure and pedicure, she told me she was working tomorrow. I could not understand. She never works on sunday.

Later in the afternoon, I telephoned Liz to finalize plans for sunday evening. We are attending St. Paul’s Christmas show together. I wanted her know what time I would be picking her up “tomorrow.” She said not tomorrow, sunday.

At that point it dawned on me! Today was friday, not saturday. Wow! What a screw up! Was I losing it?

To add more humor, I was planning on attending Larry’s Smith’s Christmas show saturday night at The Studios of Key West. That would have blown me out! I would have showed up friday night to be confronted by locked doors.

Do I add this to falling down all the time?

So…..Larry Smith tonight at The Studios for Christmas with Larry. 8 pm. I will be there. You should, also. Guaranteed top flight entertainment.

Getting back to Tammy, she told me she was returning to Vietnam in June for three weeks. She and her 6 and 8 year old children. Rick staying home to work the business.

A 32 hour trip.

She is going because she has not been to Vietnam in 12 years. Her children have never met their great grandparents on both sides. Her and Rick’s parents live in the U.S.

Then to the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. A couple of weeks since I had been there. No Ruby. Nor the last time. A big young Australian working her job.

I spent my “friday afternoon” reading a book about Cleopatra. What I learned!

Cleopatra was of Greek origin, not Egyptian. She was a direct descendant of Alexander the Great’s right hand man Ptolemy I. Ptolemy I became governor of Egypt.

At some point, Ptolemy I appointed himself Pharaoh. Everything continued Greek. The court spoke Greek.

Ptolemy I wanted to keep the ruling class in the family. Brothers and sisters married. Cousins, also. Had to be a lot of nuts eventually!

Cleopatra was married to her brother Ptolemy XIII before her Julius Caesar marriage.

Cleopatra was not Elizabeth Taylor. Not a beauty at all. Great at sex, however. A seductress. Note Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony.

Since I was not going to see Larry Smith, I took the night off. Stayed home and watched old movies on Turner Classics. It was Myrna Loy night. A 1930s and 1940s star. I did not realize her remarkable talent till I watched her play several different roles last night.

Some followers of this blog reside in Papua, New Guinea. Almost since day one. Like 10 years now.

Papua suffered an 8.0 earthqualke yesterday. A tsunami warning has been issued. I hope God holds Papua in his hands.

Scary.

China can’t wait till Trump takes office to test the U.S. Yesterday, the Chinese stole a U.S. Navy submarine drone from South Sea waters in full view of a U.S. Navy vessel. Election hacking with Russia on the front burner. No peace for Obama in his final days.

Big day travel wise for Key West yesterday. United’s first direct non-stop flight from Newark to Key West. In January, United is going to provide a similar flight from Chicago.

I have been flying to Key West 26 years. I can recall when it was a 3-4 plane trip from Syracuse. Twelve to 14 hours. Assuming no delays. Delays guaranteed during the winter.

On this day in 1903, Orville Wright flew a power driven plane for the first time. Two thousand three was the 100th anniversary of the flight. Wright’s plane was reconstructed. Planned to be flown where Wright had flown 100 years earlier.

The plane did not fly.

Syracuse/Georgetown today at noon. On ESPN. I will be able to watch. Syracuse an 8 point favorite.

Syracuse and Georgetown were bitter enemies starting when the Big East League was formed in 1979. Always great hard fought games!

Big John Thompson Georgetown’s coach. Jim Boeheim Syracuse’s. They disliked each other from day one. Thompson especially hated Boeheim. Hated the correct word.

After Thompson retired and Boeheim was having league problems, the two made up. Actually initiated by Thompson. He came over at a game and hugged Boeheim. Just like that, the animosity of 30 plus years was gone.

Enjoy your day! Yes, I know it is saturday!

LARRY SMITH EXTRAVAGANZA

It is 5 am. I am up early getting today’s blog out. I have a 10:30 appointment.

Tonight, another Larry Smith extravaganza. Christmas with Larry. 8 pm. The Studios of Key West. Larry’s Christmas shows are always the best!

A long night at the Chary Room. David and John.

I got into South Roosevelt Boulevard and the stupidity of the whole thing. David countered with leave the City and its planners alone. Look at Caroline Street.

David rides a bicycle. He does not have a car. I drive a car. He thought the City would do a fine job with South Roosevelt Boulevard, also. Intimating a resolution favoring bicyclists.

I did take a look at Caroline  on the way home. Blocks of Caroline Street no longer have parking spots on one side. To make room for a bicycle path. All marked out. A completed project.

Where home owners and business’s park, I have no idea. Another example of idiocy having impacted the City Commission.

I do not recall reading anything recently re Caroline and a several block long bicycle path.

I did some digging. This bicycle path/Caroline Street issue had its beginnings in 2009. A public hearing. Most opposed. Peter Batty very vocal against. Mayor Cates and Commissioner Jimmy Weekly in support.

Mark Redding at the Chart Room. Met him for the first time. He is a designer and archaeologist. Been in Key West six months. Presently preparing a design plan for a portion of Mangoes.

Mark was involved a few years ago with the Richard Cornell Cemetery. I suspect in New York City. Richard Cornell the brother of the founder of Cornell University.

Mark has done work for the New York Landlord Preservation Committee and has been financed by its Foundation.

Mark told me he is talking with Guy deBoer about possibly doing some work for KONK Life. Mark is an investigative reporter, also. He is interested in writing a series on the Bahama Village drug problem.

I have dragon flies. Hundreds in my kitchen two nights ago when I returned home. Attracted from the outside by the kitchen lights which I leave on when out in the evening.

Got Orkin in. The dragon flies are living in my pool. Fortunately, neither I nor anyone else have used the pool in ages.

The solution a big time shot of chlorine. Being done today.

Googled dragon flies. Good for humans! Harmless as regards humans. The enemy big time of mosquitoes.

A brief note re artificial intelligence. Uber continues to be a step ahead in what it does. Driverless cars are being tested at the moment in San Francisco.

Aleppo. Sad. A shame.

Obama is criticized because he will not get the U.S. involved in the Syrian quagmire. Many countries involved. Some changing sides occasionally. Deaths in the hundreds of thousands.

I commend Obama. He knew it would be a long battle with little being resolved. Why get our boys and girls involved? Thousands of our military would already be dead had Obama not remained adamant.

Syria is worse than Vietnam ever was. And the people of the U.S. were almost unanimously against the war.

Give credit where credit due. I support Obama’s decision.

Enjoy your day!

TWEAK NOTHING

Redoing South Roosevelt Boulevard on the stove top. Things heating up.

The Florida Department of Transportation wants to redo the Boulevard. One item, reducing from 4 lanes to 2. Ridiculous!

I fear the City Commission might support the move.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

A public meeting was held last night at Sheraton Suites. Called a Workshop. To hear from the citizens what they thought. Standing room only. Except for state and some local officials, most attending were opposed to doing anything. Bullshit was up front. The state and local officials saying the intent was to merely tweak the Boulevard.

The attempt is based on a 1999 study. Updated 2014 to pay more attention to bicycle riders.

The age of the study bugs me. Seventeen years to get to this the last step. A very unpopular one. An attempt to foist an unneeded plan upon us.

Another idiotic consideration is that a center turn lane is required. No one is going to turn towards the ocean side. Nothing there but sand and water. The other side does not have enough construction to warrant a center lane. The entire Boulevard does not have sufficient traffic to require one.

My fear is that eventually the 4-2 lanes thing is going to become a fait accompli. Nothing like a public servant with allocated monies to see that the dollars are spent. Regardless of need.

Did my podcast show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Enjoyed doing it. Russian hacking and robots/artificial intelligence two items discussed.

Rex Tillerson is Trump’s designee to be Secretary of State. I got into him a bit. Not as to his qualifications. As to his hypocrisy. Texas hypocrisy.

Tillerson is CEO of ExxonMobile. World’s biggest oil and gas company. Fifteenth richest corporation in the world.

Fracking produces gas. ExxonMobile is the largest natural gas producer in the U.S. Tillerson obviously a major supporter of fracking.

Tillerson and wife live in Bartonville, Texas. On an 83 acre horse farm worth $5 million.

Tillerson is opposed to anything having to do with fracking near his home.

A fracking company wanted to erect a 160 foot water tower near the properties of Tillerson and his affluent neighbors. Tillerson and his wife joined in bringing a lawsuit to stop construction of the water tower around February 2014. Prior thereto, Tillerson appeared at a public hearing and said the water tower would ruin the view from his outdoor patio.

When the media picked up that Tillerson and his wife were involved in an anti-fracking lawsuit, the news spread. Two months later in April 2014, Tillerson and his wife withdrew from the lawsuit.

Tillerson’s position interesting. Fracking ok anywhere, except near his home.

Self-serving and hypocritical.

Lighted Boat Parade tonight. Finally. High winds cancelled the parade saturday night.

Christmas and Larry Smith go hand in hand. Every Yuletide Season, Larry does a Christmas show. This year saturday night at The Studios of Key West. 8pm. Called Christmas with Larry. A jazz Christmas show.

I have not missed one of Larry’s Christmas shows for I don’t recall how many years. That long. I will be there. You should. The show is worth seeing.

Today, a sad one in the history of the United States.  Several years ago, 20 first graders and 6 school employees were shot to death by a gun wielding nut at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.

If anything should have changed attitudes re gun control, the 20 little ones killed should have. For shame! It did not and has not.

We are a screwed up country.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

LEPROSY

There is good and bad to everything. Many times the bad is hidden/forgotten. Especially in the instance where the something bad has turned with the passage of time into a shining gem.

It is the story of leprosy and Key West. One I only learned this past week.

Diana Millikan is a snowbird. Interested in history. Digs every day into Key West’s background. She brought the leprosy part to my attention. I merely read what she provided.

There was a concern on her part that perhaps nothing should be written re the subject. A negative report. I initially agreed. Then decided that what was was. Let it all out.

The Biblical plague of all time is leprosy. Monroe County, and especially Key West, had a large number of leprosy victims residing here. It was another time, another century.

Once as many as 100. One of the largest numbers in the United States. None of the victims caught the dread disease here. It was brought from the outside into the Keys.

Leprosy is not contagious. One human to another. Don’t laugh. Leprosy is spread by armadillos. I do not recall armadillos inhabiting this area.

Today, leprosy is treatable. Persons affected are no longer isolated. Since 1942, a drug called Putome is available to cure leprosy.

The problem still exists. About ten cases a year in the United States. I do not know when the last case was reported in the Key West area. Note however that two Key West doctors list in their areas of expertise leprosy.

When leprosy was rampant, U.S. residents were shipped off to Carville, Louisiana. That is where they were isolated, lived. Five thousand patients over the years. The leprosy facility was closed by the government in 1999. No new business.

However, ten elderly residents remain. They never left. They have lived there their whole lives. They were born in Carville.

James Carville comes into play. James of Democratic political fame. His great grandfather was Postmaster of the Carville area for years. Carville, Louisiana is named after him.

I received sad information from Lynda Frechette this morning. Judy Wood is dead. The exuberant charming Tavern ‘n Town bartender. I will provide more information as received.

My intent last night was to hear Terri White sing at La Te Da at a Fantasy Fest King Fundraiser for Christopher. Then to The Little Room Jazz Club to attend Larry Smith’s birthday celebration.

Made neither. For some reason, I became extremely exhausted in the afternoon. The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent in bed.

Syracuse/Virginia Tech saturday. Virginia Tech a 17 point favorite.

I wish the football season would end!

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori at noon. Then lunch at Jay’s new Cuzzy Bubbaz. It opened two days ago.

Enjoy your day!

EDWARD KNIGHT

Key West lost another of its stars yesterday at age 99. Edward Knight.

A handful of men are responsible for the Key West of today. Knight one of them. He was a community pillar, a visionary and philanthropist. A realtor and developer.

Key West recently recognized his contributions by renaming the White Street Pier to the Edward B. Knight Pier.

He will be missed.

The weather has been everything the past week. The media suggesting a storm. People getting a bit nervous. Turned out to be nothing.

Yesterday, 99L was to hit. Merely a tropical wave. Rain and strong winds. Never happened. Yesterday was one of the loveliest days of the year. Shiny. brightly so. A bit humid. A slight breeze. Water moving fast, however.

This morning a bit darker. Has rained a bit already. Most recent weathercast says 80 percent chance of rain today. Yesterday’s rain in all likelihood.

I stepped out onto my deck. I was hit with a distinct smell of rotten fish. First time at my location.

The weather report says there is a tropical depression forming 60 miles to the south. Will be responsible for rain and wind wednesday.

All purchased for the storm has a long shelf life. I look forward at different times to meals of crackers and peanut butter and jam. Other times, to crackers and sardines.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I was up at 5 yesterday morning researching this week’s KONK Life column. Wrote it yesterday afternoon. New Face In Price Gouging And Political Influence. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, EpiPen, CEO Heather Bresch, and political influence. An example of Big Pharma machinations.

KONK Life hits the stands wednesday.

Baby was vaccinated today. What was a vaccination in 1855? Was it for the baby’s fever or something else?

Tonight at 5:30, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Love the singing!

Afterwards at 8:30, Larry Smith at the Little Room Jazz Club.

An evening of great music.

Enjoy your day!

ANDREW ON ITS WAY

It was August 22, 1992. Hurricane Andrew blowing over the Bahamas as a #4. Two days later, it would be over South Florida. Florida City, Homestead and Kendall. Still a #4. some say a #5. Winds reported at 140 miles per hour.

Ninety percent of the communities were destroyed. A U.S. Air Base wiped out.

On my way to Key West three weeks later, drove through Homestead. I had never seen devastation like this. As far as the eye could see in any direction, not a building left standing. Occasionally, one wall.

The scene reminded me of Berlin at the end of World War II.

Hurricanes are part of life in the Keys. I have experienced several. More will come. May we never experience one as bad as Andrew.

Yesterday was column writing time. Every Sunday. Took the afternoon. Researching done the day before.

Title: Teach To The Test Fails. Bush 2’s No child Left Behind Act causing significant problems. Questionable if anything positive resulted therefrom. Examples of the down side will shock you.

The column publishes wednesday.

Last night at the Chart Room was the most valuable I have ever experienced. I learned a lot.

Met Devin. A farmer from Illinois. He owns two properties in Key West. An upscale condominium and a rental property.

Devin and his brother own and operate the farm. Their father before them. Before their father, their grandfather.

I got into Monsanto with him. I have always been under the impression that it was difficult to survive with Monsanto in the picture. He showed me at length how wrong I was. He is happy operating with Monsanto involved.

One of Devin’s crops is soybeans. Soybeans and other things grown find their way to the Far East for ultimate sale.

I live and learn. Forget sometimes there are two sides to a story.

Larry Smith tonight at the Little Room Jazz Club.

The Key West City Commission is seriously considering acquiring the old electric property in Bahama village. Whether to do so is on the ballot for a recommendation vote in November.

Three buildings. Abandoned for 50 years. There are environmental problems. Some resolved, others not. The nots generally not known nor discovered at this time.

Keys Energy will give the property to Key west for nothing. A kicker. Key West has to agree to relieve Keys Energy from any future environmental cleanup. Present numbers set the cleanup of problems known at around $2 million on the high side.

The property is adjacent to Truman Waterfront.

Why Key West is even going to the trouble of a referendum, I do not understand. The building and land are contaminated. As soon as remodeling work begins, further environmental problems will be discovered. Under federal law, the City as owner at the time of cleanup will be responsible. Guaranteed there will be additional environmental problems and they will be in the mullions. It’s the nature of the beast. A former electric company.

The contamination underground could run to the Truman waterfront property.

Nothing for nothing is the saying. The City will be accepting a pig in the poke if it takes title. Beware of those bearing gifts. All that glitters is not gold.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has provided a letter saying no further cleanup required. The City should not buy it. Once a new problem is discovered, cleanup becomes the order of the day.

Only in Key West. A Sheriff’s deputy who works as a correction officer at the county jail has been arrested.

An inmate has been incarcerated since 2013 on cocaine related charges. The deputy offered to help him escape for $400,000. The deal was made. $150,000 to be paid up front. The balance when the guy was out of jail.

The inmate and his lawyer told the authorities. The deputy was set up. When he was paid the $150,000 in the CVS parking lot in Big Pine, he was arrested. Undercover police officers paid him the money.

Enjoy the day!

 

 

 

 

WOODSTOCK

Today is the birthday of an event that has become part of American history. To be remembered for all time.

Woodstock!

On this day in 1969, Woodstock opened. A three day event. A half million in attendance. A musical counterculture.

The event was three days. For many, it took an additional three days to get out of the upstate New York area where Woodstock was held.

Larry Smith and Christine Cordone were there. Singing, sloshing through the mud, hungry, dirty, etc.

The half million attendees were known as hippies. Anti everything. Trying to change the face of America. Succeeded in many ways.

Larry is still playing and singing as is Christine. Christine is a school teacher by day. Also has developed into one of Key West’s premier water color artists.

Larry entertains tonight at The Little Room Jazz Club. Take his performance in. Recall as he plays that this is a man who played and sang at Woodstock. He is a part of the history. Fifty years ago.

I spent yesterday afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column. Mommy, I’m Hungry. Starvation today in Venezuela.

I wrote the column last sunday, also. Lost it before I could send it out. It is somewhere in never never land. Redoing it this week provided the opportunity to reorganize the article. Not necessary. Did it for the hell of it. I like it better than last week’s. The content the same. the structure different.

A most interesting time at the Chart Room. One other guest. A professional employee at the local hospital. He provided insight. Big time. I learned many interesting things.

All he wants is for the hospital to reorganize so better care is afforded th patients. He conceded it was not the best. Everything should be on the table. From billing to staff attitude.

Will it happen? He was doubtful. Too many different forces at work. Each with their own ax to grind. Some seeking personal gain.

Then to Publix. There would have been no breakfast this morning had I not gone.

I was home by 9. CNN had advertised a sociopath show all week. A subject I am deeply interested in. The show was not run. Another in its place.

Tomorrow night, the Key West City Commission meets. On the table is Truman Waterfront Park. Specifically, Truman Harbor.

The Park has been in the development stage for 15 years. I think it is time something is done.

The Harbor problem is relatively new. Brought up by new City Commissioner Payne. Kaufman is another new Commissioner who comes up with impractical ideas

Payne is a retired Judge. Sounds like a cranky old Judge. Leave the Harbor issue alone. It is 15 years and still nothing done. Hiring a specialized law firm to study and if feasible sue will result in nothing but a waster of money. Will add more years of delay onto the already 15 years of nothing done. Move ahead as the plan is presently formulated.b

Kaufman, you are trying to do too many things. Take a step back. Pause for a moment. Prioritize. Be practical.

To the Commission as a whole, you think you are performing wonders. You are not. You think the community is behind you. They are not.

Here I am criticizing the City Commission. I would also be critical of the Wyoming State Legislature.

Wind power is a growing business in Wyoming. Or, was. Four years ago, Wyoming decided to tax the wind used. $1 per megawatt.

Tax wind?

The reason was not revenue. The fossil fuel industry was against wind power. They influenced the Legislature to pass the wind tax to discourage wind power development. The lobbyists succeeded. Only $15 million has been collected in four years.

No other State has opted to tax the wind used in wind power industries.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE SUN ROSE

The sun rose this morning. As it does every morning in one fashion or another. Today, a bright orange ball.

I  went outside to watch. Always beautiful, always uplifting. The beginning of a new day.

Yesterday, a laid back one for me. Other than an hour in the sun on the deck, I was inside. Researched tonight’s blog talk radio show. Watched TV in the evening.

Topics galore for my show this evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Without question, the Orlando story. A must. I have personal thoughts. as many do. I will share them this evening.

Having contrary thoughts not a bad thing. People not all the same. The problem is many in this country forget there are always two sides to a story, to a belief. Sometimes several.

the key is to listen. Respect. Think.

The show will also discuss California’s failure to count 2.5 million votes in the recent primary. Then the outing of another Secret Service failure. An agent e-mailing from the White House obscene material (his penis pic) to teenage girls, soliciting some for sex, etc.

How do these guys become Secret Service agents?

People can stand up for their rights and win. The tale of a Pennsylvania community that  successfully fought Nestle’s attempt to extricate 200,000 gallons of water a day from their township. To sell in supermarkets as Deer Park bottled water.

A few words re my KONK Life column this week: The Rape of Social Security.

Plus more.

The show is at 9 my time. A half hour of fast moving opinionated material. Many times revealing. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Debra and Patrick are back in town. Have been for a few weeks.

Debra and Patrick very entertaining. Debra a fine voice. I have been privileged to hear her sing for more than 20 years. Generally, at La Te Da. This year, she and Patrick appeared elsewhere than in Key west. They have returned for a few weeks.

Debra and Patrick will appear friday and saturday nights at the Little Room Jazz Club.

One of Key West’s premier entertainers Larry Smith has been appearing monday nights at the Little Room Jazz Club for a year. Don’t miss him!

Pope Francis. A man of wisdom. He sees where others refuse to look. Sunday he blasted a world in which war is fed but the hungry are not. His words.

Enjoy your day!

ANOTHER BOCCE PARTY

Bocce parties are like bowling banquets. Only less formal and more fun.

Last night was our small five team competitive group’s get together. Always an enjoyable evening.

The thought occurred last night that I have known many at the party for years. Some as many as 15 years. We are the same kids today that we were back then. As far as bocce is concerned, none of us grew up. Perpetual youth.

Awards were given. Larry Smith’s team came in first. Clare got the best cheerleader/most improved award. Don the screw up award for a shot that lost our team first place in the 5 team group and #2 in the thursday night league.

David played his part last night. Excellent as usual.

I sat with Tom, Nicky, Dan, Betty, Jennifer and Larry Smith most of the evening. Tom and Nicky and Dan and Betty return home in a few days. Not to return till october.

Stopped at Lori’s for a haircut at noon. My appointment was for yesterday. The girl put it in the book for next thursday. I try again today.

The foul up was no problem. The Cuban Coffee Queen is around the corner. I stopped in for lunch.

A doctor’s appointment at 1. To check the area where things were cut off my head and face two weeks ago.

My KONK Life column this week has to do with bees. Bees as used in warfare. As far back as cave man days.

The column published wednesday. This morning it appears in KONK E-Blast. It was also linked to my Key West Lou website. .keywestlou.com.

The last two weeks, Guy deBoer has run in E-Blast a pic of me taken 4 years ago in Greece. On Amorogos, my favorite place. The photo reminds me of how relaxed and laid back I was when there.

Back to younger days? A recent study indicates pot smoking today is highest in the over 55 group. The study contained a picture of grandma lighting up.

Enjoy your day!