TIP STEALING AND SEX NIGHT AT THE CHART ROOM

A doubleheader today. Two columns in one.

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

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

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

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

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

Dollar amount involved estimated at $6.1 billion per year.

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

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

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

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

Mary Lou running for a Key West City Commission seat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lets get it done pronto!

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

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

Sounds like it will come.

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

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

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

Today’s blog begins here.

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

Three couples. All tourists.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Art not the first to have done it.

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

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

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

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

Wonder what she will have to say about Trump.

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

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

Enjoy your day!

 

U.S. IS CHANGING DIRECTION

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

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

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

Glad I was wrong.

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

Bad guy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Banks are thieves. So too, pharmaceutical houses.

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

Avondale Pharmaceuticals the most recent example.

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

Two examples are Niacor and SSKI.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Party time again tonight. A fundraiser.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

CONCERNS

Two matters are at the forefront of my mind. One has to do with Harvey. The other Trump and the military.

Without question, Harvey is the worst of the worst. Nature’s force/violence not within my recollection.

From my perspective, assistance has been outstanding. Whether governmental or voluntary. It has been several days however and the natives are getting restless. Understandable taking into consideration the conditions under which they are living.

At first, everyone was grateful to be alive and thankful for the assistance being provided. The kumbaya could not last.

Yesterday, the rumbles began. Slowly. Food not that good, for example. Today, the chemical plant. Questions re whether firefighters are doing enough or the right thing.

Several days into Harvey, rescuing people still a primary concern,. Properly so. However, attention has to be paid also to those saved and sleeping in overcrowded shelters. They are getting restless and must know what is being done/planned to help them.

Let them know. Otherwise, the rumblings will turn into trouble.

My other concern is Trump and the military.

Trump is incompetent and incapable. Should never have been elected President. He is commander-in-chief. However, the military seem to override certain of his decisions and go their own way. Mathis and transgenders the most recnet example.

I have always feared an overthrow of the government by the military. More so since we went to an all volunteer military.

We are nowhere near any type military takeover at this time. However recent happenings could be the seeds for one.

Great Chart Room last night! John and Kevin. Then two visitors from Columbus, Ohio. Megan and Ryan. Their first time in Key West. A relative told them to stop in the Chart Room for a drink.

Proud parents of three year old Knox Dallas.

Megan is a stylist and has her own business. Ryan is District Manager for a liquor company. Jack Daniel’s.

I wrote about Jack Daniel’s a couple of days ago. Hope they go back and find that blog. The venue was the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The new political correctness re Confederate statues and monument the subject.

The conversation got into the new book I am trying to write. Believe I will finish this one. Key West and Whore Houses. Or, Whore Houses of Key West. Or, something like that. Houses of ill repute and ladies of the night.

Whore houses do not hold a special place in my heart. My concern was to write a novel Key West book. One that would sell. There are a ton of Key West books out there. About houses, streets, outstanding citizens, etc. None about whore houses.

Megan and Ryan participated. Suggestion wise.

When they left, John, Kevin and I agreed they would have a lot to talk about re the Chart Room when they return to Columbus…..Those wild Key West people!

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for a bite to eat. George bartending. Rob entertaining.

Harpoon Harry’s. One of my favorite places. A block off the waterfront on Caroline. The feeling of an old time diner. Food that sticks to your ribs.

Every couple of weeks, I stop in. Generally for a late breakfast. Their eggs the best in town! Taste fresh. Unique.

In September, Harpoon Harry’s will be 25 years old. Opened in September 1992 by Ron Heck and Robert Cobb. In celebration thereof and thanks to their many customers over the years, Harpoon Harry’s will sell the blue plate special at the same price as when they opened. $4.99. And a special breakfast. $1.99.

The special prices will be available September 25-29.

There are 67 counties in Florida. Suicide has become an increasing problem over the years. Monroe County has had the highest number of suicides for many years. A dubious distinction. Last year, an improvement. Monroe County dropped to sixth.

Credit in large measure is due to Mary Lou Hoover and her group who have done much to help those considering suicide.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day. I am sure we will all be hearing about the subject matter and activities soon from Mary Lou.

9/11 will never be forgotten. Each year, anywhere in the United States.

Key West is recalling the occasion on 9/11. The Key West Fire Department and the Key West Fire Museum. The event will take place at 8:30 am on 9/11 at the Fire Museum on Grinnell.

Bocce tonight. First game of the season rained out last week. I will be there supporting Don’s Place.

I miss playing.

Enjoy your day!

 

ARROGANT PARKING RATE PLAN

Key West is a small island. One and one half by four miles. It has been buried with too much construction, too many hotels, restaurants, bars, vehicular traffic, and tourists. I am surprised the island has not yet sunk. Key west is a new Atlantis in the making.

The Key West City commission is money crazy. Always the need for more money. Only to be not spent or spent to do totally illogical things. Last night, the Commission voted to increase parking rates by $1. Parking is already too expensive. Street parking $2 per hour, Mallory Square $4 per hour, the Bight $2.50 per hour.

The Commission says don’t worry, tourists will be paying it. They forget there are people like me. I do not live in Key West proper. I am 2.5 miles outside Key West in Key Haven. However, I drive into town twice a day. Costs me $8-10 a day to park. Now to go up by a dollar an hour.

In addition to which I spend a ton of money in Key West.

Key West workers have been told not to worry. They can park at one of the two municipal garages and be bused wherever.

The Commission is also going to require the Parking Department to chalk mark ties to better control time/overtime. Brilliant! Most if not all cities were doing it 60 years ago. None today. They depend on more sophisticated means to ascertain time violators.

The Commission does not realize this is the 21st century.  Get with it, guys!

Hurricane Matthew. Wow! By the grace of God, Key West will miss it. However, the mainland is in for a beating. This is one of the worst hurricanes ever. A high 4 with the probability of becoming a 5. Destruction galore!

Tomorrow morning at this time, Matthew will be over Palm Beach.

Good sized water vessels have already come into Key West for shelter from the storm. More expected. They are primarily dropping anchor in the Outer Mole and the Coast Guard sector.

Don’s Place first last night. Good conversation with Don, Stan and Clare. Clare promoted! She is now the Manager of Dion’s at White and Truman. A big place, a big job.

Then to Back Door and Mark Watson.

David stopped by. He educated me. The sky had a golden hue. He said it was called the Golden Light and appeared when a hurricane was on the way.

Met Jan and Kim.

Jan is a snowbird. RV lover. A retired Marine master sergeant. Drove to Key West from northern Georgia. I enjoyed her company. A knowledgeable person re world events. Especially Russia and the Middle East.

Kim arrived in Key West a few hours before appearing at Back Door. From Los Angeles and Portland. Came a long way to spend some time in Key West. She is here for several months, perhaps forever. A biologist by education and a journeyman electrician by experience. She appeared to enjoy the electrical work better.

October is the tenth anniversary of Girls’ Night Out. From 16 the first night to 2,000 ten years later. Good job, Mary Lou Hoover!

Greater love hath no man…..A tale of morbid obsession. The story of Carl Tanzer aka Count von Cosel. Tanzer is the whacky hospital employee whose love died. He dug her body up two years after burial. Took her to his home. Kept her in his bed seven years before being discovered.

Tanzer was arrested on this day in 1940.

Syracuse/Wake Forest saturday. Wake Forest a 2.5 point favorite. I suspect Wake Forest will beat Syracuse by a much higher number. This not the year for our football team! We continue to wait. Patiently.

One of the giants of the 20th century was Anwar Sadat. Egyptian President, Nobel Peace Prize winner, peacemaker with Israel.

Sadat was assassinated this date in 1981. He was in a stand reviewing troops. Islamic extremists did not like him. Two reasons. First, his peace efforts with Israel. Second, that he permitted the deposed Shah of Iran to remain in Egypt to await death from cancer. He refused to return him to Iran to be tried for war crimes.

A vehicle with armed troops drove up in front of the stand Sadat was standing on. Their guns blazed, grenades exploded. Sadat took four bullets and died.

The event was filmed/recorded. I can still see Sadat standing tall and glaring into their eyes. He never budged, never attempted to duck nor avoid the assassins.

Enjoy your day!

 

A WONDERFUL DAY

It is almost impossible not to have a good day in Key West. Short of being hung up in a hospital bed with two broken arms and two broken legs, every day is wonderful.

My yesterday was wonderful. In some instances, special.

The day started with lunch at Lizabeth’s home. In her shaded garden. A French salad. The name escapes me. Outstanding! Salmon, anchovies, eggs, black olives, potatoes, etc.

Accompanied by wine.

Good company, good food, good wine. What more can one ask for?

I enjoy Liz and our conversations.

One problem. I am not a wine drinker. Even a good wine. I went home a bit tipsy. Straight to bed. Slept three hours.

Must mention the wine. Bellini. Lizabeth and her husband used to drink it in Venice at Harry’s Bar. Owner, the famous Giuseppe Cypriani. Inventor of the the now world famous Bellini wine.

Another Key West resident frequented Harry’s Bar. Ernest Hemingway. His primary watering hole when in Venice.

I was refreshed after the nap. Decided to go to the Back Door and Mark Watson. Intended to meet Donna and Terri. Did. And many more.

There were a ton of women. Unusual for Back Door. Turned out it was a meeting of a group from Girls’ I Know.

If it’s Girls’ I Know, it’s Mary Lou Hoover time. The founder of the organization years ago. An organization that has grown to thousands and extends beyond Key West’s borders today.

Mary Lou has her hands in many things. One several years ago. Mary Lou was Fantasy Fest Queen 2007.

Mary Lou has had a concern for suicide victims and those thinking of committing suicide. Last year, she started Out of the Darkness. A group committed to suicide awareness and prevention.

A walk is planned. An Out of the Darkness Walk. Takes place Sunday November 6. Registration begins at noon. Speakers and entertainment scheduled.

This is no small time event. It has the backing of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Walk already has several national big dollar sponsors.

Mary Lou and Charlie Waite are husband and wife. I envy them. One of Key West’s happiest couples. In love with each other!

I had enough to drink. Should have gone home after Back door. Did not. Instead joined Donna and Terri at Salty Angler. First time there for me. The ladies were going to play Trivia. Me play trivia?

I did.

Mary joined us. That completed our team. I knew next to nothing. Mary and Donna knew quite a bit.

I left before the exercise was over. I do not know where we stood in the rankings or if we won. We did come up with two special oral answers. For which we were rewarded with free shots each time.

Then home to bed. Slept well. A given after the wonderful day I had.

Enjoy your day!

PRESTON AND DEBRA…..LOVERS

Nothing like a good love story.

I met two lovers last night.

Preston and Debra.

At the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. Their first day and first time in Key West. From Nashville. Celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

With one twist. Where ages are dramatically different, it is generally the older man marrying the younger woman. With Preston and Debra, it is the older woman who married the younger man. Debra is seven years older, Preston seven years younger.

I am not talking out of school. Sharing with you something that should not be mentioned publicly. I speak of their relationship because the two of them are thrilled with it. That’s all they talked about. Debra said no at first. Preston kept pursuing. Debra finally succumbed.

The two are having a ball! Enjoying life! Hung up on each other!

A lucky two some.

Preston wrote a book which touches upon their relationship. She’s My Favorite Song. Title says it all. The book available on Amazon Kindle.

A prominent Key West couple were at the bar, also. Mary Lou Hoover and Charlie Waite. Another much in love twosome. Mary Lou responsible for the huge success Girl’s Night Out. She and Charlie good people.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. I did not push it. Stayed at 4.5 miles per hour.

Then to Walgereens. Seniors doctor often. They are at the drug store more often.

Enjoyed a bad lunch health wise. A cheeseburger and fries at 5 Guys.

Don’s birthday party last night! A big crowd. Great entertainment. Larry, Christine, Skipper, Kathleen and Ray. Loud! A neighbor from a block away came to complain. When he found out it was Don’s birthday, he said enjoy. He recognized the special occasion aspect.

I see Jean Thornton everywhere. All over Key West. Never at Don’s Place. She was there last night for the party.

A large picture in this morning’s Key West Citizen of last night’s Lighted Bike Ride. Colorfully decorated bikes and attired riders. The event innovative.

The County Commission voted the Ragnar Relay Race down again last night. A proper result. This morning’s article spells out some of the numbers and dollars involved. I spoke to these items in my blog two days ago.

The Citizen reported there would be 6,000 runners. Revenue, $700,000.

I suspect most of the money to run has already been paid in the form of registration fees. Ragnar Races are popular events. I assume the $700,000 will have to be paid back. Some portion may have already been spent. The pay back perhaps difficult.

Two interesting Germany/Merkel items came to my attention yesterday.

I have been wondering why Merkel has been happy to take hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in and is prepared to take more. The answer appears to be that many of the Syrian refugees are educated professionals. Like engineers. Germany’s economy is booming. Qualified people are needed.

I read there are employers waiting to sign up certain of the refugees as they get off the trains.

First time I heard about this. Why hasn’t the media told us? The information is newsworthy and interesting.

The other item involves Merkel being named Times Person of the Year yesterday. A poor choice from my perspective. No question she has had a big year. Crucified the Greeks and is trying to mini manage the Syrian refugee program.

Merkel makes me uncomfortable.

The more terrible Trump’s utterances, the higher he goes in the polls. Is our country on the verge of going crazy? We may be in the process of going off the deep end. Trump is the Pied Piper and many are following him.

Some recognize Trump’s missteps and are not afraid to speak out. In 2010, Trump received an honorary doctorate from Scotland’s Robert Gordon University. As a result of Trump’s comments re banning Muslims from the United States, the University took back the honorary degree yesterday.

Some believe the honorary degree was awarded at a time when Trump was trying to build a golf course on Scotland’s east coast. Some locals were giving him a hard time. Somehow, the honorary degree played into the thing. Trump did get to build the golf course.

Grinch is coming to Key West! I am surprised. I can understand Santa Claus. Grinch, I do not know. Grinch will be at the Key West Public Library this saturday from 1-2 pm.

Enjoy your day!