Spent five straight hours working on Irma and Me yesterday afternoon. Noon to 5. Completed rough draft and sent it off to the publisher.

Still have to work on the Index, Introduction, Acknowledgements, a FINI segment, add pictures, and put together a cover.

Poor Liz. My dear friend. I visited her in the hospital early evening last night. She has been in 8 days. Her diabetes out of control. She has been a diabetic since birth.

Liz is my older friend. She is 83, one year older than me.

I admire her. She has an excellent mind. Liz was Dean of two law schools.

One of the things discussed was how the NBA would handle its basketball players from a legal perspective should they opt to kneel when the National Anthem is played. The NBA season begins soon.

We discussed death also. Quite a jump from basketball to death. Death is something persons my age and Liz’s think about on occasion. Not a morbid talk. I would characterize it as inquisitive.

An excellent Chart Room last night. Many tourists. Interesting because the streets were empty.

Met Lisa and Greg. Visiting from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Two children. A son 23 and daughter 16. Lisa especially charming. She is a school proctor. Greg manager of a distributing company.

They visit Key West 3-4 times a year. Plan on some day buying here.

Then came the Cat! Her name. Actually a nick name. Short for Catherine.

Cat was at the other end of the bar. Told Shaun to buy me a drink. We had not talked yet. Not even a hello or nod of the head. I first refused, then said why not!

Cat is from Iowa. One of my favorite places. Told her of my dear friends Cindy and Tom. I do not recall what city Cat was from.

Cat a sharp woman. Had to be to buy me a drink! I joke. Smart because she is a CPA. My greatest asset for more than 40 years was my CPA Bill Hatfield. I made no economic moves without his advice. Which I always followed.

Cat’s husband is Kenny. A cattle baron of sorts. Sells cattle.

Cat returns for Fantasy Fest. Bringing a group of friends with her. We discussed beads, Sloppy Joe’s toga party, etc.

Cat a fun person. Hope I run into her at Fantasy Fest.

Now came Jill. It was my night!

Jill has been in Key west 30 years. We never met till last night. She is a bartender at Rum Barrel. Studied English at Western State and Colorado. Most Key West bartenders are college educated. Bartenders because they make more money at bartending than they would in another pursuit.

Jill benefited when Irma hit. She was vacationing in Portugal and could not return. Lucky her!

It was after 9 and I still had not eaten. Drove to Tavern ‘n Town for the 9-11 Happy Hour. Sat at the bar, read the newspapers while enjoying an order of fried calamari.

This Las Vegas incident horrific! Fifty plus dead, 200 plus wounded. Described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Crazy people are always with us.

A truism. One which involves Trump. Never fails. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction.

Trump does not listen. He shoots from the hip. Does things his way. Fails to take into account repercussions. Fails to follow the advice of advisers.

He knows everything.

A wonder!

Trump decided to pick on Venezuela. Felt sorry for the people. He sanctioned Venezuela, banks were restricted from doing business with Venezuelan entities, etc.

He also threatened Maduro. Made comments that sounded like a military effort might follow.

I understand Venezuela. I have followed Maduro since he became President more than 4 years ago. A bad President. A corrupt one, also.

Venezuela ran out of toilet paper soon after he first took office. Venezuela still does not have enough toilet paper. Then Venezuela ran out of food, jobs, etc. Terrible conditions have existed for more than 4 years. Increasingly worse with each passing day.

I have maintained that Venezuela’s problems are their own. Within. A civil war is required to change things. The problem is the people of Venezuela do not have the balls to stand and revolt. They threaten, come close, but never make it.

Venezuela is not our problem. Venezuela presents no threat to the United States.

I suspect Trump might be interested in Venezuela because of its oil reserves. It has the largest oil deposits in the world. Invade under one pretense and take control of Venezuela’s oil might be the Trump motivation.

Sorry for the long introduction re the point I want to make.

Years ago, the U.S. got a rule into effect which most countries to this day follow. Any purchases of oil must be accomplished by the use of U.S. dollars. OPEC supported. Referred to as petrodollars. Keeps our dollar sound.

Maduro has said screw you to Trump. He announced last thursday that all businesses signing contracts with  Venezuela would do so in a foreign currency other than the U.S. dollar.

He intends for Venezuela to primarily use the Chinese yuan. China is thrilled. As is Russia who is in the middle of everything.

China wants its yuan to replace the dollar. Other countries are already in China’s fold.

China is and has been in an economic war with us. They are subtly beating the U.S. At every turn.

Trump does not see it. He would rather threaten military action rather than understand the ongoing economic war and its consequences.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Enjoy your day!


Yes, yesterday was a Willie Nelson day for me. Not with country music, however. It was the nine hours I was out and about. I felt like I was on the road again.

As the years have added on, my time out of the house during day time hours has diminished. I prefer researching and writing, reading and napping.

Yesterday was different.

I left home at 11 in the morning. My destination Duval Street and the Kinetic Sculpture Parade. My first one. I believe this was the second year for the Kinetic Parade.

Glad I went! Amazing what artists have accomplished with left over metal. Metal that in days long gone by was discarded. In the parade event, especially metal sculptures involving wheels. Like bicycles and tricycles.

I enjoyed and learned!

Walked a bit afterwards. Ended up at Antonia’s. A late lunch.

Antonia’s has a pasta special. For years. You  can order a half portion. I sat in the corner of the bar and enjoyed a linguine dish.

Then to Don’s Place for the Kentucky Derby. Don having his usual Derby party. Inside and out. Most of the ladies in flowered hats. A couple of men dressed in white suits and ties wearing white straw hats.

I arrived at 4. The race was not till 6:45. Enjoyed a few drinks and enjoyed the company of Don, David, Angus, John, Keith, Jennifer, Joanie, Stan and Clare.

The race exciting. Everyone whooping it up. Always thrilling.

Now the banter will begin. Can Always Dreaming win the Triple Crown? I would hope so. It is time again for a Triple Crown winner.

Stayed a while after the race. Left for home. Arrived at 8.

I had been out for nine consecutive hours. Big for me these days!

Notice I did not go out last night. The day time was enough.

Everything is moving into the lower keys. We have had a few sightings of crocodiles over the years. A couple of pythons.

The most recent, an American crocodile. It was sighted at the Boca Chica Naval Base. Eight to 10 feet long. A picture in this morning’s Key West Citizen. Jaws wide open.

The crocodile cannot be killed.  An endangered and protected species. Base personnel believe there might be as many as five such crocs on the base.

The croc observed and photographed has become a celebratory instance! A Base representative asked on Facebook yesterday for readers to suggest a nick name for the crocodile. A contest of sorts. Perverted from my point of view.

It was also reported there have been recent crocodile sightings near Smathers Beach and at Fort Zachary Taylor.

Four years ago, I wrote a lengthy column in KONK Life me drugs. In the article, I mentioned the great success Portugal had been having since 2001 when it decriminalized drug use. Portugal treats the problem as a medical one rather than criminal. The program a gigantic success.

Pablo Escobar a drug czar. His drug cartel made him billions. Perhaps trillions.

His son Juan Sebastian Marroquin wrote recently that drug cartels will die the day drugs are legalized and regulated. Sounds how the United States resolved the alcohol/mafia problem when Roosevelt led the drive for alcohol legalization in the 1930’s.

History is a teacher. We should try decriminalization based on the 1930’s alcohol success in the U.S. and Portugal’s drug success which began in the first years of this century.

Robots! Robots! Robots! I keep talking about them hoping to ignite the American public that they are here and more are coming.

Another while America slept situation. My concern is we are not preparing to retrain human employees who will be jobless.

Few seem to be paying attention to the problem.

It has been reported that the military is training robots to shoot in a war. It is a problem. There is a difficulty in having robots shoot. The robots computerized brain cannot handle who to shoot at. Things in battle happen too fast.

The military is confident the problem will be resolved in due course.

I disagree with Trump’s recent Executive Order which eases existing limits on political activity by religious organizations. God’s House should not be a political bandstand.

Enjoy your Sunday!



Terri White experienced a heart attack tuesday while at home here in Key West. She was helicoptered to Miami’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

A catheterization. Ninety percent blockage in one artery. A stent put in.

She was sitting up in bed last night eating a hospital roast beef dinner. Complaining about the beef and the rest of the food.

Terri will be home soon. If all ok, today.

Someone was looking over her shoulder. In addition to Donna. God.

My day yesterday began withe the anti-gravity treadmill. Whereas I took it easy monday and ended up tired, yesterday I went at it. I pushed hard. It is my way. I had to test myself. Went to a high speed fast and stayed there. I was not tired afterwards. You figure.

Then to Walgreens. Always going to Walgreens. Getting old means pills. Tons of them. Not complaining. Keeps me healthy. No question about it. My heart doctor says it is the pills for me.

Even for generics, prescriptions can be expensive. I pay $40 for one and $36 for another. Both reached those dramatic levels this year.

Stopped at Verizon. Still learning my cell phone. Nana my teacher not there. Had to cover the Marathon store. Will stop by again tomorrow.

I am becoming a regular at Aqua. Twice a week.

Last night, the Back Door. Expected to see Mark Watson. Not there. On Fire Island for a few days. Tom Luna covering for him.

Chatted quite a while with Tom. First time so long. Interesting background. An interesting person. He spent much time in New York. We compared notes.

Jeremy came in. Tom introduced us. Jeremy is Aqua’s general manager. Thirty seven. Enjoyed his company. He is knowledgeable. His ability obvious.

Start of mini-lobster season busy yesterday. Much busier than I thought. Guess I was outside watching for the boats too early.

A picture in this morning’s Key West Citizen shows the boats. Bumper to bumper, so to speak.

A 60 year old man became ill while diving off Cudjoe Key yesterday. Fortunately, a Navy helicopter was nearby. Within 15 minutes, he had been airlifted to the Lower Keys Medical Center. Unfortunately, he did not survive.

A boat with four persons went out tuesday. Not diving for lobsters yet. One day early. Merely diving. Intended to go out 7-8 miles. Boat became disabled. The Coast Guard was out looking for them. They were found yesterday 33 miles out. Everyone fine.

There were a number of boats that passed by my home this morning. All heading out to dive for lobsters. Some of the boats overloaded with people. Reminded me of the scene in Jaws when everyone was going out to catch the shark.

Then it rained. At 7:45 it poured. Typical tropical storm. Heavy for 10 minutes. Big time thunder. Water picking up. Then it stopped and everything returned to normal.

I would not have wanted to be out on a boat during those 10 minutes.

William Hackley reports today that Matilda’s milk is still not good. Baby not tolerating it. Baby has been sick for three days. Coughing up green stuff.

I am beginning to worry about Baby.

My Republican, conservative, far right friends, how can you support Trump? A man who invites Russia/Putin to admit and share e-mails hacked from our private files. Trump is crazy. Putin is crazy.

Trump said he would accept Putin’s word on anything he says. Trump forgets that Putin denied for months that it was Russian troops in disguise who invaded Crimea.

Trump makes himself sound like the patriot of patriots. He is going to save America!

The 18th century writer Samuel Johnson said: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

I have followed and been concerned with Venezuela President Nicolos Maduro for three years. Another President is added. He is President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Drugs are a major problem in the Philippines. Duterte has authorized police and citizens to kill anyone on the spot who they discover using or selling drugs. He advises he will pardon anyone involved in the killings.

No due process involved. Kill them and throw them into the sea. Dtterte said the fish will get fat off their bodies.

Duterte is a nut. Like Maduro. And, Trump.  Duterte wants to retire with a reputation comparable to Idi Amin. So he says.


Enjoy your day!




On this day in 1815, the Battle of Waterloo was fought. Napoleon was defeated. His prominence ended.

Most historians credit the English and allied forces under the Duke Wellington for having defeated him. Others give credit to the Prussian army which entered the fray later in the day when the winner was yet to be decided.

Napoleon was a military genius. Not at Waterloo, however. Why? Why did he lose?  Did something other than the battle itself contribute to his defeat?

Napoleon suffered from hemorrhoids. They were bothering him big time the night before the battle. He was also suffering that evening from a bladder infection. He took a dose of opium to relieve the pain and help him sleep.

Napoleon slept well. He woke late. He had difficulty mounting his horse. He had to be helped. He did not arrive at the battlefield till around one o’clock in the afternoon. By that time the forces against him had made strategic moves and were in a better place to counter Napoleon’s moves.

Napoleon had the habit of riding around a battlefield while the fighting was going on. Personal reconnaissance. He could not that day. The hemorrhoids.

The pain/discomfort was intense. Napoleon took more opium.

The battle was a close one till late in the day. Whether the English or Prussians, the battle was won by the allied forces late in the day.

Historians rarely comment on Napoleon’s physical condition and medication on  the day of the battle. Nor the effect the pain and opium had on him.

In his incapacitated condition, Napoleon was defeated later in the day. I suspect he would have not lost were it not for the hemorrhoids and opium.

My yesterday began at Body Owners on Stock Island. The anti-gravity treadmill.

Then to my heart doctor, Dr. McIvor. To get the results of all the tests I had taken the past few days. A relief! Everything is ok. Nothing has changed. I have two aortic valve problems and was concerned there might be a problem with one of them.

While there, he complimented me on how thin I was. Was I still dieting? No, I was exercising. I explained the anti-gravity treadmill to him. I was singing to the choir. He has purchased one for his expanded offices. Soon his patients with bad hearts will be able to exercise without stress.

I am turned on by the treadmill. It made me feel better that he was going to use it with certain of his patients. Those who needed to exercise.  Starting slowly. I do not go slow, however. I move!

Last night, the Chart Room. Sheila and Emily holding court. And Liverpool Mike. I refer to him as Liverpool Mike because that is from whence he comes. Liverpool, England.

Mike recalled me from last year. Embarrassingly, I did not recall him.

Mike vacations once a year in Key West. This trip for two weeks.

He is a hospitality consultant. Arranges new restaurants and bars.

I mentioned to him last week’s KONK Life article re Portugal and drugs. I told him my research indicated that Great Britain was considering legalizing all drugs as Portugal had done. No way, he said. The big fight at the moment is reducing marijuana use from a felony to a misdemeanor. There is no talk of legalization.

I am sure Mike and I will share a drink or two together again during his visit.

Peter, aka Captain Peter, aka British Peter, is visiting from his present home in Oregon. Good to see him! Peter is special.

Che is under the weather. Peter is considering extending his visit to help Che get back on his feet.

One human family!

Word on the street is that Backspace closed. I mentioned Backspace several blogs ago. I went for dinner. Was not impressed. It appears I was correct.

There is a new Starbucks on the corner of Front and Duval. I love coffee houses! I went to give it a look.

The coffee aroma hits you as you walk in the door. Pleasantly. Adds to your desire to have a cup. The place is beautifully done. One negative. No table and chairs. It’s a buy and carry out.

It will succeed never the less. The new Starbucks will be patronized primarily by tourists. It’s location in the middle of heavy tourist activity.

Dinner at Hot Tin Roof. Quiet. Off season obvious. Had dinner at the bar. Diana normally a table waitress. Last night behind the bar. A lovely and charming person.

Jenna telephoned me yesterday. Let’s go out friday night. I said yes, of course.

Enjoy your day!



Yesterday was a special day! D-Day and the Belmont.

People everywhere were thrilled with American Pharoah’s victory. I watched the race at Tavern ‘n Town. You could sense everyone was pulling for American Pharoah. There was a roar when he won.

Keith and I were at Tavern ‘n Town to watch the race and have dinner. We were seated at the bar with a large TV screen nearby. Mary Ann Westerlund appeared. I rarely see her and husband Roger these days. It was a hug and kiss. Kind words exchanged. We watched the race together.

Seated next to me for the race only was a gent from Big Pine. I did not catch his name. He had just returned from a one month trip to Russia.

Some ladies from Roostica were at a nearby table. A former waitress, Michelle and another lady. We talked a bit. It was good to seem them. The former waitress was my exclusive waitress for at least a year. A good waitress and good company.

I wrote this week’s KONK Life column yesterday. Got it out a day early. Don’t know where the energy came from.

The title is Portugal The Blueprint.

Portugal legalized drugs in 2001. All drugs. Even the real bad stuff like cocaine and heroin. Fourteen years later, the results are amazing. Drug problems significantly down in every area. Jails closing because there are not enough criminals to occupy them.

You will find the article interesting. Perhaps something the U.S. should consider. Read the column before you criticize my comment.

Sloan was with me later in the afternoon. My Skype was screwed up. No one could see or hear me. Took an hour to correct.

There is a little old lady who it seems has always worked at Publix. As a bagger. I am not offending her by the old description. She lives alone. Has taken care of herself the past 20 years. She immigrated from Poland 20 years ago.

We became friends over the years. Even though her English was poor and my Polish non existent.

Her name Helena. She retired from Publix recently. She earned a Publix pension. She is also eligible for Social Security. She has to wait two months for her first check. Then she is returning to Poland to spend the rest of her years. She has family there.

You may wonder why Helena came to the U.S. in the first place. Twenty years ago, she entered a Polish lottery. The winner would get a U.S. green card. she won.

God bless, Helena! I wish you well!

Anna is still visiting the Milan World’s Fair every day. Yesterday, the U.S. pavilion. She said the U.S. had one of the best looking pavilions from the outside. However, she thought the inside left something to be desired. Amusingly, she reported the pavilion contained a small Walgreens.

I wrote yesterday was of particular significance. The Belmont and D-Day. There was a third item I forgot. To wish Anne Larsen a happy birthday. Yesterday was her birthday.

Anne is an old friend from Ithaca, NY. We have been friends more than 25 years. We met face to face only once. However, she reads my blog daily, my KONK Life columns and listens to my blog talk radio show.

She has become one of those who is quick to criticize if I misspell, use poor grammar, am factually incorrect, etc. She has become my conscience! Sometimes her comments are overbearing. However, I know her heart is in the right place.

Happy birthday one day late, Anne!

Enjoy your Sunday!