EXCITEMENT BUILDING

Excitement is building. You can feel it. Especially if you are a Key West local. Fantasy Fest is coming! Begins tomorrow night with Goombay.

The Chart Room first last night. Met up with Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixon. Just returned from a Greece trip. We were meeting for drinks and then dinner where ever.

Love Fran! Takes care of me. From Buffalo, she brought me 6 jars of meat sauce. Meatballs, pork and beef included. I can depend on such a gift every time they return to Key West.

We spoke of their visit to Santorini. One of my favorite places. Got into Gary Hart. A recent Atlantic article says he was set up re the Bahamas boat pic by Republican campaign manager at the time Lee Attwater.

Tom’s brother Bill was Hart’s campaign manager which added to the flavor of the conversation.

Met the new bartender Tammy. An attractive blond. Will be working 2 nights at the Chart Room. The other 5 at Garden of Eden. The naked rooftop place above the Bull. I will be frequenting the Garden beginning soon.

I do not strip. Too embarrassed. Enjoy watching the bare assed ladies running around. My voyeur nature.

Barb and Carl from New Hampshire were at the bar. I met them last year. Barb is in insurance and Carl a firefighter. Due to retire in 2 years. Good for him!

They have a son C.J. who I met last year. Barb got him on her cell phone/skpe whatever and we chatted a few minutes. C.J. is 26. A fundraiser and advertiser for Meals on Wheels in Londonderry, New Hampshire. He also dabbles in writing on the side.

We decided on Ibis for dinner. Fran and Tom had been there the night before and said the stone crabs were fresh and delicious. I had a concern they might still be frozen. Michael whipped up our waters and I heard the stone crabs had been affected.

We enjoyed a $250 stone crab meal. Love Fran and Tom. But they were wrong. They had been frozen. I know, I can tell. I did not bust their bubble that we had gotten screwed.

Oh, well.

Next week, the stone crabs being served should be fresh everywhere.

I am moving fast this morning. A haircut at noon with Lori. Then a quick stop at Farmers Market. Have not been there in a while. Want to buy some big juicy tomatoes and small rolls.

Nine years ago, Key West was plagued with the Acevedo scandal. Theft from the school district.

Kathy Reitzel was bookkeeper at the time. She claims she discovered the takings and reported them. Then she was fired. She claimed she had been fired because she was a whistle blower.

Took 9 years to reach trial. The jury returned yesterday. Denied her whistle blower status. However awarded her a $60,000 verdict for breach of contract. A long wait for a poor return. The jury did not accept her as a whistle blower which was the main thrust of her case.

Never forget those who help you.

Monroe County staff and fire rescue crews have been to the Panhandle lending a helping hand. Those they were helping had come to the Keys to help following Irma.

The Key West Art and Historical Society sponsors a Distinguished Speaker Series. On October 25 at the Key West Theater on Eaton, Dr. Pamela Stephenson Connolly will speak on The History, Culture, and Politics of Bondage/Domination/Sadomasochism. Emphasis will be on the nature and role of BDSM among couples.

A fitting presentation during Fantasy Fest. Especially since several BDSM public parties are featured during the week.

Only in Key West!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

THINGS I DID NOT SHARE

Michael has dominated my blog the past few days. Other matters, I let slip to the wayside. Just went through my notes. I want to share some of the items with you. I am reporting them as they appear with no order or sequence.

I was watching MSNBC yesterday morning. A reporter at a California college campus. Talking with 40-50 students.

Millennials. The hope of the Democratic Party.

How many of you are going to vote? Only one hand raised. When others were questioned, they said their only concern was school. An attitude like don’t bother me.

Based on news reports, I thought this was the year the kids were going to vote. A rush to the polls. Not so. If the Democratic Party is depending on them, forget it!

Something wrong organization wise within the party. Democratic Party leaders constantly talk about the millennial vote. Have they got it wrong! The millennials will not be contributing this election to saving America.

I came across this quote in How To Win A fight With A Conservative: “We can’t be lulled into complacency. You have to remember that Adolph Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I’m not comparing him to Adolph Hitler. What I’m saying is there is the potential.”

Sounds like someone talking about Trump. Not so. Obama. Would you believe? Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga) expressing fears one week after Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. Broun believed Obama would create a security force akin to the Gestapo to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

The government screws up. Suddenly, the simple becomes a bureaucratic mess.

An Ohio woman got a ticket for failing to use her seat belt. When she went to pay, she was told her driver’s license had been suspended for 3 months for failure to pay child support. She told the Motor Vehicle person there had to be a mistake. She never had children. In fact, she had never been pregnant.

She has been busting her ass to get the problem resolved. A government goof has turned into a bureaucratic nightmare. No one can help her. Each agency blames the other or the computer. In the meantime, she is not driving.

Shakespeare wrote in the Merchant of Venice when he had Portia speaking to Shylock re mercy: “The quality of mercy is not strained.”

It was 2000. Two black brothers ages 21 and 20 were being sentenced for murder in New York City. They had murdered a gang member who had sexually assaulted one of their wives.

Justice Gustin Reichbach could have sentenced them to life. A maximum sentence. Never to be released.

The Judge felt a degree of sympathy for the brothers. Instead, he sentenced them to 17 1/2 years to life. Significant. It meant they would be able to seek parole after serving 17 1/2 years.

Both were paroled last year after 17 1/2 years.

Today, one attends Cornell and the other Columbia. All because one Judge saw something in the brothers that others might not have.

Senator David Perdue (R-Ga) is typical of a number of southern Republican politicians. Four examples why.

In the past few days, the Senator was being questioned by college students concerned that Georgia courts were preventing college students, primarily black, from voting based on a claim their registrations were improper. A total falsehood.

One of the students asked the question. He was holding his cell phone out to record the response.

The Senator “ripped” the phone out of the student’s hand.

The Senator’s office says it was an error in judgment on the part of the Senator.

The Senator in a recent speech compared Trump to Churchill. He said, Trump is “not a choir boy, but a man of history.”

Two weeks ago, he described Kavanaugh protesters as “Nazis.”

Can’t even leave Obama alone. At a recent Facts and Freedom Coalition in June, the Senator said let Obama’s days be few. He relied on Psalm 109:8: “Let his days be few.”

God loving men?

Now to yesterday news and happenings.

Stone crab season opens today! Hooray!

Stopped first at the Rum Barrel last night. Sunday night my Lauri fix. A wonderful lady.

Then to the Chart Room. Glad I stopped. Jean Thornton at the bar. She introduced me to Don Kincaid. They are old friends.

Don has been with Mel Fisher  in one capacity or another since the 1970’s. He is the man who found the first gold coin when the Atocha was discovered. He has written for National Geographic. Serves on the Mel Fisher Board. Today, a professional photographer.

Susan and Huggie came in. We had met before, though I did not recall them. They understood. Susan and Huggie are from Charleston, South Carolina and visit Key West twice a year.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Jean and I plan on meeting.

Enjoy your day!

ANOTHER CANCER SURVIVOR

Glad I stopped in the Chart Room last night. There sitting were Jenny and Scott. Friends from an earlier Key West visit.

Jenny a cancer survivor.

I met them last October. At the time, Jenny explained her recent mastectomy. Her breast had been reconstructed. No nipple yet. A waiting period involved. She explained she was going to have a nipple tattooed on. One of the Key West setting sun.

All new to me. Jenny gave me an education. Thereafter, I wrote about nipple reconstruction and as an alternative the tattooing method.

Jenny opened the door to my meeting further women who had had mastectomies. I got into the topic. One of the ladies even showed John and I her reconstructed breast. We could not tell the difference. Both looked the same, were balanced.

I learned from my initial Jenny experience. I learned more afterwards from research and meeting other women who had had mastectomies. With the exception of Jenny, all wanted to show me their new breasts. What I learned specifically was that women were proud of their new breasts. Natural appearing. Not freakish in any manner. Thrilled for the world to know.

Unfortunately, Jenny’s problem did not end when first we met in October. A genetic problem was discovered. One which could make her more susceptible to cancer again. She was required to undergo additional chemotherapy.

Her chemo recently concluded. She and husband Scott were in Key West to celebrate the occasion. It was all over!

Jenny a lovely person. Inside and out. Her hair similar to mine. Short. It is starting to grow in again. Even without hair, a beautiful face. Her smile bright. The smile of a winner.

Devon came in. We met in the Chart Room two years ago. He owns a home in Key West. Still lives in Illinois. He and his brother run a farm. I sense a big one. Corn and soy beans the product. Shipped down the Mississippi to as far away as China and Japan.

Devon an interesting person. His business acumen especially appealing. When the big corporations decided to get into the farming business, Devon and his brother decided to go the way of the big companies. Let them call the shots. Companies like Monsanto. Devon and his brother have prospered by so doing.

Dinner afterwards at the Hot Tin Roof. Stone crabs. Delicious. I even cheated. Enjoyed key lime pie with a graham cracker crust. Magnificent!

Syracuse/Clemson at 2 this afternoon. Clemson ranked #18.  The Vegas Line should favor Clemson by several points. Not today. The Vegas Lines favors Syracuse by 1.5 points. Syracuse needs the win to be considered for the NCAA Tournament. Syracuse not even on the bubble at the moment.

Locals, remember Kate Miano is a candidate for Mayor of Key West. A smart woman, a successful one. More importantly, a good person.

Kate is the owner and operator of The Gardens Hotel at 526 Angela Street. A beautiful property. She is having her campaign kickoff party friday beginning at 6. Free food and drink. All you have to do is have a good time. Bring a friend and meet other friends at the party.

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon is a big deal. One of the few turtle hospitals world wide. Sick turtles are flown into Marathon for care.

The Hospital began operations in 1986. It was the first State licensed veterinary hospital devoted solely to sea turtle care. A full time staff of 20 and 3 turtle ambulances.

The Turtle Hospital is a not for profit. Its expenses covered by ticket sales and donations.

Stop by some time and see the miracles being performed. Amazing!

Tomorrow is election day in Italy. The people pissed big time. Immigration the problem. Over five hundred thousand Muslims from North Africa. As my friend Anna describes it, they have taken over the country.

Every one running a Donald Trump. Going to throw the immigrants out. Right away!

Populism on the rise. Sounds familiar, also. Several parties involved. Never enough votes for one person to win out right. A coalition government will be formed.

It is a north-south battle. Again just like the U.S.

The party of the south is the Five Stars Movement. Its candidate 31 year old Luigi De Maio. Anna does not like him. She is from the north. Claims Luigi is not formally educated and is too young.

Luigi is expected to garner the most votes. His southern support, the youth. Another familiar item.

Anna lives in Navaro, a community outside Milan. Their hero in the election is old friend Silvio Berlusconi. Thrice Prime Minister, twice convicted of crimes. Because of his convictions, he cannot run at this time. However his party is pushing for their candidate fully supported by Berlusconi. The party is Forza Italia.

Tomorrow election day. Going to be interesting.

Trump promised to clean out the Washington swamp. His track record thus far not good. He may even have to deal with son in law Jared Kushner.

Kushner may be using his official White House position in attempts to secure loans for his Kushner Companies which have serious financial problems.

Three situations stand out.

Joshua Harris is the founder of Apollo Management. He visited the White House several times. Claimed purpose to assist with infrastructure decisions and perhaps in due course receive an appointment. Actual reason, Kushner required a cash infusion for Kushner Companies.

In November, Apollo lent Kushner Companies $184 million. No appointment was forthcoming.

Michael L. Corbat is CEO of Citigroup. He was a 2017 spring guest in the White House to discuss finances and trade policy. In March, Citigroup loaned $325 million to Kushner Companies and a partner.

The worst situation involves Qatar. Qatar a small oil rich Middle East nation. A friend of the U.S. The U.S. maintains a base in Qatar with 10,000 military personnel stationed there.

Kushner wanted $500 million from the government owned Qatari Investment Authority. He arranged a meeting for his father Charles and the Qatari Finance Minister at a suite in the New York St. Regis Hotel. The second day of the meeting took place in a conference room at a Kushner property.

A high level negotiation. Qatar said no. Refused to invest.

One month later Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates blockaded Qatar and threatened war. The claimed reason Qatar’s funding of terrorism.

Secretary of State Tillerson wanted to intercede. He knew the people involved and thought he could resolve the situation. Kushner blocked him.

The day after the blockade began, Trump appeared on television and took credit for the blockade. Said he was not going to tolerate Qatar’s funding of terrorism.

The question arises as to whether the Qatar blockade, etc. resulted from Qatar’s turning the Kushner family down re the $500 million loan.

Swamp contamination continues. The situation may be getting worse.

Enjoy your day!

 

BEAR AND BASKETBALL

Great dinner last night at Donna and Terri’s. Stone crabs. My favorite food. Their favorite food. We pigged out!

Amazing how rapidly Bear is growing. Twelve weeks old. I see him generally once a week. Bigger each time. Much bigger.

After dinner, I was watching the Syracuse/Boston College game. Bear came over and sat on the floor to the front of me. He looked up at the TV screen. His eyes remained glued.

I called Terri over. He’s watching the game with me. I don’t believe it!

She said, he is. Does it all the time when basketball is on. She believes Bear can hear the sneaks hitting the floor and that is what keeps his attention.

Whatever, he sat there for a whole half. Not budging.

Too bad it was not a good game. Syracuse lost again.  85-70.

The pain of it all!

Bad news. Jean and Joe Thornton in Hawaii. I received word from Jean that daughter Laura had emergency gall bladder surgery. Two gall stones the size of walnuts removed also. I could not figure out if Laura was with them in Hawaii or home in Birmingham.

Fortunately, the surgery was able to be done laparoscopally. Laura was released the same day as the surgery.

I can recall gall bladder surgery when I was young. Not to me. To others. Left an impact in my mind. The patient in bed with tubes in every part of the body. A 10 day hospitalization at the time. How medical science has advanced that it can now be done in a same day surgery.

Deviate sex goes both ways. Man alone is not the perpetrator. In some instances, the woman.

Stephanie Peterson Ferri is a 26 year old school teacher at the New Smyrna Beach Middle School. She was arrested yesterday. Charged with having sex with a 14 year old male student over a period of several months. Occasionally supplied him with marijuana, also.

Ferri further sent the 14 year old nude photos of herself over the cell phone. Her face showing.

Not the first time I have come across an older woman and boy in a sexual relationship. The occurrence rare, however. Apparently there are fewer female pedophiles than male ones. Much fewer from what I could determine.

The youthfulness of the boy was apparent when his mother confronted him. She had discovered the naked pics of the school teacher on his cellphone.

The boy cried.

Libby Schaaf is mayor of Oakland. One of America’s larger cities. Oakland is a sanctuary city. And proud of it.

The federal government is aware of which cities have declared themselves sanctuary ones. Thus far there have been only threats from the federal government to cease and desist. No other action against the sanctuaries.

Mayor Schaaf became aware that there was going to be a mass arrest by ICE the next day in northern California. Especially the cities of San Francisco and Oakland. She became aware not from official sources.

The Mayor went public with the news. ICE came in the next day expecting to make roughly 1,000 arrests. Only made 150. The illegals had gone into hiding.

Mayor Schaaf is being threatened with arrest. She does not believe she violated any laws since the information she spread was received by her from unofficial sources.

The Mayor claims she would it again and that she would go to jail to protect Oakland’s sanctuary city status. From her perspective, blowing the whistle was the right thing to do.

Mayor Schaaf said, “What I did was my job as the mayor of Oakland and reflective of the values of the people that I represent.”

I say…..Good for Mayor Schaaf!

Trump has blown the immigration problem out of context and control. Federal agents in the form of ICE arresting people on the street and out of their apartments. Followed by quick deportation.

Appears similar to the Nazi raids on the Jews in Germany in the mid 1930’s.

I doubt the Mayor would be convicted if arrested. There is something called jury nullification. Juries permit defendants to walk if they believe the crime charged is wrong in itself.

Mayor Schaaf is a hero.

A recent study shows that the student debt is $1.5 trillion. The U.S. is on the hook for that amount. Said another way, the $1.5 trillion is listed as an asset on the U.S.’s balance sheet. It represents 30 percent of the government’s assets.

Collection of all questionable. Even half questionable. The total amount always out there. Increases daily. Not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

A phony asset. Misrepresentative.

Enjoy your day!

 

PUTIN ACTS WHILE TRUMP SITS ON HIS ASS

Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place…..because of those who look on and do nothing.”

He could have been talking about Trump.

We know Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Hacked our computer systems. An act of cyber war.

Our entire top level intelligence people agree such occurred. I assume most Americans believe it occurred. Yet Trump does nothing. His lips sealed. He has not issued an order to his top people to get after Russia and make them pay for this invasion of the very essence of our democracy.

Putin on the other hand is preparing for what he anticipates in due course will be retaliatory action by the United States. He recently gave Russia’s Federal Guard Services powers to counter hack attacks on state data resources and to protect the personal data of senior state officials and their families.

One sits on his ass while the other protects his.

At the same time, the Trump Administration has issued a new round of sanctions targeting oil smugglers in Libya: Six people, 24 companies, and 7 vessels. The sanctions consist of prohibiting Americans from doing business with the sanctioned persons/entities and freezes their property in the U.S.

Oil may be important. Our elections more. Trump should show the U.S. can walk and chew gum at the same time. Sanction Russia and Libya simultaneously.

Readership of yesterday’s blog the highest in February. Not sure why? The title advising I had lost 23 pounds? Or was it that portion dealing with how touch phones and touch tablets are affecting the mental development of children? The touch items affecting a child’s ability to hold a pencil down the road. Something to do with finger muscle development and left right brain movement.

Many comments. I learned much.

Two comments especially interesting.

Children who don’t crawl prior to walking initially have trouble reading. Reading being a left to right orientation.

The other involved new neighborhoods that lack curbs along the streets. Children enjoy walking curbs. I barked at my children and grandchildren every time I saw them do it. Thought they would fall and break an ankle.

Children walking on curbs unknowingly are practicing a left to right brain orientation. Neighborhoods without curbs found at school time the children were not making progress reading. It was determined it was the lack of curbs.

Schools installed 2 x 4’s in kindergarten classrooms for children to walk on. Thereby learning balance and improving their left to right brain functions.

My podcast last night. I spent half the show discussing the NRA. Interesting material. The dike is leaking as far as the NRA is concerned.

A meal for a king this evening. I am having dinner at Donna and Terri’s. Stone crabs!

Added enjoyment this evening. Syracuse/Boston College at 9. A toss up as to one will win. Only one Syracuse game left after Boston College. At the moment, Syracuse is not even on the bubble. It will take a victory tonight and in the last game of the season. And/or a distinguished performance in the ACC tournament beginning next week.

A tough season.

Conch a popular Key West food. Some conchs large. Their shells equally large. Key West has an annual Conch Blowing Contest. This year’s to be held sunday at noon in the gardens of the Oldest House on Duval.

This is not necessarily a kid’s contest. Mostly adults participate. Leading citizens of the community. Several years ago, Kate Miano of Gardens fame and presently a mayoral candidate blew hard. She won.

Key West is a baseball town. As is all of Florida. The primary sport through high school is baseball.

Key West has had top teams statewide. Also players who went on to play major league ball. In one instance, Key West fielded the best high school baseball team in the United States. On this day in 1996, the Key West team was rated #1 nationally by USA Today.

School boards and families concerned with child safety all over the U.S. More so in view of the recent Douglas High School deaths.

The Pike County School Board is not waiting for some one to tell them what to do. They have acted on their own. They voted to have teachers carry concealed guns inside schools. School Superintendent Roger Akins said, “We may be criticized, but…..I’ll take criticism to protect my students.”

Who could not have loved MASH? Ran 11 years on TV. Today reruns all day and night 2 days a week on Sundance. The Korean War drama/comedy involved a front line medical facility. Starred Alan Alda.

On this day in 1983, the last episode of MASH was shown. A special 2 1/2 hour feature. The show so popular at the time, it was watched by 77 percent of the viewing audience.

Enjoy your day!

 

STONE CRAB SEASON A DISAPPOINMENT

Stone crabs!

My favorite food. The favorite of many.

Next to impossible to find. If available, expensive. Like $8 for a small one.

Why no stone crabs?

Two reasons.

The first Irma. Screwed up what is below the water as well as that above.

The other, cold fronts. Crabs are driven to the Keys by cold fronts. We have not had one yet this year. The cold this past week kid stuff compared to a real one.

Fortunately, the stone crab season lasts till May 15. We should have a cold front or two by then. Hopefully crabs galore. Unless Irma’s impact on them more significant than thought.

Yesterday’s blog lacked a most important saturday afternoon event. The Syracuse/Georgetown game. Syracuse won in overtime 86-79.

A typical hard fought game. As in the old days when the two teams met in Big East games.

Georgetown was up by 13 in the second half. Syracuse fought back and tied at the buzzer. Syracuse then out scored Georgetown by 7 points in overtime.

The best Syracuse game I have seen in a couple of years.

Go ‘Cuse!

I stayed in saturday night. The success Irma and me is having caused me to remain home working on my next book. Growing Up Italian. Irma has motivated me to do more.

I should have been out and about.

Doug Jones and Jimmy Buffett in town! Unannounced.

Jean Thornton has many friends. Someone called her and said be at Margaritaville at 8. Tell no one. Jean was not told why she should be there. She suspected maybe Buffett.

She was there. So too were Buffett and Doug Jones.

Jones and wife Louisa are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary at a friend’s home in Key West. Jean is from Alabama. A Republican, of course. She rushed up to Jones excitedly and told him it was the first time in 28 years she had voted Democratic.

Then Buffett appeared. He played his guitar and sang for one hour.

The place was packed! Jean not the only one who had a friend. People out on the sidewalk for a look see and to hear Buffett.

Buffet sang Stars Fell Over Alabama in honor of Jones’ victory.

Nice that Buffett decided to “…..headin’ back to Key West town.”

Today’s Key West Citizen had only a few photos of the Lighted Boat Parade. Looked good! Also, a few photos of the first I Love Stock Island Lighted Boat Parade. Looked good, also.

The first I Love Stock Island Boat Parade and other events appear to be the beginning of a tradition. Go Stock Island!

I was out and about last night. Began with Kate Miano’s Gardens.

Terri White performing. My love! For the first time since her cancer surgeries. She appears on the mend.

The crowd was large out of respect for Terri. She failed them not. Her singing, Terri! Nothing changed. Outstanding.

I chatted with Terri, Donna, Tash, Kate, Jean, and Libby York amongst others. Also, Jan Gebhart and Bob Pracher. Had not seen them in a while.

Last night was the first time I met Libby York. Her singing well known beyond Key West. Places like New York, Chicago, and Paris.

Libby will be performing at The Gardens in a couple of weeks. She also opens thursday and every thursday thereafter at the Little Jazz Room Club.

Libby not new to Key West. She has had a home here since 1980.

The New York Times described her as “a juicy singer of cool composure and artful subtlety.”

Jean and I had dinner later at Antonia’s. She is supposed to leave today for Birmingham on Delta. Not sure she will get out.

I am still on the diet. Seem to have plateaued. Lost only one pound this past week. I have not cheated once. Ergo, the only one pound loss bothers me. I need to see success on the scale!

Enjoy your day!

AMERICA’S HORNIEST PRESIDENT

America’s horniest President? Not John Kennedy. Not Bill Clinton.

Warren G. Harding. Considered also our worst President. Referred to as “useless.” His administration blanketed in corruption.

Harding was a lover.

One of his great loves involved Nan Britton.

They met when she was 14 and he 45. The relationship got going in a New York City hotel room when Nan was 18 and the President 49. Everything short of actual consummation. Nan wanted to preserve her virginity.

Two years later when Nan was 20 and the President 51, Nan relented and gave Harding a woman’s most prized possession.

The relationship continued into the White House. Nan had the run of the place. The two were careful as to their sexual escapades. they enjoyed sex in a small closet in the ante-room to the Oval Office. The closet five foot square.

Nan gave birth to a baby girl. He supported her and the child with monthly payments. The Republican National Party did likewise.

Harding and Trump have much in common. In addition to sexcapades, opposition to immigration. Harding enacted racist immigration laws.

Harding referred to Nan as his “sweetheart incompatible.”

He referred to his penis as “Jerry.”

Another of his loves was Carrie Fulton Phillips. Considered Harding’s lifetime mistress.

In 2014, the Library of Congress released Harding’s love letters to Carrie.

In one, he write: “I love your poise / Of perfect thighs / When they hold me in paradise…..”

In another: “Jerry came and will not go, says he loves you….. / He is so utterly devoted that he only exists to give you all.”

Why this story today? Harding was born on this date in 1865.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending.

Chris and Don there! My Syracuse area friends. Love them both!

they are to be married in March. At the Hyatt. they were to be married on the dock. No dock. Irma. Hyatt assured them there would be one in place by March.

Chris is putting the wedding together. A monumental job. In addition to her work as a top executive with a major company.

They relieved me as to what I am to wear to the wedding. I mentioned I had to purchase a sport jacket, slacks and shoes for the event. I only have shorts, shirts and sandals. Don said, “Absolutely not.” The wedding an informal one attire wise. He is wearing shorts and a sport shirt.

A gent and his wife were seated on the other side of me. He a Boston College grad. An attorney. We talked Boston College sports. Especially, football. Doug Flutie, of course.

Then to Hot Tin Roof alone for dinner. Sat at the bar.

They had stone crabs! My meal! Eight dollars per stone crab. small ones. I had six. Equated to one pound. Absolutely delicious!

As good as the small ones at Pier One. More expensive however. Pier One $26 a pound compared to the $48 a pound I paid at Hot Tin Roof.

Turned out to be a good food and good time evening.

A lady two seats over at the bar asked if I were Louis. I was. we had met 5 1/2 years ago at the Chart Room. She recalled i had mentioned her in the blog the next day.

Lesley her name.

Lesley left Key West at some point thereafter. To Nashville. In the process of returning. actually arrived the day before after fleeing Irma for a few days. she has a position as bartender at the new Duval Central soon to open. The former Gecko’s. She already is settled in. Apartment, etc.

Enjoyed her company. Will stop into Duval Central when it opens to visit her.

Duval Central cannot miss. It is between Sloppy Joe’s and Irish Kevin’s. The word is Gecko closed down because the landlord doubled the rent. It happens in Key West.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast carried a slew of photos by Bill Klipp of the Fantasy Fest Parade. Great pics!

There has been no public announcement as to the crowd for the parade. Normally, 80,000. Eighty thousand translates into very crowded sidewalks. Hard to move.

the photos showed much fewer spectators. A marathon could be run on the siewalks.

Guess that is why there has been no announcement as to number of watchers.

I was totally into baseball in my early years. Dies not tuen me on in my old age. as eveidenced by the fact that I watched not one inning of the World Series.

Noted this morning that the Houston /astros won the series in seven games. Over th Los Angeles Dodgers. Congratulations to the Astros

Nevember is National Novel Writing Month. My publisher advised it woud be out by the end of the week. tomorrow is friday. hope it on the stands!

Whatever, Irma and Me will be born during National Novel Writing Month. Unintentionally.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOGA PARTY…..WHAT TOGA PARTY?

I was sorely disappointed last night. Toga Party. What Toga Party? Hard to find.

I have been a fan of Toga Party since the mid 1980’s. Merely as a voyeur. For me, fun. Last night, there was little to be voyeured. Very little.

The reasons why two-fold from my perspective.

Irma obviously a contributing factor. Who would want to pay $700-$1,000 a night for a hotel room if Key West was still recovering from Irma?

The other is the leadership of the event. New leadership this year. The former head ran the show for many years. Complaints grew in recent years by certain locals that there was too much nudity, perversion, etc.

The squeaky wheel was heard by the new leadership. Advertising for this year’s event was not to the usual sources. Sexually inclined persons and groups.

Fantasy Fest an adult party. Always has been. People want to show off their bodies, play, etc. Hurts no one. The new leadership better study closely the reasons why this year’s event failed. And not be reluctant to accept responsibility where warranted.

I walked Duval in the usual Toga Party area last night. Sloppy Joe’s, inside and out. I would estimate the crowd no more than one-third of its usual number. Sloppy’s not crowded. Could walk the streets without problem. Duval not closed off. Cars driving through.

I saw no more than 10 persons in toga attire.

The failure of Toga Party probably a combination of Irma and the new leadership looking in the wrong places for attendees.

The Parade is saturday night. Normally 60,000 to 80,000 spectators. Terrific! Not this year. It will be significantly less.

Several years ago, there was another Irma/storm. Fantasy Fest was delayed into early December so Key West would be ready. This year greed dictated otherwise. There was a rush to get ready and hold the event timely. Hotels, bars, merchants, etc. needed the business.

The goose that lays the golden egg seriously hurt this year.Let’s hope it does not die not next.

I saw three sets of bare breasts last night. One at the Chart Room. Bugs Bunny. She and her husband from Kentucky. Breasts spray painted.

The other two on the street in front of Sloppy’s. One young, the other middle aged. Both spray painted.

In previous years, there would be hundreds in various degrees of undress. All having a good time. Even voyeurs like me. I sincerely hope the tradition does not end.

Enjoyed stone crabs again last night at Pier One. I was the only customer. Hovi the bartender. From Romania. Has been in Key West 5 years.

The Chart Room had about 15 minutes of activity. Otherwise, few customers.

Met Larry and Cindy. We are neighbors! They live on the golf course, also.

We chatted quite a while. Canadians. Sarnie, Ontario. Sounded like they have a family business. Mechanical contracting. Cindy serves as bookkeeper for the business.

Proud parents of two children and two grandchildren.

Liked them both. Hope to develop a relationship with them.

Problems developing post Irma. To be expected. Not everything works perfectly following a disaster like Irma.

The Monroe County School System announced that 320 students are homeless as a result of Irma. Many would not be had the City fathers and FEMA decided that the Irma homeless could no longer stay in local hotels paid by FEMA following last sunday. It was Fantasy Fest time. Time to make real money! Which I suspect will not be the case when the numbers are released.

If the kids are homeless, the parents also. Where are they living? In cars, trucks, mangroves and under the bridges.

Shame on us all!

Monroe County has requested 9,200 trailers. FEMA provides them. As of yesterday, 10 had arrived.

FEMA advises it only has 1,000 trailers allocated for the entire State of Florida.

How will the problem be solved? Will it be solved?

Enjoy your day!

TOGA PARTY…..TOGA, TOGA, TOGA

 

I have been recommending the best Fantasy Fest events to attend the past few evenings. Several each night.

Tonight, only one. Toga Party!

Forget everything else. The place to be is Sloppy Joe’s. Inside or on the street. Actually, the street more fun till about 3 in the morning. Then go inside for the action.

Men and women clad in white togas. Magnificent attire, especially for women. It will be show me your…..For how many beads? Constant negotiation. The lady always wins. The men happy to pay.

The event, a voyeur’s dream!

My first stop last night was the Chart Room. Sat at the end of the bar in the corner. A few minutes later, a lovely young lady asked if the empty seat next to me was taken. I looked over and said no. Thought I would die!

She was wearing next to nothing. A thong. Bare breasted. Absolutely magnificent breasts.

All I could think was…..Thank you God!

We chatted. She was up and around and then back to the seat again. Talking with everyone.

She was part of a pair. Al and Ann from somewhere outside Detroit. Al an orthopedist.

They have been doing Fantasy Fest for 10 years. Stay generally at the Pier House. The same accommodation each year. More pricey than a normal room.

Al an interesting guy. We chatted a bit. Clothed differently than Ann. Al was wearing a bathing suit and cowboy hat.

At some point, another Fantasy Fest woman arrived. Her breasts spray painted.

The bar was crowded. Most persons costumed up. At one point, I could hear a discussion about men’s nipples. Did not pay attention. The subject of no interest to me.

John bartending. Early 40’s. His second year in Key West. He is enjoying the week!

He went to Kelly’s Kinky Party monday night. The same one I mentioned that I did with my lesbian wives 15 years ago. The nipple twisting story.

John and his date properly attired. Attired perhaps not the correct word. The fewer clothes the better. A black strap here and there sufficient.

John said the event was everything he imagined it would be!

When I did the party 15 years ago, Kelly’s was the only BD/SM party in town. Today at least one an evening during Fantasy Fest.

Decided to invade the Pier House restaurant. Pier One. For stone crabs.

Magnificent! Without question! Go and enjoy. A mere $26 a pound. Sweet and succulent!

Met Livia. A lovely 26 year old bartender/waitress from Slovakia. She has a Masters from her home country. Useless she claims here. She is attending our local community college learning hospitality services.

I returned to the Chart Room. Kevin and Polly there. Kevin had arrived earlier in the day.

I chastised Polly re tattooed nipples on reconstructed breasts. I had told her and Ollie about a lady friend who was having it done. They thought I was crazy.

I researched Google later that night after arriving home. Nipples can be tattooed on. Three dimensional! Woman’s choice. Instead of a nipple, it can be a star, moon or sun. Whatever the woman wants.

Told Polly also my friend Cindy from Des Moines had written. She had a mastectomy. Opted for a nipple tattoo.

Nipples obviously were in vogue last night at the Chart Room. Female and male.

Saw my dermatologist Dr. Pruett in the afternoon. Cut a few things off. Froze others. A once a year visit as a person gets older.

Got my car back. Vinny the Ghost. Doors now open via the use of human hands. Most other things dependent on the electrical system still not working. Mechanic back ordered on the necessary part.

Shootout at OK Corral. The event occurred this day in 1881. Took all of 30 seconds. Estimated 30 shots fired during that time.

Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holliday.

A famous American happening. Many movies made based on it.

I have a sick and then sicker story to relate.

Recall the Dakota Access Pipeline last year. Sioux Indians protecting a burial ground. A standoff. Many non Indians standing with the Indians in opposition to the oil companies.

Several Congressmen have written to Attorney General Sessions recommending that he prosecute the Sioux and others as terrorists under the Patriot Act.

Understanding Sessions, he might very well go for it.

Trump wants to deport. He deports. Does not appear age nor circumstance matter.

Marie Rosa 10 years old. Here illegally. Her parents brought her across the border when she was three months old. Maria has cerebral palsy.

An ambulance in Texas was taking her from one hospital to another for surgery. Gall bladder. Stopped at a check point by ICE.

After some discussion, Maria was permitted to go forward and get the surgery. ICE followed and stayed with her.

Following the surgery, Maria was taken to a detention facility in San Antonio. Her parents are at home in Laredo, some 150 miles away. At some point over the years, the parents had become citizens. Not Maria, however.

ICE wants to deport Maria.

Where is the conscience of those involved? America not as unhappy with immigrants as the President thinks.

Media announced this morning the President will speak this afternoon. He will announce that opioids have become a national emergency and the government is going to deal with the problem.

Hero Trump!

Not really.

Opioids a national crisis. Sixty four thousand died last year. Averages 142 deaths a day. Normally such would be labeled a crisis. The crisis would be handled by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. That account has only $57,000 in it.

Instead of labeling it a crisis, Trump is calling it an emergency. This he believes permits him to use monies authorized for natural disasters. Such as hurricanes.

Hurricane monies drying up, however.

Monies for the opioid epidemic will have to be authorized by Congress. Another Trump slight of hand. He says I am going to do such and such and then tosses the ball to Congress to act. If Congress fails to authorize sufficient monies, he can always say I was for helping. It was Congress that failed.

The President never fails.

Some other interesting tidbits.

Melania is going to be involved in leading the fight somehow.

The problem primarily the responsibility of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. We do not have such a Secretary at the moment. Tom Price who was using private jets willy nilly resigned and has not been replaced.

We also require a Drug Czar. Trump nominated a Marino a couple of months ago. Marino had to withdraw when it was discovered he was close to the pharmaceutical houses. We still do not have a Drug Czar.

Typical Trump. Make a big deal out of something. Gets great media coverage. Then limbo for a plan.

The opioid problem is now. Requires now treatment, now attention. Actually, yesterday’s. What Trump will announce will take significantly more time to become operational because of funding, staffing and planning.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STONE CRABS

Last night, the meal of meals. Stone crabs!

The season opened sunday. It was my first stone crab meal of the season.

Enjoyed with another stone crab enthusiast, Jean Thornton. My great host from Birmingham who sheltered me and several others during Irma.

Jean crazy for stone crabs, also.

We dined at the Conch Republic. My idea. Stone crabs were great there last season.

The stone crabs tasty. Large.

Two complaints. The shells not broken enough and the mustard sauce a blob. We could not eat it. Stuck with melted butter.

Did not spoil the joy of the meal, however.

Priced $44 a pound. Cheap! I expected $60, perhaps even $70. Irma destroyed better than half the traps. I suspect the low price is because there still are not enough customers. Conch Republic half filled last night.

During dinner, Jean tells me she heard stone crabs were $26 a pound at the Pier House’s Pier One. No way! Never that cheap anywhere over the years!

I stopped at Pier One on my way to the Chart Room after dinner. A cute young Philippine hostess told me yes, $26 a pound. Six. Medium.

In the next couple of nights, I will be at Pier One enjoying.

The Chart Room was packed. Tourists galore. A good sign. I am concerned how successful Fantasy Fest will be. My thought is the powers to be should have adjourned it several weeks.

John bartending. Smiling big time. He was going to have a big night tip wise. It has been a long time.

David there. We chatted a while.

Jean, Molly, Ollie and I sat at the round table.

Molly is Kevin’s wife. Kevin on business in Boston till wednesday.

Ollie entertained us with his testicle burial story. A true one. The ladies thought it interesting. The first time they had heard it.

I told the group about Jenny who had a mastectomy and no nipple on the replacement. She intends to have the sunset of Key West tattooed where the nipple would have been.

No one believed me. I felt like an ass.

It was haircut time earlier in the day with Lori. Told her about the nipple/tattoo story. She was very familiar with it. Said many women have it done that way these days.

In a year if I run into Jenny again, I may have to ask her to show the unbelievers her Key West sunset.

After my haircut earlier in the day, shot over to Lee Nails. A manicure with Tammy. Told Tammy about Irma and Me. She was all excited.

We got into reading. Tammy is a successful business woman at 34. She and husband Rick have a booming nail business.

Tammy cannot read.

I was surprised. She was schooled in Vietnam. Not in English, however. Her 11 year old son reads to her if there is something at home she must read.

Terri’s first major milestone reached! God bless!

They have been shooting her big time every day with something to increase her stem cell supply. In order for the bone marrow transplant to begin, she had to have 4 million new stem cells. Tested yesterday. 4.5 million!

Tuesday, the transplant procedure begins. Monday going to be difficult. She will be given a massive dose of chemo. The most ever at one time. Terri has already been warned she will be sick sick! Vomiting, diarrhea, the works, big time.

She’s ready. Ready for everything.

A post Irma update.

The canals are filled with debris. Not just trees. Demolished houses and trailers. Broken boats.

The County passed the necessary legislation yesterday permitting FEMA and other agencies to begin a clean up of the canals.

William Hackley 1856 finds him up earlier every morning recently. Around 4. Out hunting. Appears that was how meat and fowl for the dinner table were obtained back then.

Syracuse enjoyed a major win last week. Beat #2 Clemson. Tomorrow, Syracuse plays Miami. Ranked #8 nationally. Can it happen again? I doubt it. But hope so!

Miami a 16 point favorite.

John Kelly’s press conference yesterday disappointed me. The man a distinguished former Marine general. Well respected. Now Trump’s Chief of Staff. His words re the telephone call and the behavior of the Florida Congresswoman did not ring true with me. Trump has a way of taking good people and somehow making them do what he wants. The good people eventually tarnished by Trump.

I think Kelly was used yesterday.

Let’s see what happens down the road.

Fantasy Fest begins today. Goombay!

Doing it with Joni who I met last week at Antonia’s.

I am beginning to feel like an overdue pregnant woman. Waiting for Irma and Me to be published. Any day now.

Enjoy your day!