ERIKA BIDDLE…..A MOST INTERESTING WOMAN

The plan was to meet Jean Thornton at Dueling Bartenders last night. Bobby Nesbitt the scheduled guest performer. Found Jean at the bar seated next to Erika Biddle.

I probably have run into Erika no more than five times over the years. She is unique. The woman has tasted much of life. Both good and bad.

Erika was born in Germany in the years immediate following World War II. Though having avoided the war itself, she remembers clearly the destroyed cities, the debris, etc. waiting for reconstruction. Recovery was slow.

She recalls going without food. The lack of food experience was evident later in the evening when we dined at Antonia’s. I never saw a plate so clean at the end of a meal.

Erika came to Key West in 1994 after living in several cities around the world. She was immediately aware Key West was for her. She once said regarding Key West, ” This was the only city I ever visited where I’m not the most eccentric person around. Here I’m the normal one.”

Her eccentricity best reflected in a nudie calendar venture she put together. An avid environmentalist, Erika came up with a way to raise money for environmental purposes.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger once mentioned something to the effect that the environmental cause was best reflected by a nude woman. Soon after, an English movie came out where a bunch of elderly English women needing money for a charity did a nudie calendar of themselves.

Erika was emboldened. She convinced 15 Key West ladies to agree posing for a nudie calendar. Titled: Women Sustaining the Earth. The women between 44 and 78 years of age. All lovely. The calendar tastefully done.

Sold well!

Erika’s life or parts thereof great book material.

It rained for 2 hours early in the afternoon. Big time! Roaring thunder! Brought to mind Zeus, ancient Greece’s sky and thunder god. King of Mount Olympus.

The Key West Citizen’s weather person a humorist.  Yesterday’s prediction: Mostly cloudy, a shower; free car wash. The shower could have been better described. It was a monsoon! The “free car wash” right on. My car shiny bright after the sun dried it off.

I am ahead of the game time wise re my next KONK Life column. This week’s already done and at the printers. It is titled Sit At Attention Or Die. A bit of Kim/Trump. It is the article for a week from tomorrow that I was working on.

A change of pace topic. Felt compelled to get away from Trump. Environmental. About sand. As with water, in short supply world wide. Hard to believe.

Sand is the new gold.

I read yesterday that recent wind storms have affected Florida’s sandy beaches drastically. The sand loss described as Gone With The Wind.

An interesting article in the making.

The music at Dueling Bartenders the best. Always is. Bobby, Tom Luna and Rick Dery made the walls shake.

Bobby recently married Mike Mulligan. They had lived together 37 years. About time! In honor of the nuptials, Bobby sang I’m Getting Married In The Morning from My Fair Lady.

Jean, Erika and Louis walked over to Antonia’s for dinner. Jean and Erika interesting women. I enjoyed being with them.

Diseases come and go. Initially death causing and then man finds the pill/shot making it possible to avoid the sickness.

Yellow fever was a major killer in the mid 1800’s. The Citizen’s Keys History section mentioned that on this date in 1865, the vessel Adventure arrived in Key West in distress. Four crew members had yellow fever. The four were taken to the Marine Hospital.

The yellow fever spread from the four to Army troops stationed in Key West. Three hundred thirty one cases. Seventy one died. The number of civilians infected and dead not recorded.

A thought. Mull it. Conservative Americans are all about family – unless the family has darker skin and is from another country.

Child abuse in the news constantly these days. The immigrant children taken from parents. The abuse takes other forms and occurs on a smaller scale around the country.

An undocumented mother lives in San Antonio with her 4 year old daughter. A San Antonio Sheriff deputy was having sex with the four year old. Apparently on a regular basis.

The four year old told her mother over the weekend. The mother confronted the officer. He did not deny. He made it clear however that if she told anyone, she would be deported.

Fearing the police, the mother went to a fire station and told the fire officers what was going on. The deputy was arrested yesterday.

What is occurring on the border sick. What happened to this four year old equally sick.

Tonight, my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine sharp. A quick half hour of me pontificating about anything that tickles my interest. Provocative. Eye opening. Guaranteed you will enjoy.

Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

CHE A NO SHOW

Several of us were at the Chart Room at 5 yesterday to visit with Che. An old friend, Chart Room cohort, one who has an empty hole in the bar awaiting his ashes, a first class debater in any friendly argument, a man soon to be 84.

The meeting had been arranged by Jean Thornton. Che has become a recluse in recent months. His health failing. He would not open his door if someone knocked. We wanted to visit with him.

No Che. Failed to appear. Probably decided he simply did not want to do it. No problem. Che has earned the right to call them as he sees them.

We sat at the round table and enjoyed ourselves. Jean, David, Cori, Nic, Captain Frank, Valerie, Lisa, and Louis. Later, Quincy Perkins showed up.

Jean made a batch of deviled eggs and brought them for all to enjoy.

Later, Jean and I had dinner together at Hot Tin Roof. Sheila bartending.

Jean and I are a match. We get along well. I consider her a benefactor. Escaped Irma by staying at her home in Birmingham for 12 days.

The Ocean Key House pier was severely damaged by Irma. The contractor waited six months to get back to Ocean Key that he could not do the job for the price bid. Another company has stepped in. They are swiftly working. A huge crane, huge wood posts, etc. I understand the entire pier is going to be redone in concrete.

My sunday afternoon was spent writing this week’s KONK Life column. Sit At Attention Or Die. A Kim/Trump tale. Mostly, Kim. It hits the stands wednesday evening.

The article was well researched and wrote swiftly. I had time left over. Skimmed the internet a bit to determine what the following week’s article will be.

Came up with the subject! Sand! The world is running out of sand. A black market has developed. I did some preliminary research. Interesting.

What a difference 100 years make! Price of Key West Hotel rooms.

In 1914, the Panama Hotel was located at the corner of Eaton and Elizabeth Streets. A new hotel. Running water in each room. A big deal! Rates $1.00, $1.50, and $2.00.

A sad situation. Paul Donnelly was the Key West Citizen Controller. In a management restructuring in March, Paul was one of the those let go.

Paul got in trouble last thursday in Plainview, Michigan. He robbed a bank. Walked up to a teller, handed her a note saying this is a robbery and my bag contains a bomb.

Paul walked out with $4,700. Eight hours later, he was arrested without incident.

Paul was in Plainview visiting relatives. The relatives claim Paul was suicidal, the bank robbery a call for help, he was fighting alcoholism, the sudden loss of his job had affected him, and he had recurring problems from a brain tumor.

Several years ago, I wrote a KONK Life article re Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. The Waterloo battle was waged this day in 1815.

I discovered in my research at the time that the popular reason for Napoleon’s defeat was not correct. It was not the genius of the Duke of Wellington, though his military prowess probably did make some contribution.

Napoleon had hemorrhoids. They were extremely painful the night before. He doped himself with some narcotic that evening and in the late morning when he woke to kill the pain. He overslept. Did not get to the battlefield till just before noon. The battle had started in the early morning.

He could not sit comfortably on his horse. As a result, he did not move around the battlefield to personally view and assess conditions.

The battle was lost early evening.

My research clearly indicated it was the hemorrhoids that did him in.

The immigration children problem disturbs me as it must most of you. Children separated from parents. Sort of a Sophie’s choice, though not as final.

Totally un-American. Not what good people do. I am ashamed my country is doing this.

The problem has to be resolved like yesterday. Realistically, by the end of this week.

How would Trump have felt if his three oldest when young were taken from him and his wife in a fashion similar to what is occurring at the borders? Or, Barron today?

Cock fighting in the lower Keys was a big deal back when. Perhaps even today. I recall a few years ago a group was arrested for involvement with cock fighting.

BOB reports British Peter had a cock fighting experience.

The time would have been the mid 1990’s. Peter was driving cab for a living. New to the job. Got a call asking if he would go to Rockland Key to pick up a fare. Peter jumped at the chance. The fare $17 plus tip.

He picked up 3 young boys each with a paper bag on a side road off US 1. They asked to be taken to Bahama Village. Made sure they had money to pay. Started up and reached the intersection with US 1.

All of a sudden, a huge truck was behind the cab. Lights glaring, horn blowing, and the driver waving out the window. Peter had no idea what was going on. He immediately called for help. The Sheriff’s Department arrived in 2 minutes.

The guy in the tuck ran to the cab. The boys jumped out and ran onto US 1 emptying their bags as they ran. They assumed the chickens would run into the woods. Not so. The chickens were fighters. They engaged in a mammoth cock fight on US 1 in front of the Sheriff Deputies.

The guy in the truck was arrested. The kids taken into custody. The chickens collected.

A problem arose. The Sheriff/County had no place to keep the chickens pending trial. Evidence. They solved the problem in Key West fashion. The chickens were turned over to the now defendant truck driver who they assumed knew how to safeguard them.

BOB does not tell  us how the case ended. Was there a trial? Were the chickens produced? I doubt it. These chickens were lucky if they saw the light of day following the incident.

The situation bothered Peter. He put a sign in his cab: No Rockland County trips, no Rockland County residents.

Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BRITISH PETER

Bob Smith shares the Key West of the 1990’s in his book BOB. One character of that time and still alive is Peter. Commonly known as British Peter.

I was fortunate to know Peter. As many today who still enjoy the Chart Room. It was the Chart Room where we all met and became friends.

Peter was British through and through. Appearance wise, tall, thin, with a white mustache. His accent decidedly British. His demeanor conservative. BOB says “a more polite and erudite fellow you will never meet.”

Peter for many years lived on a sailboat. Moored it 2 miles out into the Gulf. Used a dingy to go back and forth. One night, Peter had a bit too much to drink. A moonless evening. He went out to return to his sailboat.

He left the dingy when he thought he was at his boat. He was not. Dingy floated away. Peter floating. Had to find the boat or die. He swam around a while and fortunately bumped into his boat.

Another Peter tale involves his world travels. He was somewhere in the Pacific off a small island on a sailboat. Pirates came upon him in the dark of night intending to rob and perhaps kill him.

Peter no slouch. Always prepared. He shot and killed one of the pirates before leaping off his boat and swimming to shore. As Peter tells the story, he fully anticipated the pirates to find him the next day and kill him for having killed one of their own.

Peter was off the island as dawn broke.

BOB talks about Bob running into the Peter at the West Indies Lounge on one occasion. I do not recall the place nor could I find it on the internet. However, I am sure it was den of inequity with Peter and Bob observing, not participating.

Peter no longer with us in Key  West. He had inherited a home in the State of Washington years ago. Five years ago, he decided to move to the home and spend the rest of his days there. Peter has returned at least 3 times over the years to visit.

BOB shares another Peter story. One involving Rockland Key and cock fighting chickens. Saved for tomorrow.

One of Peter’s closest Chart Room buddies was Che. They discussed everything. Argued a better description. Che an in your face type. Peter would not let him get away with anything.

Che now 85. Ailing. None of us have seen him at the Chart Room in at least 6 months. He has become a recluse.

Jean Thornton thought it was time he got out. She has arranged for Che to be at the Chart Room at 5 this afternoon to meet and greet friends.

Che has a distinction. One of the holes in the Chart Room bar bears his name. He is one of two remaining alive. A portion of his ashes will be deposited in the bar when he passes on.

Spent yesterday afternoon researching this week’s KONK life column. Ten pages of notes. Not sure of the title yet. The topic involves Kim and Trump. Kim’s background emphasized. Trump is in bed with a dog who has fleas.

I will write the article this afternoon.

Snuck out for an hour for a pedicure and manicure with Tammy. Love Tammy! Respect and admire she and her husband Ricky’s success. They deserve it!

Last night, the Chart Room. Met Mary Anne. Has lived in Key West since 1990. We never met before. Amazing!

A small world. Mary Anne knows Bear. And, Donna and Terri. Mary Anne is the assistant manager at the Lower Keys Animal Clinic on Kennedy. A vet’s office. The Doc Bear’s vet.

Cori Convertino stopped by to say hello. Talented. Hard working. She is actually Dr. Cori Convertino. Has a Ph.D. She is in charge of the exhibits at the Custom House. Ever changing, time absorbing to erect. Each one a “work” in itself.

Jenna! My love! We have not seen each other in months. My fault. She calls, I am too busy. Accidentally saw her last night.

Jenna and her beau stopped in for a drink before seeing a movie at Tropic Cinema. We swore we would get together soon. Very soon!

Read an interesting report this morning. A recent study shows millionaires now control half of the world’s wealth.  Personal wealth globe wise in 2017 totaled $201.9 trillion. Up 12 percent from 2016.

The rich getting a lot more richer and doing it a lot faster.

Happy Father’s Day to all who will be remembered and to all who will not. Life moves in strange ways.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

A HEMINGWAY STORY…..

Hemingway’s personal experiences are just as interesting as his novels.

Hemingway was a lover. A ladies man. Enjoyed his sexual adventures.

He was into  his second marriage. Pauline Pfeiffer, the wife. They were married 13 years. Ten of those years spent in Key West.

The marriage proved healthy for Hemingway’s writings. Most of his best works were written during his marriage to Pauline.

Pauline’s father wealthy. Pauline enjoyed inherited wealth. Provided Hemingway with a comfortable life style.

The home on Whitehead was bought during the marriage. Primarily with Pauline’s dollars. The home stands to this day. Now, a museum. The Hemingway House.

The gardens were to the front of the house. Hemingway had constructed a boxing ring. He was a boxing enthusiast.

Hemingway was off to Spain as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. He met and fell in love with Martha Gellhorn there, she also a war journalist.

Word got back to Pauline in Key West that husband Ernest was seriously screwing around. Pissed her off big time!

Pauline had the boxing ring torn down and replaced it with a $20,000 swimming pool. A lot of money for a pool in those days. Had Hemingway billed for it. The pool was lovely. Its setting in the gardens perfect. The sunlight equally perfect. The water glistened.

When Hemingway returned home, he became angered when he found out how much the pool cost. He and Pauline had words. Hemingway took a penny out of his pocket and flung it on the ground saying, “Pauline, you’ve spent all but my last penny, so might as well have that.”

The penny has become part of Hemingway House folklore. There is a 1934 penny imbedded in the concrete at the foot of the pool. Whether the same penny, I do not know.

Pauline and Hemingway in due course divorced. Martha became wife number three.

Hemingway drew on life experiences for his books. He and Pauline had two sons. Pauline’s labor was extremely difficult for one. Legend has it Hemingway used Pauline’s suffering as the basis for Catherine’s death in A Farewell To Arms.

My podcast show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A mix of Trump and local Key West stories. The show did not include the Hemingway one just shared. Key West has a slew of tales to be told.

The United States is getting better in dealing with natural disasters. Better not enough, however. More time and money must be spent planning how to react before a disaster even occurs.

New Orleans’ Katrina should have taught us a lot. Turns out, not enough.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. FEMA immediately saw the need for food. FEMA contracted with an Atlanta firm for 30 million meals, clearly spelling out time was of the essence. Delivery had to be as soon as possible. Only 50,000 were delivered.

The Atlanta firm was Tribate Contracting LLC. A one employee firm. The sole employee the owner Tiffany Brown. Brown had no experience in large scale disaster relief.

The contract was for $156 million.

It was Brown’s responsibility to find and contract with vendors to prepare and get the food to Puerto Rico. She was only intended as a run through. A conduit. She would be paid handsomely for her company’s services in that regard.

Brown hired a wedding caterer with a staff of 11 to prepare and freeze dry meals.

FEMA cancelled its contract with Brown’s company.

In the meantime, many in Puerto Rico were going without food.

Italy’s former Prime Minister and political force Silvio Berlusconi is back in the news. He has not been heard from in recent years after being convicted of tax fraud and sexual involvement with a 17 year old girl.

Due to the convictions, Berlusconi can no longer hold public office. Nothing bars him from being a political leader/force, however.

A national election is scheduled for March 4.

Berlusconi now 81 years old.

Immigration the issue. Everywhere!

In  the past few years, African Muslims seeking a way to Sweden have moved through Italy. Many remained in Italy. Six hundred thousand.

In my several trips to northern Italy in recent years, I have become familiar with the problem. Seen it first hand. Novara where my friend Anna lives appears to be a black community rather than a white one. Anna and her friends are not happy about it.

The homeless are not well taken care of at all. They sit on formerly prosperous streets, their backs against the walls, day and night. They are everywhere. Black prostitutes openly working the neighborhoods day and night.

Berlusconi says he will immediately deport the 600,000 immigrants.

Sounds like Trump.

My travels took me to Portofino. Expensive! I was paying $20 for a glass of gin.

Two places have impressed me beauty wise in my travels. Santorini and the bay at Portofino.

Berlusconi has a home in Portofino. On the water, of course. Huge. Magnificent. The shrubbery and flower beds alone have to cost a ton  of money to keep up.

Berlusconi and Putin are, if you will excuse the description, asshole buddies. Putin had a summer home built in Portofino right next to Berlusconi’s.

Evidence the relationship is close one. Several years ago and prior to Putin constructing his Portofino home, Putin allowed his teenage daughter to spend the summer at Berlusconi’s Portofino home.

What a world!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

O-SHOT…..GIVES WOMEN BETTER ORGASMS

Medical science’s greatest contribution to the male sex life has been Viagra. Women got cheated. Even with the advent of a female viagra which apparently was not that successful.

Now comes the O-Shot. The Orgasm Shot. The claim is the O-Shot gives women better orgasms.

The shot is one year old. Developed by a doctor in England. Being used increasingly to provide women with the capacity for orgasms where the ability did not previously exist and to other women the ability to increase the potency and number of orgasms.

A 45 minute procedure, the O-Shot is non-surgical. Blood is taken from the patient’s arm. Placed in a special centrifuge. The centrifuge provides high quality Platelet Rich Plasma.

The Platelet Rich Plasma is then injected into the woman’s vaginal walls, G-spot, labia, and clitoris. The result, increased blood flow to those areas. The increased blood flow increases sexual arouseness, desire, and mind blowing orgasms.

The procedure may only be available in England at this time.

The Key West Half Marathon run yesterday. Rotary sponsored. Four thousand three hundred sixty two runners.

Bill Amirault one of the runners. Forty five years old. Ran last year. He was in sight of the finish line when he had a heart attack. Fortunately, three medical specialists were nearby who gave him immediate CPR.

He ran again this year. With one of the medical specialists running next to him. He finished the race this time.

The weather continues to be cold. Key Westers wearing everything in the closet. We are never prepared for the cold. Last night in the 50’s. Today’s high 60 with tonight in the 50’s.

In spite of the cold, I went to Hot Dog Church yesterday afternoon. The lesbian sunday afternoon get together at Aqua. I go as a guest of my lesbian wives, Donna and Terri.

The event was moved inside because of the cold to Aqua’s relatively new Side Bar. The back room of the Side Bar the meeting place.

About 25 ladies. Most gay. Elderly. Two other men besides me. Friends, Art and George. Partners more than 25 years.

Hot dogs and chili the menu.

Enjoyed myself. Good conversation.

Laurie was bartending. She was excited when she saw me. Exclaimed, “I read the book!” Irma and Me. She enjoyed it. I believe her.

There had been a fetish party in the back room the night before. We were seated in a circle chatting with three large X crosses behind us. Left from the party the night before.

Since it was my first time in the room, I asked Donna what went on in the room. She laughed. Remaining, not removed yet, from a private party the evening before.

I left to go to dinner. The game plan was Tavern ‘n Town as the night before. The prime rib works perfectly on the diet.

No room at the bar! Went home and grilled two hamburgers.

Most of our elected representatives are quick to sell their souls. The most recent being the meeting Trump and some officials attended where Trump is alleged to have said “shithole countries.”

Republican Senators Cotton and Perdue deny such was said. As does House Majority Leader McCarthy. Senator Durbin and Senator Graham said it did occur.

Trump’s language bad enough. Those denying the words were said even worse.

What have we come to? What happened to truth? Morality? Setting an example for our youth?

Trump’s words consistent with past statements suggesting he is a racist and bigot.

During my lifetime, I have run into a number of bigots. One thing always stuck out. Each was not aware he was a bigot. They were blind to it. Considered themselves the best of people, caring for all equally and justly. One was a judge. Judgment rendered in most cases dependent on the ethnicity of the attorneys.

Trump was on the golf course in Florida when the Hawaii mistake occurred. Thirty eight minutes expired from the alarm to the announcement it was false. When did Trump become aware during that time? How did he react?

He’s the person with the big button. What were his reactions?

We should know.

No one seems concerned. I can’t believe it. I sense the issue is being avoided.

I mentioned yesterday or the day before the shortage of saline solution bags and other bags containing rehydration liquids. The reason being the biggest supplier was a plant in Puerto Rico. Severely damaged by Maria.

The flu season is upon us big time. Doctors and hospitals are scratching for rehydration substitutes. One is Gatorade. Drunk orally, if the patient can do it. If not, gets into the patient’s body via a feeding tube directly into the stomach or small intestine.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

CHRISTINA OXENBERG…..PAINTS WITH WORDS

I read Christina Oxenberg’s latest KONK column in E-Blast this morning. Her writing continues to amaze! Outstanding! She does with a keyboard what an artist does with a brush. The written words descriptive.

She wrote in today’s E-Blast about a recent visit to Big Pine. Irma struck in early September. Its mark on Big Pine still visible.

Christina’s description of the area speaks for itself. Support my position re her unique talent.

An “apocalyptic scene…..blocks with nothing but the innards of homes…..one house stands and his neighbor is obliterated…..twisters snapping tree trunks and hurling them like javelins.”

Today and tomorrow good times to visit Bayview Park. The Annual Seafood Festival sponsored by the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association.

Great eating! Do not miss!

The State of Florida went with the Confederacy, except for one small part. Key West. Key West remained with the Union. Strategically important because of Fort Taylor’s location near Key West.

The Union retained Fort Taylor because of the prompt action by one man. Captain James M. Brannan, Commandant of the Army Barracks. He marched his men to Fort Taylor and took command of the Fort.

Fluctuating weather these days in Key West. The cold spell last week. The beginning of a new cold spell today. The high today will be 71, tonight 56 (cold!). Tomorrow, worse. Sixty five by day and 58 at night. It will remain cold for several days.

Whenever it is unusually cold up north, it is cold in Key West.

There was a time I enjoyed having a woman next to me in bed for sex. These days I would be happy to have one for body heat.

I continue to believe Trump poorly treated Puerto Rico because the people are of color. Puerto Rico still trying to get out from under. It will take years.

Trump never seems to be aware of incidental ramifications that could develop because of his failures.

U.S. hospitals have an insufficient supply of medically filled bags. Saline bags, nutrient solution bags and the like. Why? Because Puerto Rican plants produced the items. Irma and Maria put the bag plants almost totally out of business. The production situation remains fragile.

The end result is American hospitals and emergency rooms are suffering. Especially in the heavy flu season being experienced. A crisis situation. There are those that will die because of the lack of the bags.

I am a fallen away Catholic. Believe in an Almighty. Question and despair at actions of the Catholic Church.

Priests and pedophilia was earth shattering for this product of a Catholic grammar school, high school, and college.

I was taught in grammar and high schools by nuns. Brown Franciscans (robes brown) and Sisters of Charity. It never dawned on me that none were black.

There were no Whoopi Goldbergs. Recall Sister Act and Sister Act 2.

A recent study reflects of the intentional failure to admit those of color to the nunnery. The Catholic Church was discriminatory.

It’s amazing. The older I get, the more I live and learn. The Church discriminating against black women before and patient dumping which follows. Also known as hospital dumping. Patients are being thrown out of hospitals because they cannot pay. I am not referring to emergency room care.

The situation came to my attention because of a patient “dumped” at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The weather cold. Thirty degrees. A 22 year old black woman wheel chaired by four security personnel to a bus stop and left. Attired only in a flimsy hospital gown and socks.

Were it not for a psychotherapist leaving his office building across the street, this incident might never have come to light. He tried to help, get the hospital personnel to take her back inside. They refused. Smartly, he recorded everything on his cell phone and then went viral with it on Facebook.

The accidental guardian angel called 911. The police came. They got the hospital to take the woman back in.

The hospital administrator accepted responsibility for the hospital. Described the incident as a failure and isolated incident.

The story initiated a series of internet stories revealing patient dumping somewhat commonplace in the United States.

An in your face reason for the U.S. adopting universal health care. Medicare for all!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

COMCAST SUCKS

The world has changed! At least for me.

I was up at 6 yesterday morning. Did my research for the blog. Went to begin the blog at 8. No wi-fi. No TV, no land line also.

Called Comcast. Everything will be working at 11:18 said the recorded message. Came noon and still nothing. New recorded message said 11:30 in the evening.

I learned yesterday I cannot live without the internet. I needed to pound the keys to get the blog out. Then research into the afternoon re other matters. I was a druggie in withdrawal.

The Comcast problem is the reason there was no blog yesterday.

Two days of thoughts to share.

Syracuse got their asses whipped by Virginia tuesday night. Syracuse has lost its last 3 or 4 games. This keeps up and Syracuse will not even get into the NIT.

Yesterday’s Citizens’ Voice brought Forrest Gump to mind. His famous line…..Stupid is as stupid does.

The people of Florida have the fourth weakest credit in the United States. Key West rents are off the wall. Unaffordable for many. Three and four workers required to share an apartment.

Yesterday, Trump once again proved he is all heart. The billionaire President has started the process whereby States will be allowed to impose a work requirement on their Medicaid programs. To qualify, a person must prove he/she is working, training for a job, or volunteering. Exempted are the medically frail (whatever that means) and pregnant women.

Which brings me back to Forrest Gump and stupid is as stupid does.

Most of the Key West workers live pay check to pay check. They voted for Trump because he was going to make their lives better. Thus far he has not. Nothing has changed.

They still love Trump, however. Give him time, the Democrats are screwing him up, etc.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Let me go another step forward. Jared Kushner, son in law to the President, is a special adviser to the President. Sits at his right hand in the White House.

Kushner’s other life had him involved in real estate.

A federal position as Kushner has requires that his position not be used for personal gain.

Kushner accompanied Trump on Trump’s first visit to Israel. Kushner’s White House responsibility involves U.S.-Middle East policy. Which includes Israel.

Just before Kushner left on the trip, a major financial Israeli investment firm invested $30 million in Kushner’s real estate company.

The rich get richer, the poor poorer.

And yet, many Key West workers continue to have faith that Trump is Moses. He will lead them to the better life. Not going to happen. Stupid is as stupid does.

Two important events to report.

Ladies, January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Get checked! If you do not have a physician, Womankind will help.

My love of history will be satiated later this month. 1776 opens January 23 at the Waterfront Playhouse.

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!

 

GOOMBAY LAST NIGHT

The beginning of Fantasy Fest. Goombay, last night.

Been doing Goombay for at least 15 years. Never changes. Except it gets bigger. Longer, more stands, new restaurants. Band at end of Petronia more sophisticated. A Larry Smith presentation last night. Christine Cordone singing. Several accompanists.

Joni with me. An interesting woman. Former Sunoco executive. Sharp.

Met Joni for last night’s fun experience behind Bourbon Street. A drink. Listened to some music.

Prior to meeting Joni, stopped at 801. The customary Don’s Place crowd. A tradition has developed. A group goes together. Leaves by taxi from Don’s Place. Dropped off at 801. A couple of drinks.

I was early for my Joni meet. Stopped into 801 looking for my friends. As expected, they were there!

Joni and I walked Petronia to the big band stand at the end. I kept telling her to stop where ever and we would buy some stand food. She never took me up on the offer. I suspected she was not fond of the food either. Never has turned me on.

Therefore, we stopped into Blue Heaven. Sat in the restaurant part and enjoyed some food.

Joni lives on Petronia. Two hundred feet off Duval. Thought I was dropping her off. No, she was not ready yet. So it was off to Bourbon Street’s front bar.

I have never been to Bourbon Street late at night. A different experience.

The place was mad!

Lots of ladies. Dancing up a storm.

Employees walking around in black jock straps and black bow ties.

My back was to the bar. I turned around. One of the jock strap guys was dancing on the bar.

Strip joints have women dancing on the bar, stage, etc. wearing nothing. Mostly men in the audience, though a handful of women. Last night at Bourbon street similar, except lots of men and a handful of women.

Syracuse/Miami 3:30 this afternoon. ESPN. Syracuse 4-3, Miami 6-0. Miami a 17 point favorite.

Can Syracuse duplicate its victory over Clemson last week with a win over Miami this week?

The opioid crisis not being handled well. During the campaign, Trump labeled it a crisis. After the  election, no crisis but he would deal with it. This past week, Trump returned to describing it is a crisis.

While he vacillates, Rome is burning! 142 a day dying in the U.S. from opioid overdosing.

The Comments section to this blog is active. Some strong political differences.  I have mentioned armed masked mercenaries walking the streets of Puerto Rico two times this past week. No comment from anyone. Isn’t the issue worth discussing. I see it as San Juan today, New York, Los Angeles or Miami tomorrow.

Our country stranger by the day. What happened to the America of old? Dickinson, Texas an example.

Harvey did a number on Dickinson. Residents need money to rebuild and/or replace belongings. The application for funding is titled Harvey Repair Grant. Contains a strange clause. In order to qualify for the funds, one must sign a verification not to boycott Israel.

What the hell does Israel have to do with U.S. citizens obtaining money form its own government to get through the Harvey crisis?

The Verification reads as follows: VERIFICATION NOT TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL: By executing this agreement below, the applicant verifies that the applicant: (1) Does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.

The Verification is based on a recently passed Texas State law requiring contractors to so certify. Which by local hands has been extended to applicants themselves.

This pledge conditions Harvey relief. Requires the signed pledge not to boycott in order to get funding to rebuild.

Clearly violates the First Amendment.

No question Texas is a conservative state. Occasionally, far to the right. The Verification an example.

A further example also of the crazy people running our government. From the White House down to the Texas State Legislature to the Texas Governor who signed it into law.

Another day, no Irma and Me. I hate the waiting!

Enjoy your day!

 

THE CHICKEN PADDLEBOARDS

Key West and chickens go hand in hand. Tourists love them. Always snapping pictures of them.

I consider the chickens a dirty blight on our landscape.

Not all, however. Someone has a pet chicken. Yes, A pet. Called Loretta.

Loretta’s mistress is Karly Venezia.

This morning’s CBS  Miami reported the story. With videos. Loretta perched on the front of a paddleboard with Karly paddling. Other videos of Loretta following Karly around the house.

Loretta is one year old.

I was not aware chickens were trainable. Apparently Loretta was. Good job, Karly!

Loretta’s story has to be an only in Key West one!

A follow up to yesterday’s story re armed masked mercenaries walking the streets of San Juan. San Juan today. The streets of America tomorrow.

Think about it.

New York State is trying to be helpful as regards Puerto Rico. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo behind the move.

Two days ago, 78 doctors, nurses and other health care providers were flown to San Juan. Under Governor Cuomo’s auspices. They will be deployed throughout Puerto Rico.

On October 10 and again under the direction of Governor Cuomo, 425,000 pounds of food stuffs were flown to Puerto Rico. Things like water, diapers, baby wipes, baby food, canned goods, juice pouches, solar lamps, and dry food.

Cuomo also sent his Homeland Security Commissioner Roger Parrino to supervise distribution of the supplies.

This is governor morning.

Governor Rick Scott. He impresses me more and more.

Florida’s Jewish community centers and day care schools have received increased bomb threats. Scott has asked the legislature to set aside $1 million in January’s budget to protect them. An increase from the $654,000 authorized this past year.

My Comments section has not been receiving comments the past several days. All comments barred. Good or bad. I became concerned and asked Sloan yesterday to look into it.

I have not spoken to Sloan this morning. However, it appears the problem has been resolved. Comment away, my friends! And adversaries, too!

Waiting for a book to finally be published is like waiting for a baby to be born. I am nervous and edgy. Hopefully Irma and Me will make its introduction to the world in the next few days.

Enjoy your day!