FIRST MOTOR VEHICLE SPEED LIMIT: 12 MPH CITIES, 15 MPH COUNTRY ROADS

It was the turn of the century. The 20th century. 1901 to be specific. Automobiles were ripping up the streets and highways. Scaring horses, endangering people.

Connecticut became the first State to impose speed limits on motor vehicles. 12 mph in the cities, 15 mph on country roads.

Hard to believe. Everything starts somewhere, however.

Began my sunday working on this week’s KONK Life column. Right To Declare War. A power Constitutionally Congress’. One which has been usurped by the Presidency since the Korean War.

Comcast absorbed an hour. Second day in a row I had to spend considerable time on the phone with Comcast and I still am without TV.

Friday, I was told it was the remotes. Get two new ones. I did. I was not able to coordinate them with the sets. Meant I still had no TV.

Back on the phone yesterday. After an hour was told it was not the remote. It was the box. Someone would be at my home between 1 and 3 today to fix.

In the several hours following yesterday’s repair call, I received 4 calls from Comcast personnel. All real people. Wow! To remind me how sorry they were for my problem, was it still continuing, someone would be there tomorrow (today) to fix.

Why all the bullshit? Just get some one over here to solve the problem.

Early evening, Kate Miano’s Gardens. Kate just returned from 3 weeks at her home in France.

I enjoyed Kate and friends. Chatted the time away. All great people.

Met Jeff and Linda for the first time. From Chicago. Bought a home here 3 years ago. Snowbirds. Can’t wait to be full time residents.

Can’t blame them.

Decided on Hogfish for dinner. Second time in recent days. Enjoyed hogfish again.

Key lime pie was a featured dessert. I craved. Capitulated. Went for it. Delicious! A little cheating here and there has not affected my diet.

It rained mid-day yesterday. As it has in recent days, a monsoon/hurricane storm. For quite a while. Would not end.

Unusual weather for this time of year.

As I was listening to the howling pouring rain, Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head ran through my mind. Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s song from 1969.

The theme in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. My mind returned to Paul Newman riding a bicycle with Katharine Ross perched on the handlebars.

This morning’s Key West Citizen in the Keys History section mentioned that on this day in 1929, the Improved Order of Red Men and Degree of Pocahontas opened its 56th annual Great Sun Council at the Strand Theater on Duval. The old theater now a Walgreens.

My curiosity was aroused. Who were these people? Such a strange name.

We have to go back to the Boston Tea Party in 1765 for the answer. The Patriots who dumped the tea overboard were known as Sons of Liberty. They were disguised as Red Men. Also known as Indians. Now Native Americans.

In 1813, a group of white men formed a fraternal lodge known as the Society of Red Men. Named after the Boston tea party Patriots.

From a  handful of members in 1813, the organization grew to 519,000 in 1921. Its numbers  fell. To 15,000 in 2011. The organization is still alive and active in spite of its reduced membership.

Only whites were permitted to membership till 1974.

The group’s structure is similar to Freemasonry.

A female auxiliary was formed in 1885. Degree of Pocahontas.

Time changes everything. The Red Men significantly reduced in number, the Strand Theater now a Walgreens.

Starbucks was recently confronted with an embarrassing situation. Two black businessmen wanted to use one of its rest rooms. They had not purchased coffee and apparently did not intend to do so. Local management prohibited the use of the bathroom. Words were exchanged. Police called. The men arrested.

Within a short period of time, the Starbucks national office had the charges dropped and apologies extended.

Starbucks has gone even a step further. It announced a new policy. People can sit at a Starbucks without buying anything.

I always thought such was the case. Many the Starbucks I have sat, read a newspaper or worked on my computr while not ordering anything. For some reason, I thought Starbucks was for people to enjoy without purchase if they wished. What wasn’t, now is.

Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Enjoy your day!

I PANICKED

Strange experience yesterday.

It is difficult for me to become discombobulated. I did yesterday. Panicked!

Barbara was driving from Utica to visit. I last heard from her 7:30 in the morning. She had just passed through Jacksonville. Expected to arrive in Key West around 2.

Two came and went. As did 3, 4 and 5.

I tried telephoning. She did not answer her cell. Finally at 5:30, I telephoned the police. Assumed the worst. She had been in an accident.

Florida does not have a one call line system for accident information. An area by area system. Each has to be called individually. I started with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. Then to the State Highway Patrol in Miami-Dade, Jacksonville, Orlando, and finally the Florida Turnpike itself.

All courteous. No help, however. No record of an accident. The Turnpike operator the best. I expressed concern. If she had not been in an accident, something worse must have occurred.

I was in the process of filing a missing persons with the Turnpike operator when my cell rang.

It was Barbara. She had been held up by traffic in Islamorada for 3 1/2 hours.

Respectfully, I ripped her a new a..hole. Why wasn’t your phone on? It was. No, I called six times and left messages. Must have been while I stopped to go to the bathroom. No, you don’t go to the bathroom that often.

Whatever.

I was glad she was alive and well. I had visions of her in a roadway ditch with her throat slit. Don’t laugh. We live in strange times.

She finally arrived a little after 9. She was mad. Felt Florida should have a better system of dealing with heavy traffic through the Keys. I was upset she had the phone turned off.

We were not on the same wave length.

Again, the police officers were helpful and sensitive to my concerns. One complaint. The State should have one number to call for accident victims. Not a sort of county by county system. In the age of computers, such cannot he difficult to set up.

A quick shower and we were off to get a bite to eat. Ended up at Tavern ‘n Town at 10:15.

As is said, all’s well that ends well!

Barbara brought several baskets of fresh strawberries and a big bag of peas from upstate New York. The season for them there. The strawberries not GMOs. Not big and shiny. Different sizes. Most small. Sweet and juicy. Enjoyed them for breakfast this morning.

The peas will likewise be delicious when we get to them.

I am in Starbucks again this morning. Comcast comes late tomorrow morning.

Starbucks packed again this morning. Most European tourists. Like a United Nations. I hear no one speaking English.

Some studies are just plain unreliable.

I love Key West. It has many pluses. Many negatives, also.

A company called WilliamHub (no space between first and last name) recently released a study. Key West was determined to be the second best Beach Community in the U.S. Two hundred twenty seven beach areas studied.

The criteria primarily involved housing costs, share of waterfront homes for sale, and the quality of beach water.

WilliamHub obviously used bad data.

A sadness yesterday. A 15 year old boy died while snorkeling at Fort Zach Beach. Cause not yet known. His family pulled him from the water and tried to resuscitate him.

Hemingway ended his life on this date in 1961 at his Sun Valley, Idaho home. Another sadness.

I close with a Trump reference. Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus in a  6/29 column wrote: “Authoritarianism does not announce itself. It creeps up on you.”

Enjoy your Sunday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ATM

Everyone, everything has a birthday. Two days ago, ATM. Fifty years old. the first ATM having been opened on June 27, 1967. Barclay’s Bank in London.

Prior to ATMs, you could only get money out of a bank during bank working hours: 8-3. On weekends, not at all.

We have been spoiled!

Move completed yesterday. I am surrounded by boxes. Every room. Taking today off. Tired. Will get at arranging things hopefully tomorrow.

I am at Starbucks at the moment. Still do not have wi-fi or anything else Comcast provides.

I am going to head over to Verizon when I am done. I have a vague recollection I have wi-fi on my cell phone.

Chart Room first last night. Sat and slowly drank. Not crowded. Three couples sitting at the round table. From New York City. Boisterous. Loud. Laughing. Having fun.

Their bar bill over $300 for six people. When leaving, they apologized for the noise, etc. No problem. They said they were from the City and that is how NYC people are.

They tripped onto the Chart Room. First time. Loved it!

I got to show off a bit. Two of the ladies wanted to know about the names and ashes of those in the bar.

Dinner after the Chart Room at the Hot Tin Roof. One of my favorite dining places. Not last night.

I was not that hungry. Ordered bread and fried calamari. Asked for the bread first and quickly. Told the bartender I had been drinking.

Note the Chart Room charges for bread. $3. Stupid, but that’s the way it is. My bread did not arrive till I was almost done with the calamari.

Some nights you just can’t win!

May such be one of my biggest problems in life

A lawsuit has been filed in California federal court. Some group wants fluoridation of water stopped. Claim neurotoxicity and not consistent with the Toxic Substances Control Act.

I recall when fluoridation came to New York State. I was in high school. A bitter war. Many opposed.

Ten years later, dentistry as known then was not the best of careers. Fluoridation had cut back dramatically tooth decay. For many years, dental school was avoided by many.

Dentistry is back big time these days. Implants, etc. Fluoridation still around. Pseudo experts claiming it unhealthy.

I am 81 and still here.

Florida’s Senator Rubio is sometimes his own worst enemy. I happen to like him. However, he sometime says stupid things. He needs more maturity. Like another ten years. Then he might be Presidential timber.

His latest statement giving me concern is the Republican healthcare bill. He is not concerned that 22 million will be without coverage by 2016. He considers by that number “…..only a small percentage will be hurt.”

One of Key West’s favorite people was married on June 28, 1919. Harry Truman married Bess.

Enjoy your day!

MAIL DELIVERY 3Xs A DAY

Key West is presently battling whether to have garbage pick ups once or twice a week. There was a time when the number of times for anything was generous.

This morning’s Key West Citizen in its History Section notes that on this day in 1901, the Post Office began making deliveries three times a day. Early morning, mid day and late afternoon.

How things change!

Love Rick Boettger. He calls them as he sees ’em. In an article in E-Blast this morning titled The Big Story / Crash or Burn, he indicates how difficult it is to do business in Key West. A tough town to get a business started. Even tougher to stay in business.

Rick had a statement I would like to share…..Key West is a place to spend money you made somewhere else.

How true!

Starbuck’s on the Boulevard finally underway. Checkers building being demolished. I look forward to the new Starbuck’s. I love to sit inside, sip coffee, and read. The new Starbuck’s will provide that convenience.

The Citizen this morning also noted that Key West will receive its share of the BP settlement. $2.7 million. Allegedly for economic damages suffered during the spill. The oil never reached Key West. For business loss during that period because people were afraid to visit. They thought the oil would reach Key West beaches.

The $2.7 million even more interesting since earlier paper work by the City indicated Key West had only lost $630,00.

BP settlements of this nature are a rip off! I can’t fault the City for taking the money. However, it should never have been available. At some distant point following the spill, by law or regulation, rules came down permitting the type of losses to be compensated out of a pool of money made available for such purpose. The law/regs were broadly drawn. Did incorporate losses as the City was paid for.

Such does not make the payment right. Either to Key West or anyone else. Even saying BP has a lot of money does not make it correct.

Dinner at Roostica last night before my blog talk radio show. Met a new waitress. Olga. A nice lady.

Did my blog talk radio show later in the evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Three topics hit. How the U.S. as a society has lost its way, a Greece update suggesting watch out for the Neo-Nazi party, and my thoughts re the Iranian agreement. All interesting! Controversial in some respects.

Anna. Greece. Anna still on Santorini. Santorini continues to be packed with tourists. This week Chinese, Japanese and English. Spending money like crazy. Everything very expensive.

She wanted to spend time on my favorite island, Amorgos. Not going. Could not get a room. Amazing! Plus, all ATM machines are bare. No cash money available on Amorgos.

The show goes on! The Greece/Eurounion conflict not concluded. The next few days will reveal much. Parliament votes today whether to accept the offer. The unions are supposedly on a 24 hour strike today. No one working. Athens shut down if the called for strike successful.

Various media sources suggest Merkel may have hurt herself big time. She exercised raw “naked power.” Germany may win today. However the Greeks and other European nations will remember Greece’s treatment. What goes around, comes around. Germany some day will stand with hat in hand. Germany’s treatment at that time may be as harsh as Greece’s this time.

Enjoy your day!

NAPOLEON, HEMORRHOIDS, OPIUM AND WATERLOO

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!