USE IT OR LOSE IT

Use it or lose it applies in various circumstances. The one referenced today involves saying what you want and having it read by thousands of persons.

I refer specifically to the Citizens’ Voice portion of the Key West Citizen. Page 2, left hand column. There every day. I would assume one of the most popular sections of the paper.

The Citizens’ Voice allows persons to express themselves/vent freely on any issue.

The newspaper prints comments received. Even in those instances where the paper’s policy might disagree.

There was no Citizens’ Voice in this morning’s edition. Instead the Key West Citizen advised there were not enough comments to run in today’s newspaper. Further advising that “hopefully” the section could resume being printed in the Weekend Edition.

I know very few Key West residents who do not have an opinion on something. Complaining commonplace in the Keys. Get back on your soap boxes and let the world know what you think!

Participate in the Citizens’ Voice.

Use it or lose it.

The turtles are hatching. Babies waddling to the ocean. An exciting yearly event.

Not without danger, however.

Take Smathers Beach for example. Many turtle nests. The babies hatch generally at night. Their immediate goal the ocean. They are attracted to the ocean by the light of the moon. They travel towards the moonlight eventually finding their way to water.

A problem arose several years ago at Smathers Beach. On the other side of the road from the beach are condominiums and hotels. The turtles were being confused by the lights of the buildings. They were more confused by the street lights. Assumed it was moonlight. Headed towards the lights. Many were being run over by cars as they crossed the highway.

Key West did the right thing. It always does for its friends from the sea. They ordered the street lights on South Roosevelt Boulevard to be turned off at night during the hatching season. That alone significantly helped the situation. Baby turtle deaths reduced to almost nothing.

There is a Key West Sea Turtle Club. I believe recently formed. They have been out this hatching season marking nests and otherwise being concerned for the safety of the baby turtles.

Big party tonight! Celebration of what would have been Captain Tony’s 102nd birthday. Captain Tony’s at 8 o’clock. Going to be a blast!

It is almost a year since Irma hit. The havoc wrought still being experienced. This morning’s Key West Citizen in a major front page article re the need for affordable housing mentioned that 4,000 homes in the Keys were destroyed by Irma.

Many still without proper accommodations. The housing need existed before Irma. However with Irma, it has become significantly more pronounced.

The Keys need affordable housing!

One admonition. Make sure it is “affordable.”

My yesterday began with an 11:30 haircut appointment with Lori. Seventeen years she has been cutting my hair.

I had a difficult time getting to her place of business on the corner of White and Virginia. There had been an accident 15 minutes before. One of the vehicles plowed into the building where Lori’s salon is.

Lori said the building shook.

Then to Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down for lunch. The Sandy’s Federal court dispute has been resolved. The details of the resolution not public. Why, I do not know.

The Chart Room last night. A locals’ evening. Steve and Cindy, Sheila, David, Jean Thornton,  and Cori Convertino. A good time was had by all.

I was hungry. Decided on Blue Macaw. Love the place! Food and drinks cheap. Atmosphere terrific. People friendly. And they have parking!

Did wings. Could only enjoy 6 of the 9 presented. I was easily full. My long term diet responsible. I eat significantly less now.

I was up to 257 pounds. My doctors got on my ass. Lose weight! I did and I didn’t. Cut back on eating and drinking for a few months. Dropped to 245. Then my fourth heart catheterization. The Miami doctor looked at me sternly and said lose 40-50 pounds more.

I did not like his attitude. But, I listened.

I began serious dieting November 27th last year. Today, I am 202 pounds. Still going! Intend to break 200.

Amazing!

Blue Macaw’s Happy Hour menu has helped in recent weeks. I order wings or ribs. That’s dinner!

Met Tim at the Blue Macaw bar. Tim is the plumber at Ocean Key House. Nice guy. We talked of many things.

The lights went out while at the bar. Everything black. Someone yelled out the power was down from Marathon to Key West.

A power failure has its disadvantages. The bartenders cannot run credit cards. Pay by cash or wait til the power comes back on. Fortunately, I had cash. A rarity for me these days. I have gotten to using my credit card for everything. Even small purchases.

Hypocrisy an eye opener. Gives us the opportunity to recognize people who fudge or speak out of both sides of their mouth.

Trump a major hypocrite.

His in-laws the most recent example. Melania’s parents.

They became U.S. citizens yesterday. Good for them! Congratulations! Happy they could join us.

The problem is how they became citizens. Trump has severely criticized persons who become citizens because they are sponsored by a family member. He refers to it as “chain migration.”

Trump wants the law repealed. Claims it is harmful to the U.S. Permits “everyone” to come in.

Melania is a naturalized citizen. She sponsored her parents.

No comment by Trump.

I would not be here today if immigration laws were not loose and chain migration in some form had not existed back when.

My grandfather came over around the turn of the century (1900). I do not know how. He was 12 and never knew his parents. He was a bastard.

My grandmother came over a couple of years later. I do not know under what authority. My grandparents did not meet nor know of each other till they were in the U.S.

My mother came over via a chain migration situation. She was born in Italy. Her father came a few years earlier. She, her mother and brothers, followed as his dependents.

Immigration obviously simpler back then.

I often think of my ancestry and smile. Running through my  mind each time is the thought that had my people not immigrated, I would probably ended up a sheep herder in a field outside Naples.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

FANTASY FEST NUDITY

BOB’s observations, thoughts and opinions re Fantasy Fest nudity.

Every year at Fantasy Fest time, a group of religious and/or concerned citizens form a Christian Coalition or some other group to  protest what they perceive as a sinful event.

Nudity the primary concern. Personal parts being exhibited. At the time Bob Smith wrote BOB in the mid 1990’s, body painting to cover breasts and genitals had become popular. Total nudity was illegal. Flamingos, palm trees, and flowers became works of art. A woman’s breast the canvas.

Kiosks appeared on Duval. Body painting took place in public. Everyone could view the woman’s nude breasts being covered.

The religious/civic groups were opposed to the public display of breasts during their painting. The issue was resolved. A compromise. Body painting prohibited in public places. Body painting went indoors. Various Duval Street businesses made room for the art work to be done. Everyone made money off the paintings.

BOB considered the resolution folly. The whole issue stupid. Two interesting BOB quotes.

Bob Smith told BOB, “Man cannot live without whim alone.” BOB wrote, “I am appalled…..how we have gotten into this mess.”

Bob Smith said, “Now is the time for all good men to come and get laid in the country.”

Let me bring you up to date on the nudity situation.

Given a person an inch and he/she will take a foot. So it went.

Body painting developed. A woman’s whole body. From the hairline on her head to her toes. No clothing, no pasties. Body all one color. Breasts/nipples painted over. Even a woman’s privates. The time had not yet arrived when women were shaving their pubic hair. The painter merely painted over the pubic hair. The ladies so “covered” walked around.

The religious coalition got back into the act. Full body painting not proper. Nipples and genitalia still could be seen.

Several years of negotiating and the resolution was to cover the nipples with pasties and the female genitalia and buttocks with fully opaque clothing. A bikini bottom would suffice.

Full body painting died out. Why go through all the trouble if a pair of pasties and a small bottom resolved the situation.

The thong came into vogue. The bikini bottom gave way to the thong. A woman’s buttocks in clear view. Not legal, though remains overlooked at the present time.

Some women continue to merely have their breasts and/or chests painted with a tropical bird, etc. The art work lovely. Lasts about 5 days. Women can shower without fear of it washing off.

Give me an inch and I’ll take a foot continued to prevail, however. A few years ago, swingers discovered Fantasy Fest. They came to town and changed the adult flavor of Fantasy Fest. Advanced it to their level of adult fun. Glaring nudity. Occasions of public sex.

Interestingly, at this point the community came together in opposition to the swinger modifications to the event. Those who previously disagreed with the religious coalitions, now agreed. It was a step too far. The swinger aspect lasted only one Fantasy Fest. Everything back to normal thereafter. Whatever that may be.

Male genitalia exposure a problem. Few men do it. Some however enjoy showing off their manhood. Some cover the area with a small piece of cloth which when a step is taken that which was covered peeks out.

If I were to list present day rules, they would be no showing of genitals, no exposed female nipples, no exposed public hair, no public sex. Plus, no fun. The last sentence added by me as a joke.

My yesterday began with a haircut. Lori back from a 2 week Maine vacation. Then lunch at Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down.

My book reading is sporadic. I do so much researching on the internet, I have little time left to read. I seem to be back into reading of late.

I read 2 or 3 books at a time. Move back and forth as the mood strikes me. Two at the moment. Madeleine Albright’s Fascism and Peter Schweizer’s Secret Empires.

Spent the afternoon reading both.

The Chart Room first last night. Met a very interesting couple. Chris and Carrie from Pennsville, New Jersey. First time in Key West. Love it.

Chris is an engineer. Carrie, a nurse. They have 3 children. Nineteen, ten and four.

Chris and Carrie are unique in a certain respect. Each obtained their college degrees later than normal. Chris at 30. Carrie even later.

I enjoyed their company.

Sheila and David arrived. Not together. I have not seen them in ages.

Even Ollie showed up.

David, Ollie and I had a pleasant conversation. Flashes of wisdom make an appearance when you hear David and Ollie express themselves on a subject.

Stopped at the Blue Macaw for a bite to eat. Great Happy Hour! From 4-9. I like that it runs late. I enjoyed ribs at 8.

Ron and Paul at the other end of the bar. They bought me a drink. I was not aware till after they left and I went to pay my bill. Thank you Paul and Ron.

A very attractive woman sitting next to me at the bar. From Maine. We talked about the tariff impact on Maine’s lobster industry. Bad!

She was not aware that the lobster industry exists in the Keys also. Not as large as Maine’s. Significant, however. Spiny lobsters are a multi-million dollar business in the Keys. Largest customers China and Japan. Our lobster fishermen will be taking a hit, also.

Donna and Terri live across the street from the Blue Macaw. They love the area. Terri says it reminds her of the Village in the 1970’s. I stopped and visited my ladies for a while.

Terri was stretched out on the couch. Not feeling well. Donna tired. Worked 10 hours. Bear happy to see me.

Donna is a concierge. On the side, she makes jewelry. Has been doing it for years. She had a showing earlier in the evening. Sold some pieces.

I forgot. Never made it. The first thing she asked when I arrived: Where were you? Embarrassing.

Yesterday hot! Hot hot! Ninety five degrees. Fortunately, very little humidity.

Enjoy your day!

AN ARKANSAS FARMER’S VIEWPOINT RE TARIFF WARS

I consider the Chart Room the crossroads of the world.

Last night met an Arkansas farmer and his wife at the Chart Room. Spence and Jenni. Jenni and I had met at the Chart Room two years ago. She had a copy of Irma and Me with her which I was pleased to sign. Jenni is a librarian.

More importantly, a loyal blog fan.

First time I met Spence. A third generation farmer. The farm lies in the Arkansas delta. He farms rice and soybeans. The operation significant. His cash flow $3 million a year.

He was happy to talk with me.

The tariff wars have been in effect in one place or another for two months. Spence’s cash flow is down 50 percent for those 2 months. A big hit! Anticipated it will get worse.

Spence knows his business. He is active in farm organizations. President of the Farm Bureau.

He is confused. The tariff wars should not be happening. The simple solution is to lift the new tariffs and get back to normal. Subsidies then not required.

An informative time with Spence. Educational for me.

Trump met with a representative of the European Union yesterday in the White House. Two hours. Tariffs the issue. Rose garden press conference afterwards. Kumbaya time. Everyone happy.

Trump announced victory. Reminded me of Kim and Trump’s press conference in Singapore. Kim and Trump happy. Denuclearization agreed to, etc. No details mapped out, however. Nothing has happened re North Korea since. Kim apparently fooled the President.

The EU and the U.S. have agreed to negotiate. Nothing more. As with North Korea, no details. Both indicated the goal was no tariffs.

Lets see what happens. No tariffs is pie in the sky.

Buried in the news last week was the meeting the European Union had with China. European Union representatives went to China. Not a 2 hour conference. A 2 day one.

Trump said soybeans and natural gas were high on the agenda. Europe would be buying more U.S. natural gas. Soybeans a given.

The natural gas thing a joke. It would take several years to materialize. Natural gas is a gas. There is no pipeline under the Atlantic to ship it overseas. The natural gas would have to be liquified. Need additional factories built to do it. Then transported on tankers yet to be built. Several years involved in getting everything accomplished and ready to deliver.

My first stop yesterday was actually in the morning. A doctor visit. The thing senior citizens frequently do.

My blood work, etc. all good. Within the numbers. Scares me. I am in the best shape in 40 years. Recently lost 40 plus pounds. No longer get winded.

The Rum Bar first last night. Lauri’s first time on the job. Wanted to show my support.

Got there at 6. No Lauri. Discovered she works 9 pm-4 am.

She is going to make a big dollar. I have not been in the Rum Bar in 10 years. Small inside. Small porch outside. The place was packed. At least 15 people. I have been told it is a popular late hour place for locals.

Then I hit the Chart Room where I was fortunate to meet Jenni and Spence. Kevin and Holly there, also. Chatted with them a while.

John bartending. The best in town.

My next stop was the Blue McCaw for something to eat. Wings. Great!

As I was finishing, Donna and Terri walked in. I remained a while and chatted with them.

My today begins at noon. Haircut time. Lunch afterwards at Sandy’s Cafe.

A lot of lying going on. Involving Trump one way or another.

Trump told us at one point the ladies accusing him of sex involvement were lying. All of them. We now learn that some have been paid. Perhaps all.

A great gig for women. If we are to believe Trump, lie and get paid for it.

Trump lies a lot. Does he get paid for it?

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

KOKOMO MAN…..HEADS IN THE SAND

This blog is available on several sites. Most provide for comment. Some of the comments are vicious.

WordPress has the worst. Some days, it is World War III.

My KONK Life column this week is titled World Running Out Of Sand. Sand is a non-replaceable natural resource. We should be concerned. We are not. Probably because most are unaware. My purpose in writing about sand’s depletion was to bring the problem to the attention of others.

Kokomo Man is a frequent commenter on the WordPress site. One of the more reasonable. Kokomo Man commented re the sand issue: “This, just as other environmental problems, like global warming, is another problem that won’t go away while many…..wait for it…..stick their heads in the sand.”

“Stick their heads in the sand!” Love it! Humor instead of venom. A change of pace.

A busy mid day yesterday. Office Max, Walgreens, and Sandy’s Cafe.

I picked up the wrong drug. I take 11 pills a day so it is easy to screw up. This particular prescription was replaced with another by my heart doctor some time ago.

I have insurance. Still have co-pay, however. Yesterday, $114. How could it be. The sales person was no help. Showed me how my insurance company saved me $1,100. Bullshit itself.

No further help at Walgreens.

Called my heart doctor and got the problem straightened out. Back to Walgreens today to return the pills and get a $114 credit on my credit card.

Americans are getting screwed when it comes to the cost of prescription drugs. We may be paying the highest prices in the world. It takes a President and Congress to fix the problem. Previous Presidents have not.

Trump promised to do so in the campaign. He is now trying, but not as he had promised. His thought then was throw it into Medicare/make it work like Medicare.

A month ago, Trump made a big deal speech re the issue. He was going to fix the problem. By having the pharmaceutical houses sit down and negotiating fairer prices for the American people.

A far cry from the Medicare solution.

The Chart Room last night. John bartending. Small crowd.

Met Steve. An eighth grade math teacher from St. Petersburg. Enjoyed our conversation. John a part of it. Included some Steve Carlton.

Tyler and Jenn at the other end of the bar. From Newark, Ohio. Told them I liked their Governor Kasich for President.

Walked across the street to Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Watched a college baseball playoff game. Enjoyed the company of a vacationing couple. Irma a significant part of the conversation.

Pouring like hell at the moment! Has been doing so for 20 minutes. Ok. We are in to the rainy season. Once the rain stops and the sun comes out, the humidity will be overwhelming. As the saying goes, you can cut it with a knife.

My today begins with Lori and a haircut. Amazing! I have nothing but fuzz. Needs to be buzzed off every two weeks.

Then lunch and the newspapers a few doors down at Sandy’s Cafe.

Tonight, I do not know. Not concerned. Something always comes up.

Mark Rossi is a Key West business man and public servant. He owns the Red Garter on Duval. A moneymaker!

Rossi is running for mayor. Or, he was. Candidates for the office must pay a $225 fee by a certain date of filing. Rossi vacationing in Europe. He or someone on his staff forgot. The court ruled yesterday Rossi is ineligible to run.

A proper decision. We have enough problems as it is with our elections. Election laws must be strictly enforced.

Some dance to a different tune in the Keys. Voyeurism generally involves a man sneaking a look at a woman’s privates. Could work in another fashion. A man trying to get a look at another man’s privates.

A male employee at the Big Pine Walgreens some how got a video to photograph men in the men’s room. He got caught and has been arrested. The charge, video voyeurism. His excuse, he was aroused by viewing the film. Merely watched, never distributed.

BOB is taking another day off.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement yesterday after 30 years of service. A serious loss to the Court. He was the occasional swing vote.

Kennedy’s replacement will be a conservative. Most likely, a far to the right one. Trump’s prerogative. In addition, he has a Republican Senate to back him.

Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Conservatives have been dying to get it reversed since that time. It will come up while the new Justice is sitting. A woman’s right to abortion in anger. The Court will be 5-4 in favor of the conservative element.

Unless the new Justice pulls a Warren or Souter. Both representative of the Republican right. Both turned in rendering their decisions. Sided with the Court’sliberals.

Eisenhower said many times that his worst appointment was Warren.

Trump told us following his meeting with Kim that North Korea had agreed to denuclearize. If such was the case, why have recent satellite photos shown North Korea expanding a nuclear research center? Major infrastructure improvements moving at a rapid rate.

Trump is doing a summit with Putin July 16 in Helsinki. The man is crazy. Trump, not Putin. Trump no competition for Putin.

Possibilities coming out of the summit include a goodbye to NATO and U.S. defensive weapons removed from Poland.

Trump is saving Putin’s ass. The man who interfered in our 2016 elections. An avowed enemy of the U.S. and democracy. One seeking to return Russia to its former glory.

We cannot win in the confrontation. Trump says he is smart.  Putin is smart.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

SESSIONS’ IMPROPER USE OF BIBLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A successful effort. Two thousand three hundred arrested.

The media has failed to report or comment.

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

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

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

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

Dinner tonight with Jean Thornton at Berlin’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BOB WISDOM RE HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

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

Today, BOB and hurricanes.

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

He felt Hurricane Andrew in 1992 proved his point.

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

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

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

BOB believed FEMA would never improve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren.

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

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

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

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

Go for it!

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

A benefit of living in Key West.

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

It’s a good life!

Enjoy your day!

 

TRUMP MACHIAVELLIAN

On this day in 1469, the Italian political philosopher and writer Nicolo Machiavelli was born. Friend and foe at different times of Cesare Borgia and the Medici family.

Machiavelli most famous effort is The Prince. The book’s hero an amoral calculating tyrant for whom the end justified the means. A man who believed diabolical expediency was proper activity in the world of politics.

“Machiavellian” has come to be recognized as an action undertaken for gain without regard for right or wrong.

Is Trump Machiavellian? If the shoe fits, he should wear it.

I think it does.

A busy yesterday. Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. Ran some errands. Picked up some groceries at Publix.

In my old age, grocery shopping has become an event. Run into friends, make new ones. I become increasingly knowledgeable regarding the increasing excessive cost for food. Some without sufficient means, cut back on their drugs. Others I am sure, food.

Spent a couple of hours last night at the Chart Room. My place! Good friends!

Last night John, Sheila, David, Holly and Kevin.

Kevin steadily recovering from his terrible scooter accident. Looks better. Extensive plastic surgery was required to his face. His skin smooth like a baby’s skin. His mental acuity better. A lucky man.

Kevin complimented his wife Holly extensively. His strength. How she was there for him all the time. I was happy for him.

In my lifetime, I have found many spouses are not helpful or do not stay around when the other is be felled by some adversity. I recall one wife who told me when her husband was into a long term non recoverable illness that she had not contracted for “this” when she married him. She divorced her husband.

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice contained an interesting comment. Reflecting that things change with time.

There was an era when Key Westers wanted ships wrecked on a reef so they could profit from the ship’s cargo recovery. No mention at that time of reef damage.

Today, the profit in such an occurrence arises out of the damage to the reef, not its cargo.

I mentioned last week in this blog and on my podcast that Rudy Giuliani was over the hill as far as representing Trump was concerned. No insult intended to a once a distinguished professional. However, he had not seen the inside of a court room in 20 years.

I was correct. Look at the mess he made on Fox News last night.

On this day in 1946, Japanese War Crimes Trials began in Tokyo. Twenty eight military and governmental officials.

Tokyo was not the only place where Japanese war criminals were tried. The Japanese had committed heinous crimes through out most of Asia. Outside Japan itself, more than 5,000 were tried and found guilty of war crimes. Nine hundred executed.

The 5,000 needed defense counsel. Many U.S. attorneys heeded the call for assistance. One was Robert Miller.

I was fortunate in later years to have Miller as a Professor in  law school. I studied criminal law and evidence under him.

A sharp guy. Extremely intelligent. Benefited his students even more by tying his lectures occasionally into one of the war crime trials he had defended.

Busy day again. Haircut, lunch and a manicure. Who knows what tonight will bring.

Such a life!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

DON AND CHRIS’ PRE-WEDDING GET TOGETHER

 

Don and Chris will marry at 7 saturday evening on the Hyatt dock as the sun sets.

Romantic.

Lovely.

I hope every one makes the wedding. The partying began wednesday evening at the Chart Room. A handful of guests.

Last night more guests. Fifteen to twenty. What Don described as a “pre-wedding get together” was held at the Hyatt Beach Bar. Good food and good company. Good drinking, of course.

Don and Chris’ friends coming in from all parts of the world. Including Korea. Don has a piece of a Korean company. Three primary owners. All Korean. One in already and at the party. The other two arriving today.

Joon the owner I met last night. His father sent him to Texas for finishing school and then to the University of Texas. Today, he runs the company.

Met Gilly. Don and Gilly worked for the same company for 27 years. Arm in arm. Today, competitors. Still friends.

Trixie and John from Litchfield, Connecticut.

Trixie is Chris’ best friend. Affiliated with Pfizer. Producers of Viagra. I got an education re Viagra and its generic.

John a doctor. A rheumatologist.

I noticed Trixie always had her hand on John’s arm and hand. I mentioned how lovely. I envied them. Turned out they are relatively newly married. Eighteen months. The glow still there. Good for them!

Recall Phil from yesterday’s blog? He is involved in a family business, has a second home in Tuscany, etc. I did not get much detail on him the night before. I did last night.

The company the Golden Rod Corporation. Operated three generations by Phil’s family. The first two generations in Italy. Montechio, Maggiori. The plant still operational. Phil’s Tuscany home in the same area.

Phil is involved in operating the U.S. facility. Prospect, Connecticut. The business is involved in manufacturing components for paper and plastic industries. They supply customers world wide.

Phil is with Christina. A couple. Christina 30 years old. Works a bit. Only a bit. Weekends. She delivers pizzas. She does not need to work. Delivered pizzas in college. Keeps her hand in it weekends for the fun of it. Claims she provides joy to those she delivers to. People always smile as they receive their pizza orders.

Trixie and Christina read the blog. I love everyone who reads my blog! We were excited to meet each other.

The party was breaking down. Don was leading everyone to the Chart Room. Not me. I could not handle another drinking night. Made my excuses and said I was going to bed. Told Trixie if I did not watch myself, I would never make the wedding saturday night.

My car was at the Pier House. Stopped in the Chart Room for a few minutes. Drank a diet soda. The wedding group was 15 minutes behind me.

Glad I stopped. Ran into Susan and Huggie from Charleston, South Carolina. I had met them last year.

Love ’em. Susan was quick to point out she reads the blog every day and also read Irma and Me.

We enjoyed an interesting few minutes.

Susan mentioned Syracuse. Followed it up with Loyola. I assumed Susan and Huggie were Loyola fans. I was unaware that Loyola had played earlier in the evening and beat Nevada by one point. Realized it only after I got home. Sorry, folks.

Syracuse/Duke tonight at 10. Duke favored by 11.5 points. Ranked #4 in the nation. Syracuse undaunted. We have been the underdog in the 3 NCAA games played thus far.

It will be onward Christian soldiers and let the chips fall where they may!

The weather was cold last night. Down to 64. Heat on.

Checked the weather for saturday’s wedding. E-mailed Chris and told her it was not necessary to put the rosary beads out. Weather saturday 78 by day and 70 by night.

My research goes in strange directions sometime. Came across “vaginal steaming” yesterday. Also known as “yoni steaming.”

Several years ago, movie star Gwen Paltrow began Goop. Began as a weekly e-mail. Now, a lifestyle website.

At one point, Paltrow endorsed vaginal steaming. A woman sits over a hot pot of water filled with herbs for up to 45 minutes. Supposedly cleanses the uterus and balances female hormones.

Perhaps. The real reason for its use is ages old. Centuries. Intended to help men, not women. Tightened the vagina so as to provide more pleasure to the man.

Whatever, the century old procedure is today part of the program at many spas for women world wide. One southern California spa advertises it as the “reawakening of the inner goddess.”

A couple of short Trump observations.

Trump appointed John Bolton National Security Adviser. The worse man possible for the job. A neocon, war hawk, hardliner. He takes office April 9.

Bolton was once U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bush 2 appointed him. Knew he would have difficulty getting Senate confirmation. Waited till recess to make the appointment. Avoided advise and consent. Bolton served as an interim appointee.

The National Security Adviser position does not require Senate confirmation.

To place Bolton’s appointment in perspective, he favors a preemptive war against Iran and North Korea. Without authorization from Congress.

I continue to fear Trump wants to be a war President.

Trump announced yesterday certain tariffs he intended to impose on China. China says they will retaliate. A tariff war guaranteed. Other countries will follow. A tariff war could destroy economies. Especially the U.S.’s I fear.

Trump not a thinker. Even a little bit. China is our bank. They loan us money every day. Our second biggest creditor. We owe China around $1.4 trillion.

Suppose China said no more money. Even worse, suppose China said  pay up. They called in our notes.

The man does not see, cannot comprehend, knows not what he is doing.

The market dropped 724 points yesterday because of the China/tariff situation.

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!

 

STONE CRABS

Last night, the meal of meals. Stone crabs!

The season opened sunday. It was my first stone crab meal of the season.

Enjoyed with another stone crab enthusiast, Jean Thornton. My great host from Birmingham who sheltered me and several others during Irma.

Jean crazy for stone crabs, also.

We dined at the Conch Republic. My idea. Stone crabs were great there last season.

The stone crabs tasty. Large.

Two complaints. The shells not broken enough and the mustard sauce a blob. We could not eat it. Stuck with melted butter.

Did not spoil the joy of the meal, however.

Priced $44 a pound. Cheap! I expected $60, perhaps even $70. Irma destroyed better than half the traps. I suspect the low price is because there still are not enough customers. Conch Republic half filled last night.

During dinner, Jean tells me she heard stone crabs were $26 a pound at the Pier House’s Pier One. No way! Never that cheap anywhere over the years!

I stopped at Pier One on my way to the Chart Room after dinner. A cute young Philippine hostess told me yes, $26 a pound. Six. Medium.

In the next couple of nights, I will be at Pier One enjoying.

The Chart Room was packed. Tourists galore. A good sign. I am concerned how successful Fantasy Fest will be. My thought is the powers to be should have adjourned it several weeks.

John bartending. Smiling big time. He was going to have a big night tip wise. It has been a long time.

David there. We chatted a while.

Jean, Molly, Ollie and I sat at the round table.

Molly is Kevin’s wife. Kevin on business in Boston till wednesday.

Ollie entertained us with his testicle burial story. A true one. The ladies thought it interesting. The first time they had heard it.

I told the group about Jenny who had a mastectomy and no nipple on the replacement. She intends to have the sunset of Key West tattooed where the nipple would have been.

No one believed me. I felt like an ass.

It was haircut time earlier in the day with Lori. Told her about the nipple/tattoo story. She was very familiar with it. Said many women have it done that way these days.

In a year if I run into Jenny again, I may have to ask her to show the unbelievers her Key West sunset.

After my haircut earlier in the day, shot over to Lee Nails. A manicure with Tammy. Told Tammy about Irma and Me. She was all excited.

We got into reading. Tammy is a successful business woman at 34. She and husband Rick have a booming nail business.

Tammy cannot read.

I was surprised. She was schooled in Vietnam. Not in English, however. Her 11 year old son reads to her if there is something at home she must read.

Terri’s first major milestone reached! God bless!

They have been shooting her big time every day with something to increase her stem cell supply. In order for the bone marrow transplant to begin, she had to have 4 million new stem cells. Tested yesterday. 4.5 million!

Tuesday, the transplant procedure begins. Monday going to be difficult. She will be given a massive dose of chemo. The most ever at one time. Terri has already been warned she will be sick sick! Vomiting, diarrhea, the works, big time.

She’s ready. Ready for everything.

A post Irma update.

The canals are filled with debris. Not just trees. Demolished houses and trailers. Broken boats.

The County passed the necessary legislation yesterday permitting FEMA and other agencies to begin a clean up of the canals.

William Hackley 1856 finds him up earlier every morning recently. Around 4. Out hunting. Appears that was how meat and fowl for the dinner table were obtained back then.

Syracuse enjoyed a major win last week. Beat #2 Clemson. Tomorrow, Syracuse plays Miami. Ranked #8 nationally. Can it happen again? I doubt it. But hope so!

Miami a 16 point favorite.

John Kelly’s press conference yesterday disappointed me. The man a distinguished former Marine general. Well respected. Now Trump’s Chief of Staff. His words re the telephone call and the behavior of the Florida Congresswoman did not ring true with me. Trump has a way of taking good people and somehow making them do what he wants. The good people eventually tarnished by Trump.

I think Kelly was used yesterday.

Let’s see what happens down the road.

Fantasy Fest begins today. Goombay!

Doing it with Joni who I met last week at Antonia’s.

I am beginning to feel like an overdue pregnant woman. Waiting for Irma and Me to be published. Any day now.

Enjoy your day!