WHO PUSHES THE CART?

Yesterday, a Key West day all day. Rare.

The most important event was taking Terri grocery shopping at Publix. Donna is out of town for a week.

Terri could not take herself. She is not driving any more. Her eye sight is failing.

I volunteered.

I had a concern. How was Terri going to maneuver around the store. The first thing that struck me was whether she could direct the cart.

I asked her: Who pushes the cart?

Her response: I PUSH THE CART!

Sorry I asked.

We shopped. Pleasantly.

Next, she wanted to stop at CVS to pick up a prescription. I did not even bother to go in with her. I was confident she could handle it.

Love Terri!

Terri was the third scheduled event for the day. I started earlier with a haircut with Lori. It takes all of 2 minutes to cut my hair. She never wants to charge me. I give her $20.

Ran into Lori later in the evening. I was having dinner at the bar in Roostica. There was Lori and her husband at the end of the bar. A good looking couple. We chatted a bit.

Stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for a quick lunch after the haircut. Sandy’s and Lori’s are like 5-6 doors apart on White Street.

Then, it was Terri’s turn.

I had one more appointment following Terri. A manicure with Tammy.

Tammy always a pleasant experience. Admire what she and her husband have accomplished developing their business Lee Nails.

Business was slow. The season over.

Last night, a lecture sponsored by KWAHS at the Custom House. A history of Duval Street from its beginnings to 1970. I was disappointed. Insufficient detail.

Always a smart ass or two in the audience. Three or four asked questions whose answers were known to God alone.

I was early for the lecture. Ran into Karen who was early also. We went across the street for a drink.

A pleasant half hour. Karen and I have not talked alone that long in 15 years.

Then to the Chart Room.

Packed! John busy!

I stayed a couple of hours. I was the only local. Unusual.

Met two charming ladies from New Jersey. Their 16th year visiting Key  West. Doing it up big. An ocean front room at the Pier House.

One a hospital comptroller. The other, retired.

I am always interested in how people feel about Trump, did they vote for him, etc. Apparently neither I nor the questions are offensive. People are happy to share their thoughts.

The retired woman a Trump supporter. Voted for him and thinks he is doing a great job. Making up for Obama’s failures. She was also thrilled with her retirement account. The market is up.

My stomach was growling. Time to eat. Stopped at Roostica’s on Stock Island on the way home. Great Italian food at reasonable prices. Seated at the bar next to me was Jim Clark. I have not seen him in a while.

We first met at bocce. I used to hate playing his team. Jim good! He shot first for his team. The polina always long, always down the middle. His ball on top of it. I always followed him. Rarely did I get close.

Jim into into social media, advertising, etc. He publishes Best Key West Restaurant Menus.

The weekly KONK Life publishes an internet paper daily. KONK Life E-Blast.

My column this past week in KONK Life was Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. It was run this morning on E-Blast. Unusual. I suspect the column was a filler.

Sometimes a piece of news leaves you feeling empty. Following is one that did.

Scott Peterson was a Broward County Deputy Sheriff. He was the deputy on the scene at the Parkland high school shooting three months ago. The only one. He heard the gun shots and ran to them. He never opened the door to enter the school. He remained frozen outside.

Peterson recently retired after 25 years on the job. He is 55 years old. His pension $104,000 a year.

We worry about China and trade wars. Meetings at the moment in Washington between the U.S. and China.

China has been struggling with a declining birth rate over the years. The matter has become of concern to the government. One which limited families generally to one child per couple.

All of a sudden, the U.S. is experiencing a similar problem. The birth rate hit an all time low in 2017. Three million eight hundred thousand. Two percent lower than 2016, the lowest ever recorded in 30 years.

The cause is attributed to economics. Although 2008 is behind us, economic uncertainty remains. Such concern does not bode well for those wishing to have children.

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!

 

 

WOE THE WEB WE WEAVE…..

My legal career was spent in the court room. When ever I would catch a witness in a lie or a party’s case full of lies, I would start my summation to the jury by looking them in the eye and with all seriousness say…..Woe the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

I would follow it up with the story of throwing a pebble into a still pool of water. The pebble would cause a small circle to surround it. The circle in the water would get bigger and bigger. As a lie got bigger and bigger and took in more people.

Yesterday it was Michael Cohen and Sean Hannity.

Trump’s lies ultimately bring everyone around him down. Including his children.

Will Trump throw them under the bus as he has others? Will he take the rap to save them? Interesting.

Saw Dr. Jones yesterday morning. He scheduled me for an endoscopy and colonoscopy for a week from tomorrow.

I am anxious for the endoscopy. For the past six months, food gets stuck in my throat. Cannot wash it down. Fluid shoots back out my mouth. Takes a bit of gulping to get the food to pass.

Till last night.

I was enjoying lamb chops at the La Trattoria bar. Carrie bartending. Fortunately.

A piece of meat got stuck in my throat. Carrie saw I was in trouble. She came running over and started with back blows moving to the Heimlich. Did not work. Gulping did not work.

I could breath.

I walked out. Gulped for two blocks. Finally the meat moved down.

A relief. The longest it has taken. Thank God I am doing the endoscopy next wednesday. Dr. Jones is aware of my problem and will stretch my throat and esophagus while I am under.

Lunch yesterday after the Dr. Jones visit at Sandy’s Cafe. My favorite snack. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large cup of Cuban coffee.

The waitresses at Sandy’s are a happy bunch. They spread that joy to the customers as they wait on them.

Last night Dueling Bartenders. Bobby Nesbitt guest performing. Tom Luna and Rick Dery doing their usual. The three singing a song together outstanding!

Many Bobby Nesbitt friends in attendance. Lynda and Bob Frechette, David, Lisa, etc.

We sang along with Tom, Rick and Bobby.

Loved it!

It was after Dueling Bartenders that I went to La Trattoria for dinner.

Marty Leshaw and I were Key West friends for years. We would meet at the Chart Room and then have dinner together somewhere. Marty left Key West. Returned to his primary residence in Fort Lauderdale.

Marty and I communicate infrequently. I heard from him yesterday. Did I hit 40 yet? Meaning pounds lost. Whatever the inquiry or statement, I always enjoy hearing from Marty. Though we disagreed on almost everything. Especially politics.

I have fond memories of our relationship.

Trump is visiting Key West thursday. For two hours. He flies into Boca Chica. Then he will be part of a caravan of cars taking him to the Truman Waterfront. He is visiting the Joint Interagency Task Force South. A military anti-smuggling center.

Some are thrilled by his visit. Others could care less.

Diana Millikan returns to Key West tomorrow. She e-mailed me she plans to stand on the corner of Truman and White and wave at Trump as he passes. She has been a die hard Trump fan since day one. Part of that 35-40 percent.

Global climate change a concern to us who live on the ocean. We have been warned for several years that the waters will rise and take away some homes built on the water.

Michael Mann is a climatologist.  He says the change is coming and sooner than thought.

All has to do with currents. Southern waters, including the Gulf Stream, will flow northward. The colder deep waters of the north will flow southward.

I do not understand this changes things. The bottom line however is that the scenario will not be good. Our water levels will increase 1.6 feet. Surface temperatures will be warmer for most of the US east coast. Europe will be colder because of changes in the Gulf Stream.

Mann says “…..we’re close to a tipping point…..the changing currents are without precedent…..the event about a century ahead of schedule.”

He also says all this may not happen. That we are dealing with systems we don’t fully understand.

Love the Citizens’ Voice in the Key West Citizen. Readers say it the way it is.

This morning’s column had a note from a local. The iguana problem the subject.

The writer had the solution. Bring in about a hundred Jaguars and mountain lions. The natural enemies of iguanas.

My  thought is the suggestion will help resolve another problem. The too many people on the island problem. Jaguars and mountain lions are the natural enemies of humans, also.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk  with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. I express my thoughts as to the conduct and sins of many. Guaranteed you will like the show. A quick moving half hour.

Enjoy your day!

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS REINACTED

Christ lived, died, and was resurrected.

Catholics believe He was crucified yesterday, lies entombed in a rock cave with a large rock blocking the entrance today, and will rise from the dead tomorrow.

Tomorrow being Easter Sunday.

Current writings by sociologists and political scientists suggest religion is dying. I see it in my Catholic religion. Churches closing, Catholic schools disappearing, very few women entering the nunnery, priests a problem unto themselves, etc.

Then an occurrence. One that makes me question the premise that religion is dying.

Yesterday in Portland at the Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish Church, the Stations of the Cross  were performed. Part of Good Friday activities.

Normally, the Stations of the Cross involve a priest and two altar boys/girls going to each of the 14 Stations and reciting what occurred.

The Portland Church enacted the 14 Stations.

Participants were dressed in the garb of 33 AD. Roman soldiers in dramatic red and gold uniforms. An estimated 100 parishioners in the dress of 33 AD. The cross was large and wood. There even was a replica of a stone burial chamber.

The place Jerusalem. The Stations beginning with Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Ending with Him being laid to rest in a tomb of stone.

The parish an immigrant one. The people poor. They come to the United States from other parts of the world. They bring their religion with them. The Stations were recited in French, Spanish and English.

Makes me wonder whether I have been correct in assuming religion is dying. The experts write it is. Universities teach it.

Could it be that only those that need God believe in Him? Did we in the U.S. and other advanced countries become too intelligent and too affluent forgetting Him?

I do not know. But how religion is handled in the Portland Church causes me to stop and think.

Seder last night. With Donna’s family and friends. At her daughter Stacey’s home. Thirty two in all. From 3 to 82. Guess who was 82?

I have been celebrating Seder with them for many years. Always a warm family event.

My dinner companion was Terri. We sat next to each other. Her eyes failing more rapidly than anticipated.

Love the lady!

A unique experience at lunch time. Stopped in Sandy’s Cafe. There was my grandson Robert and a lady friend. A girl friend. The two enjoying lunch.

Robert handled introductions well. Was not flustered. His lady friend a bit intimidated.

Robert has gone to another level in my mind. No longer a boy. He is a young man. He will be 14 in two months, in high school in August, college in 4 years.

It was only yesterday Robert was born. Lisa insisted I remain for the birth. Her husband holding one leg up and I the other. Yelling at Lisa to push while Lisa was responding with a loud I can’t do this!

Three hours later Robert was on a helicopter to Miami Children’s Hospital. He was born with cancer of the liver. The tumor larger than his liver. Two major surgeries the first 8 days of his life.

God is good. All is well today. And…..He has a girl friend!

The Sons and Daughters of Italy have a scholarship fund. One of their fundraisers is a bocce event. Tonight from 5:30-9:30. At the bocce courts across from the White Street Pier.

Come join us. I will be cooking sausage and hots dogs and teaching bocce to novices.

A fun evening. Cost $20 for adults and $10 for children.

I will be rushing home right after the event. The Final Four begins tonight. I should be able to catch the last game.

World population grows. The scientists tell us at some point there will not be enough food to feed everyone. It is therefore important that we develop alternative ways to grow/create foods. The laboratories of the world become important for this.

Zen Honeycutt published an interesting article on the problem in ECO Watch 3/27/18. The work was limited to Monsanto, glyphosate, herbicides, and pesticides.

I sometimes hate Monsanto for what they do. Other times, I recognize the cause of feeding the world’s peoples is an overwhelming task not without pitfalls.

Glyphosate is bad stuff found in Monsanto’s Roundup. It is also a part of other herbicides and pesticides.

Glyphosate has been discovered in certain wines and beers world wide. Some in popular U.S. brands. All U.S. brands are moving rapidly to change over and use other herbicides and pesticides.

The article makes reference to a Save the Children 2013 report. The report indicated the U.S. has 50 percent more infant deaths on day one of life than all other developed countries involved. The question raised was whether such was due to the widespread use of herbicides and pesticides like Roundup.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT FOR PARTICIPATING IN NATIONAL SCHOOL WALKOUT

Corporal punishment for school students is alive and well in 15 states. Would you believe? Bend over the desk and get your ass paddled!

Arkansas a state permitting corporal punishment. Came to my attention as a result of National School Walkout Day. Involved the Arkansas Greenbrier Public School. Greenbrier is located in an ultra conservative area.

Three students opted to participate in National Walkout Day. Only 3. They were vocally insulted and degraded by their fellow students. Two among the smartest in their class. The 3 consisting of both genders.

They left school and sat on a bench on school grounds for 17 minutes. They were told to return to class or face punishment. They opted to remain for the 17 minutes.

They were directed to the principal’s office upon reentry. They were given a choice as to punishment. Corporal punishment or a 2 day suspension. The punishments offered dictated by school board and school policy. The 3 agreed to corporal punishment. Two swats by a paddle on their derrieres.

Their parents were advised of the punishment prior to it being inflicted.

I consider the use of corporal punishment barbaric. In this case, the use of violence on 3 students who were protesting violence. A state sanctioning it and the parents agreeing to it some form of insanity in this day and age.

I admire the 3 protesters. They followed their consciences and took their punishment. They will go far in life.

St. Patrick’s Day did not turn out as anticipated. No corned beef and cabbage. Neither in a restaurant or as a take out. Restaurants too busy for take out. Terri fell eliminating going out to a restaurant.

Bear follows Terri everywhere. Always at her feet. While at home, he somehow got between her legs and she went down. Her head and knees came in contact with the tile floor. Ok, but sore.

Bear lay next to her on the floor crying.

Bear is 14 weeks old today. Getting big! Very big! We are solid friends. He has taken to me. I was seated on the couch most of the time. He was next to me, with me, etc.

Terri into dogs in her past life. Bear is already trained in certain respects. Upon command, he sits, lays down, offers his paw, and high fives. Except, the high fives are both paws.

We ended up ordering from Sandy’s Cafe. They deliver. A Cuban meal for 3 under $20. I had my favorite, Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee.

Bear and I watched most of the Kentucky/Buffalo game together. Buffalo has a better team each year. This year, the best so far. Though an underdog, I thought they might upset Kentucky. I was wrong. Kentucky killed them.

This afternoon at 2:40 on CBS, Syracuse/Michigan State. Syracuse the underdog once again.

I hope to watch the game and then hurry over to Kate Miano’s Gardens. Early Sunday evening always a fun time there. An added reason tonight. Terri is singing.

At some point, I have to shop. The refrigerator totally lacking in food. All I had yesterday before the Cuban sandwich at Donna and Terri’s was a cup of tea and 4 slices of bacon. No wonder I am losing weight!

For a month, Diana Millikan has been forwarding me information gathered from The Jews of Key West. Author Key West’s Arlo Haskell. When we met for dinner recently, she brought her copy of the book for me to glance over.

Diana thought the book was terrific. She was correct.

It has been announced that The Jews of Key West has received the 2017 Florida Book Award.

Trump is impressed by dictators. Perhaps evidencing a desire on his part to become one.

The Philippines and China have a drug problem. It was overwhelming at one point. No longer. Duterte and Xi kill drug dealers. With little or no attention payed to judicial process. Duterte has them shot on the street.

Both men came to this kill them outright approach based on a simple rationale. They were executing a person for killing one person. Drug dealers ultimately are responsible for the deaths of thousands. Justification enough. Kill them, too!

Trump has advised he likes the approach. He has promised a plan to deal with drug dealers this week. The kill them all approach, I suspect.

Opioids are killing 115 plus persons a day in the U.S.  Most manufactured by American pharmaceutical companies. A few pharmaceutical CEO’s should be indicted for producing these killers of hundreds of thousands of our people. Everyone agrees the problem is at a crisis stage.

Pharma Company-1 makes Fentanyl Spray. Bad stuff. Addictive. Fifty to a hundred times stronger than morphine.

Two Pharma employees and 5 doctors were recently arrested in New York. Pharma was sponsoring educational programs. Doctors were invited to speak for which they received exorbitant fees. A pre-condition to the invitation was that the doctors had to be big prescribers of Fentanyl Spray. The fee received based on the number of prescriptions for the Fentanyl Spray a doctor wrote.

Doctors were entertained lavishly to jump on board. A Pharma representative greeted several at a New York strip club. Pharma paid $4,100 for a private room, alcoholic drinks, and lap dances.

I do not agree with Trump’s thoughts re making the death penalty applicable to drug dealers. A step too far. If he does however, he should add drug company CEO’s who produce a product contributing to the opioid crisis.

Fair is fair.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

WAUNAKEE’S SHARIE AND MARK

The name Waunakee initially reminded me of Smucker’s…..With a name like that it has to be good! It is.

Waunakee is a small village in Dane County, Wisconsin. Population 12,000. Waunakee proudly labels itself “The Only Waunakee In The World.”

Waunakee a good place. In 2009, the village was listed in “Top 100 Best Places To Live” for small towns.

Which brings me to Sharie and Mark. Met them at the Chart Room last night. They’re from Waunakee! First time in the Chart Room, though they have visited Key West several times in the past. After last night, I guarantee the Chart Room will become their favorite watering hole when they visit Key West.

Married 30 plus years. Two sons. Soon to be grandparents for the first time. All excited. They have already rented a home for their Key West visit next January. A family trip. Baby included.

Mark was in the excavation business. His Dad began it. His son now working it. Three generations and still going. Sharie helped out in the business over the years.

Sharie a dog lover. Three. Named them after baseball players. Hank, Aaron, and Eddy.

Charming people. Fun. I hope to run into them before they leave. If not, I am confident we will meet in January.

Headed over to Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Ate at the bar. Grouper instead of prime rib.

On the way to my car, walked past the Chart Room. Sharie and Mark still there. The Chart Room standing room only. Sharie and Mark visibly having a good time.

My day yesterday began with Lori. Haircut time. We reminisced a bit. Lori has been a hair dresser 28 years. I a customer now a friend, 18. She looks as lovely today as when I first met her 18 years ago.

Afterwards, stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. My eye caught the name Utica College on the TV screen. An advertisement for nursing students. It was going off as I saw it.

Utica College is in my home town in upper New York State. I recall its beginnings. Provided a small assistance in getting it started.

Found out later in the day that Utica College is soon to offer extension services to students in the Keys. The ability to earn a nursing degree over the internet. Even nurse practitioner status. A representative of Utica College was in Key West last week arranging for the plan to be implemented.

Later in the afternoon before heading to the Chart Room, stopped for a manicure. Tammy’s last day for a week. Starting a vacation today. Good for her! Deserved. She is hard working. From 7 in the morning to 8 in the evening six days a week.

Key West postal workers protesting. Signs and all.

Proper they are protesting.

Budget cuts have been dramatic in recent years. Fewer and fewer postal workers. Sometimes only one person servicing the counter. Waiting lines up to one hour before one reaches the counter. Fortunately, Key West is a friendly town. Neighbors and acquaintances get to chat.

To fully appreciate the situation, there are 18 fewer clerk positions since 2016. Postal workers doing more with no significant pay raises.

Wake up my friends, our America is slipping away from us. I watched the far rights annual conference on TV yesterday. Full name Conservative Political Action Conference. Popularly known as CPAC.

NRA’s Wayne La Pierre the featured speaker. He was loud. Shouting on many occasions. Speaking of the devil. Those high school students misrepresenting the Douglas High School shooting.

I could see what was motivating him. The NRA was to confront for the first time a force that could neither be stopped nor bought. Children. It was obvious La Pierre is afraid that people will listen to them.

He lied. Not surprising. Trump lies also. He sets the standard for the country. La Pierre had the audacity to blame school safety, families, and the FBI for the shooting.

Trump an NRA supporter. Big time. No wonder. The NRA contributed $30 million to his campaign. Trump referred to members of the NRA as “great people and great American patriots.”

Someone sick here.

As I watched La Pierre, I recalled this scene playing in the past. Berlin in the 1930’s. All La Pierre needed was a mustache.

A dark speech, a dark moment.

Roger C. Kostmayer is a wise elderly Key West gentleman. A Letter to the Editor written by him was printed in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. In it Kostmayer said, “Any politician accepting money or support from the NRA…..has BLOOD ON HIS HANDS.” Emphasis Kostmayer’s.

Enjoy your day!